I’m going to do something a little different this year: instead of releasing the Hall Of Fame Review in one fell swoop, I’m going to keep adding a new group to the post each day. This will let me get the post up sooner ( I reeeeaaaly don’t want to be doing the HoF in June again!) and lets me devote time to each review and not feel like I’m rushing to get it all done so I can get the post up.
Every year, this is probably the most difficult review I do. There are always so many killer looks that I’m splitting hairs and weighing miniscule differences to determine who lands where on the count-up. The only choice that was easy this year was the top spot. I knew that placing immediately after going through all the looks the first time. Who earned that nod? Well, stick with me :). We kick things off with the ladies who I loved, save for one something or other.
WWE has recently had two new heel squads debut…and the two crews have some interesting similarities. They are each comprised of a perky blonde and two brunettes. They are each led by a punky chick with an attitude. They each go around decimating whatever face happens to be in their way at the moment. Only one recently received their own photoshoot, however. Of, course, that doesn’t matter because we’re going to break down the looks of both teams anyway :). You’re likely to be most familiar with two thirds of the squad manhandling superstar divas on Raw, Absolution: the recently returned Paige and the Golden Goddess, Mandy Rose. The other brunette in the trio is former MMA artist Sonya Deville. I’m excited to see her translate her martial arts skills to the ring. I’m also excited to see her change up her gear. The red marble print I can handle; I even like it’s smooth, hard connotation. The silver edging is livable, as well, But the styling of her skirt – as appropriately warrior-like as it is – unfortunately brings to mind a loin cloth. And I’m not saying one couldn’t make a loin cloth look totally modern and fierce, but this iteration is not there quite yet. Skirt-type gear is always challenging and it takes a really well-conceived and special design to work. A few ladies have sold me on it – Alicia Fox comes to mind – but my suggestion here would be to re-vamp this look with shorts or pants, either of which I think could work really well. Paige’s look is classic Paige – plenty of leather, plenty of studs, fishnets, and a little camo thrown in for good measure. She’s fully embracing her reputation with this persona and her gear, as we know it, fits right in. I like that her comeback looks have been so familiar. It’s a great way to bring us back to who she is. It feels comfortable, like welcoming an old friend. Paige’s challenge is going to be to keep things interesting as the character and storyline evolve. Leather and studs have always been her trademark. Previously, she branched out with over-sized snake prints and deep colors. She’ll need to have a new twist to showcase fairly soon to prevent ennui from setting in. Interestingly, fashion has embraced punk and grunge during her time away, making her look feel more on trend, but less fresh and somewhat exotic. Hopefully, she’s got some ideas up her sleeve that will continue to set her apart. We’re equally familiar with Mandy’s well-received golden metallic gears. We’ve also seen her explore lace-embellishments and Celtic-knot-like designs. I was blown away with her lingerie-like metallic and lace outfit. And I like this version, with the black piping and crystal accents. I’m 100% on board for her addition of the choker, as well. On the other hand, all gold all the time is going to get old in a hurry, even with variations in silhouette, unless she’s super creative about how she handles her look. I’ll be interested to see what directions Mandy goes in, especially since she’s already proven herself to be a superstar who is aware of fashion and has an interest in it.
The moment many of us have been waiting for finally happened last night on RAW when Paige made her much anticipated return to the WWE. Not only that, along side her debuted Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville from NXT. Both women were part of the 2015 season of Tough Enough, where Paige was a judge. Mandy was also a cast member for season 5 of Total Divas. The three women took out the competitors in the ring, before attacking the current RAW Women's Champion Alexa Bliss backstage. What a way to remind everyone that this is her house. Welcome back, Paige! And to Mandy and Sonya, welcome to the main roster!
Woohoo! The hottest party of the Summer is happening... Tonight! Summerslam is one of the biggest PPV's WWE puts on every year, and because of that, we usually get some pretty exciting, unique, and head turning gear from the women superstars. Before we see what the lovely ladies bring to the table tonight, let's look back at past SummerSlam years and some memorable ensembles.
