SummerSlam brought us it's usual line-up of gorge gear and we are breakin' it down for ya!
Kim: Not only did Natalya become the new Smackdown Live Women's Champion on Sunday, she totally wow'd us in this pink and black embellished body suit. The Queen of (Black) Harts came down to the ring sporting a black and pink jacket, that was very reminiscent of her Uncle, Bret Hart. I think what I love most about this gear is the V cluster of crystals on the top and along her neckline. We already know Natalya loves her embellishments from her previous gear. They add so much to her look, which mostly consists of black leather and sheer material. Finally, I don't know how I didn't notice until I looked at the photos, but she also wore these adorable cat ears while making her entrance. Oh so fitting for Nattie!
Brie: First, let me say WOOHOOOO and Congrats to Natalya! I'm insanely excited for her to have a belt again! It's been such a long wait and Nattie has been amazing about putting SO many girls over. I swear every diva superstars' last stop before their title win was a match with her, so she unquestionably earned this. I hope her reign is lengthy and incredible. All Hail the Queen Of Harts! And her gear was worthy of a royal! She took the best parts of the fleur-de-lis look form Wrestlemania that I've been raving over, switched it to pink and added more gems, including a jewel-encrusted collar and a Princess-Dala-Pink-Panther-esque pendant. This attire is everything . From the scalloped edges, finished in fleur-de-lis, to the sheer sections to the glittering stripes to the opulent gems to the modern attitude of her cropped leather jacket topper, this is utterly jaw-dropping. I'm in heaven!
This has been a fantastic year for gear in WWE! We have divas all over the place evolving, inventing and really pushing the envelope with their gear. It's been an amazing ride. The only downside is that we now, somehow, have to pick the top three - ugh. I mean, it's a good problem to have though :). How did we finally resolve said problem? Read on to find out!
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.
With the cyclone of changes and growing pains that TNA has been going through recently, it's been a tad tricky to keep up with and evaluate the gear goings-on. A handful of ladies have still managed to impress us, though, despite the upheavals, which gives us the opportunity to present our 2017 edition of the Knockouts' Ring Gear Awards!
Who are we placing where and why did they wow us? Well...
There's always room around here for some gear-love and we're celebrating the MITB ring-ensemble stylishness with this FashionHap.
Charlotte kicked things off with an amethyst version of her Wrestlemania look. I love this color combination just as much! It's luxe and oh so beautiful, visually cohesive and artistically stunning. Char has a talent for choosing colors that work brilliantly, both on her and within the backdrop and it's in evidence again here. And this gorgeous design is just as compelling as in its previous variation.
Lana wore a magnificent blue and silver attire that she gave us a chance to break down in-depth in her Slayed By The Blue photoshoot here. When her in-ring skills catch up to her fashion skills, she is going to be a devastating competitor :) I can't wait!
Carmella literally floored me with this look! I was wondering what she was going to do to turn her Staten Island Priciness look into something special for MITB and did she ever deliver! The metallic mint and ice green was a surprising and aesthetically appealing choice that I instantly loved -even before I realized the pattern was made from money. Omg -so brilliant! It has that designer vibe that has been so prevalent lately of making a beautiful-looking print out of a whimsical pattern. In addition, it's utterly befitting of her character. The black printed waistband was another designer nod that felt appropriately street-worthy, as did the sports-bralette styling of her top. She completed the look with white sneakers that were a perfect finish. Magnificent job!
Becky has the right idea with the medieval-warrior direction her look is taking. It just seems to be taking a bit to come to full fruition. From Chandra Nalaar to Ygritte-meets-Angel Dust with a dash of Merida, she seems like a concoction of lovable fighter characters that just needs that one ingredient, that unifying conceptual direction to crystallize into the one true Becky. This wide-belted leather trench is a flawless example of the good. It's medieval, yet modern, tough but with a swirling yin power that makes her look like a warrior queen.
Soooooo believe it or not, this is the last of the Catch-ups. I'm sort of in shock myself..kinda felt like I'd never get through it all :).
Nikki kicks off the ending with a bright royal blue iteration of the Self Portrait lace dress we've previously seen her wear in white. I like the piece just as much in this shade! The gorgeous lace is feminine and lighthearted, perfect as a sundress when styled with neutral wedge sandals, as Nikki as here, or as a fancier piece when done with pointy pumps or more formal sandals, as we've seen her do in the past.
Next up is a super-cute pairing that infuses the best of now with some trademark Nikki stylings. She paired a sleeveless lace peplum blouse with a modern-vintage aesthetic with black skinny jeans. The black ribbon at her neck makes a fun way to connect her top and pants. While Nikki has used it like a necklace, with a loose knot, it could also be done in a bow to up the throwback vibe. Red pointy pumps add that dash of Nikki-esque spice and really pop the look. I wouldn't have minded seeing her carry that color upward with a bright lip.
