The season when it’s all right to wear white.

Maybe it’s because it’s the season of the anticipated wedding in years? Maybe it’s because it looks fresh and gleaming after the doom and gloom of a particularly torrid winter? Or maybe it’s because it strikes a nice balance against the Gucci led colour clash phenomenon? But there seems to be an awful lot of white around this season.

Flicking through this months Vogue, it was inescapable, white was truly everywhere. From the antique style milkmaid frills at Dolce and Gabbana, to the delicate frills and ruffles at Valentino, from the cool minimalism of Calvin Klein and Celine to the glamorous Riviera chic of Hugo Boss. White is everywhere. Diane Kruger gleams in white in her ad campaign for Calvin Klein Beauty, Nicole Farhi models are almost as pale as the white outfits they are modelling. Guess shows that white can be frothy and fun too,with a Goldie Hawn-esque model wearing a crocheted bikini top in that ubiquitous colour. It seems that for this season at least, white is definitely right!

I always feel slightly ambiguous towards the colour white. When it is worn well, it can look amazing, with a clean,freshly scrubbed air, that screams freshness and innocence.  It is always a staple of your summer wardrobe,and yet is equally at home in winter,when you are drawn to images of snow queens. Worn with a tan, it is at its most flattering. When I got married in Rhodes, my whole wedding trousseau was filled with floaty white outfits,boho long skirts, cheesecloth shirts and broderie anglaise dresses. I look back at the photographs fondly,with golden hair and a deep tan, the white was a perfect choice. And yet…

It is the most impractical of colours. Now I have Baba, white is a definite no-no, becoming brown when coming within 3 miles of chocolate! Without the tan, it can leave you looking washed out, pale and drawn rather than pale and interesting. It always has connotations of weddings and brides, even when worn in suit form (Bianca Jagger anyone?), and white just doesn’t suit British weather,that flimsy material becoming transparent after a typical downpour. And does the innocence of the colour mean that it is also just a bit young?

Luckily, this season, our style icons are showing us just how to wear white. Kate Middleton showed that the classic look of teaming it with black is still a perfect way to wear white.She looked lovely in her white Alice Temperley dress in December,teaming it with a classic black blazer.

Victoria Beckham and Diane Kruger show that white is best when it is kept simple. Victoria Beckham had a white dress at the centre of her collection in her favoured tulip shape, whilst Diane Kruger often favours white as a colour of choice,usually be Calvin Klein.

Other stars rocking the white trend include Natalie Portman in Azarro at the SAG awards, Kirsten Dunst in Miu Miu, Lindsey Lohan, whilst trying to appear innocent for a courtroom appearance, Jennifer Lopez at The Golden Globes, Emily Blunt,Rihanna at the Grammys,Jennifer Lawrence in Chloe…the list is endless.

 

White on the High Street.

 

Monsoon Chile Dress

 

 

 

Oasis dress

 

 

Monsoon Claudia dress

 

 

Simply Be shoes

 

 

Yours tunic

 

 

Wallis

Seafolly at Selfridges

 

 

Helmut Lang at Selfridges

 

 

Stella McCartney at Selfridges

 

 

SAG AWARDS – GOOD LOOKS/BAD LOOKS AND TRENDS

Sunday night saw the Screen Actors Guild awards. These awards are important as an indicator of where the Oscars might go (apparently a 75% conversion rate from SAG to Oscar!). The SAG awards are known as being less formal than The Golden Globes and The Oscars, but there were still some pretty impressive looks on display on the night. Fashion-Mommy is here to talk you through the trends, the style hits and fashion misses.

Trend 1 – BRIGHTS

There was a veritable sea of colour on the red carpet. Vibrant pinks, reds and oranges were worn, sometimes at the same time in the same dress. For those who avoided the brightly coloured dresses, hot pink lips were also on display. Mila Kunis wore an Alexander McQueen strapless dress that was similar in colour and print to that worn by Michelle Obama during the Chinese State visit. For many, this was the dress of the night, but I felt it was just too floaty, with a beach feel to it. It was nowhere near as successful as the McQueen worn by Michelle Obama, nor did it touch the emerald-green dress Kunis had worn to the Golden Globes.

Far more successful was the beautiful, hot pink Oscar De La Renta dress worn by ‘Winter Bone’ actress Jennifer Lawrence. With her blonde colouring, this was the perfect choice and she looked amazing. Julianna Margulies, who was the winner of the award for best actress in a drama, wore a simple, elegant Yves St Laurent red strapless dress. This has draping detail and was a very good choice, especially when teamed with the hair trend of the night – a simple ponytail.

I did not like the striped dress worn by True Grit star Hailee Steinfeld. For me, this Prada dress was a true disaster, but given that she is only 14, and having some fun with fashion, this was forgivable. Angie Harmon, wearing a pink feathered over-the-top gown by Monique Lhuillier, looked very pretty, but this somehow felt like someone had removed her from covering a toilet roll. However, her hair and make-up were great. Jane Lynch from Glee was definitely one of my worst dressed of the night, her lilac satin dress resembled a bad 1980s bridesmaid dress!