2013 - Brie Bella
Briiiiieeee Moooooddeeee! Goodness, I miss that. Brie totally killed it back in 2013 with this vintage inspired gear. The black, white, and red color scheme is text-book Bella style, and I adore the long, red gloves she added for her entrance. Do you see those tiny bows on her wrists? Adorable! This gear was before Brie moved away from her trademark ruffle boot covers, but I love how the trim matches her high waisted shorts. Now, the really cool fact about this gear is that you could actually own it yourself... because it's a swim suit! That's right! I couldn't find it anymore, but I remember when she debuted this gear, people found the exact same suit online. It would be like owning a little piece of SummerSlam, and Bella Twins, fashion history.
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.
I seem to be up to a trilogy of late September FashionHaps. Getting like Star Wars around here.
Brie went for a lighthearted jumpsuit in this autumn pic. The pastel tones and delicateness of the print make this piece unusual. It's a perfect bland of her feminine, free-spirited style. She snuck a gray tee underneath it for a bit more coverage - an excellent idea!
Light-colored onesies were the rage that week - Cathy wore a taupe romper for this joyful insta-pic. This piece leans strongly minimalist - the only detail is an attached belt, which adds shape to the billowy fabric. Cathy finished the look with beige lace-up booties, which work nicely, keeping the whole outfit softly neutral. I could also see ankle booties working well here. I might have been tempted to go with black, as I prefer not to mix warm and cool browns. This piece is quite versatile in terms of footwear pairings - it could be transitioned to cooler months with OTK boots. Just add a jacket topper.
At the end of Sept Smackdown, Maryse switched up her now-trademark maillot-style bodysuit for a cutout one-piece. The negative-space details give this piece a very modern vibe and a big dose of va-voom. The simplicity of the fabric lends itself to her patterned suede OTKs. While I miss the fierce glamour of her zip bodysuits and sequined brassieres and belts, this more edited piece is a nice way to change things up. The sleek styling of her ponytail matches the tenor of the look perfectly. I'm a tad reserved, though, about her cinnamon lip shade. I wonder if a brighter tone would have added a bit more pop. She returned to the zip bodysuit look at the next event, this time switching out the gold for a graphite shade that looks amaaaaaazing. The details of this design - the corset belt, the slice brassiere cps, the trendy mockneck - are so well-conceived, so hot and so straight-up fierce! I'm still loving this look and I'm pretty sure I will be for awhile :)
We haven't seen a whole lot of Paige since she took time off to have surgery (heal fast, Paige!), but when she does blip across our radar, it's with the same punk-edged style we came to love her for. Here, she pairs a black bodysuit with super-deep sides and cropped gray jeans. Ankle booties complete this grunge-flair-don't-care styling.
We have the very great pleasure of getting to see some of Lilian's style this FashionHap - an event always worth the wait! She looked sweet and summery in this spaghetti-strap sundress in oh so classic navy. The buckle details at the sides give this piece a special twist...and additional versatility! Lilian's nude pumps make this look lighthearted, it could easily swing to the tough side of chic when paired with fierce black booties (and maybe a moto jacket ;)). Meanwhile, Jojo gets her bright on in this mesmerizing shade of neon melon! This is just the kind of color I gravitate to in the summer. Even though it's daring and attention-getting, it flatters both blondes and brunettes, so don't be shy about trying it out :) Jojo brings out the warm-weather vibe by accenting it with a white floral necklace and white ankle-strap pumps. The florals bring a wonderful softness to the edgy cutouts on the dress for a fab interplay between mod and femme. As a devoted fan of Lana's style, I am very unhappy to have to admit that this dress isn't my favorite of her choices. Somehow, it gives me nightgown vibes, likely a combination of the curved-up-at-the-side hemline, the spaghetti straps, the bodycon style and the print. Two, or even three, of those elements this look could have survived...just not all four together. There are shiny spots too, though! One is her super cute high pony - I just adore this look! Second is her shhooooooooooeeeessss *heart eyes*. These blush strappy sandals are killer and I want to see them again with another outfit! And again! And again! And ag...*Brie is clonked on the head with a rubber penguin and subsides* Now, Lana's next look -from MITB- is back to her usual stellar form. The lace bustier paired with her black sailor-style pencil skirt and topped with a cropped leather jacket is a trademark Lana look, which she rocks. But what reeeeeeeaaallly makes it stand out is her addition of a crystal choker and earrings. They're a touch 90's, a touch right now and a massive lot of glam. Slay me! (Can I get some crystal-studded heels with that, please? :)) It was a reprise of her Raw look, where she debuted a slim, black leather choker instead of the crystal. The look was considerably less glam...but still fabulous! Her next Raw look was this double breasted dress with contrasting trim. The different fabrics add interest to this sheath and I'm really enjoying seeing her experiment with something other than her pencil skirt sets, but which still retains that pristine, icy, temptation that characterizes Lana's style.