This polka dotted mermaid midi skirt gave me immediate #tbt vibes to the Bella's late 2013 50's pin-up era withere they were all about the high waists, polka dots and hair scarf bows. Nikki keeps the look a little more polished here, pairing the skirt with a simple black scoopneck top and a slim gold choker. A burgundy and gold chain-strap purse adds a bit of modern attitude and brings in her trademark shot of red.
She continues her black-and-white streak by pairing this minimalist ruffled sheath with simple black ankle-strap heels and a black tote for Bridal Fashion Week. I love the pristine, edited feeling of this look - it acts as a palate-cleanser after all the lace, pleats and other embellishments we've seen lately. Sometimes, the plainest ensemble has the strongest impact!
Her trusty Prada boots are back in evidence with yet another look, this time a super-chill long-sleeved sheath dress from Veronica Beard. The bold presence of the ankle boots injects some attitude into this relaxed look. I'm still loving the chain handle on her bag, although I would have loved if she's gone for a chocolate, nude or mixed-browns hued one to tie in with her shoes.
Lana reprised her MITB look in a full photoshoot for us, something I love because it allows us to really savor all the intricate details of her gear. This silver and blue ensemble is a fabulous development of the silhouette she created for her Wrestlemania debut.The bodysuit and glamorous push-up bra remain, while side cutouts provide a new element of intrigue. I adore the contrast between the glittering central fabric and the smooth, metallic sheen of the piping! There's so much variation - from sparkled silver to satin silver, from sky-blue glitter to solid electric blue that the color scheme feels tastefully complex, while still retaining the strong harmony that makes it instantly accessible. Gone are the feminine floral embellishments. They've been replaced by a sharpened-hourglass graphic with a mechanical-engineering vibe that's streamlined, powerful and modern - like something you'd find adorning a race car. It brings a fascinating edginess to the glamour of the glittery fabric. Lana's love affair with metallic boots makes perfect sense when you see it here, paired with this gear. The fierceness of the flat, metallic OTK completes this look perfectly. Lana added a bright coral lip, which brings just the right does of warmth to this cool-hued look. Not satisfied with slaying us via gear, she also included several snaps with her ombre-sequined over-gown. The halter+choker design reinforces the glamorous, beauty-contestant vibe, but it's the thigh-high slit that really caught my attention! It's deep enough to be daring, but there's no fear of wardrobe malfunctions with the bodysuit below, so we're free to savor the sexiness -and there's plenty of that! Unlike many current renditions of the high slit, the showy aspect of Lana's is minimized by her boots so it feels neither attention-seeking nor trashy nor brazen; it's just HAWT and nothing but the hawt! Well played, Lana! Her poses are solid as always, with standards interspersed with a few of the gems she always manages to create, the one-legged-blowing-a-kiss is a particular fave of mine because...balance! Like, for real. That is so not easy. PS her blonde beachy waves are crave-worthy. Synopsis: another Lana 'shoot, another slaying. She's too good.
Charlotte went through a run of all-black outfits in March. Her first has a great vibe, including enough trend to be mod, enough classic to be chic. She paired a slightly cropped cutout-choker style top with leggings and topped it all with a classic biker jacket. I love how she went for knee-high leather boots here. They're less fierce than OTK's, but more classic. Because they're flats, the to-the-knee style feels like something less styled and more practical, which actually gives the look tougher, more streetwise vibe than the OTKs would, which I find kind of cool. One of the tremendous attributes of classic styles is that they can shift between looks and genres with ease, which is what keeps them chic for decades and makes them good investments.
She uses the boots again for her next look, this time matched with black denim and an interesting black top with a sheer shoulder detail. Ordinarily, I'm a huge fan of cap sleeves, even a micro-mini version, like these. One reason for that is that they accentuate the shoulders, which is fab when you're creating a visual hourglass. There's a caveat, though: if you have a broad-shouldered body type (by which I don't mean having large shoulders, but having shoulders which tend to be naturally wider than your hips), you want to avoid accentuating them still more, without balancing the ratio at your hip in some way. A peplum would achieve that balance, as would an A-line skirt, side ties on a bikini (if you have this body type and fall in love with a halter bikini top, keep this in mind :)). A high-waisted wide-leg pant could also do the trick if the cut was right.
Or, you could use an oversize sweater that takes the whole hip-shoulder relationship right out of the equation by playing on proportion differently, as Char has with her last black look of this set. For this interview with the NY Daily News, she chose an off-the-shoulder sweater - another style which accentuates the shoulders - but done in a drape-y, boyfriend-esque silhouette, instead of a bodycon shape. With this kind of proportion on top, skinny jeans are the perfect accompaniment, creating a casually fierce vibe that's enhanced by suede OTK boots. This is how it's done, babes!
