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 forevs - was back in the days before I was a 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.
Something about high summer makes me think of LayCool. Their urban-glam aesthetic just lends itself to parties under the sun, running on into steamy nights, when you want to be casual but not bland. Fashion has moved on a bit from 2009 and there is no doubt the stylish ladies of LayCool would have adjusted their looks appropriately. I'm thinking they'd have gravitated to a vibe similar to Hailee Steinfeld's recent turn in Julien MacDonald on the daily. Given that we don't have a multitude of newly devised tv and 'shoot looks to inspire us, as in their glory days, what's a fierce girl with an ever-LayCool heart to do? Metamorphosize that storied past forward into the right now, of course!
The Famous and Flawless set of 'shoots were some of my favorite LayCool looks, nailing their style sensibilities perfectly. This one, with its tank-and-shorts combo, is made for summertime. It adds glam to a basic white tank and black cut-off denim pairing by going with a sequined version on top. If you're recreating this, there's no need to be tied to the color choices: pretty much any shade of sequins will work just as well. For fitted pieces, try the LayCool full tuck; go with a front or side half-tuck if your tank is boxier. The ladies styled this look with the leather OTK boots that were fashion's craze at the time. Right now, I can't help but think they would have embraced the athleisure trend and ditched the boots for a totally fab pair of high-top sneakers. Since they are LayCool, they'd have gone with these Guiseppe Zanotti's, but those of us not willing to spend a month's earnings on one pair of shoes can 100% do this look with any streamlined pair of black sneakers. Tone down the lashings of glam by swapping the studded belt for simple leather in white or black.
As an alternative to sequins, consider a metallic tank - Michelle and Layla would def give that their stamp of approval! If a cleaner palette is more your thing, consider a tank or tee with a metallic or sequined embellishment, rather than full-on shine. As with the above and below, keep the palette simple (no floral prints, no dots), stay with tanks or tees (no cami's). Racerbacks allowed. Eschew feminine embellishments (no ruffles, please). Add a bandeau under sheer, drapey pieces for coverage and an au courant vibe. Consider skipping the starkness of the black denim and going with blue of any hue. Feel free to up the fierce with a studded belt, or keep it coolly chic with plain leather. LayCool would likely have left us drooling by completing the look with something likely these insanely fantasmic DSquared sandal booties. If you happen to own a pair of insanely fantasmic sandal booties, feel free to unleash killage accordingly. Alternatively, play up the tougher side of this look by finishing it with urban or Western-inspired hardware-embellished chunky-heeled booties.
Still too much glam? No prob. Keep it simple, keep it black. Tank (studs and other touches of metal or crystal = allowed, but 100% unembellished is also completely workable). Add skinny denim. Lend some pizzazz with a statement belt: be-crystalled, be-studded, be-sequined. A charmeuse satin or sequined scarf at the waist works too. Finish with a spark via silver strappy sandals. LayCool's choice would be something like these Gianvito Rossi Portofino heels with the haute-couture feel of their super-high ankle strap setting, but nearly anything shiny and strappy (except flip flops! :)) will work nicely. Happy warm-weather-holiday styling, Fancies!
I love me some color as much as anybody, but certain days simply require chic, iconic black. If you're feeling Dark Mode coming on, look no further than Michelle for a bit of inspiration. This recent look is about as lightless as it gets: a black monochrome pairing of a cropped top, distressed denim and OTKs with a bomber on top. Black makes life easy and this look is mad simple to re-create. The one important rule with a monochrome outfit is to include some textural variation(s) to enhance the visual interest. If you're using a satin bomber (or any fabric with a sheen), do things Michelle's way and go for a knit top. Swap her OTKs for fierce ankle or mid-calf boots (hardware encouraged) to make the styling a little lighter for summer. If your bomber is a knit or similar matte finish, opt for an alternative texture underneath, like a 90's-tinged silk cami that plays on the lingerie-for-day trend. It has the added benefit of more coverage than the crop top if you're in an environment where ab-displays are frowned upon or your abs are feeling shy ;). The luxurious sheen of silk offers a tantalizing contrast to a soft knit, smooth twill, or fuzzy wool. Go with straight or skinny denim on the bottom, distressing optional. Contrast the femme cami and play up the bomber's sporty vibe by finishing the look with sneakers. Alternatively, take this combo in a more polished direction with a drapey button-down blouse. Any variant of silk will do: crepe de chine, charmeuse, georgette, or any fabric with a similar look. Go with high-waisted denim and blouson it or leave it un-tucked and flowing (bonus: the rise on your denim matters not). Pointy pumps enhance the easy sophistication, while the on-trend bomber creates an off-duty model vibe. Enhance that with a sleek-but-simple pony. And if you suddenly feel the need for a chain-handled cross-body or a quilted tote, I'm with your feels. Happy styling!
