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 :))
Back when the Big Dub took their Summer Skin seriously and didn't just dash off a crumb to the anniversary with a mere four photoshoots *ahem*, they gave just about every diva on the roster their own day of swim snaps. I remember how freakin' amazing that summer was, waiting to see who was going to be next and what they had chosen for swimwear and the locations and just...ogh...so much fantasticness! That - and I can hardly believe this because it seems like this blog's been my baby forevs - was back in the days before I was a fashion writer. So, although I got to savor and be inspired by each 'shoot, I didn't get to review them. Remedying that as we speak :)...or rather as we share thoughts electronically via various networks. It's so funny to think back to those moments - I had a different car, different laptop to race to wwe.com on, different hair color, same love of wrestling in general and divas in particular (thank Maria and Michelle for that; they hooked me). The continual and unprecedented 'shoot releases kept the whole summer lit...not that lit was in common usage then :). It made a huge impression on me because it coincided with the first summer I was a huge diva fan. I don't remember what order the snaps came out in, but I do remember raving over Maria's, Maryse's (some things never change ;)) ...
Maria's set was as diverse as her fashion is, ranging through some girl-next-door blue denim-esque and skull-accented, rocker chick piece before getting to the heart and soul of her fashion: glam. This mint-and-gold set had me drooling with it's shining beauty. Maria went heavy with gold statement jewelry, adding plenty of va-voom to an already attention-getting look. She pushed her poses to the dramatic limits - sometimes blowing right over them, but whatever :) - now that's how you work some bamboo! And thennnnn, she busted out the bikini I can't forget. Well, ok, maybe I can forget those metallic boy shorts, but that triangle top covered in massive silver paillettes? Never. Oh, and there was a star charm dangling off the center. I still want that piece. Her roll-front side-pony was about as glam as glamour gets. And there were also stud bracelets. Not sure my heart ever left that shoot. So maje.
Then again, Maryse didn't go easy on the heartstrings with her looks. She included sequined sets in magenta and red, a pure white bikini shot in the spray, a glittering blue bikini and then these two: a black triangle set covered with crystals and the curveball of the line-up: a floral-printed french top paired with white bottoms which boasted super-long side ties. It was basically a "You'll need oxygen for this" set of snaps from stem to stern, but these two stood out particularly for the backgrounds and poses. The black bikini was shot with Maryse perched on an outcropping of rocks. It looked challenging, but that brought out the best in her, as she draped herself over the rocks for a stunning series of shots. The floral bikini was shot primarily on the beach, with Maryse half-in/half-out of the water. Her poses, all the way from laying in the sand to kneeling in the foam evoke quintessential summer.
Oooookay..since the Big Dub has just released a finale of unreleased snaps from these last four photoshoots, I assume that "Summer Skin 2.0" has officially concluded. Booo! Four divas? You're kidding, right? I call serious gyp-age! And now, before my rant goes into unprintables and bleeps, let's talk about Maryse.
She graced us with two bikinis and a one-piece. I was particularly struck by her choices for the bikinis. Both pieces had wonderful, saturated summer colors - cherry red and bright aqua , but beyond that, both swimsuits are very simple. I was surprised by that because we've often seen Maryse reach for be-crystalled, sequined and otherwise-embellished pieces that bring a lot of energy to a 'shoot in and of themselves. The iconic red bikini pairs a french top with absolutely plain bottoms. Maryse naturally rocks it, because she is Maryse, but I'd have some reservations about recommending this set to the general populace. Her silver statement cuff and the trendy pink-red combo created by her lavender-pink nails add some spark. Even so, the look is a tad short of punch on its own. Consequently, it's the poses where Maryse injects her own formidable panache and personality that work the best. When she does a simple stance in front of palm leaves, the set feels uninspiring. When she plays with her hair and looks down as she laughs, it steals the show.
