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.
Liv completely wowed me by going for full-on Versace. I adore great fashion whatever the price range, but I always get a particular thrill in my stylish soul when the ladies do a fabulous designer item or three. These bold printed leggings really just couldn’t be any other brand and Liv gave them a massive impact by pulling out the white shade instead of the more expected black. She added a cutout bustier and blazer and then completed the ensemble with white pointy pumps. This would unquestionably land on or near the top of any ordinary week. And that is where we come to a full, screeching stop. This is no ordinary week. This is the Hall Of Fame. Even in a year where a more casual approach was pervasive, leggings -even Versace leggings – are just too laidback for this type of event. I love this look from head to toe, but for the HoF, it’s a nope.
Sarah’s lace-bodiced black dress is in a similar category. It’s a wonderful LBD and I’m in for the on-trend flutter sleeve. The short length makes it much less formal, though, and Sarah’s choice of heavy platform pumps didn’t help the case. A delicate, embellished sandal would have elevated the piece – still not enough, but it would have helped a lot. This is a noteworthy introduction to Sarah’s non-gear fashion and leaves me wanting to see more from her, including hopefully a much fancier piece at the Hall of Fame next year :).
One more in the same genre is Asuka. When I saw the top of her dress, my first thought was “oooo, nice”. If this had been a full-length gown, it would have risen significantly in the count-up. The simple, classic vibe, accented with the subtle, but chic, shoulder-bow detail and flawless fit make it attention-worthy. But in this knee-length, it’s just not dressy enough for a formal night event. Low-heeled, chunky sandals sadly do not advance the cause.
We next come to a lady who did indeed get the “Come fancy!” memo – Paige’s black and ivory scroll-embellished gown was spot on it terms of formality. I also applaud how this captured her preference for darker vibes without being entirely black. The choker was a stellar choice with the deep-v silhouette; it sets it off perfectly. Her strappy red sandals inject a welcome splash of color that’s echoed in her crimson lip. The only thing that holds this piece back? That double front slit. I get that it’s sexy as heck. I get that half the starlets in Hollywood are impaling themselves on this trend. I completely understand how it’s nearly impossible to resist. But resist one should.
Sonya, see above! :) Like Paige’s selection, this look from Sonya is superb in so many ways: the lace bodice is gorgeous! I’m even in for the black-over-nude because the solid skirt keeps it from seeming too try-hard and date-night-esque. The cutouts add just the right touch of modernity. Her daring, strappy sandals are an excellent choice, adding intrigue and fierceness. Her sleek high pony is just fancy enough and just right to show off her statement earrings. I wish she had lightened her lip shade just a smidge – a dark currant red would have provided just a tiny relief from the black and really kicked the look into overdrive. And I even more wish she had forgone the dread double front slit. Then I could have bumped this fabulous look even further up the count-up! :)
And one more time for Sasha, who slayed the Lush dress from Abyss By Abby. Like Sonya, her choices are laudable. The lace adds beauty and interest without being overdone – I’m especially a fan of the scalloped edges of her halter top – so pretty! Her strappy sandal booties are appropriately fancy and add personality to the look. Her silver statement earrings are a spot-on choice as far as formality and the dose of glamour is a perfect addition. Swap put that double front slit for a single thigh-high version and this would be the best Hall of Fame effort we’ve seen yet from Sasha. Outside of the one small double-slit bobble, it’s a thrill to me to see her HoF choices become more and more polished, pulled-together and confident.
Rounding out this group is Nia with a dress that reminds me a good bit of her excellent choice from last year. The neckline is quite similar, as is the simple silhouette and, for the most part, the color. That said, the gold shimmer of the metallic below the lace offers some distinction and is stunning besides. I’m in for this, but I do wish she has taken more of a risk…or at least created separation between the two looks via styling. This gown would have lent itself wonderfully to an up-do to show off the gorgeous neckline and I wouldn’t have minded touches of gold jewelry to enhance the metallic and soften the effect of the black. Despite playing it a little safe, Nia has another admirable Hall of Fame look in the books: it has no major faux pas and looks gorgeous!
Brie’s Hall Of Fame choice was a sweet ivory dress that had something of a lingerie feel due to the shaping at the bust. The squared out neckline is one of my favorite silhouettes and, as usual, it looks wonderful here. Despite the luxe fabric, the midi length of this piece keeps it more casual – too casual for the Hall of Fame, as we’ve seen with several other ladies. I love Brie’s instinct to ramp up the look with color via her bright red clutch, but I wish she had followed through with red heels as well. An embellished pair (like these from Badgley Mischka) would have helped elevate the look significantly. A similarly-embellished and fancy clutch would have gotten this look pretty close to being appropriately formal.
