Welcome to one of the moments each year where Diva-Fierce is totally dedicated to ring gear! We love fashion in all its forms, so fashion that's also a performance costume that you can also do crazy athletic stuff in gets our heart-eyes flashing! Last year, we started naming a Best-Of list for the top 5 looks that sent us head-over-stilettos and we'll be doing that again this year. So, get comfy, loves! We've got a lotta gear to cover :)
Before we get into actual gear let's talk about Beth Phoenix. She gravitated back to black for the Wrestlemania 33 event, something that doesn't surprise me, even though I love her in color. I would be more disappointed, except that this black Herve Leger gown looks amazing on her! The designer is known for simple bandage dresses and this is a prime example of his trademark. What makes it special is the sweethart neckline, which was an inspired choice by Beth. Her long, flowing hair was polished, but casual. She again showed her preference for understated jewelry, accenting the neckline with a subtle, small-scale pendant.
Stephanie continued her glam Wrestlemania ways from last year. Although that studded ensemble will be a challenge to top, this one is a solid effort. She paired a graphic tank with black leather leggings and a studded belt. If you have been lusting after those gorgeous boots, they are Stuart Weitzmans, with extra glam added by Leather Rebels, a London, UK-based maker of customer leather championship belts, including the new NXT belts. Also, Steph with a thumb ring?! I love it! We don't often see her do crazy, rock-star-inspired things with her jewels. Her choices tend to be classic, precious-stone pieces, not statement-making costume jewelry. I'm thrilled at how she uses this look so confidently - and appropriately! It helps to cement the impression created by her clothing. And the killer chain detail at her hip doesn't hurt either ;). I love how she steps outside of her usual style home base to go all-in for a style like this. Her smooth, pin-straight hair adds a nice dash of fierceness to her outfit.
Becky has been going through such a cool metamorphosis in her gear that I was really excited what she would put together for Wrestlemania. I was dreaming of her femme-top-meets-shorts combos, with a sci-fantasy upgrade. What she gave us was a warrior princess. Hmmm. The make-up was cool, but the Rastafarian braids were a stop-me-in-my-tracks (and not it a good way) moment for me. And then, there was...the...dun dun dun...skirt. You all know how I feel about skirts in a wrestling ring. There has been only one lady ever who reconciled me to the functional fashionality of a skirt in the ring and that was fashion goddess Alicia Foxy Fierce. I love leather, I love pleats. I love them on Cathy Kelley when she's playing golf. I love them on Nikki Bella when she's drinking wine. On Becky when she's wrestling...much less love. Her simple wrap-style top is an excellent base. I wish she had added some delicate laser-punched details with a mystical feel. Side-slashed leather shorts with metallic accents? And maybe a few gold grommets on her boots? I don't mind the chocolate brown shade either, although I'd go wild to see her in cobalt blue, eggplant purple or deep forest green. I'm going to assume that something what supposed to happen that didn't or did happen that shouldn't here and that this gear was an unfortunate side-track on Becky's journey to fantastic gear.
I saw Mickie's head-dress (amaaaaaazing!), the colors, the dream catcher accent (inspired choice!) and my first thought was "this is fabulous!". And then, the gold metallic belt-like thing with the dangly front happened. And I wish it hadn't. Because everything else here is A+: the unsual mix of hues, the fringe, the beading - it's all just flawlessly bold and American-West-tinged and totally Mickie. It has enough editing to make an impression without being gaudy, but enough drama -especially with all the movement created by the fringe - to make it Wrestlemania-worthy.
Nikki's gear utilized her trademark red, white and black combination. Her sports bra was emblazoned "Fearless" in clear crystals, while her black shorts were studded with black ones. Black knee socks and red-accented black sneakers completed this sporty ensemble. It's an amazing gear ... for any Raw or Smackdown. But for Wrestlemania? On the Big Stage? In one of the most hotly anticipated events of the night? Nik, say it ain't so! :'( Nikki has done incredible things with fashion for so long that I was really expecting to be blown away. This, as excellent as it is, comes off as pretty standard fare. Shucks. I actually think this gear could have been ramped up a ton with one very small change - the black crystals disappear on the black fabric, making them look unembellished at a distance. Clear, iridescent or silver ones would have conveyed the full intent of the design better on camera.
