Red Carpet Review: My Favorite Past Oscar Styles!

It’s Oscar night & I’m dying over darlings like Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Halle Berry, & Reese Witherspoon‘s dresses on the red carpet.  Keeping it classic & timeless, effortlessly glamorous, & oh-so gorgeous is what a night like this is all about.  I decided to take a quick look back at my top ten favorite looks from previous years at the Academy Awards.  Among my favorites are designers Oscar de la Renta, Versace, Valentino, & Carolina Herrera.  I have a thing for some glitter, but also frills & clean lines are always amazing trends to show off at an elegant occasion such as this.  Take a look (at these, of course which are in no particular order) & lemme know which are your favorites?

Last year Cameron Diaz wowed in this gold princess gown by Oscar de la Renta.  She usually goes a little more eccentric, having worn a red Alexander McQueen gown for the Globes just weeks before, but thanks to her famous stylist, Rachel Zoe, this dazzling gold confection of elegance stole the red carpet.  Gold was a big theme at the show as winner Sandra Bullock showed off her embroidered Marchesa column gown.

Kate Hudson showed off some serious sparkle power at the 2003 ceremony in this Atelier Versace hand-sewn gown.  This look is listed among In Style’s 10 Best Oscar Dresses ever & is probably one of my favorite worn by the actress. She is also a client of Rachel Zoe’s, who has taken more risks in recent years on the red carpet, like for last years Globes in a white feathered Marchesa & her teal Gucci number at the 2009 People’s Choice Awards.

Keeping with the glamorous glitter theme so far, Diane Lane appeared at the 2003 ceremony in Oscar de la Renta.  Having seen the feathers for tonight’s show with Hilary Swank & Sharon Stone, I have to say that the gown is one that transcends time.  At the 2009 ceremony in ruched black Chanel & her white Azzaro gown at the 2004 show were just as gorgeous in the truest movie star fashion.

Renee Zellweger‘s Carolina Herrera gown for her 2004 win for her performance in Cold Mountain is one of those dresses that you just look at & know that a winner is wearing it.  Recalling the vintage elegance of Grace Kelly & the star power of Marilyn Monroe, this is one of Renee’s finest appearances in fashion.  Always a fan of Carolina Herrera’s designs, 7 years later, the actress even wowed in this sparkly gown for a German awards show.

Cate Blanchett‘s 2007 Armani Prive marcasite gown was a dramatic revelation against the usually ruffled & mainstream looks that we see on the red carpet.  Always a risk taker, we even saw her on tonight’s red carpet in a pastel beaded Givenchy gown that even wowed fashion icon & Oscar commentator Tim Gunn.

Keira Knightley was nominated in 2006 for her lead role in Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice & showed up in this merlot Vera Wang gown & Bulgari necklace.  She was certainly the best dressed of the night & took the trend of statement jewelry to a new level.

Kate Winslet is a consummate favorite at the Oscars, having won two years ago for The Reader, I have to say that nothing pleases me more than seeing a pistachio dress draped in such a sophisticated way over a truly beautiful talent.  This Valentino dress helped make the 2007 ceremony a memorable night, as I recalled the sari-inspired Valentino dress that Jennifer Lopez wore in a similar shade in 2003.

Penelope Cruz showed up this year’s Oscars just weeks after giving birth, but when she took home Oscar for her performance in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, she looked like a modern-day Audrey Hepburn.  This vintage Balmain bridal-inspired gown pulled at every fashionista’s heartstrings.  She looked like an absolute princess that night & this is probably one of my favorite Oscar looks ever.  In previous years, she was very elegant in Versace and forward thinking in Chanel, but for this pivotal moment in her career, she looked flawless.

2009 was also a dazzling year for Sarah Jessica Parker in this belted princess Christian Dior.  Embodying all things Carrie Bradshaw & the whimsical way that Sarah Jessica has stolen our fashionable hearts off-screen, this is one of the most quintessential princess gowns that I’ve ever seen.  Critics didn’t embrace her 2010 look for the ceremony, but she’ll always be turning heads no matter where she goes.

Demi Moore impressed fashion critics last year in her strapless silk organza ruffled gown by Versace.  Rachel Zoe was once again behind this look, which was a far cry from Demi’s 1989 shorts look that made In Style’s Most Unforgettable Oscar Looks.  Seeing this dramatic actress in such softness put her among the best dressed & was a lovely departure from her usually darker looks.