Emma explored some casual looks before returning to fierceness during her Emmalina era. She and Renee did a twinsies look, pairing distressed blue denim with an Elton John baseball tee. Both ladies completed the look with boots. While I love the classic color combo and the laidback vibe, both of these feel just a bit bland to me. I'd have loved to see a spicy detail - fiercer boots, a half-tucked shirt and a statement belt...just a touch of something. Emma does essentially that in her next outfit, pairing a "love" tee with distressed denim and lace-up booties. I love the extra punch the shoe choice adds! Peyton Royce (at right) stayed simple and minimal with a cropped white tank and skinny denim. Boots finish off her unexciting look. Billie Kay (at left) got more creative with a tied white shirt topping worn denim. She went for strappy sandals as an exclamation point, along with a slim metal collar. Her look is casual, but polished and interesting, primarily due to her unique choice of top and just-right combo of uncomplicated but trendy pieces.
Emma was back to the bikinis in this leaf-print halter two-piece from Show Me Your Mumu. The scale of this print is excellent for her - not too massive and overwhelming, but still bold. The peach-cobalt-mint-emerald color combo is super pretty and fun. The verdant setting really makes it pop, too! Among my favorite shots from the Emmalina era is this next one: a wedgewood blue v-neck bodysuit, paired with the same lace-up booties Emma rocked during her night out with Billie and Peyton. She gets huge props for her dark, smoldering make-up that makes this gorgeous, bright summer scene come alive with fierce, sensual energy. Denim shorts could be added to this look for casual styling, while a sheer maxi skirt would work as a fashion-forward alternative, depending on the event. If said event was such that a sheer-over-bodysuit approach would be frowned upon, a pleated mini skirt would be super cute and bring movement and volume to this sleek bodycon piece.
Divas and former divas were pulling out all the stops for WrestleMania Day. Not only did we see some great gear, we saw some great looks from participants and lookers-on alike as they arrived for the big day.
Barbie slayed a coord set comprised of a bandeau top and high-waisted pencil skirt. Snaps (which appear to be functional as well as decorative) on the latter allow the wearer to control the height of the side slit - which is a fabulous design idea. Barbie left hers high enough for drama, but without getting into questionable territory, which I approve of highly :). She finished the look with simple yet sexy black ankle strap sandals. I love the way these work here - there's some space between the hem of her skirt and the top of the ankle strap that keeps the proportion of the look just right, which is an important consideration for wearing strappy heels with midi hemlines. Her smooth, straight hair looks polished and refined. I'm a little less enthralled with her next piece, an ivory mini dress from Windsor Store. The super-high side slit takes a bit too much risk for my liking, even with the lace-up details. Her pairing of light neutrals, though, via her nude sandals, is a solid combination.
Lana's glittering, poof-shouldered a-line mini is by Sherri Hill and Lana clearly had fun twirling about in it! The strong-shoulder is spot on-trend and, along with the multi-patterned sequins, makes this one BOLD dress - not that that's surprising from Lana. I like her choice to offset the formality with boots...just maybe not glistening silver boots :). It seems like an over-the-top choice that puts this look into space alien territory for me. I'd have grounded it more with black boots, or gray suede as a second choice, and a simpler bag as well. That being said, this is Lana and she loves to be brave with her fashion, which sometimes means we get results like this. If I had to choose, I'd rather her take risks that ocassionally don't pan out than be staid...so, carry on Lana Queen!
Mandy surprised me by really dressing up for Wrestlemania Day. I'm not sure whether she had an additional event to attend, just felt like being fancy or felt that Wrestlemania was worthy of this level of formality..or all three. Either, I don't care - my surprise is a pleasant one. I love the minimalism and soft drape of this black gown. The cutouts and unusual neckline create an appealing geometry on her body, highlighting her curves without looking overblown. I would have preferred a sandal or lace-up bootie to these round toe pumps for a little extra va-voom, but I love her choice of a massive watch as her main accessory - it adds a contrasting dose of informality to her dress. Her long and loose hair is the perfect accompaniment.
