Oscars 2014 Prettiest Red Carpet Dresses

One of the most exciting parts of The Oscars (and any award show, really) is seeing what the celebrities are going to bring to the table (or carpet). This year, at the 86th Academy Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California, that took place yesterday, March 2, fashion critics and fans were overall pleased with the fashion that hit the red carpet.

While there were some celebrities that made us think “What were you thinking?” others were so stunning that we couldn’t help but put our televisions on pause and stare at them.

Celebs like “12 Years a Slave” star Lupita Nyong’o, “American Hustle” star Jennifer Lawrence and “Gravity” star Sandra Bullock awed audiences with their gorgeous gowns on the Oscars Red Carpet.

Luckily for some of the stars and best-dressed of the Red Carpet, like Blanchett, Bullock and Nyong’o, they were able to show off their flawless dresses when accepted awards for some Academy Awards. All 86th Academy Award winners are:

  • Best Picture – 12 Years a Slave
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role – Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role – Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
  • Best Animated Feature – Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho)
  • Best Cinematography – Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki)
  • Best Costume Design – The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin)
  • Best Directing – Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
  • Best Documentary Feature – 20 Feet from Stardom (Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen, Caitrin Rogers)
  • Best Documentary Short – The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life (Malcolm Clarke, Nicholas Reed)
  • Best Film Editing – Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger)
  • Best Foreign Language Film – The Great Beauty (Italy)
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling – Dallas Buyers Club (Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews)
  • Best Original Score – Gravity (Steven Price)
  • Best Original Song – Let It Go – Frozen
  • Best Production Design – The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn)
  • Best Animated Short Film – Mr. Hublot (Laurent Witz, Alexandre Espigares)
  • Best Live Action Short Film – Helium (Anders Walter, Kim Magnusson)
  • Best Sound Editing – Gravity (Glenn Freemantle)
  • Best Sound Mixing – Gravity (Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro)
  • Best Visual Effects – Gravity (Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay – 12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)
  • Best Original Screenplay – Her (Spike Jonze)

The show, hosted by the very funny and overall loved Ellen DeGeneres, was claimed to be an overall great show, with very deserving Academy Award winners.

Win a VIP experience at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Starting today, Visit Fort Wayne announced a contest offering a coveted VIP experience at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale, located in Fort Wayne, IN. The contest runs through Monday, March 24 and features a Fort Wayne Girlfriend Getaway and VIP experience at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale.

Every year the Vera Bradley Outlet stages a gigantic sale where savvy shoppers can save 40-60% off retail prices on Vera Bradley’s great handbags, luggage, and accessories. It is expected that over 60,000 women will be checking out the sale running from April 9-12, 2014.

So what are you waiting for? Grand prize winner receives four VIP tickets to the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale for Friday, April 11. In addition, winners will enter the sale prior to the official door opening and will receive VIP check out as well. Prize package includes a grand cargo bag, grand cosmetic, all-in-one cross body tote, umbrella, and ditty bag. Guests of the winner receive a grand tote, cross body tote, and umbrella. Plus, the lucky winner and her three guests will receive an over night stay at the Courthouse Marriott for April 10.

Author’s Pick: Top 5 best and worst dressed at the 2014 Oscars

The Academy Awards is famously known to be Hollywood’s biggest night. Movie fans around the world set their calendars every year for this special night…but so do fashionistas like myself.

Although I am a huge movie geek, and tune in every year to see the best of the best of actors, actresses, writers, producers, directors, designers, animators etc., I also tune in to see the fashion!

I have been watching the Oscars since before I can remember. Every year, I make Oscar-Sunday my day as I watch everything from the pre-red carpet to the arrivals, the actual ceremony, to the after-parties. I don’t want to rule out the men, as they all look handsome in their designer suits and tuxes, but lets face it – the ladies are the forefront when it comes to the outfits.

Each award season I sit on pins and needles waiting to see what the actresses are wearing. When it comes to other award shows’ fashion, they tend to get away with almost anything, but with the Academy Awards, it’s either a hit or miss. It was tough as there were a lot of best and worst dressed gals this year, but I narrowed my picks down. Not in any particular order (in relation to the photograph above) here are my top 5 best and worst dressed.

BEST DRESSED

Idina Menzel – The ‘Wicked’ star wore a strapless, forest-green Vera Wang gown that was simply stunning. Last night Menzel performed ‘Let it Go’ from Disney’s ‘Frozen’ which won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Amy Adams – The five-time Academy Award nominee arrived at the red carpet wearing a strapless, sapphire blue Gucci dress that was nothing less than elegant. Adams was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for ‘American Hustle’.

