Woohoo! The hottest party of the Summer is happening... Tonight! Summerslam is one of the biggest PPV's WWE puts on every year, and because of that, we usually get some pretty exciting, unique, and head turning gear from the women superstars. Before we see what the lovely ladies bring to the table tonight, let's look back at past SummerSlam years and some memorable ensembles.
2013 - Brie Bella
Briiiiieeee Moooooddeeee! Goodness, I miss that. Brie totally killed it back in 2013 with this vintage inspired gear. The black, white, and red color scheme is text-book Bella style, and I adore the long, red gloves she added for her entrance. Do you see those tiny bows on her wrists? Adorable! This gear was before Brie moved away from her trademark ruffle boot covers, but I love how the trim matches her high waisted shorts. Now, the really cool fact about this gear is that you could actually own it yourself... because it's a swim suit! That's right! I couldn't find it anymore, but I remember when she debuted this gear, people found the exact same suit online. It would be like owning a little piece of SummerSlam, and Bella Twins, fashion history.
With the cyclone of changes and growing pains that TNA has been going through recently, it's been a tad tricky to keep up with and evaluate the gear goings-on. A handful of ladies have still managed to impress us, though, despite the upheavals, which gives us the opportunity to present our 2017 edition of the Knockouts' Ring Gear Awards!
Who are we placing where and why did they wow us? Well...
McKenzie's Fourth Of July look was about as classic as American-girl-next-door can get: white tank, blue denim skirt. The pencil version is streamlined and classic; if you're digging that jam, def go that way :) Do a knee-length piece, or go with a hot-right-now midi. I've been loving the movement and lightness of the pleated skirts which have been all the rage on the runway, so I re-envisioned the look with pleated denim. Note: a simple flared/ A-line silhouette will create a similar vibe. McKenzie's tank is just right for a super casual event - a girl's day, picnic, movie, etc, but, because of the the skirt switch, I wanted to bring out the chic vibes of the look, so I re-imagined the styling with a blouse. I love the 70's luxe feel of a simple silk long-sleeved one (which makes the look office-appropriate). Alternatively, an off-the-shoulder piece represents the decade theme in a summery (and flirtier! ;)) way. The denim offsets the selection of the blouse to create the laidback ease of 70's fashion that was polished without being overly formal. Reiterate that statement with un-fussy footwear: boho-leaning mules or simple slides strike just the right note. Add a long (but not super-bold) pendant necklace (or two) for a hint of quiet shine, or reach for the organic tones of a woven or tasseled belt. Or, with a more detailed blouse (think ruffles, gathered sleeves, eyelet), jettison the accents and let the fabrics' textures and movement do all the talking. Disclosure: I went with red because it shows up better on-screen :) but white would be stunning here as well. I used caramel accents to scoot around the whole red, white and blue theme (chocolate, black, beige or dusty olive would work fabulously as well), but the Americana vibe could be played up instead with white accents, or alluded to via powder blue or cobalt). I hope this inspires you to try a hat tip to @ the 70's sometime soon. Happy styling!
If you've been craving the palette-cleansing effect of an all (or mostly all) white ensemble, now's the time! Draw some inspiration from Cathy's look and start with a simple piece: a sheath dress with a cutout, a breezy denim mini dress, or a ruffled knit frock. White monochrome combos like a tee and flared jeans or a feminine blouse and pencil skirt are 100% workable starting points as well. The key to a super-clean, blank canvas look like this is the accessories. Theprimary trend for this summer is white everything, including shoes and bags, which keeps the styling really brisk and refreshing. If you're going that route, make sure to add visual interest to the look with a contrasting texture - think eyelet or lace espadrilles with denim, or a sheer/semi-sheer blouse (and suitable underlayer ;)) with knit track pants. Add a pure white bag, or bring in tiny hints of soft color by choosing one with embroidery or appliqué. This one happens to be Fendi, but if dropping nearly three grand on a bag isn't something you feel like doing (I mean, geez, why not? ;)), get a plain white one and add your own flowers by pinning on silk flower heads (most will pop right off the step, but wire cutters work too). It'll look just as fab and it'll be the colors and styles you choose. (Hint: flatter flowers, like sunflowers, dahlias, anemones and zinnias will translate most easily. Stay away from rose *buds*. Fully open roses can work, though - the less upwardly poofy and more open, the better.
As fall approaches, adding touches of black to the predominantly white outfit has become a stronger trend. Consider incorporating a piece which includes black in the design (black shoulder ties or neck bows, for example), or add a black belt or bag and shoes. No need to get crazy with the complements - just one or two pieces are all you need to create the iconic contrast.
Alternatively, bring more colors to the look by choosing two coordinating hues and doing an accessory in each. I love the idea of using one pastel and one stronger shade: blush with bright aqua, powder blue with azalea, butter with grape, mint with cobalt. The softer color recedes somewhat compared to the bolder one, so the overall effect is softer, but very summer-ready. Work with a bag and shoes, shoes and jewels, a scarf and bracelet, a belt and a hat -pretty much any two accessories are all you need to create the vibe. Tie is all together with a multicolored third piece if that appeals to you ...or don't! The look works either way, so pick your passion :) Happy styling!