Here we have another one of those 'shoots that I walk the love-don't love line on. The fashion is either already seen or barely able to be seen. Either way, it pretty much precludes a review of it. On the happier side, the theme of this set is even more up my alley than the superheroes one. The Big Dub had a field day with Photoshop to show off the "spirit animal"..in some cases, spirit material :) of several of the divas. The choices were on point and executed quote well. Money was an obvious pairing with Sasha Banks and she definitely rocks the Lady Warbucks feel. The crazy colors of this gear works perfectly to add color to this snap..although thematically, I might have preferred her bedazzled trench coat. The spinning gears represent Becky's magic-infused steampunk persona. Her expression in this snap is top notch and the angle is gorgeous! I hope she keeps that on file for shoots that are to come in future. Quite possibly my favorite piece of the three are the soaring ravens exploding from Paige's rebel heart. Although she may draw the line at feeding on death as they do, they're dark spirit and deep connection to rebirth parallels her never-say-die attitude. The artistic execution of this snap is especially compelling. The choice of her jumping pose harmonizes beautifully with the birds' flight.
Just recently, I read a quote over at one of my favorite blogs, TaySwiftStyle.com - Questions section, which captured one of my beliefs about photoshoots for the divas..uh..cough...superstars. Apols, ladies ;). Sarah was discussing Glee when she said "I'm a strong believer that a show's fashion can speak volumes and can create storyline through its subjects just as much as dialogue or even music". But I think her words apply to 'shoots as well. We see the ladies on tv, we get o know they're wrestling personas. To really flesh out their characters, however, and to really bring depth to the action, the avenue of the photoshoot is unsurpassed. How many divas teased and developed a heel turn via a sudden switch in the their fashion? We've seen WWE recently veer away from fashion-style shoots and it's a nice change...but I wouldn't want them to become a lost art, either. They offer too much potential to be relegated to some attic of forgotten media. In fact, if anything, I think the Powers That WWE have possibly even been guilty of under-utilizing the potential of 'shoots to add dimension to what we know of the ladies. We've seen flashes of it in the past: AJ"s fashion always firmly reflected her nerdy-geek leanings, spiced with 90's grunge. We saw hints of the business woman and the just-married dreamer, but primarily, her fashion conveyed her particular, specific character. While AJ stayed true to one persona throughout her career, Michelle McCool metamorphosized from wallflower personal trainer, to bright-eyed All-American girl, to crazy chick to glamourous Mean Girl. Her fashion reflected this, shifting from workout gear, to classic sexy pieces, to black monochrome ensembles to sequined tanks and OTK boots. There was a direct connection between the changes we saw on tv and the fashion we saw in her 'shoots that emphasized and reinforced the changes, and created a connection with character during non-tv time. It was a subtle, but meaningful gesture that brought added impact to each variation Michelle made. Lana is one of the current divas who made use of 'shoots in a similar way, shifting from Ice Queen to rock n'roll girl as her on-screen relationship with Rusev cycled. It was - as it always is - mad fun to watch the shift in each era through the lens of her style. Just as fashion is the art we use in daily life to describe ourselves to the world, so too it is the vehicle through which the superstars convey who they are to us throught their careers. And the photoshoot is the delivery module :). So, all you wrestling promotions: keep 'em comin'!
