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.
With Maria's advent on Smackdown, the WWE took some time to traipse down memory lane by excavating some of her past photoshoots from the vault. Scrolling through the gallery, several things struck me. First, what completely amazing bikinis Maria picks out! The star-spangled mint one was a piece I fell for at first sight! It really doesn't get much more glam than that! At the opposite end of the spectrum is this denim-esque one, with it's girl-next-door quality. Maria, of course, spiked it by adding lemon yellow platform sandals to the mix, but the swimsuit is seriously fab in and of itself. Next, one thing the gallery really highlights is the innate sense of drama in Maria's style. Even when she does a basically classic outfit (like her black tee and jeans look), she still manages to inject attitude and flamboyance somewhere, somehow. With that outfit, it's a crystal belt and a pair of black and crystal bracelets. With her gold-edged red gown, which she wore while picking up her 2009 Slammy for Diva Of The Year, she added a golden hair band, embellished with a huge, but delicate filigree butterfly in front of her poofed half updo. There's always a splash of the unexpected, a shot of panache, something attention-grabbing. While she's perfectly happy to explore over-the-top scenarios - and manages to slay them far more often than not - the funky true-to-self passion in her style keeps it perpetually surprising and engaging. It's something I can't help but love and respect! Lastly, it's noteworthy how many current trends she managed to touch on, six, seven, eight years before their resurgence. Ruffles? Check. Off the shoulder tops? Check. High-waisted, wide-leg pants? Check. One-piece swimsuits? Check. The girl is a fashion tsunami. Translation: style maven worth paying attention to! I'm so glad she's staying on our screens :)
Maria was all about the black with this little pleated number. The look demonstrates the minimalist, refined side of her style. Black hosiery enhances the professional vibe. Of course, she is Maria so she can't be too prim :) - she rounds off the look with fringed knee boots. Her next outfit is a complete about-face from polished and demure: she goes for arty grunge and nails it in this pairing of a graphic tee with cropped, distressed denim. I love how she uses the knot to define the length of the tee and thereby create a defined visual waist for the look. The details also really 'make' this look - her masculine fedora and leopard booties gives this look devil-may-care rocker attitude. The balance is perfect here - it's fun and sassy, but not over the top. Brava. I'm equally jazzed about her next look, a combo I would wear in a heartbeat: skinny jeans topped with a slouchy sequined tee (half-tucked) and topped with a laidback jacket? Pitter-patter my stylish heart! A little glam, a little rocker and I am a lot in love. Maria finished this look with ankle booties, since she put it together in early spring. For right now, ditch the jacket, add a belt and complete the ensemble with studded sandals. Ok, I def have to go excavate my sequined tanks now. PS The pin-straight hair is so sleek and fab! Ogh. Her next outfit catches a similar contrast with a less rocker vibe, as she combines a red bodycon dress with her staple leather jacket. Note: this is why a classic piece like this one is such a good investment; Maria has worn this jacket a gazillion times. Every single time, it looks stellar and makes the outfit jam. When you amortize the money spent over the number of wears, a piece like this is well worth a little extra expenditure, especially since you'll have it for years. Maria will be able to wear this piece in a decade and it will still be in style. That's what classic does. A silver statement necklace and ivory platform pumps finish this look. I couldn't resist sharing this snap Maria posted from her engagement photo session with Mike. How gorgeous is that snow scene!? And don't you love that half-crazy drama play of this gorgeous girl standing on the train tracks in her stunning dress? There's an underlying suggestion of risk-taking and partnership conveyed by the scene and poses that adds layers of meaning to the snap. I can't help but appreciate Maria's vision. Next up is a sequined emerald dress worn for an event in March. We only see Maria work with this mesmerizing jewel tone shade on occasion, but I go wild over it every time. It's super gorge, especially with the red tones in her hair! She gets fierce points for being ahead of the curve on the wide-belt trend here. The styling finished off with simple chunky-heeled platform pumps. I'm in for the chunky heel, but I wish she had done it with a sandal, or gone with a pointy toe pump here to parallel the au courant vibe of her belt.
Still got more Lana-fashion for ya! This Queen's a style machine!
