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!
I went head over heels for this dress of Renee's when she wore it to the Wrestlemania Hall Of Fame ceremony. I would 100% wear this dress with a denim vest or jacket and sneakers for date night, a picnic, a girl squad meeting. But if you're not quite ready to jump that far off the night-for-day diving board, it's easy to be inspired by Renee's look in a subtler way. Her printed floral gown was to the informal side for a black tie event, so she elevated the styling by pairing it with black satin sandals. So, how about reversing that formula? Go floral on the finish. Instead of reaching for an all-over printed outfit, do a black monochrome look. Pair a simple tee with tie-waist satin shorts, or a pretty blouse with cutoff denim. The key is to mix something more formal with something more laidback, a la Renee. Complete the pairing with floral footwear. I love the pop and summery vibe of ankle strap sandals, but pointy toe flats or floral sneakers will work nicely as well. The florals really take on a big presence when set against a black outfit - not only does the color stand out, but the softness of a floral creates a more startling contrast against a dark, solid canvas. It's like a textural contrast without the texture. Conversely, the chic, moody power of black undercuts the garden-y sweetness of the print. It's a perfect example of the dramatic tension of opposites. Consider adding a floral statement ring or necklace to reinforce the beauty and colors in your shoes.
Alternatively, be a little more direct: keep the fancy-shoes-to-elevate-the-look concept, but dial the whole clothing situation back. The theory still holds. Renee's sandals add polish and formality to her gown because of the material they're done in - the sheen of satin always gives it a dressier vibe. So grab your nearest pair of satin shoes and design your look around it, from the bottom up :) Almost any satin pair will work: sandals, pumps, flats. Because your shoes are so formal, the rest of the look should stay refined, but chill. Pair a simple tee with a ruffled wrap skirt or a denim pencil piece, staying within a monochrome neutral color family. If you're craving texture, add it with one lace, crochet, eyelet or sheer-accented piece, but keep item #2 basic. Or, do an A-line (pencil will work nicely too!) floral skirt (or trousers) that includes the color of your shoes within the print. Either way, lean toward a minimalist silhouette and matte materials to help create the laidback vibe that will contrast with the formal sheen of your shoes. Stay with the edited aesthetic for your baubletry - simple stud earrings, a pearl collar. Note: Annabelle @ Viva Luxury has a great example here of pulling this styling off using pants. Her graphic tee is super chill, her cotton cargo pants are a shade more polished. Her leather jacket ups the pants a notch, but the whole look is solidly under the heading of "Casual"...until she gets to her blush satin heels with their crystal accents - they make it fierce! To highlight the difference for yourself, block out just her shoes in a full-outfit pic and imagine the look with sneakers or ankle boots. I hope this inspires you to play with some floral/monochrome and laidback/satin pairings sometime soon :) Happy styling, loves!
To round off our 4th of July posts, how about this scintillating set from Nikki? She posted a selection of pics on Instagram (also, head over to the Bella's youtube channel for a BS vid) and they are amaaaaaazing! She gives us three different Americana-themed looks. The first pairs a white-starred blue halter top with a red and white side-tie bikini . Nikki looks fantastic in it and I love the sporty vibe of the halter styling, but I love her pose even more. Hands-in-her-hair, flaunting her curves - slay my life! Nikki owns this pose 100% and the attitude with which she carries it off is crave-worthy, a flawless example of giving me something that's inspiring, that I want to recreate and feel. It's a common theme through the rest of the snaps; every pose she hits has that same quality, including her next one: a stripe-lined star string bikini that she pairs with striped bottoms which appear to be red and white on one side and red and blue o the back. She adds a pair of light wash denim shorts to play with and the result is this iconic high-shouldered stance that gives me Sports Illustrated cover-bombshell vibes. She does her hair with a side-part which only accentuates the seductiveness. I love how she doesn't over-work the facial - it's a perfect balance of "come get me" and "can't touch this". Her final offering strips things down even more - literally, as Nikki wears only a flag-themed banner. I applaud her for noting on IG that the piece is not an actual flag; it's reassuring to anyone who feels that it might be disrespectful to wrap our country's symbol around one's body as clothing, and I respect that she thought both of using a banner and mentioning it. Having addressed these concerns, Nikki proceeds to nail a killer pose and another softly sultry expression. This look gets an extra pop from vibrant red lips. While I loved the blush-taupe palette of her other snaps, the extra color brings a nice polish to this look. As with her other poses, she's working the stance and using her hands up the impact and it succeeds fabulously. This is an A+ effort from Nikki!
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.
The Fourth of July celebration is continuing around here, as several of the lady superstars have been kind enough to grace us with Stars and Stripes-themed 'shoots. I'm especially pleased to see this set from the Knockouts, as it's been awhile since we've gotten major photoshoots from the brand, excepting the massive gear 'shoot from a few months back. Prior to that, we saw the KO's do a number of awesome themed photoshoots, but they haven't had a set focused on fashion for ages. This one rectifies that dearth by including both a theme and fashion! That's the way to a stylish girl's heart!
First up is Laurel, who blasted on to the scene last year and grabbed the Silver Snap honor for photoshoot of the year with a single scintillating shot. She's got a good one in the running for 2017 as well with this thoroughly Americana-inspired look. She paired a solid red string bikini top with denim cutoff shorts. I love the extra dimension she brought to the look via her denim vest - the suggestion and shadow make it stand out from an ordinary string bikini 'shoot. She added a dash of glam with her crystal statement necklace - love that! And naturally, any good cowgirl would wear her boots with her glam, so ta-da! Caramel Western boots it is. Her long and loose banana-curled hair gives this a completely classic country-bombshell vibe, aided and abetted by her joyously confident pose. So much fun!
