So, the Big Dub is at it again. Their annual release of truly hideous Christmas sweaters has been foisted upon the world yet another year. These may be fun. They may be humorous. They may be appallingly ridiculous. They may be many great and good things. But they are not fashion. All apologies, but…no. So, every year, I break out my Positivity Detector and search for a silver lining among the horror. This year, we get …snowballs. It’s not much, but, hey..it’s something :). They assist the Lady Superstars in the best part of this ‘shoot: the poses! The gals really surpassed themselves this year in that department. Sasha gave us wonderful playfulness, Renee gave us some thoroughly Austin-esque attitude, Alexa all but challenged us to a virtual snowball fight. Natalya also wins huuge props from me for her gorgeous hair and make-up. I love that she put so much sophistication into her look. It’s so chic that it very nearly redeems that green sweater, especially the way that she’s layered it over a classic LBD and rounded off the ensemble with leather boots. If you *must* put one of these things on your person, this is the way to go. It shows you do actually have style; you just also don’t take yourself too seriously. Mickie and Becky also do an excellent job of making these sweaters something you can show your face to the world in. Both of their interpretations are more chill than Natties. Mickie adds distressed leggings in a funky plum tie-dye pattern. The choker necklace helps. Completing the look with heeled combat or hiking boots would strike just the right note – relaxed, but with clear attention to the style statement. Becky’s light gray moto leggings add a nice color counterpoint, as well as sleekness and attitude, which she reiterates with OTK boots – I love that she chose such fierce footwear, as well as pants with presence. Basic leggings these are not and that’s a good thing. As with Nattie’s look, showcasing her style chops with the rest of look elevates it and makes the sweater quirky commentary, rather than goofy. Brava, ladies: I can handle that kind of translation without twitching (much) :).
The ladies of WWE showed their love for Kane this Halloween, via a photoshoot tribute that was rife with interesting fashion. Instead of trying to copy Kane’s look precisely, these snaps are more of “Variations On A Theme By Kane”; the ladies interpret the concept of The Undertaker’s evil brother through their own vision and style. I like the idea – it makes for a much more engaging ‘shoot than a more direct interpretation, as each Superstar is freer to be creative and personalize the snaps. The success of this ‘shoot is fueled from the get-go by the inferno-filled backdrop. At times embellished with industrial furniture, at times with barbed wire-vined walls, it looks totally fab and hellacious without being distracting.
Natalya kicks off the set in a black bodysuit topped with an open-weave metallic tunic sweater. She added a host of accessories: a super-cute cat-ear headband, hoop earrings, a wide gold choker, a black leather waist belt and lacy garter straps. All those subtexts add a complexity to the fashion statement we don’t often see from Nattie and I applaud her risk-taking here and her willingness to experiment. I do think the look might have been stronger with an item or two less; the choker in particular, I think, could be jettisoned without regret. I’m not exactly sure if I love the look of the unhooked garter straps, but I do love the subtle sultriness they bring to the look. The waist belt I naturally adore and she wins Fierce points for that trendy and fab choice! She completed the look with satin OTK boots – so sexy and chic at the same time! Seriously, Kane – even with all his pyrotechnics – was never this hot! Smoky eyes and a soft pink lip accented this outfit in just the right way – smoldering, but not brazen. And Nattie worked the poses in her ever on-point, confident way, creating a slow, steady burn throughout her snaps.
We have a couple of addenda to Impact’s Halloween ‘shoots ( I know, I know...I’m a full holiday behind *hangs head in shame*). First up is McKenzie as a lovely and quite glamorous mermaid – a theme that seems to be a perfect choice for her. Her outfit is classic and flawless, from the seashell bra to the aptly named mermaid skirt of her costume. I really love the color combinations in this set – they create an ombré effect starting with metallic azure, shifting into bright lime and then into shimmering mint. It aptly reflects the sea theme but also looks quite stunning. Many mermaids are content to allow the seashells to be their only baubles, by McKenzie gives us a flashier, more luxe interpretation of the look, adding a sparkling crystal choker and glittering statement cuff, which definitely up the wow factor. Her eyeshadow echoes the colors of her outfit, as well as it’s sheen, enhancing her natural beauty. She nails two standard poses, setting up my only regret regarding this ‘shoot: that we didn’t get a couple more snaps in it.
