I can't believe I'm still in catch-up mode. Sigh.
I'm so sorry that Naomi's injury was serious enough to force her to have to drop the title. How insanely frustrating after all her hard work to achieve it! She managed to go out in style though, pairing a cute cap-sleeve cropped tee with her Feel The Glow leggings and black sneakers with blue and lime embellishments. This combo is casual and sporty and, once again, plays on that fab combo of teal and neon citrus that works so incredibly well. Her bright hair acts as that one extra pop of color that gives the outfit zing.
Mickie put together a classically Americana pairing of a gorgeous lace cropped top with pale denim. Naturally, she finished it with Western boots ;) One of the benefits of an unrefined, study boot like this is that it allows an outfit to be styled with super-feminine pieces, like Mickie's top, without having the look come off at all too girly. The boots provide a strong counter-balance - something to keep in mind if you adore frills, but don't want to over-do the femme vibe. If Western boots aren't your jazz, a chunky-heeled punk-tinged boot, or a classic riding silhouette will work similarly.
Lana has been doing a good bit with this double-breasted dress style lately. The double row of buttons has a haberdasher-esque quality that brings strength and assertiveness to this simple dress. I can love this design when done as a blazer; I'm a bit more hesitant about the dress version. I don't dislike it, but it probably wouldn't be the first thing I'd reach for. Lana's variation is done is a fiery red satin, which makes it even more of a statement piece. Her slim crystal choker is a perfect way to accessorize a look like this - with subtlety. Her low bun is polished but not too prim - another winning choice!
Maryse got in on some actual nearly in-ring action in preparation for the build-up to Miz & her Wrestlemania match against John & Nikki. As usual, her selections are stellar: a cropped sequin bomber cardigan (leave it to Maryse to make a cardi look fierce! #HowItsDone101) tops leather leggings. She finished the look with plain suede OTK boots - and flat boots, no less! It's rare, but Maryse in flats does indeed happen ;), and she slays in them just as well as in heels. As if we expected anything different. #Homage
Natalya's exploration of combinations of patent leather, sheer, strapped cutouts and crystal continues with this gear. She's moved to pink for her crystals - a mouth-watering decision that I hope she gives us a few more variations of! The strapped cutout aspects of her gear remain as fabulous as ever - and she's earning serious points from me for her designs that show enough to be tantalizing as heck, without showing too much. It's a fine line to walk and Nattie is handling it perfectly. This is how a classy lady does sexy! Note-taking is encouraged ;).
The Royal Rumble set a high fashion standard, but the gals maintained it at the Elimination Chamber.
First, there was Becky’s continuing foray into gear with a hint of a femme twist. This set offers an iconic color story of black and beige, with a simple tank topping her frayed denim shorts. What brings distinction to the look is the broad band of gorgeous black lace that drapes across her torso. It’s so delicate that, at first glance, it almost seemed ragged to me, as if it was echoing the hem of her shorts. Even though it’s not, the similarity in texture unites the look, while still providing a beautiful and delicate contrast to the rugged grommetted leather at her knees. There’s a kind of broken-in, ragged romanticism to this look that I’m really enjoying: it’s stunning yet unforgiving, gorgeous, yet grounded. What a unique and intriguing statement from Becky and a wonderful show of growth and experimentation!
Both Summer and Sasha worked with blue and orange as a combo in the past and I loved it. Equally well do I love the pairing of purple and orange, as worn by Nikki. The bright cantaloupe shade is warm and inviting and nearly glows with intensity. It looks amazing against her skin! The deep grape adds a flush of cool solidity to all that vibrancy and the effect is gorgeous! While I love her red, black and white variations, seeing her break into some new color combinations – especially such unique and yummy ones as this! – is incredibly fun!
Alexa went for the classic color combo of red and blue with her gear. She added a nice little twist, though, by accenting the pairing with gold, which adds warmth and luxuriousness. I’ve been a fan of this design of her gear pretty much since it debuted and I’m still totally on board. The only thing I could do wthout is the cartoon appliquee at the front. Come on, girl – you’re not Bayley. There’s a way to bring in this kind of accent, but, set against a mature, fierce ring outfit like this, it just looks silly.