Jennifer Lawrence – The ‘Hunger Games’ beauty never disappoints when it comes to fashion on the red carpet. Like last year’s Oscar dress, Lawrence knows how to wow. This year she chose a red, strapless peplum Dior Couture dress that had on-lookers in awe. The Academy Award winner was nominated again, this time for Best Supporting Actress for ‘American Hustle’.

Charlize Theron – She warmed our hearts in 2003 for her performance in ‘Monster’, but she won our hearts at the 2004 Oscars in a gown that outdid everyone’s. The Academy Award winner presented at this year’s show in a sexy, strapless Gucci dress. It was, as I believe, to be the black dress that every woman dreams of having in her closet!

Giuliana Rancic – The Fashion Police diva was on the red carpet hosting for E! hours before the arrivals. She was pre-game to the red carpet as she showed off her Paolo Sebastian dress. The slightly off-the-shoulder, champagne, princess dress was just darling. Even Joan Rivers couldn’t pick a bad thing about that dress.

WORST DRESSED

Elsa Pataky – Chris Hensworth, actor best known for ‘Thor’ and ‘The Avengers’, showed up with his very pregnant wife on his arm. Ok, I give kudos to the ‘Fast Five’ actress for stepping out onto the red carpet when she is ready to pop, but she stepped out in the wrong thing. She wore a teal, Elie Saab gown that covered too little on the sides and showed her baby bump in a very un-flattering manner.

Anne Hathaway – The Academy Award winner usually is a hit or miss when she steps out on the red carpet. We can either plan to see a ‘Princess Diaries’ look or a ‘ I Dreamed a Dream Les Mis’ look. This year, the presenter had a miss wearing a black and gold armor Gucci dress that would’ve been better designed as a shoe than a gown.

Anna Kendrick – The Academy Award nominee, and this year’s presenter, wore a J. Mendel dress that you either loved or hated. This is on my worst dressed so obviously I did not love it. The off-the-shoulder, black gown with the red sheer details at the torso would have looked much better with out the cross-body strap and thick-lining detail at the neck and arms. Better luck next time.

Sally Hawkins – One thing not to do when you are thin, beautiful and nominated for an Academy Award – dress like a nun. The actress who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for ‘Blue Jasmine’ wore a white and gold fully-covered Valentino dress. Too much skin is a no-no, zero skin is a big no-no.

Kerry Washington – The 2014 Oscars were no stranger to the very-pregnant beauties. The ‘Scandal’ star is usually always a stunner on the red carpet, even more so since she sported her cute baby bump, but this year’s Oscar dress wasn’t a good choice. The presenter wore a Jason Wu, strapless lavender gown that looked like a wrinkled, silk sheet clipped by a diamond pendant. She should have re-worn her 2014 Golden Globes dress.

Well, there you have it! My yay’s and nay’s for this years Oscars Best and Worst Dressed. Who were your favorites? Excited to see what 2015 brings.

Sarah Jessica Parker’s shoe line for Nordstrom to launch tomorrow

If you ever wanted to go shoe shopping with Carrie Bradshaw, your dream is about to come true – Sarah Jesscia Parker’s shoe line for Nordstrom hits the stores tomorrow!

When SJP’s character in famed TV series Sex and the city exclaims “..men I may not know, but shoes, SHOES I KNOW!”, we couldn’t agree more. Now, Sarah Jessica Parker brings her passion and style to her collection and fashionistas across country are waiting with baited breath. The previews of the shoes (and trench coats) look very promising and we sense a ‘sold-out’ situation pretty quickly! All the shoes are crafted in Italy and Spain and the collection boats of feminine, classic silhouettes with vibrant colors and timeless appeal. In March issue of O magazine SJP admitted she wants to give women excellent quality for their money. “I didn’t want to do anything that says , ‘Oh, these shoes are 2014.’ I want my shoes to be a part of your world for a long time to come.”
You can see some of the shoes from SJP’s collection for Nordstrom in the slideshow to confirm her opinion!

The shoes are priced between $200-$500 and will be available in-store and at Nordstrom.com at February 28. There is also a special pop-up store in New York City (372 Broadway) open from February 28 to March 2.