I have a similar vibe from Naomi as I did from Nikki. This gear is awesome! I love the bright lime and black combination, I love the lightning pattern, I love the way it glows. She gets Fierce points for the trendy lace-up details. It's fab for everyday gear. But this is Wrestlemania! It's the time to pull out all the stops and wow us all. Maybe an additional color mixed in or holograph piping - anything that designates this gear as being something different, something a bit more special, something that acknowledges the grandeur of the event. One place where Naomi definitely did go all out was her make-up. Her lime green eye shadow is absolutely magnificent! It shows up for miles and looks out-of-this-world amazing!
I really enjoyed Nia's Wrestlemania gear effort. I have loved her color choices in the past and this red and black combination carries a nice punch. What really makes it special, though, is the combination of textures an fabrics she's used: there's luxurious (and über trendy!) velvet at the front in stunning damask-type pattern, frothy tulle at her hips ( I love how it creates soft volume there for an hourglass shape), lace-up detailing at the sides and back and touches of crystals at the edges. This ensemble takes her standard gear and kicks it up a notch with special fabrics and couture details. Brava, girlfriend! This is what I'm hoping for from a Wrestlemania look! Massive yaaaaaas!
I have one major reservation about Bayley's gear - the busy, silly, cartoon-esque graphics. No matter how she does them, it's always hard for me to find them really appealing. That being said, I recognize that they fit her character really well. They also make her look distinctive form the other ladies, which is something I admire. Once I get past the graphics, there's a lot to like about this gear - the metallic orange is a wonderful choice: bright, happy and, due to the metallic, more glam than we often see from Bay, which is appropriate for Wrestlemania. The royal blue piping is an awesome foil for the orange. Her cape also wins kudos - it's dramatic and bold (just the kind of thing you want at the event of the year), but it's also playful - the multi-colored fringe set against the blue satin gives it a fiesta-like quality. The whole look is like a party via ring gear. I can get board for that!
I was super impressed by Carmella's gear - it very nearly made my top 5, which is amazing work from a debutante! She had one, tiny hiccough in her look: her lip shade. This deep chocolate almost overpowers the rest of her look. I wish she had gone for something softer - a taupe or even a lavender. Her Staten Island princess persona makes her range of options for fabric and color somewhat narrow and it takes an excellent sense of fashion and design to work within that and come out with something that fits the character, but is also Wrestlemania-worthy. Her leather brassiere was a perfect choice, coming off both tough and luxe. The latter was accentuated by her metallic gold shorts. She displayed excellent instincts in realizing that some additional embellishment was needed and these bold stars are a fantastic addition - appropriate, uncommon, confident and with a nod to couture, where star patterns have been making serious waves. Doing them in metal brings just the right does of formality and glam to her gear. Her leopard bomber made a flawless topper. It's madly exciting to see a new Diva with such a great sense of both fashion and of the stage that she's on. Huge props to Carmella on a brilliant debut!
I've never made any secret of my love the design of Alexa's gear and I love that she debuted a new color combo on The Grandest Stage, along with her Joker character. I could live without the comic book shape-shifting, but I have to admit that it is pretty fun to see who she comes up with :) The neon lime and bright grape combination looks incredible in its own right and I am wild over the lace-up detail at the back of her boots! So amazing! Boots often seem like they're treated as an after-thought in gear so it was a huge thrill to see her do something special with them. Her makeup was stellar as always and her studded "Riddle Me Bliss" vest was basically just gravy on top of an excellent turnout. Nicely done, Blissy!
As with Alexa, the silhouette of Sasha's gear has been high on my list from the day she debuted it. The black and white combination she chose for Wrestlemania is a classic pairing for a reason: it has a bold, raw, primal power to it, always. Any time, any event, any day (or night ;)). But Sasha takes it a step further and brings a extra dimension by accenting it with metallic gold. The additional shade makes the black more mysterious and the white seem more pristine by contrast. There's plenty of bling here to make this ensemble worthy of an important event. And finally, there is my favorite part of her gear: her crystal crown and utterly divine hairstyle. It looks so insanely gorgeous on her! Sasha needs to wear her like this more often! Gorgeousness + attitude is a dynamite combination...as is the color and styling of this look.