I can't help but love Alexa's sheer-striped dress (from Aqua x Bloomingdales. ID by fashionofthedivas.tumblr.com). It's a perfect blend of cute and couture that completely suits her. She has an incredible knack for choosing clothes that really fit and express her personality! She sparkles it up (of course!) with a pretty crystal statement necklace that adds just the right dose of shine to the texture of her dress.
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.
OK...we are fiiiiiinally kicking off our reviews again and it all starts with the Hall Of Fame Fashion Review for the Alumni Divas! We're counting up the non-roster ladies who wowed us on the red carpet, with the top prize being a whole lot of fashion love from us ;)
WWE has put together a gallery showcasing every lady champion that ever was, including all the various iterations of the belt(s). It's a fun look back to the past, highlighting some of the division's pioneers - The Fabulous Moolah, Alundra Blayze - as well as more recent ladies who paved the way for today's champions. From a fashion perspective, the gallery comes off like a style retrospective of ring gear through the years. The romper/unitards topped by jackets worn by Moolah and Mae Young gave way to the more athletic stylings of Alundra Blayze and her famous mock-neck top and leggings combo. Jacqueline's ring fashion took that sporty vibe as a starting point, but metamorphosized into a much sexier iteration, a concept that Sable pushed to new heights. Check out her latex catsuit with its thigh-high and beyond lace-up detail: it's spot on-trend for today! And just as smoking hot as it was then. Of course, it's hard to imagine an outfit that wouldn't be smoking with Sable in it ;).
Lita eschewed the traditional bombshell aesthetic in her gear, which was composed of straight-up street fashion: cargos, cropped tops, slogan tees. It was hot as h**l, but in a down-to-earth way that made it both appealing and accessible to WWE fashion fans of the era. In addition to her tremendous wrestling ability, Lita made fashion important to wrestling, while appearing to not especially care about it. Trish Stratus' looks had a similar point of inspiration, but incorporated a girl-next-door vibe that separated her from Lita's disaffected street urchin toughness. Molly Holly's looks were even more demure, focusing primarily on the athletic requirements of her pieces, spiced up with a bit of shine and an occasional foray into pretty, feminine colors: sherbet pinks and bright turquoises. There was a sweetness to her style which set her apart from many of the other ladies of the era.
Complexity entered ring gear with the advent of Mickie James' and Melina's reigns. Unique designs, gorgeous colors and bespoke details - the full palette of fashion seemed to collide with the concept of wrestling-wear. Mickie's crop top+pants combo became an instantaneous trademark, along with the luscious colors she gravitated to. Melina's looks were more dramatic - think one-person Cirque du Soleil :). Thigh cutouts, sheer insets,knee-high fur boots, patterns and metallics all caromed together to create her memorable looks. Beth Phoenix's superhero-esque metallic jumpsuits also arrived on the scene. Each of the ladies developed distinctive silhouettes or styles that set them apart. Michelle McCool used her various changes to mark separate eras in her character, not unlike the Undertaker has. The sweet and simple early pieces of her personal-trainer/schoolteacher gimmicks evolved into the cross-embellished halter top+lace-up leggings combination of her Faithful face era. I didn't appreciate at the time just how spectacular this particular gear is with the all-over crystals! I find the camo a bit busy (maybe that's why I missed the crystals ;)), but the jewel-work is spectacular. This snap was not widely released at the time, but it was used in promotions and, back in the day, Michelle cited it as one of her favorites so it's awesome to have a high quality version of it out and about! She exhcanged this style for the dark glamour of her heel turn, which included mostly dark fabrics embellished with crystal and studs. And that was succeeded by the Flawless Era which attained Fame-era Gaga-esque heights of fierceness. Layla came along for that ride and it brought her already-competent looks into truly amazing territory, something she maintained even after Michelle's departure. A few other ladies, including Natalya and Beth, took on the concept of metamorphosis-concurrent-with-persona - which led to the era which matched LayCool in fierceness: the maven-vixen Divas of Destruction, who ruled the ring in leather and spikes, softened with pin-up girl details like lace and bows. Barbie (Kelly) chose to stay with her hallmark push-up bra top and kabooty shorts from its inception until her retirement. And no surprise - it's hard to imagine it being improved on. This yellow-topped one was always one of my faves! (I'm sure you're shocked). Eve also carried the same chevron-waisted silhouette forward throughout her career, along she varied the sweetheart neckline extensively. Her gear was known for the myriad of stunning colors she employed: emerald green, bright melon, pale lilac, all embellished with hints of crystal, studs or sheers. Ditto Maryse, who explored variant after variant her keyhole-top+shorts combo with the most delicious, intriguing, luxurious combinations of color, embellishment, fabric and pattern. Nikki and Brie Bella were always closely in touch with the fashion world and they brought its influence even more closely into gear, breaking free of the idea of waiting for a persona change to update their ring-wear and using it as a way to freshen and reinvigorate their characters. Their looks run an unprecedented gamut from flamenco-inspired ruffled pieces to plunge-front catsuits to Britney Spears-influenced banded top+shorts combos that paired glam with a pop influence to the grunge-plaid era to today's sporty looks - which in a spine-tingling synchronatic way, brings ring gear full circle - back to its athletic beginnings.