At Fastlane, she rocked a velvet double-breasted dress, which she paired with shimmering, futuristic OTK's. The double-breasted style can get overwhelming if it's paired with a lot of other elements, so I love this design's simplicity. The silver OTKs are edgy and probably wouldn't have been my first choice to pair with this dress, but I think Lana pulls it off. The coordinating choker helps and her audacity and confidence carry it through. That being said, I love those boots in an of themselves and would ADORE them in an editorial context. Their unflinching Space-Age beauty would be flawless in a galactic setting.
She was back to red for this next look, a lovely cranberry bodycon dress. She get props for the mid length, as well as for pairing it with one of my favorite contrasting-genre toppers: a tough leather jacket. The red and black combo works as fabulously as it always does - #IconicForAReason. Next, she gives us two looks with this cold-shoulder choker-style top by Topshop. She makes it travel-ready in look #1 by pairing it with flared leggings and a fur duster. I really enjoy how Lana's style is rarely boring; even when she's being practical and comfortable, she still manages to inject panache and flair into her style. This statement duster really puts the exclamation point on this monochrome look. Outfit #2 pairs the tops with printed high-waisted pants from House of CB. I love the laidback -but thoroughly chic! - vibe of this look. The print is interesting but not busy and harmonizes nicely with the simple trendiness of her top. An oversize watch finishes the look with a hint of precisely (and perfectly) chosen sophistication.
I loved Maria's quirky interpretation of the track pant craze the instant I saw it! She didn't try to make it excessively sporty, but went for a laidback-femme or sweet cool-girl vibe by pairing it with lace. It's a nice twist on a silhouette that can channel everything from jock to grunge to 'it girl". If you're aching to give this a try, there a couple of key points to keep in mind. First, regarding the pants themselves: look for either a loose, but tailored pair (think of a suiting pant style, but way more laidback) or a tapered silhouette. Both lend themselves to breezy chic quite readily. Avoid the ultra-baggy silhouettes at all costs. They're impossible to style unless you actually are Rihanna. Cuffed or non-cuffed both work, so - up to you! Also segue far around velour. Stay with streamlined satin-y or matte smooth fabrics. Knit versions will work, but only if they're of the polished variety. Hem length is important: a hint of slouch at the top of your foot = yes. Leaving no footprints because you're walking on your pant legs = no. Second, regarding your top: the squared-out silhouette with a shorter length that echoes the spirit of Maria's choice is what's crucial. You want something that hits close to the pants' waist because... WAIST! It's important. You need one here. These pants can be tricky to elevate and you are only one lengthy broken-in hoodie away from "I'm still so hungover". You don't want that; don't do that to you. You can play with a boxy crop top, a blouse-style piece, even an open-knit sweater over a tank, as long as it has the requisite wider+shorter shape. Finish the look a la Rosie Huntington-Whitely with ankle strap sandals, or inject some fierceness with a kitten heel. Or play the athleisure vibe to the hilt and conclude the styling with a coordinating sneaker. And what if: "uumm Brie - I don't have any track pants!"? You....don't....have...*faints*. Just kidding. NBD. Give this styling a try with straight, drawstring cargo pants (fish them out of your nearest 90's clothing refuge, be that your Mom's drawer, the back of your closet, aunt's attic or vintage store.). The drawstring is important on non-actual track pants to give that chill vibe. Alternatively, ditch said vibe and go with polished trousers of the suiting ilk. There'll be a pair somewhere that has the slightly slouchy or tapered silhouette you need. Promise. Excavate a little :). Bonus points if they're in a fabric with a sheen (double bonus points for tuxedo or similar stripes at the side), but any material with sufficient drape will work. Because you've done polished on the bottom, you can now do the whole carefree/broken-in/easy-breezy vibe on top. Try a baseball tee, or your favorite worn-but-not-forgotten solid standby. Skip over form-fitting and reach for drape-y. Forget the whole "cropped" thing; longer is fine. Add a half-tuck of some sort: frontal, side-al. Or be all daring and do a full tuck ;). Get your sporty on via accessories: sneakers and a baseball cap. Happy styling, loves!