It's been a loooong time - too long, really - since we've seen Maryse in ring gear. I love the way she gave this ensemble a throwback nod by utilizing the keyhole silhouette that was her trademark when she was competing full-time. The modern, athletic vibe of the sheer-meets-latex panelled graphic has a super cool, taut vibe, which Maryse counteracted with plenty of bling (and I love her for that! :)). Rows of crystals at the high neck, bust and waist gave this gear plenty of the oozing-from-every-pore magnificence that is par for the course with Maryse. I'm sure she just wakes up like that. Duster-length jackets were always a specialty of hers as well and this one even eclipses the gear. It gets a nice update from the chevron cut at the front, but the focus is on the raised scale-like embellishments on the sleeves. There's a raw, wild, almost supernatural quality to them that carries authority - it's a similar vibe to her gear, but raised to a higher pitch. And, as with the gear, she gives it plenty of crave-worthy flash with layer upon layer of crystals. Not only is this ensemble stunning, but it does a remarkable job of conveying a dual aura of glamour and power.
I didn't think Natalya's black and crystal combinations could be topped, but the warmth of these metallic gold accents and honey-toned crystals is every bit as magnificent. The repeated use of the fleur de lis symbol was inspired! It's delicate, feminine and enchanting, giving a formal elegance to Nattie's ring gear. That's a tremendous achievement, as beautiful elegance isn't something we often come across in ring gear, as fabulous as it often is. I love Nattie's willingness to explore unlikely territory - it has given us some amazing gear over the last year and this ensemble stands with her best! As with her other iterations this year, this one gets a touch of allure from the sheer panels, while the high-neck halter silhouette takes a clear cue from the runways. Her artfully twisted half up-do is exquisite, while the soft warm tones of her make-up pick up the golden sparkle of her gear and give Nattie a sun-kissed glow. Everything about this look radiates beauty. Natalya has done it again - I'm in heaven!
It would take something special to tear my attention away from Nattie's gloriousness...and Charlotte delivered! Her gear, done by WWE artisan Terry Anderson, was created around the concept of a peacock in full regalia. It blends the bird's hues - leaf green, emerald, sky blue and indigo, accented with touches of lavender and bronze - with Charlotte's trademark silhouette for a jaw-dropping ensemble. Most of the chosen shades are unusual in and of themselves and the combination is a true rarity. As with her previous looks, glittering silver swirls cover the outer face of her cape. Peacock feathers form the stand-up hood, while satin leaf-like embellishments emblazoned with additional feathers line the cape's sides and cascade down the back. A triad of fabric feathers defines the trademark chevron shape at the center of the gear's bodice and are echoed on her shorts, surrounded by exotic free-form scrolls, all encrusted with matching crystals. The background is of mesmerizing leaf green iridescent fabric which shifts in the light from olive to bronze to lemon, setting off the foreground design wonderfully well. The gear is piped in a lovely metallic that includes aqua, cerulean and deep lilac hues. Each and every aspect of this gear was clearly conceived and executed in a way that pays tribute to the avian inspiration, filtered through a lens of magical surrealism. The result is a holistic ensemble that creates an immediate and accessible impact, but the true beauty of which grows more powerful as the pieces are dissected and the attention to detail can be fully appreciated. It would be a travesty to call this gear anything but a complete and unquestionable triumph. I am in awe. Brava, Charlotte!
And your Top 5 Wrestlemania 2017 ring gears belong to:
5. Alexa...for an adept use of eye-catching color and couture details
4. Sasha... for giving classic drama a luxurious, Boss-worthy twist
3. Maryse...for making the past au courant with glamour and confidence
2.Natalya...for adding warmth and exquisite beauty to an already phenomenal gear era
1.Charlotte...for flawless execution of every aspect of an exceptional concept
Welcome to the place where wrestling & fashion join hands. #BeInspired #LoveFashion May 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.