Taya’s Viking-themed “set” unfortunately suffers from the same paucity of shots, but what’s there is solid. She dons an ivory bodysuit with a metallic front panel, which gives a nice illusion of armor and adds a heavy dose of fur: gloves, epaulets, even a sort of bustle, which I’m sure there is much tougher, more technical, and far more Viking-esque name for :). Fur also trims her horned metallic cap. Fishnets stockings add a subtle dose of sex appeal to the look, while the red streaks in her hair bring in a welcome shot of color. We sadly never get to see her footwear choice, but I’d put good money down on fur-lined boots – what else would a Nordic warrior face battle in? Her pose is an appealing one and presented with confidence. On my wishlist: I would have loved to see her carrying a giant shield or sword…I’d even settle for an ice pick. Perhaps those were in the snaps that didn’t get released. Ooo..and maybe she’s off to do battle with the one keeping them prisoner. If so, I hope she wins! ;)
WWE didn’t see fit to grace us with a real title ‘shoot for Natalya. Fortunately, she shared a bunch of snaps on her Instagram which let us create our very own. I’ve already raved over this glorious gear, but it’s Nattie’s poses which really let me know that this ‘shoot, had it been released, would have been special. They’re unique and stunning and everything a belt ‘shoot should be. Future wearers, take note: this is how it is done. It’s clear she’s had plenty of time to conceive of how to approach the set and she hasn’t wasted it. Even with the standard backdrop-less presentation, her joy is palpable. She demonstrates it through her ecstatic skyward glances and with athleticism, through a jumping shot which avoids the trap of silliness and comes off as a genuine and powerful gesture. She brings a raw sexiness to the snaps as she caresses the belt, hugging it to her body and brushing it with her lips. These shots are the fullest embodiment of a queen at the height of her competence, with all her lessons learned, debts paid, skills honed and nothing left but to savor her reign and her challengers’ inability to end it. I’m feeling that right along with her, as I have long rooted for another title run for her. She has more than earned it and it’s so thrilling to see it come to fruition that I want nothing more than to enjoy it and be taken on this incredible, sinuous, glamorous, confident journey by her. And, of course, to soak up each new stunning iteration of her gear. :). I thought the black and crystal Versace-inspired piece would be almost impossible to top, but I confess: the extravagance and intense beauty of this one has won me over completely.
The Impact (formerly TNA, now GFW) Knockouts are back in a BIG way! They have their first full photoshoot in aaaaaages and it includes most of the roster. Even better, the snaps are seriously awesome! The ladies each portray a force of nature, in keeping with their new promotion. Earth, wind, water and fire are all represented and quite fabulously at that!
Allie took on the force of water in a beach-setting collection of snaps. She paired a white faux-wrap cami with lace shorts, which are noteworthy for the gorgeous scalloped edges. While I'm a little surprised that she didn't reach for blue tones, I love the softness of these shots and the way she explores classic pin-up poses as she rolls about in the sand. The backdrop takes a bit of artistic license with its wispy waves; if you're looking for ultra-realism, this might throw you for awhile, as it did me. It's not my favorite facet of the 'shoot, but when I adjusted my perspective to looking at it as an artistic assemblage, rather than a photograph, it's dealable. It does add a hiccough to a very solid set of snaps that are not only the sultriest we’ve seen from Allie, but also some of the prettiest, as well as an indication of her appreciable fashion talent.
As with her street fashion, Laurel's photoshoot pops off the page; it's immediately engaging, impactful and hot as heck! She donned a black, strappy monokini for her interpretation of water's force. The piece is 100% fierce in and of itself and Laurel unquestionably owns the look. Posing with poise and confidence, she rocks my word hard by playing with her hair and glancing over her shoulder , smashing the open-mouth facial in the process and making it instantly relevant again. Her wet hair looks as though it is catching the spray from the waterfall backdrop, which is fittingly symbolic of both danger and beauty. Everything – background, fashion , poses – comes together brilliantly in this set, making it one of the standout collections of the ‘shoot. Brava.