And speaking of Maria ;) ...Trust her to create a super-fun look that embraces athleisure and still gets sequins involved! PS I love it! And fortunately there's no need to kick the glitter habit :) It translates just as nicely to sporty aesthetics as to luxe and glam-grunge ones. Maria - with her typical bold fashion genius- went for a silver Rolling Stones-logo'd tee. If you're in for that, rock it! If that much flair sends you running to hide under the bed (oh hey there! :)), play it the way I would: with practical black. (Not that anything sequined is ever reeeeaaalllly practical. That's why we own said sequined somethings. Duh.). It's a tad less sassy, but it's also more versatile :). To create the sport vibe, you're looking for a tee or a tank. Avoid narrow-strapped cami-style pieces. Racerback is 100% in, if ya got it! If you don't yet have an all-over sequined piece, choose something with sequin embellishment (metallic, in full or in part, is a totally allowable option as well). Pair with your fave leggings (def consider a track-striped version!) and coordinating sneakers. Top with a lightweight bomber for casual cool. Alternatively, ditch the bomber for a classic neutral tee (ok, hot pink works too ;)). Layer your dark sequined tank over the top for an urban 80's-meets-now vibe. Feel free to enhance that with black denim (distressing = do-able) instead of leggings. Still sneakers on the bottom for that whole sporty sitch.(But you don't actually have to sprint anywhere if you don't want to. I do recommend dancing though :)) Happy styling, loves!
Wrestling fans were surprised last night to see Maria Kanellis make her return to the WWE! Along with her husband, Mike, the duo are now members of the Blue Brand and will be appearing on Smackdown Live. Maria was last seen in a WWE ring back in 2010, but has been very busy since then, appearing in numerous wrestling companies around the world, as well as continuing her education. While she may or may not be stepping back in between the ropes, we know that no matter what, she's going to one to watch on the fashion front. xoxo
A number of Divas came out to Wrestlecon this year, with the result that we got to see some fantastic fashion! Barbie was fierce and trendy in her black monochrome look, which paired a lace bodysuit from Gooseberry Intimates with black skinny jeans (x J Brand) and simple but sexy ankle strap sandals. A slim gold choker added just a hint of shine to her look. My favorite part, though? Her hot pink fold-over clutch from YSL! I love the way that shock of color enlivens this all-black outfit. Noelle also wore black, choosing a plain, short-sleeved bodycon LBD. Her sneakers gave the piece a fun grunge/90's twist, while also being comfortable for a day-long affair like Wrestlecon. The informal feel of this dress, due to the rib knit and minimalist silhouette, lends itself perfectly to this kind of laidback combination. Like Barbie, Michelle went the bodysuit route. Her pick was an olive-beige version with super high-cut thighs, which showed above her lower waisted jeans, creating the effect of a cut-out. It also incorporated a lace-up detail at the sides. This look isn't my favorite of Michelle's- it's a tad blander than her usual laidback street-glam style; I'm missing a studded belt or a pile of crystal bangles. We don't get to see her shoes choice (sad face), but based on what I know of Michelle, I'd place good money on OTKs or fierce ankle booties. If you feel like you got left short of your glam fix, Maria's look should fix that for you. Her all-over sequined ivory gown was nothin' but glam! The deep-v silhouette brought plenty of sexiness too. Her long, loose curls look amazing! She chose to keep the outfit monochrome by finishing it with ivory platform heels. I feel like you have to be careful with platforms right now because they're a little of fashion's radar and they can feel somewhat passé, depending on how you pair them. This bold, but simple dress takes a lot of its vibe from the shoes, so I'd rather have seen Maria go with a pointy single-soled pump here, whether in ivory or nude. On a complete 180 spin from Maria's fancy styling is Nikki's dramatic, sporty look from the day after Wrestlecon. She paired black track pants with side stripes in her trademark white and red with a sheer tank that showed her brassiere. While I wouldn't suggest recreating this combo in non-Diva life, Nikki rocks the h**l out of it. Her red backwards baseball cap adds a bit more color and attitude and her wide choker punctuates the styling with tough, fearless trendiness.
Becky gave us her version of the patterned pants look and, like previous attemptees Maryse and Carmella, her effort comes off well because she kept the pieces around it simple. Unlike those ladies, she went with white instead of black, done in her trademark peplum silhouette. I like the way choosing a lighter neutral brightens this whole ensemble and the luxe texture of her suede OTKs completes it nicely. Becky's been racking up a string of successful looks lately and this is one more in the streak. On my wishlist is to see her bring a top other than a peplum or floaty tank into her mix of spot-on styles.