If you took one look at Summer's impeccably cool ankle booties and went head-over-heels, I can totally join your tumble. These urban-cowboy-esque heeled lovelies are Jeffrey Campbell's Cromwell, a classic Western-themed ankle bootie that gets a boost of unfussy modernity from its deep side slits. If that wasn't enough fun, there's a hint of flash from the metallic accents at the toe and heel. The gritty fierceness is married with the practicality of a low block heel, turning them into a pair that's wearable from festival season through fall pumpkin fetes and even on into winter. They're offered in plain black leather, as well as black or blush suede, python, taupe velvet or taupe suede (all at Nordstrom) (black & taupe suede also at Shopbop).
Back when the Big Dub took their Summer Skin seriously and didn't just dash off a crumb to the anniversary with a mere four photoshoots *ahem*, they gave just about every diva on the roster their own day of swim snaps. I remember how freakin' amazing that summer was, waiting to see who was going to be next and what they had chosen for swimwear and the locations and just...ogh...so much fantasticness! That - and I can hardly believe this because it seems like this blog's been my baby forevevs - was back in the days before I was fashion writer. So, although I got to savor and be inspired by each 'shoot, I didn't get to review them. Remedying that as we speak :)...or rather as we share thoughts electronically via various networks. It's so funny to think back to those moments - I had a different car, different laptop to race to wwe.com on, different hair color, same love of wrestling in general and divas in particular (thank Maria and Michelle for that; they hooked me). The continual and unprecedented 'shoot releases kept the whole summer lit...not that lit was in common usage then :). It made a huge impression on me because it coincided with the first summer I was a huge diva fan. I don't remember what order the snaps came out in, but I do remember raving over Maria's, Maryse's (some things never change ;)) ...
Maria's set was as diverse as her fashion is, ranging through some girl-next-door blue denim-esque and skull-accented, rocker chick piece before getting to the heart and soul of her fashion: glam. This mint-and-gold set had me drooling with it's shining beauty. Maria went heavy with gold statement jewelry, adding plenty of va-voom to an already attention-getting look. She pushed her poses to the dramatic limits - sometimes blowing right over them, but whatever :) - now that's how you work some bamboo! And thennnnn, she busted out the bikini I can't forget. Well, ok, maybe I can forget those metallic boy shorts, but that triangle top covered in massive silver paillettes? Never. Oh, and there was a star charm dangling off the center. I still want that piece. Her roll-front side-pony was about as glam as glamour gets. And there were also stud bracelets. Not sure my heart ever left that shoot. So maje.
Then again, Maryse didn't go easy on the heartstrings with her looks. She included sequined sets in magenta and red, a pure white bikini shot in the spray, a glittering blue bikini and then these two: a black triangle set covered with crystals and the curveball of the line-up: a floral-printed french top paired with white bottoms which boasted super-long side ties. It was basically a "You'll need oxygen for this" set of snaps from stem to stern, but these two stood out particularly for the backgrounds and poses. The black bikini was shot with Maryse perched on an outcropping of rocks. It looked challenging, but that brought out the best in her, as she draped herself over the rocks for a stunning series of shots. The floral bikini was shot primarily on the beach, with Maryse half-in/half-out of the water. Her poses, all the way from laying in the sand to kneeling in the foam evoke quintessential summer.
Eva Marie announced last week that she and WWE have parted ways. We're sad to see her go, but can't say we're surprised. Miss All Red Black Everything hasn't really been active in the ring for the past year and between her new movie Inconceivable, her NEM fashion brand and new projects in the works, she's clearly finding opportunities and success outside of WWE. The company, of course, needs it's talent to wrestle and generally works out arrangements that let Superstars whose commitments take them away from ring too long out of contracts. Happily, the parting appears amicable - Eva doesn't discount the possibility of returning to wrestling in the future. We wish her the best and have no doubt that with her big dreams and work ethic her star will keep on rising!
Oooookay..since the Big Dub has just released a finale of unreleased snaps from these last four photoshoots, I assume that "Summer Skin 2.0" has officially concluded. Booo! Four divas? You're kidding, right? I call serious gyp-age! And now, before my rant goes into unprintables and bleeps, let's talk about Maryse.
She graced us with two bikinis and a one-piece. I was particularly struck by her choices for the bikinis. Both pieces had wonderful, saturated summer colors - cherry red and bright aqua , but beyond that, both swimsuits are very simple. I was surprised by that because we've often seen Maryse reach for be-crystalled, sequined and otherwise-embellished pieces that bring a lot of energy to a 'shoot in and of themselves. The iconic red bikini pairs a french top with absolutely plain bottoms. Maryse naturally rocks it, because she is Maryse, but I'd have some reservations about recommending this set to the general populace. Her silver statement cuff and the trendy pink-red combo created by her lavender-pink nails add some spark. Even so, the look is a tad short of punch on its own. Consequently, it's the poses where Maryse injects her own formidable panache and personality that work the best. When she does a simple stance in front of palm leaves, the set feels uninspiring. When she plays with her hair and looks down as she laughs, it steals the show.