It takes a really special vision and execution to use a lot of pattern and color and have it be cohesive. Naomi absolutely smashes the concept here! For starters, her romper silhouette is bang on trend. For seconders, her scrolled, mod print has the complex beauty of a Pucci piece, but done in light-up-the-world neons that give it a youthful energy and vitality that looks super hot! Lime, turquoise, lavender and cerulean make for a current and stunning color story, while the matching leg covers carry the look all the way to her feet, creating unity and impact. The layered chevrons are a flawless addition, creating a slight, but solid diversion from the print and working fabulously with her body shape to create a curvy hourglass. I love everything about this – as complex as it is, it’s put together perfectly, so it’s not busy or overwhelming, just powerful, mesmerizing and straight up AMZAZING!
Mickie’s gear has been a wonderful mingling of ‘new and then’ :), pairing a halter top accented with a suitably Southwest-esque symbol and her always-favored flared-leg pants. Touches of colored stones accent the edges of both top and bottom. She’s done several color stories with this design, but I especially like the icy simplicity of this metallic silver, spiked with hints of emerald.
We may not all have antebellum mansions to frolic about in, but fortunately, we don't need one to borrow a bit of inspiration from Naomi's look in her next-to-latest WWE 'shoot. Her pairing of brassy stripes with feminine tulle amped up the quirky, fierce energy in the 'shoot, especially when finished with sparkling bow-embellished heels and her glowing lime hair. But, take the styling out of the photoshoot and it stands on its own rather well. The bold, vaguely modernist statement of a striped top acts as an anchor for the frilly effervescence of the tulle skirt, making for a playfully chic combination we can definitely borrow! Step 1: grab your favorite tulle skirt! :) ..."But Brie, what if I don't have a tulle skirt?!" *horrorstruck* It's ok, I swear! Breathe :) Just reach for a skirt with a femme feel: lace, embroidery, florals, even just a simple, solid piece in a floaty fabric like silk or chiffon will do. All better? :) Hugs! Step 2: grab a striped top! You do have one of those, right? A knit tee tends to be my first thought when I envision stripes, but don't forget about striped blouses or button-downs. Their more polished connotation plays perfectly for this look. Next: warmth! If you need another layer, add a twill military jacket (a classic leather biker will work too) for some extra attitude over a tee or bring in the sweetness of a button cardigan over a collared top. Important: if your skirt has a narrow waistband that doesn't provide enough definition, you can visually widen it by adding a belt. Feel free to blouson your top over it. Last up are the shoes. If you need a little more edge to feel like you, a heeled boot will do the trick. For maxi skirts, make sure the boot shaft is higher than the skirt's hemline. For all others, make sure there is a gap between the top of the boot and the skirt's hem (unless you're doing OTKs under a midi or knee skirt (a perfectly stunning look, darling ;)); in that case, follow the suggestion for maxi skirts. If you're feeling sophisticated, go with a simple, iconic black pump. Laidback, but still fabulous? Try a pointy-toed ballet flat. I hope this inspires you to pair something striped and something femme sometime soon. Happy styling! XO
The Big Dub has decided to honor the lady champs of Smackdown with their own gallery, just as they did with the lady belt-holders of Raw. Perhaps I'm a bit optimistic in terming it a "gallery" - ti's really only one snap form each diva. As fan of the Blue Brand, I feel rather gypped. Why not two shots, hmm?? Or three, as the Raw gals got? Playing a bit of favoritism here, WWE? It's not appreciated. What this ...mini collection....gives us is an hors d'ouevre, a smackerel of Smackdown, a tiny taste...just enough to whet our appetite and allow us to appreciate the fantastic gear each of these wrestlers has and how stunning they are and how awesome the belt looks as an accessory and then...boom...everything is over. Finis, finito, caput. Gypped, indeed! Certainly Becky nails the sideways pose and looks gorgeous doing it! Bonus points for the plum shorts and the studded crisscross belt - fabulous color and a bit of edge always make for a win in my world! Perhaps she'll try a blue shade that matches the background in the belt next ;). Alexa definitely rocks the heck out of this red gear- the basically neutral black and silver pairing accent it perfectly, adding just enough interest and pop, but not enough to be distracting. Also, please explain how Alexa manages to look so insanely pretty and so dang cute at the same time? #GreatMysteries. PS I'm the teensiest bit jealous. Like, I'm not 100% green yet but getting there :) Just kidding. Naomi makes this simple pose work brilliantly - the way she's tipped her head takes it out of "high school photo" category and into "Top Model" category and her smile is amazingly lovely - authentic and sweet and sunshine-y. This gear is fantastic as well...I will break it down in detail when we get the full look at it (coming soon to a blog near you), but even with this preview, I'm loving the mix of colors and the graphic print - it's strident, but not too crazy. A+ on the lime nail shade and I'm still loving that emerald-silver-sparkle eyeshadow. I can't get over how divine that looks on her! Ogh, the fabulosity!