2014 Moschino Collection receives great feedback from fashion critics and fans

Designer Jeremy Scott made his runway debut at the 2014 Fall/Winter Fashion Show in Milan, Italy in February 20. In order to pay homage to Franco Moschino in the fashion house that he built, the designer from Missouri went all- out.

There were references to food companies like McDonald’s and Budweiser, food couture (yes, there were candy-bar-wrapper, gummy-bear and popcorn-bag dresses) and there were also references to Rue Cambon (and Chanel), that could be easily pin-pointed as models strutted down the runway in quilted leather jackets and embellished in gold chains.

Massimo Ferretti, chairman of Moschino’s parent company, Aeffe SpA, has said the designer change was necessary.

“Every now and again, fashion needs to be renovated and shaken,” said Ferretti. “Just as Franco did in the eighties.”

What many fashion bloggers anticipated to be a very controversial assortment turned out to be an overall accepted and even liked collection. In fact, the lateness of celebrity Katy Perry, who held up the show for an hour, made the crowd more unpleased than the quirkiness of the collection did. (It went from boos to cheers in a short period of time.)

Refinery29, Vogue, Style.com, and Glam had no complaints. Woman’s Wear Daily only had one complaint – and that was only because of Scott waiting on Perry and leaving fashion mavens waiting for the show to begin.

“Today’s Moschino presentation was a crowd-pleaser. Katy Perry and her friends in the front row were eating it up,” Tim Banks of Style.com said. “Scott’s embrace of consumer culture in the name of Moschino was bright, brash, and ingenious.”

“The crowd certainly lapped it up,” Women’s Wear Daily acknowledged that happy crowd. “From the SpongeBob SquarePants sweaters and leather goods to Scott’s take on slogan chic: a sleek mink coat with ‘Fur Real’ in intarsia and a white leather suit with black splotches reading ‘Cash Cow.’”

Commenters on WWD article also seemed to think that the collection was successful.

“Kudos to Mr. Scott,” commented WWD site visitor Bacchus. “Never did like his work but this seems a fine fit and with the house’s execution, may just be a match made in heaven…”

Facebook users all around loved Scott’s bravery and wit.

“Some much needed wit and humor injected back into fashion again! ….Everything lately has gotten so pretentious and is just a pose that’s trying too hard to be ‘cool’,” Facebook user Eddi Frantz commented. “It was all crumbling under the weight of its own seriousness. Fashion needs to smile a bit more. It’s been a long time.”

Some users didn’t have lengthy, in-depth things to say about it, but still showed their adoration for his work.

“Impossible not to love!” Facebook user Marina Colerato said.

“Nowhere could the appearance of a McDonald’s reference seem so out of context and therefore appear so strong, than in a country that fetishizes its local cuisine, and where fast food has still largely to infiltrate,” Kerry Olson at Vogue wrote. Despite the wackiness of the collection, she praised Scott’s decision to dedicate pieces to conformity. “Smartly, though there was a dedication to some form of conformity too, seen in the label’s ladylike silhouettes; mainly pencil skirts, fitted jackets, and evening coats.”

The biggest downfall of the Moschino show was not the collection itself, but the appearance of Katy Perry (and the fact that she was an hour late). Otherwise, Scott’s collection received good feedback from fashion critics and fans.

“Amazing work! A pure presentation/mirror of our ironic time. Which is what fashion is all about. I was left really high by how intricate and intelligent the collection is. The mixing of the different codes is sooo crazy!!” Facebook user Maria Jaber praised. “You brought many of us faith that you could still play and absorb like a child, and then execute like a master. Chapeau bas! And thank you, a real big thank you Jeremy Scott.”

Oscar red carpet clutches to swoon over

Can’t wait to tune in and watch all that red carpet glamour about to take over Hollywood this Sunday night?

If it’s not the designer dresses or bedazzled jewels the A-list ladies are modeling for the cameras, it’s their elegant clutches. Those mini must-have purses filled with personal items like gum, lipstick and who knows what else are just as thoughtfully chosen by the star’s stylists as the rest of their ensemble.

One new accessories brand just getting into the mix is Swoon Luxe, a Los Angeles-based luxury collection of handbags, clutches, wallets, backpacks and leather cuffs made from the finest exotic skins including crocodile, snakeskins, lizard and ostrich.

What makes this collection so unique is its “Confessions of a Shopaholic” similarity; the line was created and designed by financial analyst, Helena Reich.

