We have a couple of addenda to Impact’s Halloween ‘shoots ( I know, I know...I’m a full holiday behind *hangs head in shame*). First up is McKenzie as a lovely and quite glamorous mermaid – a theme that seems to be a perfect choice for her. Her outfit is classic and flawless, from the seashell bra to the aptly named mermaid skirt of her costume. I really love the color combinations in this set – they create an ombré effect starting with metallic azure, shifting into bright lime and then into shimmering mint. It aptly reflects the sea theme but also looks quite stunning. Many mermaids are content to allow the seashells to be their only baubles, by McKenzie gives us a flashier, more luxe interpretation of the look, adding a sparkling crystal choker and glittering statement cuff, which definitely up the wow factor. Her eyeshadow echoes the colors of her outfit, as well as it’s sheen, enhancing her natural beauty. She nails two standard poses, setting up my only regret regarding this ‘shoot: that we didn’t get a couple more snaps in it.
Taya’s Viking-themed “set” unfortunately suffers from the same paucity of shots, but what’s there is solid. She dons an ivory bodysuit with a metallic front panel, which gives a nice illusion of armor and adds a heavy dose of fur: gloves, epaulets, even a sort of bustle, which I’m sure there is much tougher, more technical, and far more Viking-esque name for :). Fur also trims her horned metallic cap. Fishnets stockings add a subtle dose of sex appeal to the look, while the red streaks in her hair bring in a welcome shot of color. We sadly never get to see her footwear choice, but I’d put good money down on fur-lined boots – what else would a Nordic warrior face battle in? Her pose is an appealing one and presented with confidence. On my wishlist: I would have loved to see her carrying a giant shield or sword…I’d even settle for an ice pick. Perhaps those were in the snaps that didn’t get released. Ooo..and maybe she’s off to do battle with the one keeping them prisoner. If so, I hope she wins! ;)
Kim: If we have any Marvel fans reading... *I raise my hand*... You're probably going to immediately recognize who Rosemary is dressing up as... *Raises my other hand*. She's bringing the darkness with this Venom look. The coolest part of this costume is without a doubt the face paint. The big, gaping mouth going all the way down her neck, with an even longer and twisted tongue, completed with lots of sharp, fang-like teeth. She also continued the black face paint down her chest to match up with the black body suit. And I mean a full on body suit, no cuts outs or sheer material, with long sleeves and everything. We've got the spider logo in silver right in the middle, and the hood with Venom's eyes is a haunting touch. The final pieces of this costume are the knee high black boots, and the black leather gloves. I will call her poses very spidery, with her arms outstretched and her hands curled. Her facial expressions are so calm, and yet chilling. She isn't smiling, I mean come on it would mess up the paint, so for these shots it's all in the eyes.
Kim: The Impact shoots just keep on comin'! Allie is up next, and her costume is so... dang... cute! Like, it's definitely flirtatious, and a little sexy, but it's also just so adorable. I love how so many different materials are brought together to make this costume work. We've got the satin bunny ears that tie into the long, black satin gloves. So classy! The white lace body suit contrasts with the black frilly panties, but not in a bad way. They work so well together! I also love how she layered the bodysuit over a black bra, which again brings the shorts and the top together. And oh my gosh, we got a shoe shot! Thank you! Nothing too fancy here, but you can rarely go wrong with a simple pair of strappy black stilettos. We get a pop of sparkle with that crystal tie, and of course, it wouldn't be a bunny costume without a fluffy tail.
I’ve been working super hard on a massive new Melange post. Coming this week for ya, loves! XO
Maria was cool and casual in her black and red graphic tee and leggings. I love how she put a rocker-cool spin on this look with her leather vest and, most of all, those super hot ankle boots! A little hardware always gets my attention ;). For her summer tv appearance, she ditched casual for glam, showing off this silver sequined dress with a tulip front. The cutesy vibe of her lipstick-kiss pumps wouldn’t have been my first choice as a pairing from a fashion standpoint, but they’re a perfect way to convey her character, so I’m giving them the ok here. They definitely add a whimsical touch to this fancy piece, which makes the look stand out from the ordinary. She doubled down on that theme with her next look, a pairing of black kabooty shorts with a sequined Betty Boop tee and lipstick-kiss leather jacket in blush. The whole ensemble is so over-the-top and almost cartoonish that only Maria could pull this off successfully. Her massive, fearless personality carries this look: it doesn’t wear her, she wears it. And she channels it into a faux serious sexy lovefest. I’m completely in awe of how she makes something so wrong seem exactly right. And she earns bonus points for the on-trend fishnets.
We saw Maryse wear this BCBG cape dress alone with nude pointy pumps and layered over a sheer piece with Rockstud pumps, but here she lighten the look up by completing it with Nudist ankle strap sandals. They have a barely-there quality (hence the name ;)) which really highlights the sleek softness of this dress. I’m also 100% in for her self-wrapped pony, which looks amazing on her and is rapidly becoming one of my favorite hairstyles. I also want to express my delight for Maryse and Miz and their forthcoming bundle of joy. Congrats to them!