Alexa came through with a beautiful black lace mermaid gown for this occasion. The styling is solid here: the gown is the right level of fancy, her long tresses soften the look, while the nude lining lightens the black somewhat and brings a dash of sensuality to the look that’s still incredibly chic. I wish I could have seen the rest of her choices. Minimalist sandals in black or nude and just the right bag (a simple pop of pink to match her hair (too bad this fun piece is sold out! :) or an embellished nude) would have taken this placing up the list.
Bayley wins the Most Improved Award this year! Her black gown with its sheer central panel is a dramatic upgrade from last year’s black and white maxi. And although you probably wouldn’t guess it, I’m in for her styling with the visible black brassiere – which I would ordinarily detest. However, in this case, it reminds me of the sweet subversive-ness of Taylor’s Swift’s Nov 2015 Vogue Austrailia ‘shoot. Bayley’s version is even a touch more demure, as she went for a tone-on-tone color choice. The effects makes this gown more complex and a bit sportier. She went for an updo this year, a gorgeous bun, with a twisted self-wrap, a look I’m squarely behind, as it cements the fancier aspects of the gown. Crystal stud earrings add subtle shimmer and a chain-handled bag gives the look a dash of trend and attitude. Yaaaassss, Bay!!! I’m loving this! And I’m concurrently ecstatic to see the way she took her fashion game to a whole level. Absolutely fantastic work!
Charlotte looked wonderful in this garnet gown that was part sultry bandage dress, part sweet lace. The piece got a nice twist of trend via the off-the-shoulder silhouette, which Char highlighted with a gorgeous, soft updo that just might be my favorite part of the look! Her trademark watch accompanied a gold statement ring and – sometimes – a gold pendant necklace in adding a touch of shine to the ensemble. Her shoes are lost in the length of the gown, but gold sandals would be my go-to here. If I could change anything about this, I think I would wish for a stronger lip shade – this soft blush nude recedes in comparison to the intense hue of her gown. A dusty brick or earthy coral would have fared a little better.
I expected great things from Noelle following her tremendous debut last year. This simple red Faviana gown reprises the dramatic color, but the slipdress-styling has more sensual vibes than the high fashion chic of last year’s piece. With her crystal collar and coordinating slim bangle, this is a very solid effort. It doesn’t quite match last year’s incredible blend o glamour and sophistication, though. Since they shared a color, I’d have loved to see her distance the looks from each other a little more via styling - perhaps with colored jewels or a different metallic and an updo or half-updo. Still, I can’t help but appreciate the excellent fashion sense Noelle continues to demonstrate.
Lana always reaches for high drama and complexity at formal events. I applaud that instinct. It can be tricky, however, not to overcook such looks. This year, she pushed it right to the limit, but pulled it off with this sheer dress from Charbel Zoe Couture. The piece features feather-like black accents that congregate at certain areas of the translucent ivory backdrop to create a visual shape. The effect reminds me of the way prints were being used similarly a few years ago, but the dark, sinuous shape of the embellishments makes this piece fierce! I love that Lana didn’t take the styling over the top; she wisely added simple black platform sandals (I would have loved single-soles), kept her jewelry minimal and went for a subtle, neutral make-up palette, finished with an on-trend but understated taupe lip. This look has a wonderful balance between show-stopping presence and subdued sophistication.
Becky is the first of two ladies who eschewed dresses this year and oh holy, this look started off so brilliantly! I’m wild over how amazing this wide-leg jumpsuit is! The wide leg, in a material like this, always has an air formality and it’s highlighted here by the way the crossed swathes of fabric used to create the bodice drape down the length of her body. This is not your average jumpsuit! It has a fancy vibe that lends itself to an occasion like the Hall of Fame. Since it is a jumpsuit though, it’s still less formal than a gown. That can be counteracted by the right styling choices. Becky went for a simple leather fold-over back with a studded strap which matches flawlessly but ends up being more laidback than the jumpsuit and makes it less formal. Oh how I wish she had gone for something super-fancy like this pearl-and-crystal beaded box clutch! She added a simple silver bangle, which is a fabulous choice –silver with ivory is incredibly chic! We never got to see her shoes, but hopefully she echoed the bracelet with metallic silver heels. Those two additions alone would have made this look a total win, but to really smash it, I’d have loved to see her go for a riskier eye-shadow shade – tourmaline green comes to mind :). This warm copper palette is gorgeous, though and looks amazing! I give Becks a lot of credit for this look: she went for something very unusual and did an awesome job! She completely owns this piece. A few little hair-splitting tweaks and this would easily be in the top five.
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
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