There's been a definite injection of country-girl style into WWE since the return of Mickie James! She shows it off here as she pairs a pretty swing top, accented with sequins, with classic blue jeans and - what else? :) - cowboy boots! I love the softness of her top - the combination of floaty -ness and sparkle is delicate and playful. Mickie's choice of light blue denim complements it perfectly, keeping the whole look light, right down to those daring embellished boots. There's a lot going on here, but the soft, simple palette pulls it all together.
Renee showcases a magnificent tuxedo blazer in this look from late January. This piece is classic and versatile because of its fit and colors, while the tuxedo lapel and black buttons are just the right touches to make it distinctive. She paired it with leather leggings, which add a fab tough vibe and a graphic tee - the only part of the look I'm sort of meh about. I love graphic tee for the casual urban cool it brings to an outfit but here, it feels just a smidgeon too casual. A plain tee (I'm thinking red to show off those lapels ;)) would have a similar effect, while harmonizing a bit more. She gets serious props for the smoky eye, though - I love the way they bring out the boldness and attitude in this outfit!
WWE really outdid itself for Valentine's Day this year! They went in a wonderful direction last year with their hazy, romantic Love Dreams 'shoot, but for 2017, they took that whole idea even further. The set was a magnificent old mansion - The Annesdale in Memphis - an 1850 Italianate-style building with a spiral staircase, gilded mirrors and antique furniture. It had a vintage, vaguely Gatsby-esque feel, with a tiny hint of Wonderland thrown in. The set was literally AMAZING and, as you might expect, it brought forth some fantastic work from the Divas who participated!
Nikki's lace-embellished charmeuse gown had a distinctly lingerie-esque feel to it, a variation on the slip-dress trend which fit the vibe of this 'shoot flawlessly. The piece is sultry, but its incidental to the beauty and artistry - which I like! While I'd want a coat (at least! ;)) over it for real-world usage, in a photoshoot,it conveys Old World romance, with a dash of modern coquettishness. She added hints of her trademark red with a delicate choker and fur-topped red strappy sandals. The mauve-blush-taupe shades of her make-up add a lovely, dreamy softness to the look. And then, there are her poses :). A 'shoot like this is just tailor-made for Nikki and she worked every ounce of it! From creating sensual angles in the mirror to draping herself across the staircase, she smashed Every. Single. Pose, melding opulence and seduction in a stunningly beautiful way. Without a doubt, though, the one that took my heart was of her doing up the buckles of her stilettos. That was EVERYthing...more than everything! It's beyond words.
Alexa ditches her ponytails and leather jackets for a gorgeous lace top and ballerina-like blush tulle skirt. I'm totally down for the switch up: Blissy rocks this style just as well as her more trademark looks. The only thing I'm not 100% on is her wide waist belt. Usually, I love them, but there's been a recent trend toward including pieces which have what amounts to statement details and they can sometimes give an awkward vibe to a look. In this case, I think the belt could have been jettisoned and the top blousonned and it would have worked as well or better. She finishes things off with a touch of sparkle via strappy platform sandals. She echoes that glitter with subtly frosted make-up in barely-there shades and the effect is magnificent. As tough and athletic as she is, there is a delicacy to her features which lends them to these shades and finishes and makes the look magical! She also doesn't push for vixen-like poses, but intelligently, goes for more playful girl-next-door looks, which suit her perfectly. In this setting, with the ethereal light and elegant furniture, she gives the impression of a sprite-goddess come down to earth to tease the mortals for awhile. Lovely work!
So..um...yes...it is totally ridic to be reviewing a holiday 'shoot in February and I have nothing to plead for myself but lack of time and rather challenging collages. I'm trying to make this seem appropriate to post by doing so on a day when it is snowing around me, but that probably isn't going to help my cause in the sunny elsewheres. Sorries? *apologetic hopeful smile (while making self appear small and ingratiating)*
First, a note on the background: the painted scene was simple, but well done and really worked well! I love the effect of that, especially with the glitter faux snow some of the divas were tossing about. I could have done without the cotton batting-type snow on the artificial pines though. That looked awkward and not especially artistic or tasteful, which is a shame because there are so many amazing options for creating a snowy effect these days, including artificial pine that is already snow-covered. Or spray snow and spray glitter. Or frosted pine cones and branches. (I worked in flower shop during college, so I got to play with all that stuff :)) So here's the take-home, Big Dub: do it right, or do without. Either is good, but the half-cheeked thing...meh.