Kim: Halloween is quickly approaching, in fact it's coming up in just a few nights, and we've got a fun costume shoot to review from Laurel Van Ness. Donning the red, blue, and gold, she is being her own hero as Wonder Woman. There are multiple ways someone can represent this fearless superhero, from the traditional comic book character to the recent movie adaptation. Laurel went more so with a classic look, but still made it unique. From top to bottom, we start with the signature gold headband, holding back her hair which is styled in some beautiful curls. Her gold and red top is tied into her high waisted, bright blue shorts covered in little while stars, by a big gold waist piece. The final touches are the gold gauntlets on her wrists and a bright pop of red on her lips. Laurel nailed some amazing superhero poses, like the side view of her crossed arms, to really send this shoot home. Wonder Woman is personally my favourite superhero, and Laurel did a fantastic job of bringing her justice in these photos.
The Impact (formerly TNA, now GFW) Knockouts are back in a BIG way! They have their first full photoshoot in aaaaaages and it includes most of the roster. Even better, the snaps are seriously awesome! The ladies each portray a force of nature, in keeping with their new promotion. Earth, wind, water and fire are all represented and quite fabulously at that!
Allie took on the force of water in a beach-setting collection of snaps. She paired a white faux-wrap cami with lace shorts, which are noteworthy for the gorgeous scalloped edges. While I'm a little surprised that she didn't reach for blue tones, I love the softness of these shots and the way she explores classic pin-up poses as she rolls about in the sand. The backdrop takes a bit of artistic license with its wispy waves; if you're looking for ultra-realism, this might throw you for awhile, as it did me. It's not my favorite facet of the 'shoot, but when I adjusted my perspective to looking at it as an artistic assemblage, rather than a photograph, it's dealable. It does add a hiccough to a very solid set of snaps that are not only the sultriest we’ve seen from Allie, but also some of the prettiest, as well as an indication of her appreciable fashion talent.
As with her street fashion, Laurel's photoshoot pops off the page; it's immediately engaging, impactful and hot as heck! She donned a black, strappy monokini for her interpretation of water's force. The piece is 100% fierce in and of itself and Laurel unquestionably owns the look. Posing with poise and confidence, she rocks my word hard by playing with her hair and glancing over her shoulder , smashing the open-mouth facial in the process and making it instantly relevant again. Her wet hair looks as though it is catching the spray from the waterfall backdrop, which is fittingly symbolic of both danger and beauty. Everything – background, fashion , poses – comes together brilliantly in this set, making it one of the standout collections of the ‘shoot. Brava.
It's been too long since we've gotten to enjoy Gail's prowess in a photoshoot and her skill and experience shines through here, as she embodies the force of wind - what else but a gale force for Gail? I'm thrilled with her interpretation - it's creative and darkly beautiful, expressing the theme in an intriguing and aesthetically stunning way. Outside of a strappy bikini bottom and strappy heels, the fashion consists primarily of fringe-like strands of black ribbon that extend the full length of her body and sway in the breeze, creating the sense of movement and drama that makes these snaps so captivating. Her long, flowing curls reinforce the idea. The peekaboo effect of the blowing fabric brings in a seductive tension that adds intensity to the snaps, while Gail's flawless poses heighten the effect. I especially love the one of her playing with her hair, eye half-closed, as if savoring her power!
McKenzie tried out a denim-on-denim look, variously known as a Canadian tuxedo and Texas tuxedo (seems like a lot of places claim the pairing! ;)). She noted on her IG that the look was inspired by Guess and I can see it! It would totally work as one of their campaign snaps. She pairs high-waisted blue denim shorts with a coordinating tied-high button-down that lets just a hint of brassiere peek through. For a real life look, I’d probably swap the bra for a bandeau, cropped tank or bustier, but for a Guess ad, I’ll let it slide ;). It’s also worth noting that denim-on-denim is remaining an important trend this fall.
This look from Renee strikes me as a quintessential example of her style: it’s offbeat, laidback and unexpected. She pairs a half-tucked sleeveless graphic tee with high-waisted leather pleated shorts and rounds off the ensemble with suede peeptoe booties. The textural play here – leather, suede, knit – is fantastic and the whole styling has this enviable urban-chic vibe that I’m wild over. Her half-updo adds a softer touch which works nicely.
Sasha explored a similar vibe at the BET Experience as she, too, chose leather shorts to pair with a hanf-tucked top. The Boss went with a drapey white cami (from Fashion Nova) instead of the sleeveless tee for a more polished, but still casual, effect. Strappy sandals brought just the right dose of fierce to the look, keeping it from being bland, while a minimalist choker tied everything together nicely. I also love Sasha’s incorporation of her trademark “Legit” and “Boss” statement rings: they bring panache and Banks-ian attitude to the ensemble. Sasha slays a more formal look for her appearance at the BET Awards in an emerald lace dress by Willfredo Gerardo. The super-size lace pattern set on a mesh background has a wonderful contemporary quality, while still retaining its beauty. It’s sexy, but not crassly so. An added bonus is how stunning the color is with her plum hair shade! She brings in hints of metallic glam via her gold sandals. Nude or beige would have been more expected, but I like that she chose to do something different.
