Yesterday, our friends across the Atlantic hosted the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards (not to be confused with American Glamour's simple Women Of The Year awards, which is not "ultimate"). The red carpet fashion over in London has got me thinking that perhaps we're doing it wrong over here, at least in terms of interesting-ness.
Well bring out the big guns, it's Debbie fuckin' Harry. I don't care what anyone says, she looks great in those long gloves and a print that looks like someone smushed dead, mottled, graying peacock feathers onto velvet. I'm not feeling as generous with British singer Amelle Berrabah on the left. If celebrities insist on wearing a ball of ugly feathers and tulle around their legs, can't that ball at least start at the waist instead of the hips? Kyle Minogue went quite understated and simple. Sheer horizontal stripes can be super flattering when worn in the silhouette Kylie's wearing.
These ladies are all killing it to varying degrees, with athlete Jessica Ennis perhaps killing it less so than singer Tulisa Contostavlos is killing it in her one-shoulder number and cool zig-zag clutch. But model Jameela Jamil, on the left, slays 'em all in a simple strapless dress with a folded, peekaboo bust, and a mini-me keyboard clutch! Man alive, that is one clever bag.
Um, LOVE ALL OF THIS. Singer and bassist for the Noisettes, Shingai Shoniwa, makes me reverse my previous stance on pompadours. Really, all of my "stances" are arbitrary, and it just takes a goddess like Shingai to make me believe. This girl knows how to work color. I would have probably taken off the bright blue, orthopedic fashion belt, but I love the color and the cut of the dress on the left. She looks like she's carrying a patent pink package, and her hairpiece has the right amount of whimsy. Her second ensemble is equally stunning. The heel on her black ankle strap shoes is magical, and somehow, she pulls off wearing a dress that could have looked like someone's Etsy project ("handmade birdcage dress made with love") What do you think? Fashion victim or fashion queen?
Okay, lightning round. Holly Valance: Bedazzled prom on a budget. Kelly Rowland: Didn't I say yesterday that bias-cut gowns are super flattering? Cher Lloyd: "Come into my saloon."
X-Factor contestant Janet Devlin is dressed pretty much as the textbook example of a fashion victim. Somehow she made a sheer dress look frumpy and a hippie headband look tightly wound. Actress Michelle Dockery looks fabulous and understated in navy and wine. The showy earrings add some necessary drama to a low-key look. The hint of RenFaire in Charlotte Ritchie's black dress only makes me like it more.
I don't need to explain what's fug about Abbey Clancy's dress, do I? Fearne Cotton is wearing the dress I've been lusting after from Lover's White Serpent collection. The dress is gorgeous, but it looks too harsh against her complexion and platinum locks. It doesn't help that she's wearing ugly pumps with a beautiful white dress. Half-sleeved, nipped-in black dresses are flattering every single time. I especially like the dramatic red floral detail on Sophie Ellis-Bextor's, and her clutch is kind of brilliant.
Speaking of black, Misha B's dress is too overworked, Katie Piper's is too short, and Alex Jones' is way too shiny.
I'm pretty sure Gemma Cairney's moss green dress is vintage, which is super cool to see on the red carpet, but it looks punishingly tight in the bust. That said, it looks great paired with those purple pumps. Caroline Flack looks like a High Street fashion victim to me, and—I feel like this will not be a popular opinion—I find Myleene Klass's floral dress really, really pretty. I love the fullness of the skirt, and yes, maybe the flowers are a little too big and gaudy, but I think it's a fun dress to wear to a celebration of "ULTIMATE WOMEN."
The overlaid chains on Alexandra Burke's dress are interesting and make the dress hang really beautifully. I can't really get behind the random muppet fringe on the side of Zawe Ashton's dress. I'm sure Lauren Socha's dress was made out of extremely luxe material, but from these photos, it looks like a spandex dress with a slit.
And now, let's end on a sparkly note! Kimberley Nixon's dress might have looked cuter had it not been a wrap dress. But as it is, it's a little shapeless and sad sack-y. I graduated from the Beyoncé school of How to Dress Your Baby Bump, so I'm all for Amanda Holden covering her bump with gold sparkles, although obviously, Beyoncé does it better. I like the shape of Jacqueline Gold's dress, but not much else. The longer I stare at her dress, the more that exposed zipper bugs me, and the more I can't help but see a deer's skull (bird's eye view) emerge from those sparkles. Am I the only one?