Moving on from there, let's talk about Alexa! Her white mock-neck bodycon dress gets spiced up with insets in two fabrics: sheer and lace. The effect is gorgeous: the clean, strong panelled silhouette is interspersed with touches of gauzy and frilly textures that soften and uplift it. Alexa accented it with a pile of slim silver bangles, which enhance the snowy, festive effect. Her poses are mainly standards, well-executed, but a few - like this one where she steps into the shower of "snow" are not only unusual, but so beautiful as well! They are a joy to view and make me so excited about the possibilities for her future 'shoots!
Carmella's choice was a white strapless dress that jumped on that particular aspect of the side cutout trend that bares a lot of skin at the hip. The trend is a risky one in that it can go from just enough to way too much very easily. Carmella's piece gets closer to the "too much" line than I generally prefer, which is unfortunate because the classic strapless silhouette suits her. She also shows a real flair for accessorizing, going with a standout crystal statement necklace that I adore and magnificent jeweled strappy heels, which I definitely want to see again! (Maybe in my closet ;)). She does a nice job with her poses, playing with her hair and rocking some fun angles. She seems to be smiling in nearly every shot, which gets predictable, even if accidental. Possibly because of that, one of my favorite snaps in her set is the one showing her open-mouthed expression of innocent joy - it comes off as authentic and endearing and its novelty is just one more reason to love it. Despite a few uneven moments, Carmella's snaps show great promise because of slayed shots like this one!
Becky is one of the few ladies to ditch the dress - I applaud her choice of a sequined romper. Its unique and fits her offbeat style...and happens to be spot on trend at the same time ;). The piece's center clasp lets the center slit create a dash of flirty-ness without revealing way too much and the sequin stripes bring a wonderful modern flash to the look. Like Alexa, Becky's accessory of choice was a stack of bangles ranging in tone from sterling to hematite. They coordinate precisely with her outfit, which could be boring in a simpler piece, but works flawlessly with this bold one! She finishes the outfit the same way she started: with a twist - green wedge sneakers instead of the expected heels. Not everyone could pull this off, but Becky makes it work with her sporty confidence. I'm also in heaven with her facials and poses - she's worked on her glare and nails it - no deadpan expression here! It's all confidence and subtle strong energy that doesn't have to be in-your-face. Glorious! Equally perfect is her over-the-shoulder laugh as she pulls the sleigh full of packages - she captures the effervescent magic and an elfin quality in the snap and it's superb! Brava!
Maryse's set is just what you would expect from her -stellar in every way! Her mesh-embellished lace dress perfectly matches the snowy vibe of the 'shoot, while the scalloped edge adds a lovely touch of femininity. Unlike the other ladies, she went with gold accessories and they add an appealing hint of warmth to the 'shoot. But the real fire in the snaps comes from Maryse's sure hand with poses and facials: the soft smile, the smirk (in combination with her trademark hand gesture), the sideways glance - she moves from strength to strength. Her hair and make-up are stunning. The whole set bespeaks a thoroughly competent diva rocking the heck out of a simple 'shoot and taking it to a new level with her poise and beauty. Reason #158435168 why I adore Maryse!
