Academy Dresses

I enjoy watching the Academy Awards more to see the beautiful dresses than the movies.  My husband doesn’t enjoy going to a movie theatre so we watch the winners on Netflix – usually long after having received it’s awards.  Often there is at least one complete visual disaster.  Barbra Streisand is still remembered for her see-through pantsuit that she wore lo, those many years ago!

This year, I did not see any extreme examples of fashion gone mad but I did choose some examples that I thought were beautiful and really supported the essence of the wearer.  On the other hand, I have a few comments on those that seemed to have a disconnect.

There were many excellent choices so I chose two examples.  Catherine Zeta Jones is absolutely beautiful with a romantic, alluring persona.   Her beautifully fitted gown in gold was a wonderful choice.  I also loved Amanda Seyfried’s gown.  Both ladies projected beauty and elegance: perfect for their style.  Of course, Jennifer Lawrence was magnificent in her Dior Haute Couture.  The combination of her 9” heels and the volume of that skirt were literally her downfall as she fell going up the stairs to accept her Oscar.  Even at the Academy Awards, one needs to keep practical matters in mind and save embarrassment.

Halle Berry is such a beautiful actress.  She is much too soft and feminine to wear exaggerated shoulders and all of these strong, masculine lines in this Bond dress.  I found it reminiscent of star wars.  Perhaps it would have been better suited for Grace Jones.

Sandra Bullock is a favorite of mine but never quite seems to hit the right note on Oscar night.  Sandra is at her best when projecting a natural, sporty look.  Lace and beading are much too elegant for her.  What really jarred me was her straightened hair.  It was not as discordant in her pictures but seeing her on stage wearing that total straight look was a bit like fingernails scratching a chalkboard.  Sandra has rounded lips, nose and eyebrows.  When her long hair flows with some curl, it supports her natural appearance and complements the softer lines in her face.  She has a natural beauty and doesn’t need to appear alluring or elegant.

Little Quvenzhana Wallis is absolutely adorable.  I saw a picture of her before the Oscars showing that she would be wearing a violet dress, sleeveless, with round neck, empire waist, slightly gathered waltz length skirt and carrying her puppy purse.  It reminded me of Jackie Evancho, who has a magnificent voice and was performing on stage at eleven.  Her costume designers kept her dresses pretty but appropriate for a young girl.  I was surprised and disappointed to see Quvenzhana wearing a miniature adult gown the night of the awards.  The only reminder of being a little girl was the puppy purse.  With her talent, there is little doubt that she will have many more Academy Awards to attend, thus affording many more opportunities to dress up.

I love the simple, soft pink gown worn by Anne Hathaway.   If the dress had been designed with a built-in bra, it would have been perfect.  Looking at pictures, I notice the darts are a little high for her bosom and reporters commented about seeing her nipples.  The built-in bra would have addressed both issues.

I hope you had a chance to see the awards or review photos of the gowns.  If you love clothes, this is the big event where you can indulge your passion at no cost!




Shopping for a New Handbag

If you are like me, shopping for a new handbag is not an easy task.  I am not one to change out handbags with every change of clothing so it needs to be a color to work with everything.  Then there is always the practical side:  where is the pocket for the phone?  Can I hear it ring if the purse is closed?  Is it large enough for my i-Pad?  Can I find my pen, lipstick – you fill in the blank – easily?


Most purses are truly investments so it is not that easy to jump to a decision and risk having a purse you don’t really love.  A recent article called it HDP or “Handbag Decision Paralysis”.   I have found a nice selection of bags from Michael Kors without four digits to the left of the decimal point.   Let me further complicate your decision process.   We have different personal styles, so that should be considered when buying a handbag.

I couldn’t be happier that designers are moving away from the huge oversized bags to more appropriate sizes.  I know that it is convenient to be able to throw everything from running shoes to baby bottles into your handbag but unless you could be in the Raven’s defensive line, the scale is overwhelming for most ladies.

When buying a handbag, do you consider the shape of the bag and how it relates to your style?  This will take your belabored decision to a whole new level.  What is your style?

Do you relate to Diane Sawyer?  She has a traditional image.  She needs sleek, uncomplicated lines, nothing extreme.  The off white bag is classic, not too large and not too small.  The neutral color would probably be appealing to a traditional type.

If you are creative, you might like the yellow bag with the riveting.  It is a little quirky and will definitely make a statement.   Think about Diane Keaton and you have creative.  Johnny Depp is the personification of a male creative.  He always looks like himself but he does not follow tradition.

Maybe your style is dramatic.  Angelica Houston  is a great example.  She has strength and angles that make a statement.  Nothing delicate or dainty about this look.  The brown bag is a great choice for a dramatic.  It makes a statement in its simplicity and strength.

Maybe your style is sporty.  Think Jennifer Aniston – the wholesome, all American girl look.   You want something with a casual feel, not strong, structured lines.  The soft structure of this tote is excellent.  Anything with textured leather, buckles or an equestrian look would convey sporty.

And let’s not forget the sexy, alluring or very feminine style.  Scarlett Johansson comes to mind.  Something a little smaller scale, more feminine, softer and no hard edges.  This quilted hot pink handbag would make a good choice.  Sorry, i-Pad,  it doesn’t look there is room for you.



Working with your best Colors

I love color!  I have even been accused of being passionate about it!  Colors trigger emotional reactions.  We may feel happy or sad just seeing a certain color.

Colors also have a major influence on our appearance.   An example I use for workshops is the picture of a model with cool coloring wearing a dusty lime green.  Her skin is drained of all color and she looks ill while in another photo of her wearing dusty mauve, she looks radiant.  When we understand our natural coloring, we know how to use colors to look our most beautiful.


I have been working on an easy way to guide clients finding their best colors with just a few choices.  These colors all work in harmony and are extensions of their own natural coloring.

Here are two examples.  I have named them Sarah and Amber.

This first model, Sarah, has reddish brown hair, cool blue eyes with gray flecks, peachy lips and a warm beige skin color.  I selected color sticks to match her hair color, the shades of blue and gray of her eyes, soft peach for her lip color (if this were done in person, it would be her “pink” – the color of her gums, palm or her hands or other indicators) and her skin tone.  I also added an orange-red stick as the complement of her blue eyes and to round out the palette.  For business, Sarah  could use navy, gray or brown for suits.  I would probably select a module with the navy and gray that could be interchanged and later add the brown module.  The deep tone from the orange stick could make a beautiful business dress and all of the other colors would be striking in blouses, scarves, or accent pieces.  They would all work with the brown module as well.  The choices are only limited by your imagination.

Our second model, Amber, is all warm toned with her golden hair, green eyes, warm beige skin and brick colored lips.  Her eyes are a combination of shades of green and golden flecks.   Her hair is colored but her brows show her warm brown natural color.   I have also included a brick red stick to round out her colors.  Warm tones are not as business like as cool tones but can certainly be used unless you work in a very conservative environment and are in an upper management level.     The deeper teal of her eyes would be an excellent choice for a suit as would be the browns.  The jacket could be paired with trousers in one or more of the wheat tones.  The red stick could make a fabulous jacket or business dress and could be paired with the wheat colors.   Here again, you are only limited by your imagination.