This simple outfit from Barbie packed a lot of impact, so much that we did an Inspiration Board look with it. There's just something cool and chic about the combo of gray with black! The gray cropped sweater exudes coziness, with the shorter silhouette providing just a hint of flirtation. Even more fun is the foldover detail at the collar - I love distinctive touches like that! Barbie paired this Intermix piece with Frame denim jeans. Her OTKs, which add the shot of fierceness to this look -as they always do! - are from Sam Edelman, a surprisingly budget-friendly choice from Barbie, but which is a jazz. I always get a thrill to realize that I can own the same piece as a favorite diva, without mortgaging my first-born for it ;).
Vests were the order of this particular autumn day in the Bellaverse. Brie combined a fur one (since it's Brie, I have no doubt of it's being faux fur!) with black leggings and black suede OTKs. There's a pleasing simplicity to this monochromatic look, which she breaks up with her burgundy leather choker (I could have been perfectly happy to have that in black as well) and her desert rose lip, which brings a lovely flush of warmth to this ensemble, without the harshness of red. Nikki went for a similar shade, with the same gorgeous effect, as she paired a ruffled cropped vest with studded leather pants. The contrast of the feminine (and spot on-trend) ruffles with the tougher vibe of the studs is stellar and gives the outfit its je ne se quoi. Like Brie, she includes a choker (barely visible in this shot - sorry ;(). Hers is black and works flawlessly. I'm also a fan of the way her dark nails bring a gothic edge to the look.
It's wonderful to see Brooke back on our scene, this time repping autumn-hot houndstooth via this cropped top, which we also saw her wear in Dec 2015. While she matched it with a skirt then, this time, she re-styled it with leggings and a tuxedo jacket. the whole look had a modern, graphic vibe, with the houndstooth creating an almost pixelated quality. It's a very different feel from the sexy, schoolgirl-esque aura she drew from the piece last time! This is such a great demo in how to re-use and re-work wardrobe items - something I am a huge fan of! Her metallic pumps add a perfect contrasting hint of flash.
Cathy attended NXT Takeover in this stunning blue-meet-sheer mini dress. The intricate, delicate pattern is beautiful, especially done in this incredible electric blue! She paired it with OTKs, which have become a fashion staple over the last few years, with a particular resurgence this season. They bring a nice twist of attitude to this sweet-n-chic frock.
This drapey sweater look from Michelle is a perfect post-holiday, pre-spring look. Even more exciting, it utilizes a dusty olive shade that’s making some serious waves in fashion right now. The crucial aspect to getting that flawless chilled fierce look here is to slouchy on top. Use a bateau or scoopneck sweater that shows skin on its own, or can be positioned off the shoulder, like Michelle’s. Layer a tank or wool base layer beneath for warmth. You’re also looking for a boxy cut that will kiss your curves – a knit piece is just the right fabric to do that with! This is also a place where you can think about borrowing from the guys – steal your bf’s, brother’s or dad’s…or go all out and grab one of your own in the men’s dept. The larger, square cut will give you that drapey fit. Another option is to use a wrap (I’m a fan of cashmere, but wool blend wraps will also work, as will cotton). You can toss it over one shoulder (belt it for extra security) or let it slide seductively off one shoulder (like the pic, but looser ). Note: all of these can be done with any neutral if olive isn’t in your possession or isn’t your thing. Gray, beige and ivory all top my list :). Add leggings or skinny jeans and finish off the look with OTKs: suede or leather, flat or heeled – it’s all good, so pick your passion! For any option but the wrap, consider accenting the look with a bold choker (or tier a couple of skinny ones for a completely custom variation ;)). I hope this inspires you during this rather bland time period in fashion, lovelies! XO
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.