 To catch some of your favorite Oscar dresses from years of yesterday, check out In Style’s Oscar Index & the official Academy Awards website. Also, you can find some really incredible deals on celebrity-inspired gown from all of the awards shows at EDressMe, PromGirl, & SerendipityProm.  Don’t forget to check out our previous Red Carpet Review posts from this year’s awards season & our upcoming review from the 2011 Oscars red carpet.  Happy Styling!

The Stylish Five: White House Black Market Goodies ($20 & Under)!









If you’re in a quick bind of trying to figure out that one last piece to add to your outfit before you leave (no matter what other mantra you may have heard), maybe switch it up with some slitted leggings or one of these bracelets.  Right now, White House Black Market has these five items marked down to $20 & under.  You know, flower pins are a big trend that Carrie Bradshaw started & adding them to your twisted bun, on a floral tote, or pinned to your favorite pashmina would really glamorize any day look.  Not to mention these tights are only $8.99 & when some of their new items are a little costly, why not treat yourself to something inexpensive while you’re saving up for a flashier investment like a belted taffeta dress. Be sure to also check out some of their other marked down items, including these glass pearl earrings, black studded jeans, chino shorts, & a figure flattering mesh striped dress. Happy Styling!

2/26/11 Darling of the Day: Malin Akerman’s Rock of Ages Red Carpet Look!

Swedish-born actress & current star of the biopic Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Biopic, Malin Akerman stepped out in Los Angeles recently for the premiere of Rock of Ages, looking simply chic.  This image of the beautiful blonde in a flyaway cardigan & leather skinny pants comes courtesy of In Style‘s Look of the Day.  These very basic pieces in neutral colors can be put together in an elegant way.  Leather skinnies are the new dark denim.  If worn with just the tank, Malin would be showing off some rocker edge, but the softness of the cardigan brings some feminine flair.  What’s even more fabulous is that these items total under $100!  This would be a perfect look for a date night or even as the actress is wearing it, for a night out on the town.

Check out some of my favorite of Malin’s looks, like in J. Mendel at the People’s Choice Awards, in Dolce & Gabbana at an Emmy after party, in Beverly Hills wearing Monique Lhuillier, & in a J.Crew bustier dress at the Going the Distance premiere. 





For more on Malin’s style, take a clicky over here to check out some of her most gorgeous red carpet looks.  Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: New Spring Styles at Payless!


It hasn’t even been a week since my last shoe-oriented post, but I got so excited when I was clicking through the new arrivals on the Payless website. Spring shooties, heels, & wedges are all the rage right now & can be worn throughout the warmer season in many careful ways. Show off your softer side in neutral tones like tan & champagne, but don’t forget about those feminine touches.  What’s super trendy right now are menswear-inspired pieces which really add luxury to your look.  Of course, you can’t go wrong with some peep-toe mini cork wedges.  We have five different textures here: canvas, leather, suede, tweed, & satin. 


For some outfit ideas, check out this ruffled romper which can be dressed up or down, depending on which shoe style you pick.  Also, keep in mind the neutrality of this cardigan for your next casual day out with your bestie wearing skinny jeans. Even just a lace-trimmed top & animal printed skirt will do for most of these shoes too! 

All of the selected styles are available at Payless right now.  If you order online, have it shipped to your local store for free shipping.  If you sign up for their emails, you’ll learn about all the latest on their BOGO deals & even can earn a 20% coupon & a coupon code for online purchases as a birthday gift!  With prices ranging from $26.99 – $44.99, these are five inspiring spring items that you really can’t so without! Happy Styling!!

Red Carpet Review: Costume Designer Awards Featuring Kristin Davis, Halle Berry, Demi Moore, & More!

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Well, the days are counting down to the Oscars & I just don’t know how I’m gonna get my blog out timely enough.  The ceremony is on a Sunday night, right before the work week & I just don’t seem to do my best blogging when I’m tired.  However, a surge of energy comes over me instantly when I look at just another reason why I love Kristin Davis, my SATC idol, a.k.a. Charlotte York.  At this year’s Costume Designer Awards, a ceremony that she hosted, the stars came out in glamorous style, as usual, to honor the vision of fashion on & off screen.  Here Kristin is wearing a beautiful white strapless polka-dotted gown with a belt by Oscar de la Renta.  Here’s a glimpse at some of my other favorites, courtesy of In Style. Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: 2011 Grammy’s Red Carpet Arrivals!