As a young girl, Helena’s parents surrounded her with music and art. When she wasn’t practicing the piano and cello, she would escape into a fantasy world of fashion as she spent hours in her room sketching paper dolls and purses.

In college, Helena studied finance and pursued a career in financial valuation where she consulted with major corporations in mergers & acquisitions and other valuation driven transactions. However, her true love for fashion was always there waiting in the wings. She finally hooked up with executive design consultant Heehyun Park and created Swoon Luxe.

All of Swoon Luxe’s handbags and accessories are hand-crafted by artisans who have dedicated their entire life to the craft. Finding the most skillful artisans in every corner of the world is a painstakingly difficult process. The crocodile bags are made by artisans who only specialize in working with crocodile skins. The ostrich and python skin pieces are hand crafted by craftsmen who specialize in those skins.

In the world of “the wild”, the quality of skins is the foremost concern. The qualities and material costs between a Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus Niloticus) and a Caiman (Crocodilus Fuscus) differ significantly. Nile Crocodiles, along with Australian Saltwater Crocodiles (Porosus Crocodile), are considered the most luxurious and prestigious crocodile skins in the world. Swoon Luxe only purchases the highest rated Nile Crocodile skins that are farm-raised in our pursuit of conserving “the wild”. Their skins are supplied by prestigious leather tanneries located in Singapore, South Africa and Italy.

In fact, the crocodile skins used by Swoon Luxe are imported from a leather & tannery that also provides the skins to the most prestigious and exclusive fashion house in the world.

Oscars 2014: Best Dressed List

The 2014 Academy Awards red carpet was littered with stunning style choices. Among the sea of perfectly attired ladies, were a few best-dressed standouts. Angelina Jolie sparkled in a floor-skimming Elie Saab Haute Couture gown. The soft, feminine design was quite a departure from the dark, sultry frocks she has sported in years past. It was refreshing to see one of Hollywood’s most beautiful leading ladies don something pretty, rather than edgy for a change.

Jolie was not the only star that opted for the princess-inspired look. In fact, if there was one common theme on the carpet last night, it was light-colored gowns embellished with diamonds. White was the most popular hue, followed by soft, pastel pink, purple, and blue. The red carpet was the epitome of what the Academy Awards is best known for: Cinderella moments.

One star in particular arrived looking like Cinderella herself. Newcomer Lupita Nyong’o donned a powder blue princess gown accented with Fred Leighton jewelry and the modern day version of the tiara: The headband. Her style was on point: Nyong’o has emerged as Hollywood’s modern day Cinderella. In just one short year, the one-time unknown actress has skyrocketed into stardom and has earned a place as one of Tinseltown’s most talked about fashionistas.

It seems as if almost every best-dressed starlet that hit the carpet took a cue from Nyong’o. Kate Hudson, Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts, Penelope Cruz, Kerry Washington, Maria Menounos, and Giuliana Rancic all rocked the fairy princess look. Stars that dared to diverge from the trend were limited – especially on our best-dressed list. Some of the hot non-pastel cloaked babes include Jennifer Lawrence, who sported a fire engine red Dior number, and Olivia Wilde, who kept it classic in black.

All in all, the Academy Awards red carpet was a wonderful wrap-up to a fashion-packed awards season. What better way to commence a season packed with so much fashion diversity, than to bring it back to where awards season style began: Dressing like a princess. Before the red carpet became a high-fashion runway that designers use to showcase the latest trends, the Oscars was known for allowing Hollywood’s leading ladies to be Cinderella for the evening. The princess-style fashion on this year’s carpet is an homage to early awards ceremonies. Style reflected the theme of the ceremony: Living a dream. Before the infamous Angelina Jolie thigh-high slit, were old Hollywood movie stars who epitomized glamour, elegance, and fantasy. It is refreshing to see awards show style finally return to where it began.

Alessandra Ambrosio: From Victoria’s Secret Angel to fashion designer

Model and Victoria’s Secret Angel, Alessandra Ambrosio is set to launch a new fashion line as reported via Glamour on Monday. Alé by Alessandra Ambrosio will debut on March 17.

Ambrosio partnered with Planet Blue, a Los Angeles-based boho line, and the collection is infused with Alessandra’s style. Expect beachy and bohemian type mini dresses that flow, ruffled skirts, convertible tees, and sexy jumpsuits, which according to the Brazilian supermodel is a “reflection of her lifestyle: Malibu meets Brazil.”

