The white-hot look dominated the red carpet this year. But wearing all white is as tricky as wearing all black — for opposite reasons, obviously. Where black can make you fade into the background, white can be overpowering, and flare onscreen.
The oft-used way to diffuse its harshness is to mix it with skin. Hence, Angelina Jolie's boldly thrusting right leg — because otherwise she would've just looked like a black blob, and she's skinny!
Fortunately, the red carpet offers ample opportunity to learn what and what not to do to make white work for you.
GMA's Robin Roberts dazzles again, in another version of shimmery white to her last year's look. The mini cowl neck is a great addition to the simple sleeveless sheath, adding interest without being busy, and not so big it competes with the bust. Great if you have toned M'Obama arms — add a little shimmer for emphasis and you're done.
(For the recod I liked her colleague Louise Roe's blush pink Black Halo dress as well — a cross between gown and business, because they are working this event afer all, and they are two of the few that manage to be watchable and not insufferably annoying.)
Gwyneth Paltrow's not over 40 but her Tom Ford column has some great copy worthy elements: a little capelet that came with it and came off later (she seems to like a change midway through the event), plus padding on the shoulders that conveyed stand-up-straight great posture — an instant slimmer. Plus, stylist Leslie Lopez applied St. Tropez's Gold Skin Illuminator to her browbone, cheekbones and collarbone to give her a golden glow and bridge the cool blonde look with the warmth of her skin.
Jennifer Lopez dazzled in a Zuhair Murad gown one Tweeter chirped looked like a shell. Sure, the skin peeking through was sexy, even if she didn't have a wardrobe malfunction (calm down people, get a life) but the sheer sleeve treatment is also slimming and a clever way to conceal arms without looking like you're trying to — certainly a step up from her sheer last year. And she always augments her creamy cafe au lait skin tone with a bit of bronzer.
Rooney Mara's only 26, but some women have a timeless look and she's one of them, evoking Audrey Hepburn and even a bit of Great Garbo. Rather than offset the fluttery white of her Givenchy gown, she keeps her skin as cool and white as the dress — maybe something like St. Tropez's Skin Illuminator to give a little sheen without adding color.
So showing skin and adding a little bronzer of whatever hue is a help, but underneath it all? Shapewear shapewear shapewear (like Maya Rudolph admttted to Tim Gunn — and she wasn't even wearing white). But wearing white and looking lumpy are not good together — you resemble a cloud; clouds are pretty — in the sky.
I just realized another reason I love all these dresses — none of them are strapless!