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.
For anyone wondering where th I have been, weebly decided not let me edit posts for the last 2 days, so I've been stuck here, staring at fashion and unable to yabber about it. OMG, I thought torture was illegal? Ooook, so atm I can edit...therefore: let us fashion!
Right after the killer fashion of WrestleMania, the Bellas & Co. segued straight into another serious fashion event - the Alice and Olivia fashion show. And oh my, what a treat we're in for :).
Renee's look for the night was all about white, as she paired a plunge-neck crop top with a side-slit maxi skirt. The look was minimalist, but trendy, especially accented with a long, slim pendant necklace for a touch of Alice & Olivia's boho vibe. She finished it with an oval statement ring and black lace-up stilettos for added punctuation. I also am completely in love with her make-up here; this look is an A+ for Renee. The pinky-tan shades are warm and glowing and she looks AMAZING.
Paige had a very 70's vibe going with this halter crop top and wide-leg pants in a classic black-and-white combo. I love seeing her step outside of grunge-mode and this style is very current, while still looking at home on Paige. It has a sultriness and maturity fishnets and denim lack and makes a fabulous style change-up.
Nikki and Lana both wore this rather amazing beaded jumpsuit. It's a really fun piece that blends a hint of sexy (via the spaghetti straps and v-neckline) with a super-hot silhouette. All the beading is a fantastic way bring some very modern shine to the 70's-darling pantsuit. Nikki styled it with a high bun, smoky eyes and nude lips for a mod, fierce look, while Lana left her flowing and accented it with rose lips for a sweeter, more laidback glam.
Nikki's hi-low ruffled dress is yet another winner. First, that gorgeous cobalt blue is a serious eye-catcher! Next, the ruffles and sheer skirt bring massive femininity to this piece, along with a lot of beautiful rippling and fluttering. The low scoop neck creates the va-va-voom that is a trademark of Nikki's style. Long, loose hair, flipped to one side gives this whole look a sense of gracefulness and movement that's very alluring.
Brie's look combined the idea of a modern coord set with Old Hollywood glamour, as her floral printed crop top combined with a sheer, floral tulle maxi with a thigh-high slit. The play on right-now vs old-school works really well, making this set unique and interesting, as well as artistically pleasing. The lighting makes Brie's shoes a bit tricky to ID, but I'd bet they're a variant of the Dina heel.
As you may have guessed, the preponderance of the pieces above are from Alice and Olivia, a brand the Bellas have been steadfast fans of for several years. The pieces tend to have a modern-femme feel, with a lot of beauty, a bit of risk and hints of glamour and boho...so you can see why the Bellas love them ;) Getting to see all the ladies embrace the show and the fashion was crazy fun and I hope they get to more of this!
One fabulous thing about WrestleMania is that we get GEAR...so, all of us gearheads can sleep happy for a few days :). There was a lot more floating around Wm than the couple we got to see in the photoshoot WWE released, so let's break all that down, shall we?
Alicia Fox's gear is awesome. Hands down. It's one of the simpler sets in terms of color, as she went with a black monochrome look. But that minimalist choice is a flawless choice to set against this complex, creative and mad cool design! It's a leather brassiere-style halter, but with multiple straps radiating down and outward, some flowing into bold shoulder pieces that create the effect of a cap sleeve. She added some fierce intrigue to this via a mesh underlayer that plays peekaboo beneath the brassiere and then turns into leather-trimmed sleeves. Wowza; this top is super HAWT! Leather shorts and knee boots, paired with leather knee pads) complete the look. The grunge-meets-Bad-Blood vibe is killer and I like the restraint Foxy showed in her choices. The one slight thing I might have liked would be a tiny bit of embellishment (I'm thinking a sprinkling of hardware), considering the importance of WrestleMania as an event. Overall, though, this gear is slammin'!
I've been a fan of Paige's bustier+ shorts combo for a long time and she has rocked some jaw-dropping gear at WM. This year, though, felt kind of "meh". I'm not often a huge fan of camo and this gear did little to encourage me to reverse that opinion. The stud accents should have given it a big kick, but they get somewhat lost in the camo pattern (closer pic below). I think they might actually have stood out better against solid black fabric. I wouldn't mind seeing an upgrade to the fishnets/knee socks/army boots too. They don't improve this look, which is a shame, because the right combo could and should. Oh well. Some gears slay and some gears just lay and we just gotta roll with it. Still love ya, Paige!
Eva's crossed halter and shorts combo is essentially her trademark gear. The cool thing about this is the red-over-nude lace she chose as a fabric. It looks fab and it's cray sexy, as is her wont. It's a wonderful canvas for a gear. Since this is Wrestlemania, though, it's a perfect time to surprise and delight us with some kind of tweak or twist or curveball. I wish she had made an additional attempt to make this ensemble a bit more special.
The same could be said for Brie, although it's more understandable in her case, since this was her final match. There's a practicality to looking good, without expending an insane amount of effort on something you won't wear for years...or ever again. And Brie did rock some serious fabulosity with her make-up. She and her teams went all out there; I couldn't resist including a close-up. How crave-worthy and glam is that eyeshadow?! I respect Brie's choice here; it was a smart play, even though we could possibly wish her last gear was something mesmerizing. This is a hallmark example of Bella style...and that's just how I want to remember Brie.
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.