Alessandra Ambrosio, 32, detailed her new fashion endeavor in the recent Glamour interview, and labeled her clothing line, “bohemian chic.”

It’s comfortable. It’s sensual. It’s feminine. It’s very flowy with soft fabrics. The palettes are nude to cayenne and some midnight blue colors that we did for the nighttime. And there are different prints: from paisley to hand-dyed tie-dye. There are dresses, jumpsuits, and a little black dress, but it’s not your normal little black dress. And every girl needs to have one in her wardrobe.

Ambrosio’s fashion tip to accessorize the little black dress depends on the mood you’re in on any given day: basically anything goes.

The clothing line, Alé by Alessandra Ambrosio, the smoldering Victoria’s Secret Angel, will range from $60 to $260 and is available on March 17 at Planet Blue.

Positivity Bracelets by Alex’s Angels

There is a new trend that has begun. Bracelets with “Positivity” by Alex’s Angels are a thing that will have everyone talking. They are new and very unique but great to have around at the same time. These will help for those that wear them to think positive at all times.

Alex’s Angels has different varieties to choose from. Some are made with crystals, some with sets. You can get them in black, different colors or even just a tee shirt printed with “Positivity” on them.

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, they also have Irish “Positivity” bracelets for you to choose and wear. As the old ways are, if you’re not wearing green, someone will pinch you. They can’t if you’re wearing these.

The “Black Positivity Bracelets” will match any occasion, style or just for every day. Check out the photo for a unique view of these and how they are shipped, wrapped and carefully packaged.

This is brought to you by Alex’s Angels and written by Lia Burres. The item was given to me in exchange for my honest thoughts and review. There has been no other compensation, nor is there any intended.

Make Your Life Easier With This Fab Shopping Site

Personally shopping in a store is a marvelous activity (and excellent form of exercise) all in itself, however nowadays virtual shopping is a must as well. It’s an easy way to discover unique items that our limited options of shopping excursions will not always allow us to come across. We are exposed to new styles and ideas from personalities all over the globe. We can explore and identify a new something that we like, and within minutes, we have located that same item, added it our shopping cart and before we can grab our car keys, our latest must-have is heading directly to our front door.

I have found a few sites that make my life much easier and being that I aspire to make everyone else’s lives easier as well, I will happily share. Today I will discuss the wonderful world of asos. ASOS (pronounced ACE-OSS) is the UK’s largest independent online fashion and beauty retailer, offering over 60,000 branded and own label products across womenswear and menswear. The idea of ASOS started in 1999 as an internet business where people could find clothes or accessories they had seen celebs wearing. The company began with this concept and within a few years they began to sell more fashion than just clothes that had been ‘seen on screen’.

One of my favorite reasons to shop on this site is the View Runway feature. Along with photos of different angles and views, each garment is displayed being worn down a small runway, showing exactly how the item looks, moves and flows. I don’t know about you all, but I have had many experiences of receiving an item and being surprised at how it actually appears in ‘real life’. E-commerce stylists are paid to make a stores merchandise look good, and many items are pinned, stretched or altered to look more appealing. This is not evident until we receive these items and find that they fit differently than how displayed on the site. So being able to see the garment worn by someone is very helpful in determining if it is what you are looking for or not.

Another gratifying feature of the site is their Fashion Finder section. Here you can find the freshest fashion trends and the street style skinny, plus the best outfit ideas created by members to inspire your fashion forward look. You will also find What to Wear ideas, for style advice for any occasion. You can browse women’s fashion tips by event, and if you’re feeling inspired, create your own outfit too. Fashion Trends are displayed showcasing the lowdown on the biggest catwalk trends. You can take inspiration from the most influential designers, before styling your own outfits and uploading your fashion forward looks.

A fun way that this site stands out, is that they offer a Marketplace where anyone, anywhere in the world, can sell fashion, to anyone, anywhere in the world. You can sell individually for free or can apply for a boutique if you have a small business or brand. What an epic way for thousands of individuals just like me, selling their wardrobes to fund their next fashion fix.

Last, but not least, the price points found at asos can fit just about every budget. They constantly run sales, on current season items, which makes it all the more easier to justify trying out new styles. Shipping is free to over 190 countries, as well as returns, which makes shopping here essentially risk-free. Before checking out, be sure to check the site for any coupons, which are typically always available.

I highly recommend adding asos to your current must-shop sites, and as a result your shopping world just may be rocked.