Alexa's combination immediately caught my eye due to her use of a blazer! I'm a massive fan of them, but we don't see a whole lot of experimentation with the silhouette from the WWE ladies. Biker jackets, leather jackets, fur jackets, denim jackets - those we see a good number of , but it still is a special few who venture into the realm of the blazer with any consistency. What's especially fun about this is that Blissy uses it to add maturity and confidence to a casual urban look. She pairs a graphic tank with leggings and leather knee boots - from this point, the outfit has the makings of a LayCool classic, particularly with that fabulous bold statement necklace crowning it! But Alexa takes it firmly in her own direction via the distinctly un-LayCool-like blazer. I love the way this classic black jacket balances out the chill, streetwise vibe with a chic, confident punch. It works especially well against the effervescence of her pink-edged pigtails :)
Next up is a whole series of looks from Eva Marie, all from her NEM fashion line. When she posted these on Instagram, she asked fans to name their favorite and this green jumpsuit is high on my list. This silk-like charmeuse fabric can be tricky to wear because of its drape-y-ness and the way it reflects light, but the way this garment is styled helps to mitigate that - the gathered and defined waist and central ruching make it quite forgiving and the tapered leg gives it a chic, trendy flair. This entrancing, mystical green shade is fantastic as well. Eva finishes it flawlessly with nude pointy pumps. This fab effort s followed by a simple LBD, with refreshingly modest silhouette. The trick to a jersey fabric like this is to get something that has the right balance of drape and thickness, so that it kisses curves without clinging. The best way to evaluate that is to have the piece at hand and be able to at least touch it, if not try it on. Fierce peeptoe booties add a flawless pop to this simple look. This white mini dress is also among my favorites - it makes the most of Eva's curves and seems to be just long enough to look proper. Her pointy pumps are back in action to complete this outfit.
As is usual for Total Divas-returns-time, the ladies got a promo 'shoot to highlight it. Usually these are stocked full of amazing fashion, but I confess to being a bit underwhelmed by this season's choices. Eva Marie's look paired a sheer-inset bodysuit with OTKs, a hot, but somewhat expected look. My favorite part of this is the au courant twist of the bomber jacket topper, as it brings a new dimension to a pairing we've seen explored fairly often. Maryse's dress is a silver metallic sheath with a fabulous square neck and some ruched details It's precisely the kind of piece we'd have seen her do in her Million Dollar Couple days, with added heapings of crystal. Here it's pretty and successful..I was just hoping for mind-blowing. The closest we get to that are her incroyable strappy heels, which are simply everything and which I need to see again. Need. Naomi's silver skirt is a standout piece and a 'shoot highlight, hitting just the right trend note. I'd have liked to see the styling tweaked a touch. First, a blacktop would have grounded it better and let the skirt have the deserved spotlight. Second, I wish the skirt had been rotated slightly to show a touch less leg, switching the focus more to the stylishness and a little less to the sexiness. This was so close to being killer that just...:'( shucks. Nikki's flowing, wide-banded top is similar - the piece itself is amazing: dramatic, unusual, and envelope-pushing. But the bikini briefs? Nah, girlie. Black leggings and peeptoe booties? Yes, please. Ditto with Brie's look. The graphic tank works perfectly and if it were paired with a tulle-embellished skirt, I'd be all over it as the best look of the 'shoot. Instead, we a get a tulle wrap over the (two-for-one special?) bikini briefs. I get that sex sells, but sometimes we want to buy something else. As with Maryse's look, Brie's is redeemed a good deal by those fantastic heels. Those are fab and def need to come to play in future! Natalya's print dress buddies up with Maryse's look in impression: it's fun, it's chic, it works. But it's nice-age more than slay-age. She gets props for her pose, though - hers is one of the best in the line-up: powerful, confident and flirty all at once. Paige's black bodysuit aired with leather OTKs suffers from the same redundancy as Eva Marie's look, without the redeeming bomber jacket. I think I could get into this look if she'd tossed a black trench over her shoulders. And no, I am not going to exit stage left without remarking on how killer those boots are. Those are HAWT in every possible way. Like so many other pieces in this 'shoot, I hope to see them again, perhaps restyled with blue denim, a lace-up top and a biker jacket. Despite having a vaguely superhero-esque feel, Lana's metallic-wrapped bodysuit succeeds among the best of the looks here. It ties nicely together, it has a degree of unexpectedness, it shows enough but not too much and it has a hint of risk-taking to hold our attention. Her favorite lace-up style pumps complete the look with fashion awareness.
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.