It's been too long since we've gotten to enjoy Gail's prowess in a photoshoot and her skill and experience shines through here, as she embodies the force of wind - what else but a gale force for Gail? I'm thrilled with her interpretation - it's creative and darkly beautiful, expressing the theme in an intriguing and aesthetically stunning way. Outside of a strappy bikini bottom and strappy heels, the fashion consists primarily of fringe-like strands of black ribbon that extend the full length of her body and sway in the breeze, creating the sense of movement and drama that makes these snaps so captivating. Her long, flowing curls reinforce the idea. The peekaboo effect of the blowing fabric brings in a seductive tension that adds intensity to the snaps, while Gail's flawless poses heighten the effect. I especially love the one of her playing with her hair, eye half-closed, as if savoring her power!
WWE periodically dredges through its archives and gives us some throwback galleries and their latest is a look at Mickie James’ career, all the way back to when she was blonde (!!!) and being mentored by Trish Stratus. There are a ton of great action shots and ring gear snaps, letting the gallery serve as a tribute to the consistency of her gear silhouette and the long run of gorgeous, bright colors and strong fabrics that is has gone through. There’s no denying that Mickie has always brought a ray of light to the ring, each time she steps into it! It’s also a 101 course in Mickie’s streetwear style, which has distinctively girl-next-door tendencies. We often see Mickie in denim with cute knits: a tee or tank, styled with practical, yet flirty DIY knots, lace or crochet. The second snap here, of her ivory tank and turquoise-accented belt from the time of her first album release is one of my favorite shots of Mickie – stunning, strong and a spot-on representation of her style. Her favorite accessories include baseball caps, cowboy hats and embellished belts that reflect the American West. There’s an easy, rootsy sensibility to her looks that’s sexy in the most unstudied, casual way. For all her country-chick-bada$$ery, though, Mickie has never been afraid to show off her feminine side with beautiful floral dresses or glamorous hairstyles. The simple photoshoot snap n her burgundy halter top is rendered unforgettable by her divine half up-do. The curls, the tendrils and the complexity all combine flawlessly with Mickie’s pensive expression for a jaw-droppingly gorgeous shot. While simplicity often paid off for her, so did taking risks, as she did with this pose and facial in the snap from the multi-diva photo gallery entitled Vroom Vroom, a Nascar-themed ‘shoot. With its muscle car and checkered flag references combining with the flirty femininity of her tulle underskirt, the shot captures the editorial version of the essential Mickie keister-kicking-coquette style personality. Check out the rest of the gallery for a crash course in her fashion or a quick lap around memory lane!
Sooo…apologies: I went to link this review to Lana’s newest NY Daily News gallery and realized that apparently, I never actually reviewed it. And that is completely weird because I literally remember writing it. Total strangeness! The upside for all of you is that ….ta-da…you get a major bikini ‘shoot in autumn. This should get you warmed right up! ;)
She kicks things off with a bikini of palest aqua that is strikingly similar to one she wore while playing on a floatie in the NY Daily News set. While the NYD piece has an extra split band at the bust, this one is a faux-twist style with a pretty ruched detail at the center. Her bottoms are the simplest of bikini bottoms. The subtle detail and soft color create a peaceful, relaxing vibe that’s just right for “wasting” hours at poolside under a glaring sun, while the sweetheart-halter gives it a slightly retro vibe. Lana accentuates the carefree feel with long and loose blonde locks and adds delicate sheen with a collection of slim bangles. She can’t resist a touch of modern glamour, though, which she gives us via her mirror-finish silver t-strap platform sandals. They’re the closest thing to a spoken word in an outfit of whispers. The silver contrasts with the gold bracelets for a touch of current style philosophy and completes the look with a dose of panache. They’re the only nod to flashiness, however, as her poses –paused on the pool stairs or lounging at the water’s edge- reflect a more contemplative mood: she pauses on the pool stair
From there, she moves to a flirty ruffle-embellished French top, paired with matching slit-sided bottoms. The print is a bold geometric exploration of triangles, done in metallic gold on a black background. It’s sassy and sultry and, in spite of her quiet finish with ivory wedge espadrilles, has a much more intense and energetic vibe than her tranquil blue look. A selection of black and gold bangles brings in additional texture. In keeping with the glamour of this bikini, Lana kicks up the drama of her poses, working the hands-in-hair, skyward glances and dropped-eyelash smiles that make this look thrilling and beautiful. The stunning vegetation-lined lake backdrop doesn’t hurt either :). It makes a lovely variation on the traditional beach.