This is one of the simpler looks we’ve seen from Eva Marie: she pairs a white button down top with destroyed blue denim. I love the way she’s styled her top by layering it over a bodysuit, instead of the more expected semi-sheer shirt over bra look. This keeps the modernity, but adds class and sophistication, especially since Eva left only the top two buttons of her blouse undone, letting the sexy lacing details of her bodysuit be subtext rather than a focal point. The styling is a fantastic way to transition the sultry summer bodysuit+jeans look to fall, as well as a wonderful way to make use of the fact that so many white shirts today are at the very least semi-transparent (which is a pet peeve of mine that I won’t rant about now ;)). Eva uses fierce sandals to complete this look with panache. She ramps up the seduction with her next ensemble, an off-the-shoulder graphic tee with a fab biker-punk vibe with gray destroyed denim and strappy black sandals. Her shoe choice elevates this cool look dramatically. For fall, the sandals could be swapped for pointy ankle boots. If this floral bikini looks familiar, it’s because we’ve also seen Emma wear it. The piece (now sold out) was offered through Eva’s NEM line. I love it just as much on Eva as I did on Emma.
I also love this pale lemon sundress on Gail! How incredibly pretty is this piece? Not only is there the gorgeous color, there is the feminine sweetheart neckline, fit-and-flare shape and enchanting lace hem. Everything about this dress is lighthearted and joyful. She paired it with beige espadrilles for a look that is quintessentially summer. She added a touch of flash with her hoop earrings, but her best accessory may be that glass of white wine ;). (unless it’s champagne, in which case it’s def her best accessory!).
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...
The Fourth of July celebration is continuing around here, as several of the lady superstars have been kind enough to grace us with Stars and Stripes-themed 'shoots. I'm especially pleased to see this set from the Knockouts, as it's been awhile since we've gotten major photoshoots from the brand, excepting the massive gear 'shoot from a few months back. Prior to that, we saw the KO's do a number of awesome themed photoshoots, but they haven't had a set focused on fashion for ages. This one rectifies that dearth by including both a theme and fashion! That's the way to a stylish girl's heart!
First up is Laurel, who blasted on to the scene last year and grabbed the Silver Snap honor for photoshoot of the year with a single scintillating shot. She's got a good one in the running for 2017 as well with this thoroughly Americana-inspired look. She paired a solid red string bikini top with denim cutoff shorts. I love the extra dimension she brought to the look via her denim vest - the suggestion and shadow make it stand out from an ordinary string bikini 'shoot. She added a dash of glam with her crystal statement necklace - love that! And naturally, any good cowgirl would wear her boots with her glam, so ta-da! Caramel Western boots it is. Her long and loose banana-curled hair gives this a completely classic country-bombshell vibe, aided and abetted by her joyously confident pose. So much fun!
McKenzie brings a fashionista's heart to her ensemble. While she starts with the iconic white tank and blue denim skirt combo - the latter given a suitably modern spin with fraying and distressing - she makes it super trendy with asymmetric red suede ankle booties (fabulous!) and a starred-and-striped kimono: yaaaaaaaas, girl! I'm all in for this injection of trendy modernity in streetwear into Knockouts fashion. It makes a classic look come alive with freshness and spunk. She is proving her slot on my One To Watch list is well-deserved! More please :) She also earns props for her pose - it's a standard, but she nails it! Actually, she nails every pose...as does Laurel. And their back-to-back snap together is an unquestionable shoot highlight.
I always love Gail's distinctive sense of style and this look is no exception. She combines an on-trend ruffled star-and-stripe bikini top with medium-wash denim shorts. The chevron waist and flawless fit of the latter makes them scalding hot, even with a minimal amount of distressing and skin-peek. She completes the look with boldly geometric heeled sandal booties in bright white - a perfectly summer-appropriate (and ttly on-trend) conclusion. The look is has a crisp, classy punch and it's trademark Gail. I love it from head to toe. And her aaaaaahmazing pose is only helping that love :) I wish we had gotten a few more shots from her, as her looking backward pose is killer as well!
The set rounds out with Allie. It doesn't get much more iconic than her half-starred/half-striped bikini top. She paired it with rolled deep-blue wash denim shorts that she left half un-zipped and open in a distinctly 90's-throwback look. While I'd probably opt for a fully-zipped set-up if I were wearing this look in real life, Allie's flirty styling helps this editorial look by elongating her line and accentuating her hips. Like Laurel, she reached for Western-tinged booties to finish the ensemble. Allie's represent the super-hot-lately nod to the theme, as opposed to Laurel's full-on iteration, but they work equally well, lending a current edge to her outfit. This pose isn't my favorite of Allie's set; there's something about her stance that's just a touch off. Happily, her other snaps are much stronger, with her poses in front of the American flag being highlights.
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.