When I saw this post come out, I began to wonder and now, I'm pretty certain: WWE is reprising Summer Skin! It's fitting, considering that this is the 10 year anniversary of the original concept 'shoot's release. And since it coincided with my early wrestling fandom, that 'shoot has a special place in my heart :) More on that later. Let's get to this rendition of Summer Skin. Emma kicks things off with a simple halter bikini, accented with touches of metallic gold. The standout feature of this set is the divine color, a rich hyacinth shade that's crave worthy! She accented it with a statement lariat necklace that's dripping with tiny seed beads. The interplay of colors - aqua and plum with the hyacinth shade - is stunning, but I also love the way the piece is light and airy, despite its strong presence.
Next up is a trademark Emma look, hearkening back to her earlier days of Aussie lingo and tons of prints. Here, she's evolved that concept from innocently playful to maturely sassy. She skips the all-over print and goes for a printed top, paired with solid bottoms, which enhances the color and makes this busy print much more appealing. The tart pink is a fab summer shade that works flawlessly on her. The only thing I'd switch here is her earrings - the red is a little jarring since it comes pretty much out of nowhere. Aqua or banana would have been my preference for their light, warm-weather vibe, followed by burgundy. Her frosted blush lip shade is amaaaaaayzing, tho! It's my fave color of the three she used and looks utterly gorgeous!
From there, she moves on to an aqua french top with a fluttery mesh overlay. The set has a summery softness due to the combination of the pastel blue-green shade and the texture of the mesh . How pretty is that?! The white bottoms are accented with touches of print in a coordinating tone which pulls the look together perfectly. Side cutouts ramp up the sexy and add a modern edge to the overall vibe of sweetness. A selection of thing bangles - white, gold crystal on a black backdrop and horn w/ gold accents - add extra dimension, but in a suitably subtle way.
Last up is a cloud-like lilac tie-dyed one-piece. The swimsuit gets a massive dose of flirtation from the lattice inset from the bust upwards to the halter neck, but the overall feel is dreamy and restful. Emma brings out the softness in the shading by adding a stack of slim white bracelets. Pastels are a departure from the norm for her, so I naturally applaud it - I always love seeing the ladies expand their comfort zone and try new things. To that end, I also wouldn't have minded seeing her play with an up-do or ponytail on this look...or at least lift her hair up with her hands :)
Throughout the set, her stances are excellent. She particularly nails a number of the shots done in her printed bikini. On my wish list: a little more focus on facials - several of her half-smiles lean into 'grimace' territory. Fortunately, her stares make up for that - they work fabulously, making for consistently gorgeous shots.
I've always maintained that belt 'shoots are some of the hardest to do well. So often, the ladies have to stand in front of a blank backdrop with the belt as an unwieldy prop and try to make it compelling. No small feat. It helps if you have a new angle, which Naomi certainly does :) And it makes her title 'shoot one of the awesomest in recent memory! It's shot in semi-darkness, with the glowing belt throwing a significant portion of the light. That alone gives it a very distinctive and super cool look. But Naomi and her photog don't stop there. They literally come from a different angle - lots of them! Above, below right, below left: they experiment with in every shot and it works. It's funky and intriguing and makes you eager for the next pic to see what they came up with next. The belt takes a good bit of the stage, due to it's lighting effects, but Naomi isn't overshadowed. Her neon lime gear reflects the light from the belt, making it look like it too is glowing, whichjust adds to the shoot's dramatic interplay of brightness and darkness. The lettering of her top injects some extra color, which she echoes via her lime, aqua and pink hair colors - that looks SO FREAKIN' AMAZING! A touch of purple sheen from her lips brings one more succulent shade to the mix - so, more fabulosity, basically. She explores a myriad of facials from a full smile, to a delightful half-smile to a look of vindication. The excellent variation keeps the set from getting stale or repetitive. There's something of an 80's vibe to the snaps due to the neon, but it's less wide-eyed and innocent. There's a maturity and strength here - despite the appealing colors and totally fun use of light. It's like Naomi has found her zen, but it's not merely meditative. It's a pulsing, vivacious electric zen... and I'm savoring it! If she hadn't mentioned how long it took her to devise this character and work out the kinks, I could regret all the directionless silliness of the Funkadactyls. Think of that when she had this kind of amazing-ness in her consciousness all the time! This is an incredible concept which comes across as feeling like home for Naomi - something she has a clear vision for and a bulls-eye-like sense of how to convey. Tremendous work!
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.