Yes, boot game is totally allowed in warm weather. Summer gave us a perfect example in this snap from Instagram, which demo'd look stuffed with the most enviable casual cool. The key to the style is using sufficiently relaxed pieces, but pairing them in a way that's un-boring. Summer accomplished that with a muscle tee splashed with marigold at the shoulders. That bright color pop gave this look a huge boost. Reach for your fave bright cropped (or knotted to cropped-length) tee as a starting point.(Hint: make a standard-sleeve tee into a cap-sleeve silhouette y rolling the sleeves. Don't fuss over flat, even perfection - crinkled is good!) Alternatively, go for a cute cami with stripes or a fun detail like tie-shoulders (or both). Summer's look has a pared-down urban girl vibe so leave the lace, ruffles and peplum styles at home for this one. Do consider a classic ribbed tank, though! The easy grit of this pairing - especially with boots! - lends itself perfectly to that option. Pair with shorts - cutoff (or rolled) denim is top of the list. Any wash will work. Cargo shorts are a 90's-referencing alternative. Or, ramp up the city vibe with a leather pair. Add flat or low-heeled ankle booties of almost any iteration. Suede works, leather works, hardware works, any neutral color works. Go light to nil on the baubletry. To keep the look out of "this is what I had on last night and I don't care" territory, make sure to add a bit of polish with your hairstyle - a messy bun or cute high pony does the trick. The last crucial accessory? Oversized sunnies! They add just the right dose of casual glam to the chilled-out cool of this styling. I hope this inspires you to show off your boot game a bit this summer :) Happy fashioning, loves!
When I saw this shot of Cara Delevingne on her promo tour for her movie Valerian and The City Of A Thousand Planets, it immediately had me flashing back to Maryse's looks from last summer, where she unveiled an amazing crystal accessory, set above black clothing. I love Cara, but sorry girl - divas done it first ;). The basic concept of the look still holds it power - that's the genius of an iconic styling spiced up with a handful of statement modernity. Cara's simple black suit is gorgeous - streamlined, minimal, flawlessly tailored. She added some intrigue by wearing it without an underlayer, but the main impact of the look comes from her magnificent crystal capelet. The styling is so unusual and bold, yet still has that element of classic sophistication. She echoed the capelet with her crystal-embellished sandals and brought in a sweet, feminine twist with her black hair band. Maryse went with a glamorous body chain, set above a black bodycon dress. The principles and effect are the same: chic, modern glamour. Cara's pixie cut keeps her look refined, while Maryse added polish via a ponytail.
If you're head-over-heels for this look, you can recreate it with a little black something. Both Cara and Maryse's looks come off fairly formal, but a black monochrome pairing of slim twill or ponte pants, skinny jeans or shorts will begin this styling on a more casual platform. Bear in mind that laidback pieces will be elevated by the dramatic presence of the crystal jewels. If you're going for pants, choose a cropped silhouette or roll full-length pieces (that's to show off your shoes ;)) Keep your second piece simple: a plain, refined tee, a classic black button-down. Avoid prints, lace or other complex fabrics like mesh or distressing (we're going to zigzag around grunge-glam here) or busy embellishments like ruffles, embroidery and tulle. Sleeveless and one-shoulder necklines are do-able, though! For shoes, if you own crystal-embellished sandals, grab those first! (Be-crystalled flats totally allowed!) Other options include solid black sandals - avoid anything especially informal like espadrilles - and crystal-studded pumps. Simple black pumps or peeptoes can work as well. Now, to the coup de grace: the crystals! I don't know too many fashionistas who have a crystal capelet on standby, but if you do, now is the time to rock it! Ditto if you own a crystal body chain. The rest of us get to be a tad more creative. Create a statement by piling up the crystal pieces you own - set a choker necklace above a collar or layer multiple chains of different length. Reach for statement rings or bangles, or trendy, unique pieces like ear cuffs. Concentrate your sparkle in one area: ears or neck or wrists+hands. Or, go with more delicate jewels scattered throughout your look: blend glittery earrings with a delicate ring and add a station necklace at your waist as a belt ( you can clip two together if they're short. Swag the end (clip it unobtrusively in place with a small silver safety pin), or let it dangle. Start with what you have and imagine from there how you can blend the pieces for best effect. I hope this inspires you to get your Maryse (or Cara ;)) vibes on sometime soon :) Happy styling!
Welcome to the place where wrestling & fashion join hands. #BeInspired #LoveFashion Let the Fierce be with you! ;) Peace & Glitter!
Brie: shoe-lover :) fashion-lover and generally glamorous semi-dork
Photos used for criticism and comment under US Copyright Act Section 107.