It looks like the Big Dub intended this set to be a play on the idea of X-Men, timed to the release of the new movie. They have done themed shoots the last few years - like, remember when the Divas all did 'shoots in the costume of a legendary superstar? I am beginning to develop a theory that movies are the theme for this year. So, I'm putting that out there. I have mixed feelings about this genre of photo gallery. I appreciate the artistry of it and the look that's coming through is really cool visually and quite unique. On the flip side, though, it basically feels like a digitally modified version of an existing photo, as if they took an outtake from a previous 'shoot and went to town with Photoshop. So, it feels a smidge staid, even though it looks amazing. Also, it doesn't explore - or even allow us to see- much fashion. So, from a fashion blogger's viewpoint, it's somewhat frustrating.
That being said, Sasha's look with the added lightning bolts comes out really well. One of my favorite aspects is getting to visualize her with pink hair! I've been slowly coming to the idea that her red might benefit from a switch-up. Perhaps pink is the way to go :). I could probably get behind sun yellow too. I'm sure you're shocked by that ;)...but it looks kinda fab in my mind's eye. Anyway, *slaps self back to reality and out of mind's eye* Paige's spherically swirling power also has a really cool look to it. The dark-light contrasts bring in a lot of depth and a hyper-reality vibe. I applaud her powerful, mega-smoky eye look. I might have preferred something a bit more exotic for her lips - an ice blue or metallic gold. Why not push the envelope - it is a superhero set, after all :)
TNA's First Lady decided to slay us all yet again. That red dress was enough to stun; now, take a gander at Maria in this scarlet string bikini :). If it doesn't make your jaw drop, you should probably check to make sure you still have a pulse ;). My abso favorite part, though? The super-glam studded top! Hotter: that top...or Maria wearing that top? Tough call. She finishes the look with powerful platform stilettos and a fun, printed kimono that maker her look like a lady who belongs in the limelight!
At the opposite end of the style spectrum is a causal look from Natalya, a bit of a throwback from her Euro trip. We don't often see her ease things back this far, but, as usual, her fashion sense is sterling! She combines a red plaid shirt with skinny jeans and her fav-of-the-moment leather jacket. For a fun twist, she's completed this look with flat lace-up ankle boots. The look has a chic-hiker vibe, which I really love seeing as it shows a new and unexpected aspect of Nattie's fashion sense.
If you feel yourself in need of some gowns and glamour, try this one from Nikki. This mod back-and-ivory print has a raw, natural feel, like an animal print or snakeskin.The halter silhouette is classy and sophisticated and she's added a bt of spice with her red clutch. I really love the modern yet glam vibe of this look; it's bold, without being overtly sexy - it's just seductive enough. This is a prime example of the best of Nikki's style!
Hearkening back to Earth Day, we get a printed maxi dress from Renee with a very bohemian feel. That's enhanced by the beautiful desert background...and her fun, free-and-happy pose! Didn't just seeing that make you smile? She makes this dress even more appealing by pairing it with trendy suede gladiators - I like the uniqueness of he combination! - and the taupe shade complements the colors in her dress flawlessly.
So remember I said that whole thing about bits and BTS's that I'd held off on and now, no more? Here's one :). This striking look of Paige's made a recent reappearance on her IG and this time, I'm talkin' about it! She pairs a minimalist bodysuit with pointy-toe ankle boots and a super-hawt sleeveless trench that's a current love of fashion bloggers everywhere. A black fedora makes a surprising accessory - she gets major fierce points for that. And, although I'd love to see her wear it tipped forward more, I'm a massive fan of the way it adds a funky, old-school twist to this very current look. I'm completely jazzed by this outfit - it maintains Paige's preference for dark colors, but comes to it from such a mature perspective! It blends a number of forward-looking fashion elements into a cohesive look with a bit of edge to it and the result is both sophisticated and fierce! I hope this is a sampling of where we see her style heading in the future - a sort of streetwise, dark minimalism would be oh so much fun to explore.
Brie makes an appearance in this gorgeous crochet dress - the intricate crochet detailing at the sleeves, collar and hem is just lovely! She adds a great counterpoint with these suede flat knee boots in a charming shade of chocolate. The way the deep, rich color brings an earthy texture to the ethereal white is fantastic.
Welcome to the place where wrestling & fashion join hands. Inspiration. Reviews. Musings. Retros. FASHION. Covering and craving gear to gowns since 2011. May 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.