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.
Natalya has taken us someplace different each year with her Hall Of Fame fashion, which impresses me tremendously! It’s much easier to look amazing year in and out when you repeat the same just-right formula with slight variations, but Nattie is braver than that. She gave us tailored sophistication with her minimalist black gown two years ago. Last year, it was sparkle and shine with her sequin-embellished beige gown. This year, she headed in an entirely new direction: a take on flowing, 70’s glamour in this nude Abyss By Abby dress (I believe it is the Shari dress, but that piece features double front side slits which are less apparent on Nattie’s dress. I am wondering if she had the piece tailored to close them up to some extent? If so, BRAVA; what an excellent thought!). I love the subtle luxe of this piece, as well as the fact that she took the risk of a new direction, as well as the subtle luxe of this piece. The flow of this gown looks wonderful! She upped the glam factor with crystal earrings and added a tasselled black leather bag, which was one of two tiny, related things I would tweak about the look. With the minimalist vibe of this dress, I would have loved a more exotic bag choice. I would also have loved a dash of color somewhere – perhaps via the bag – to enliven an ensemble which, particularly in combination with her gorgeous, pastel make-up look, comes off quite soft. A clutch in her ring-favorite pink, a lush jewel-tone green or even a 70’s-meets-now rainbow (a bit over the top for what I know of Nattie's taste but too irresistable to not mention :) )would have created the perfect spark.
Cathy’s offering was this fantastic constellation-sprinkled blue gown which I absolutely adore! The star print is stunning and I love the very much on-trend silhouette with the long, slightly puffed-at-the-shoulders sleeves. I’ve always been a fan of navy so I’m in for the color of this gown too! The piece also features some sexy open-ness at the back which completes its modern vibe. Like Nattie, Cathy carried a tasseled bag in caramel/gold and added a metallic gold cocktail ring on her right pointer finger. Mixing metallics is a modern touch, but I think I would have preferred the cool sheen of silver to the warmth of the gold, as this piece’s print and shape cement it as a contemporary design. She completed the look with what looked to be nude sandals (although it is tough to tell behind her dress fabric). I would have gone with silver again there and I would have loved to see the skirt of the dress lined. Beyond those two small swaps, this look is elegant, polished and flawlessly on-trend! Her center-parted, mid-height pony brings sleek refinement to a splendid look!
Naomi continued her trend of stellar fancy-event fashion in a shimmering gown covered in oversized paillettes. The colors shifted beautifully from cerulean to aqua to lilac to carnation pink. You can’t help but catch the glow form his gown :), making it a fabulous (intended?) tie-in with NayNay’s ring attire. With the high drama of the dress’s embellishments, she wisely kept everything else simple, using beautiful pastel nail hues and frosted make-up shades. It’s soft and feminine but glamorous at the same time. Her center-parted low pony reiterates the minimalism in accent choices and works perfectly right down to the delightful shot of contrasting but complementary bright lime. This superb look leaves but two small details on my wish list: that the central sheer panel could have been a smidgeon less obvious (or removed?) and that we could have seen her shoes :) (a non-basic shoe-fiend is never far from craving heels ;). Sorry not sorry). Beyond that, this look is dazzling – both literally and figuratively!
Alicia nearly always manages to go big for the Hall of Fame, but this year she went for something really unique as well: a sequined romper by SGO Vintage. This piece if full up with fabulous details. In addition to all the sparkle, there is the jaw-dropping shade of teal that I completely adore and which looks incredible on Foxy. Then, there are the flower-like crystal buttons that give the piece a wonderful, bespoke vibe. Then, there is that sumptuous satin lining! I love that the cuffs weren’t neglected –the satin and button detail there gives this piece a polished and well-finished quality that leaves me giddy. If you need even more drama, the romper also includes four tails that create a high-low effect. I love the concept – it elevates this inherently less formal silhouette. I think I might have preferred one single cut of fabric, rather than the four individual pieces. I’m torn on the color of Foxy’s heels. I would instantly reach for a silver metallic pair here to cement the formality and echo the buttons, but Foxy’s choice of nude suede both grounds the styling and creates a leg-lengthening effect (like Lady Fox Of The Miles Long Legs needs that!), so I totally understand her selection. I love the boldness and the outside-the-box thinking of this choice and the workmanship is superb and. I also love that, even with all its daring and glitter, the look doesn’t outshine Foxy; she commands it!
Mandy’s fashion can sometimes be a bit uneven, but she unequivocally wowed me with this cobalt blue gown (from Stello). The first thing that strikes the eye is the mystic, saturated color, followed immediately by the fearless statement of that deep-v front. I’m in for the front slit and I applaud her restraint in not going for one of the nearly hip-height ones that have been so prevalent lately. This one is sexy and adventurous but looks much more sophisticated than something edgier. The ruching at her hips provides interesting visual detail that nicely connects the plunge and the slit, while the long train brings glamour and formality to this unembellished gown. Since the piece is so simple, she made precisely the right choice in going with this elegant pony. The side-swept positioning and chic knot detail add a complexity to the styling that pays perfectly against the dress’s lack of adornment. Mandy enhanced the glamorous sensuality of the styling by adding a gold bangle, as well as a coordinating statement ring on her pointer finger and long crystal earrings. With a more complicated dress, three pieces of jewelry might be too many, but here, it’s just enough. Her soft makeup brings fanciness to her natural beauty without forcing it to compete with the dress. She finished the look with pale beige platform sandals (the Betty from Giuseppe Zanotti). I might have reached for gold ones instead but this ankle-strap silhouette is crave-worthy and the visual weight of the platforms balances out the flowy quality of the gown. Alternatively, I could probably have managed to live with myself if she had gone with something more refined and tonal like this) :). A coordinating clutch rounds out her ensemble. I’m so impressed with this look -Mandy’s choices are excellent from head to toe and she looks fabulous!