Charlotte then does an about-face from all the black and gives is this sweet, spring-y floral maxi dress, with a flowy shape that has the effect of an A-line. While this piece could easily be dressed up with colored heels, I love how she keeps it a bit more relaxed with rose-gold thing sandals. As with many of her looks, a statement watch is the only jewellry and its boldness provides a nice counterpoint to the delicacy of her dress.
You can see the makings of her glorious Wrestlemania gear in this ice-blue cape from Fastlane. Charlotte's color choices for her gear have been stellar and this one keeps the trend going. It's pristine and cool, with a hint of magic about it that's grounded by the black feather and clasp details. I'm so awed by her ability to reconcile all these dramatic, glamorous elements (sequins, crystals, feathers) into something that comes off intricate and beautiful, rather than gaudy! Props to her and Terry Andersen!
More catch-ups, more stellar Brandi style, babes!
We're starting with two looks I totally adore! The first one I can 100% see myself wearing to work. Brandi throws a twist into the classic black and white pairing by going with steel gray pants. These look to be a textured fabric, like a corduroy, but it would work just as well with gray denim, or gray ponte. Brandi layers a black turtleneck on top and then tops it with a boxy ivory blazer, which she leaves open for an easy, unstudied vibe. The strong blazer nods at the 80's-tinged suiting trend, while the laidback polish of the combo feels very 'right now'. Tall black boots complete this casually fabulous ensemble.
From grayscale to full color: Brandi's next look is a head-to-toe ice pink ensemble that gives me modern-day Audrey feels. She buttons up a pink cardi over her pencil skirt and then adds massive textural contrast with a faux fur jacket tossed over her shoulders. She adds additional texture and grounds the sweetness with soft tan suede ankle boots. I love the choice of a boot here, as it tempers the girly vibe. A coordinating classic tote rounds the look off. I love everything about this. And PS for those of you who absolutely refuse to do pink under any circumstances: any pastel can swapped in here: sky blue, mint, lilac, butter yellow. No matching fur jacket? Go with a soft neutral: ivory, beige, khaki, nude, soft tan.
The next snap is from a photoshoot on which Brandi comments that she's had a concept for an editorial snap like this for a long while. It's a super-fun one, too! (And it makes me wonder: what if Impact gave Brandi the visual image/art direction position that Christy Hemme used to have? Hmmm :)) She ties a white blouse over high-waisted nude/blush shorts. Of course, you know my favorite part of this snap: those aaaaaaaaahmazing yellow pointy pumps! :) The kitchen-y background with it's dusty colors and curlers in her hair give this something of a modern-housewife vibe, which is quirky and cool. I mean, who wouldn't love finding Brandi in their kitchen?! Minus the curlers, this look makes a great casually refined summer look, with the pointy pumps elevating the laidback clothing.
Brandi also resolved the mystery of the snake on her gears and, as it's something that's been on my need-to-know list, I'm sharing! The snake was a Garden-of-Eden/temptation reference to her WWE ring name, Eden. Once she explains it, it seems so simple right? Brandi has gone on the make the snake her own - as she says "improved [the gear] over time". I admit, I had trouble, at first, connecting Brandi to the image of the snake, but the tempting aspect definitely fits. When I researched the symbolism, though, I found the Chinese interpretations and it all came together. The Chinese zodiac views the snake personality as intelligent, fond of the finer things, savvy, confident, hard-working and possessing an intense heart under a collected exterior. Yep, that sounds a lot like the Brandi we love :)
For some reason, Impact *always* decides to release a photoshoot right around Wrestlemania. It's slowly becoming one of my pet peeves with the company. They don't release anything for almost a year and then, boom, right when everything is psycho-crazy around Wrestlemania, they put out a huge 'shoot. Why, guys? Don't you know it's just going to get buried in the Wrestlemania onslaught? You're not going to top that. You're going to end up here, getting reviewed in June. That's so unfair to the ladies on your roster. Maybe a litttle diff timing next year, huh? Think about it. Ok, enough of Brie's b*******g. To fashion!
We kick it off with Brandi and a black and white version of her halter-meets-high-waisteds snake-embellished gear. This is such a solid effort from her! The gear is spot on, her poses are killer. She looks like she was born to do this. Gear 'shoots are notoriously difficult because they tend to be simple - just you and your gear out there on a blank backdrop to do your thing. It's hard to keep them interesting. Brandi works some less common poses and overcomes the drawback of the standard, blah gray background. Done like a boss and I love it!
She's back, b*****s! The BAM is back! ODB has returned, flask, attitude and all. She's looking fab in an on-point red romper, made suitably trailer-park-ish with a camo head band. Her personality comes blazing through these shots and it makes them come alive. I love the spark she brings back to the roster!
Sienna is making a serious effort to sell the whole skirt-as-gear thing and while I'm not on board yet, I give her points for tenacity. This black and burgundy combo is stunning, especially with the way the burgundy peeks through the black lace. I'm 100% in for her halter top (wish it had the same deep red metallic lining as her skort). This gear is definitely going in the right direction!
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.