Mila Kunis in Alexander McQueen

Jennifer Lawrence in Oscar de La Renta

Julianna Margulies in YSL

Hailee Steinfeld in Prada

Angie Harmon

Jane Lynch

Other stars wearing coloured dresses included a stunning Sofia Vergara wearing a blue Roberto Cavalli halter neck which made her look like a total goddess, and Kim Kardashian, who wore a stunning purple, embellished Marchesa gown. Tina Fey, who has often been on the worst dressed list at events like this, was one of the best dressed on the night in a red lace strapless dress by Oscar De La Renta, whilst Claire Danes showcased one of the prettiest looks on the red carpet in her gorgeous floral gown, with hot pink lips!

Kim Kardashian

Tina Fey

Trend 2 – Black is back!

For many stars, black is still the only option for red carpet dressing.  Nicole Kidman led the trend in a dramatic Nina Ricci column gown. This was a beautiful look, very gothic with its lace back detail, but it was over-accesorised by the large flower necklace from Fred Leighton. Christina Hendricks was virtually unrecognisable as she kept those fabulous curves under wraps in a glamorous black wrap style blouse by L’Wren Scott. Some have said she deserved the award for best glittery dressing gown, but I loved this look, a new direction from the ‘overspill’ she sometimes displays on the red carpet.  January Jones went for the Tippi Hedron look with her hair piled up high and a vintage style black and gold lace dress by Carolina Herrara. Helena Bonham Carter actually looked great in a Marc Jacobs 1950s style black and white gown and matching shoes. With her still messy updo, this was definitely Helena, but this was very pretty and actually worked! Amber Riley, also wore a beautiful black gown by Anne Barge that was actually a black wedding dress. She was another contender for best dressed on the night.

Trend 3 – All white on the night!

The polar opposite of the dark and gothic black on display, some stars opted for the crisp and always elegant shade of white. Natalie Portman was dazzling in a beautiful strapless Azarro gown, which I think was much more stylish than the Viktor and Rolf she wore for the Golden Globes. Her Black Swan co-star, Winona Ryder, wore another white strapless gown, but this was far too bridal to be a red carpet success. Amy Adams rocked another fabulous ponytail, but her white Herve L Leroux gown was too tight and restrictive on her bustline, she looked like she couldn’t breathe! Ethical fashion heroine Livia Firth, looked amazing in another white vintage gown, with sequins on the neckline. A special mention must also go to Hillary Swank, who opted for a nude Grecian style dress FROM Versace, with big hair, and looked amazing!

 

Livia Firth

 

My top five best dressed?  Claire Danes, Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Lawrence, Christina Hendricks and Julianna Margulies. Worst dressed?  Jane Lynch, Winona Ryder, Hailee Steinfeld, Mila Kunis and Amy Adams.

 

See you for the BAFTAS!

My love/hate for Rodarte.

La Bohème (1926 film)

Image via Wikipedia

I’m in love/hate for Rodarte. I really don’t know whether I love the designs, or hate them. At their most creative the Rodarte sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy conjure up designs that can be described as beautiful, ethereal, wispy, ghostlike, and truly stunning. You imagine tragic heroines like Ophelia, Juliet, Camille and Mimi from La Boheme experiencing glamorous suffering in Rodarte. Rodarte would’ve been the designers of choice for those lost generation divas Zelda Sayre and Lady Otterline Morrell. D W Griffiths would’ve used their costumes to clothe Lilian Gish in all those fab silent weepies like ‘The Wind’. Rodarte is truly beautiful…

But then I get to thinking again and my love affair turns to hate. Is Rodarte beautiful or is it merely tatty? It can look distressed, ripped and ruined, Cinders before the fairy godmother gave her a helping hand. It can look uneven, unfinished and pulled and torn.  Maybe the tragic heroine it most provokes is Miss Haversham in her wedding dress covered in dust and cobwebs!

Maybe I just don’t get it.  Rodarte has been described as ‘Romantic’, but this is romance in a dishevelled, wasted state. Courtney Love and Amanda De Cadenat in their lace nighties and tiaras scream Rodarte…and yet, the sisters also created Kiera Knightley’s most beautiful look, turning her into a goddess rather than a geeky girl with fab abs.

This season, Rodarte have moved slightly away from that bad romance look and have embraced a heavier textured, baboushka lady feel. There are lots of fabrics and print that shouldn’t be mixed together and still work, yet somehow they have managed to create a collection of beauty. But this shouldn’t be the case!

Lets just imagine you got your net curtains, quilt and tablecloth and decided to make an outfit. Well that’s what it looks like Rodarte have done. And yet it evokes special memories and times for me. When I was a little girl spending time at nanny and grandads house, I used to play dressing up in with their wardrobes. I always went for my nans long silky nightdress, but in the days before central heating it was always slightly chilly so I’d stick a big chunky Arran night cardigan over the top. I’d feel warm and snug but with a little bit of cotton and lace still peeking out. I feel that’s Rodarte – original, whimsical and utterly nostalgic.

So would I wear Rodarte, and would it suit a plus size girl.  I think to answer that you need to look at the celebrities who do embrace the label. Kate Bosworth, Natalie Portman, Kirsten Dunst and Mia Wasikowska – waifs one and all.   Emma Watson wears Rodarte and that really says it all. Because for all the promotion of Emma as a new style icon, she still resembles a cute little girl experimenting with a dressing up box. And in the final analysis maybe that’s what the Rodarte collection is – a beautiful, opulent, but for most real women an unwearable collection of dressing up costumes.