Nikki’s trademark combination of neutrals with red was her go-to once more this year. Distance pics truly do not do justice to this sequined Alice and Olivia slipdress; they make it appear flat, while from closer shots, you can see the light and movement created by the incredible quantity of sequins. The gown also features a double slit…which I do not hate. H**l can go freeze over now. Two things make this possible: first, the slits are set far to the side of the body, rather than more frontal, a placement which helps them seem less ostentatious and risqué. Second, along with the placement, the mid-thigh height of the slits is intelligent: they show enough leg to be sensual but not thirsty. That vibe is echoed by the simple slipdress silhouette, with its ultra-slim straps and scoop neckline, which falls perfectly on Nikki, offering a suggestion, rather than a full show. The rest of the fit is flawless as well. To the golden-over-black hues of the dress, she added red pointy pumps, the modest fierceness of which serves to further guide this styling toward modern elegance. She echoed their bright hue with her red lip, while her minimalist low pony further reiterated the vibe of streamlined glamour. Nikki’s finishing touches included crystal statement earrings (which make a fascinating exploration of negative space) and a black, quilted bag with a gold chain detail. This look is expertly put-together, uniting some of Nikki’s favorite themes into a dazzling, cohesive ensemble. Wonderfully well done!
We have finally reached the pinnacle of the 2018 Hall Of Fame, the three ladies who did every little thing flawlessly. The podium belongs to…
Carmella takes the third spot this year in her shimmering Stello gown. The magnificent and unique copper color was the first thing that caught my eye, followed by the fierce halter neckline. The sleek, body-skimming design then takes a dramatic turn into a daring plunge back that adds a jolt of sensuality this intensely glamorous piece. The dress finishes by sweeping down into a sizeable train that, although it may have made walking a challenge, looks appealingly regal. Carmella accentuated that vibe with her beautiful up-do, which also made the most of the shoulder-and-back-baring silhouette. The fancy chignon was just right in terms of formality, while the pair of wispy tendril at the sides brought a touch of contrasting softness to the look. She kept her make-up simple, choosing a smoky eye and blush-nude lip that didn’t compete with her gown, but brought out her natural beauty in an elegant way. She completed the look with massive gold hoop earrings for a touch of trendy urbanity and a sparkling, embellished black clutch which provided the only significant color contrast – a smart selection that kept the ensemble from becoming monotonous. A gold clasp on the bag tied it in to the rest of the look. With the gown’s strong presence and the flawless execution of the styling, this is precisely the way a formal event look should be done; it is – as we would expect from ‘Mella – nothing short of FABULOUS. Kudos, girl!
I was very curious to see how Ronda would handle her Hall Of Fame outfit. I would have been happy with competence. Instead, I was Blown. Away. She debuted on the formal end of the WWE fashion scene in a custom Stello dress that paid fitting homage to her sporty sensibilities, but was thoroughly tasteful and sophisticated as well. The bodycon gown, done in an oxblood fabric with a glorious sheen that elevated it’s vibe, featured a cutout halter neckline which gave it a modern, athletic feel. A ‘T’ back with an exposed zipper enhanced that quality and brought an extra dose of intrigue to the piece. From there, expert tailoring was more than enough to make this streamlined, minimalist piece stand out. Ronda accented it with an equally minimal black leather clutch, shimmering black drop earrings and a superb cocktail ring that combined tumbled, raw-feeling stones, made fancy with a metallic gold wash. The way the unusual ring elevated the simple gown was impeccable and unexpected. Ronda completed her look with strappy black sandals. Her eye-shadow echoed the dress’s deep burgundy tones, while her black nails tied in with her bag and shoes. I can’t help but appreciate the cohesiveness and attention to detail in an otherwise very natural make-up look. The entire styling demonstrates ease and self-knowledge, while playing to on-trend sport-tinged looks. Without being fussy or histrionic, it is consummately appropriate, polished and dynamic in its simplicity. Brava, Ronda, for an unforgettable debut that lands the runner-up spot on our count-up!
I knew when I spotted Renee’s exquisite Mac Duggal gown that it was going to be tough to top. This divine emerald green isn’t a shade we see often on Renee, but it is mesmerizing! I LOVE seeing this rare shade on the red carpet. The patterned positioning of the sequins brought depth and texture to the piece and mdke it look incredible under the lights at the event. The piece features a mock-neck with cutout shoulders that, along with the body-skimming silhouette, give it understated elegance. As you may have guessed, the alluring, but not insanely high side slit left me cheering. A little restraint in a look can be worth its weight in gold…or green :). Renee kept her accessories to a minimum, adding only crystal stud earrings in a flawless scale – not so tiny as to disappear, but subtle enough to let this glorious dress have center stage. Minimalist black ankle-strap sandals finished the look. She swept her hair into a sublime up-do – gracefully feminine at the front, frothily sophisticated at the back and then added a dose of modernity via her surprising but captivating ice pink lip. That exquisite choice sealed the deal, completing a look that was impeccable from head to toe. It earns the top of the podium in our 2018 Hall Of Fame Fashion Review. Congratulations, Renee, on a superlative ensemble!
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Brie: shoe-lover :) fashion-lover and generally glamorous semi-dork
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