Yes, the Grammy Awards were last week & since then it has been quite the crazy one, so I’m just now getting to blog about it. Is it really worth blogging about when Lady Gaga‘s entrance in an egg was without some serious fashion history-in-the-making.  I do have to say that my favorite of the night was Jennifer Lopez, although she could’ve used about one and half more inches on her hemline b/c I was afraid of catching a glimpse of something that I didn’t wanna see.  While the night was filled with glamour, eccentricity, & class, let’s take a first look at the ladies of the night who were decked out in sparkles.






While it seems that Kim Kardashian took a page from Jennifer Lopez‘s handbook of red carpet style once again (paying homage to the velvet Marchesa at the 2009 Golden Globes), she might’ve looked out of place, but still more glamorous than Snooki, who I purposefully choose to leave out of this review.   










Next we have the ladies from Glee who were celebrating their nomination for the show’s soundtrack.  My favorite among these is Dianna Agron, but I give Jenna Ushkowitz a strong shout out for improving slowly, but surely in each red carpet appearance. Considering Lea Michele‘s look for last year’s ceremony, I was a little disappoint & I think it’s time that she put her cleavage away- we get it. 




 Some of the prettiest looks of the night were the ones the most ladylike & dazzling. While a pregnant Jewel made her best red carpet appearance EVER, I was a big fan, as always, of Eva Longoria.  You might wonder why she was in attendance, but what’s a red carpet appearance without her? Jordin Sparks looked age-appropriate, and Keri Hilson knocked last year’s D&G look out of the park!




The ladies who embraced patterns & went for colors, ruffles, cut-outs, and trains.  It’s clear that Nicole Kidman is a stand-out during this awards season, while she’s attending the ceremony to support her husband, country singer Keith Urban.  If Ciara’s shoes were a bit simpler (like something with a thin strap like Jennifer Aniston wears), then I would totally love her entire look.







This year’s breakout stars included Florence Welch, of Florence & the Machine, Nicki Minaj, Esperanza Spalding, & Janelle Monae.  They all reached for something individual, channeling animal prints, ruffles, & Janelle showed off her famous menswear glam. 

Rihanna took on an elegant peek-a-boo look, while Kelly Osbourne (my favorite reason for watching E!’s Fashion Police) continues to surprise fashoinistas with another uber-feminine / delicate look. 







With a quick look at last year’s Grammy Awards, we see how nicely the glam factor has risen, but the stars of the night continue to shine on every year.  Now that stars like Rihanna & Jennifer Hudson have entered the picture, we can hope that every year gets more & more fabulous.  For more details behind the evening’s red carpet looks, check out In Style for their best beauty picks & a timeline of transformations by Grammy favorites!  For a complete list of winners for the night, check out the Grammy website.  Happy Styling!

Luxury Look-Alikes For Less: A Calvin Klein Little Black Dress!

When in doubt, you always have a little black dress for any cocktail occasion.  Audrey Hepburn solidified the classic black dress with Breakfast at Tiffany’s & since then, designers have created little black dresses in every which way.  While this spring is all about the LWD (little white dress), I came across this Calvin Klein design (left) with some special pearl beadwork, sold at Bluefly.  It’s simple & elegant, perfect for an after work affair with a stack of bangles & metallic heels, however the $80+ pricetage may set you back.  The dress on the right is a Studio 1 design.  I bet you’re thinking, who is Studio 1?  Well, it’s a designer of women’s clothing sold at KMart.  Before you judge or skip reading the rest of this blog, keep in mind that it is a look-alike item for a fraction of the cost, at $12.59, on sale now marked down from $59.99.  You’re not very likely to come across a price like that for a Calvin Klein dress.  You can even get some sexy lace tights & strappy heels from Payless & not even come close to the $80 of the first dress. For some LBD advice, take a look at In Style‘s  Find Your Little Black Dress Style, as well as Elle‘s profile on Jennifer Aniston’s LBD choices! Some of my favorite LDB looks include Victoria BeckhamZoe Saldana, Demi Moore, Scarlett Johansson, & Heidi Klum.  Happy Styling!!