Among their gaggle of galleries, WWE has released a collection focused on the Divas' fitness. They've tied it to the idea of New Year's resolutions, but really, any time of year is a good time to up the ante on your fitness. One thing that's for sure is that the lady superstars' conditioning is #goals! It's tough to flip through these shots and not get inspired! Charlotte's shot is my very favorite - how does she manage to look so comfortable and gorgeous while holding this insane position?! That's just..not possible! Yet, here she is doing it. Not only does she get serious props for doing something this difficult, she gets mad respect for making it look aaaaaaahmazing. I'm in awe! We keep getting pieces of Char's Tapout shot bit by bit and I think her snaps from it just keep getting better! Sasha offers a reminder to do squats and - this is crucial! - maintain good form while you're doing them! It's easy to get focused on weight and reps, but how you do the move is as important as how many and how often. I know this because one of my work friends is also a personal trainer and he makes sure I'm staying in alignment and lifting right - even when I'm doing it in four inch heels at the office ;) Sasha's heathered workout gear is super-cute! I do wish she'd gone for a hair style that didn't incorporate this harsh central part, though. On the other hand, I'm sure she chose it for its functionality, rather than its sophistication, so I can be talked into giving her a pass on it :). Lana's previously released Body Series 'shoot lends this snap. While some of that set revealed the grace and poise of her barre routine, this facet of the set was all about power and steely resolve! This pic is a prime example of that, reminding us to bring game faces and fierce attitudes to gym time! I love the bright colors in Naomi's gear in this shot. Not only is it eye-catching, it's incredibly pretty! She seriously needs to wear this orchid shade more often! The way the flush of color on her lips carries the hue up to her face is fab! I'm so glad WWE added this snap because it highlights the importance of stretching, an all-too-often overlooked aspect of a workout. Naomi's pose is a complex one (which I need to go and try out now :) ), but, like Charlotte, she manages to look lovely while pulling it off. Doesn't that hurt, girl? You'd never know it by her face - and that's the mark of a top model: you never see the struggle in the pic! Eva Marie's snap is on fire - and not just because of her red hair ;) Her leggings echo the bright red and spark the whole shot. Of course, her accidentally-on-purpose mad sexy pose doesn't hurt either - it's hard to top this one for athletic seduction! If you can get your brain past the scalding aesthetics, the pic also should encourage the addition of a tricep/bicep day to the Fitness Goals list. Do you have something you want to achieve with your fitness this year? Whether it's doing crunches once a week or climbing a real mountain, I promise you, it's do-able if you work hard enough! My goal is to get back to working out period. It's been one of the things that's gone by the wayside over the last few months. Sigh. But I refuse to let that continue! Right, self?!
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.
Jumpsuits and risky pants seem to have reached consensus-status among the divas this fall. Cathy, along with Barbie, gave us a pair of them and handled both excellently. Her first was a navy square-neck piece with wide straps (I LOVE those for hiding bra straps!) and a subtly sexy front notch. The matte fabric of this piece keeps it slightly to the casual side, so Cathy ramped up the look by pairing it with strappy nude sandals. If you thought that was good, her next choice was even better: a stunning forest green satin piece, chosen for the Heroes Gala. First, I’m in love with this color right now – it’s luxe, elegant and looks stunning! Second, the high cross design of this piece is dramatic and sexy, especially with the little peekaboo situation just about her waist. The side buttons add just a touch of flash, which Cathy accentuated with jeweled fan earrings that make just enough of a statement. Her bright cranberry lip brings a festive touch to this fantastic look.
Carmella hopped on board the daring-pants-plus-neutrals vehicle and, as with both other ladies who have tried it, the pairing succeeds nicely. These windowpane-printed pants could get too busy in a hurry, but matched with this deep-v top and black leather jacket (I love how she got in a touch of her trademark leopard print via the collar!), they come off funky and experimentally modern. If I could swap anything, it would be her boots. I’m giving her a bye on this one because I suspect this was a rainy day (I would probably lean toward a knee-height version myself for a bit more polish), but for non-inclement weather, ankle booties with a block heel or flat OTK’s would give this pairing a little fiercer finish.
We know Brandi for many of her more formal looks, but she also rocks casual style. This simple pairing of an ivory peplum sweater with black leggings and flat ankle boots has just the kind of laidback, confident femininity that’s perfect for fall…or the post-holiday winter chill ;). On a more familiar note is this blush dress, paired with nude platform pumps. Brandi is a master at picking chic classics with a twist and this piece is a #HowItsDone101. This iconic silhouette gets an update from the wrap effect and the crossed front detail, which has the added benefit of accentuating the waist and creating the hourglass shape. Her color story of mixed pale neutrals keeps this fresh and modern.
Maryse also explored the wrap-look option with this Want My Look piece. (Aside: the wrap dress reflects the current 70’s trend, as that was the decade in which designer Diane von Furstenberg brought it to the forefront of fashion). This low scoop-neck silhouette pushes sexy to its limits, while Maryse adds attitude by finishing it with black suede OTKs from Sam Edelman. She brings an extra touch of attitude and drama by topping it with a metallic trench, a twisted-classic piece from Femme LA, which I love her use of! The sheen adds interest and chic to a simply sexy black monochrome look and gives it a powerful flair. Her blackberry lip brings a darker vibe to the look, which, while it might be harsh for day-time wear, works well for the drama of an evening ensemble.
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