Lana recently did a gallery of snaps for the NY Daily News which showcased her fashion sense! She kicked things off with a tie-dyed maxi dress that sports a plunging front and a thigh-high side slit. The business of tie-dye doesn’t make it ine of my favorite prints, but I’m won over by the pretty ink-and-white color combination. Lana styled this for poolside lounging, with bare feet and a low pony. Add flat sandals and a woven bag for street-wear. Next up is a square-necked one-piece swimsuit with super high-cut legs that are straight-up 80’s! I love the vintage-come-trendy reference, as well as the gorgeous watermelon color! Lana added a bit of spice with her side-fishtail braid. I love the way the complexity of her hairstyle balances the simplicity of her suit. She tops that with her next piece, though: a halterneck maillot in a striped-ombré paisley that moves from aqua to cerulean to lavender to burgundy. The use of multiple, layered prints looks aaaahhhhmayyzing! I love the boho-elegance of this piece – and that’s not a description I get to use often! The piece is super-unusual, beautiful and look smashing on Lana – so basically, it nails my triad for what to look for in a bathing suit! Her click, side-parted hair works just opposite to her fishtail braid; here, the simplicity balances the complexity of her clothing choice. We also get a peek at side cut-out bikini that strongly reminds me of the one she wore in her (almost) Summer Skin 2.0 ‘shoot (which I was going to link to but seem to have utterly and completely lost (WTH!), so I am working on that. Instead of silver sandals, she pairs this one with lilac sunnies and an inflatable pink flamingo for a candy-colored, summer-fun snap that makes me smile! Check out the snaps and deets here.
Kim: Can we just start off by saying, this is #SquadGoals AF! Alexa Bliss, Naomi, and Nikki Bella took to the streets of NYC for this gritty & glamorous, punky & sophisticated shoot. No studio, no green screens, this is real. And it's a-maz-ing!
Brie: I 2nd Kim! This 'shoot is incroyable! The ladies of WWE have a habit of slaying NY-themed photoshoots and this is one more in their run of fabulosity. The vibrancy of the non-bland, non-photoshopped backdrop definitely enhances the work, giving it an editorial-esque aura that really lights me up. The clothing choices and poses are just fire on top of fire!
A number of the Lady Superstars (DIVAS! Had to get that in there. Sorry not sorry ;)) paid tribute to D-Generation X (DX for short) for the stables' 20th anniversary in a recent photoshoot for WWE.com. If you're a new WWE fan, it might be hard to feel the impact DX had, but they were 100% awesome and hilarious and you need to check out some of their old skits on youtube. Also their wrestling :). DX went through various configurations, but it's anchor members were Triple H and Shawn Michaels, so they're the two I think of when anyone mentions DX. And that's not all I think of -in addition to the innuendo-laden humor, the duo created several infamous catchphrases and gestures ("Let's get ready to s**k it!", "If you're not down with that, I've got two words for ya: s**k it!", the crotch chop, the crossed-arm 'X'). The ladies have paid accurate homage to many of them, including Naomi doing the glow-stick version of the X and Bayley doing the crossed-arm symbol. Charlotte and Becky put their own spin on the iconic duo's repertoire, re-styling it as Tea-Generation X, complete with sipping hand gestures. It should be silly, but it comes off as quite cute and an appropriate homage to the kind of terrible pun Shawn and Trips loved and utilized habitually. Sasha wins Fierce points for nailing Shawn's signature smug stance, while Charlotte gets a ladle-full for re-creating the duo's trademark flex. The dress code is 100% DX-approved: it's all variations of DX shirts (tees, tanks and cut-up muscle tops) paired with denim (Naomi went for killer side-lace-up shorts, Becky and Charlotte for full-length styles, all in classic blue wash) or ring gear (Sasha chose her ivory, black and gold shorts, while Bayley went for her cerulean, baby pink and gold pants). The ladies did an awesome job of capturing the wise-cracking, in-your-face attitude of WWE's somewhat smarmy, but incredibly successful degnerate duo! Definitely go check it out. And if you're not down with that...well, I've got two words for ya: sip it! (or stick it...or style it...or..heck I could do this all day :))
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.