Runway Rundown: Gwen Stefani & L.A.M.B!


Gwen Stefani showed off her L.A.M.B. line at New York’s Fashion Week & its eclectic mix of inspirations are a fun & flirty blend of everything that we love about the No Doubt frontwoman.  In Style gives us a complete look at the line, but here are some of my favorites.  Gwen created six different styles which included Soldier Girls in military prints, Raga Muffin Girls wearing rasta-inspired looks, London Girls in English prep style, Buffalo Girls in Navajo printed knitwear, Mod Girls donning 60s inspiration, & Glamour Girls in all-black evening looks. 

While all of these looks are hip & trendy, Gwen’s vision is so accessible to everyday Style Darlings.  Featuring many layers that can be incorporated into your daily wardrobe, the entire line can be deconstructed & mixed & matched in several different ways.



To shop these looks at a hefty price tag, check out Shop Style & Shop Bop.  Of course, I’m all about the bargains, but how can you go wrong with amazing style inspiration like this? Gwen’s hip style has made headlines even before the birth of L.A.M.B., earning her the title of spokesmodel for L’Oreal Paris.

Her signature red lips & preppy / punk / glam coolness made her the perfect face of the brand.  If you’re a fan (and who isn’t?), take a look at Gwen’s other fabulous project, Harajuku Lovers, featuring a variety of adorably-packaged fragrances & accessories!  These are also sold at Zappos, Amazon, & Endless!

You can follow Gwen on Facebook & Twitter for all of the latest details on her upcoming projects! Also, check out her videos for “Cool,” “What You Waiting For,” & “Don’t Speak” (which are some of my favorite stylish videos!)!  Happy Styling!

Quickie Darling Deal & Steal: Nude Pumps!


In my last Quickie Darling Deal & Steal blog, I featured a lace jacket that I bought for an upcoming wedding, but while I was fighting my fashion urges at Charlotte Russe, I came across these stunners.  I’ve seen the likes of Diane Kruger, Eva Longoria, & Blake Lively in nude pumps, peep toe or round toe, & they elongate the legline & look super sexy.  I can’t wait to see how they’ll look with a pencil skirt or my favorite capris once the weather gets warmer.  This is also perfect for your everyday office look with something in a glen plaid, or for your next spring time picnic in florals.   

These heels are my first purchase for the official spring season!  I know we’re supposed to be all about brights, like with a wallet, belt, or wrap dress, but this is a neutral that will last me well into fall & you can’t argue with that! Not to mention, it is really timeless, so I don’t have to worry about them being out of style. 

You gotta be careful with heels this high, at five inches!  But for $25, why not show off some serious leg?  I’ve worn a pair of five inch evening shoes to a wedding back in August & they weren’t that bad, believe it or not. I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true. 

Of course, you can always spend $595 on a pair of Christian Louboutins, $208.60 on a Stuart Weitzman design$110 for an Aldo pair, or even $79 for a pair by Nine West, but this option stays more faithful to a Style Darling’s budget.  Happy Styling!!

The Stylish Five: Get Ready for Spring Accessories ($10 & Under)!



Slowly but surely, I’m starting to see a little spring everywhere I go. 

Yeah all the mags are showing their spring looks, but I can’t apply any of that to my real life until the temperature is just right.  I love seeing new floral prints & how these little splashes of color & life come together to make an outfit. 

By taking a look at five very affordable accessory items, you can begin to transition your heavier articles of clothing into something lighter & softer. For example, take a sweater dress  & pair it with ballet flats, you already have an outfit, but to accessorize it with a paisley scarf can really be a magical touch.  A stack of hammered bangles with some floral ribbon makes for a sweet addition to a faux leather motorcycle jacket.  The contrast of stripes & animal print in these hair clips can really pop with a belted shirtdress & a quilted wristlet

If you need some more style inspiration, take a look at Emma Roberts at Jenny Packham‘s Fall 2011 show, Isabel Lucas in a vintage dress at PETA’s 30th Anniversary Gala, & Hailee Steinfeld in Alberta Ferretti! A few extras that I also love for the spring are these metallic ankle socks, bright yellow hoop earrings, a jacquard scarf, & a croc belt!  Happy Styling!!