McKenzie brings a fashionista's heart to her ensemble. While she starts with the iconic white tank and blue denim skirt combo - the latter given a suitably modern spin with fraying and distressing - she makes it super trendy with asymmetric red suede ankle booties (fabulous!) and a starred-and-striped kimono: yaaaaaaaas, girl! I'm all in for this injection of trendy modernity in streetwear into Knockouts fashion. It makes a classic look come alive with freshness and spunk. She is proving her slot on my One To Watch list is well-deserved! More please :) She also earns props for her pose - it's a standard, but she nails it! Actually, she nails every pose...as does Laurel. And their back-to-back snap together is an unquestionable shoot highlight.
I always love Gail's distinctive sense of style and this look is no exception. She combines an on-trend ruffled star-and-stripe bikini top with medium-wash denim shorts. The chevron waist and flawless fit of the latter makes them scalding hot, even with a minimal amount of distressing and skin-peek. She completes the look with boldly geometric heeled sandal booties in bright white - a perfectly summer-appropriate (and ttly on-trend) conclusion. The look is has a crisp, classy punch and it's trademark Gail. I love it from head to toe. And her aaaaaahmazing pose is only helping that love :) I wish we had gotten a few more shots from her, as her looking backward pose is killer as well!
The set rounds out with Allie. It doesn't get much more iconic than her half-starred/half-striped bikini top. She paired it with rolled deep-blue wash denim shorts that she left half un-zipped and open in a distinctly 90's-throwback look. While I'd probably opt for a fully-zipped set-up if I were wearing this look in real life, Allie's flirty styling helps this editorial look by elongating her line and accentuating her hips. Like Laurel, she reached for Western-tinged booties to finish the ensemble. Allie's represent the super-hot-lately nod to the theme, as opposed to Laurel's full-on iteration, but they work equally well, lending a current edge to her outfit. This pose isn't my favorite of Allie's set; there's something about her stance that's just a touch off. Happily, her other snaps are much stronger, with her poses in front of the American flag being highlights.
I love the secret-garden-esque feel of this look from Lana! The simplicity, the mix of luscious colors, the 70's vibe of her flared jeans- it all harmonizes flawlessly in a way that is both appealing to the eye and casually stylish. The key piece in the outfit is her statement jacket and it showcases the raison d'etre for this kind of item: there's no need to do much beyond using it - it makes the look come alive in and of itself. Replicating her outfit exactly, with that long-sleeved bomber, would be a bit toasty this time of year, even without an under-layer (unless you own a sheer or lace one, in which case, have at it! ;)). A kimono makes a fitting metamorphosis for this season. It's spot on trend and the lightweight, floaty fabrics that are the silhouette's usual fare are cool, comfortable and come in a gorgeous array of colors that have the same exuberance as Lana's jacket. To get the 70's vibe, grab a pair of wide-leg, flared or bootcut jeans in blue denim. Alternatively, polish the styling up with wide or straight leg chinos. Add a basic tank on top. This will be a 'blank canvas' item, so it can be almost any iteration as long as it's body con or body-skimming and a single color - choose a neutral or, go brighter and pull a shade from the kimono's pattern. Toss on your topper. Finish with coordinating sneakers (or platformed chunky heeled sandals ;)) and a subtle choker and boom! Done! Too easy, right? Unleessssss...you don't have a kimono yet. Don't panic! It's gonna be fine :) Go with any floral jacket (bomber, blazer, trench) but instead of putting it on fully, as Lana has, just toss it over your shoulders. Or, grab your widest floral scarf and toss it over one shoulder so that one end points to your toes and the other end points at your heels. Add a belt to keep it in place (as shown in the far right and far left pics here.) If it's wide enough, don't scrunch it - leave it open to full width so that it drapes off your shoulder toward your elbow, like a sari would. I hope this inspires you to make a colorful, floral statement sometimes soon :) Happy styling, loves!
How do you make the sophisticated venom of an editorial work for actual life? These are the kind of style perplexities that occupy the fashionista in my brain. Barbie's incredible python-printed wrap dress with its charmeuse accents is an incredible mix of color and pattern with a rippling undercurrent of luxury and danger. Barbie plays against the purple-tinged black shades of the print with her flame lipstick, giving the whole look a hypnotic easy sophistication. It's a complex, intense concept to translate from page and screen to the real world. The trick is to smudge certain elements, while retaining the punch. If you're the brilliant and stylish owner of a python wrap dress, this would be the time to dig it out :). Add red heels and lips - and maybe a black satin sash :) - and you're good to go. But, if not, well...there's more than one way to skin a snake (metaphorical comment - no snakes were harmed by this phrasing. Promise!). Color swapping opens up a lot more options: try a red dress of any simple iteration. You're looking for a plain-canvas type of piece which relies on its vibrant color for effect. A wrap piece will do, as will an unembellished sheath or A-line. Avoid frills (ruffles, lace, etc). The more edited the silhouette, the more powerful a backdrop it will be for the coup de grace: your snake-print heels. The black and white combo makes a big statement and serves as a bold, fresh twist on standard black, white or nude. No snake-print pumps? Try a snake belt, or snake-printed scarf as a sash or choker. Finish with edgy black sandal booties. None of the above? Recreate the vibe with another black-and-white pattern, like chic stripes, racy zebra, dramatic harlequin checks - almost any daring and/or strident black-and-white pattern will do. Or, go with a warmer but equally fierce variation using leopard accessories. Alternatively, choose a black, charcoal or white dress based on the above-outlined principles. Red lip. Red sash or belt, printed shoes (or vice versa!). Super-sleek hair please: pin-straight and face-framing, slicked back, chignon. This is also a flawless spot to play with a smoky eye or deep plum nails (or both! ;)). I hope this inspires you to inject a bit of venom into one of your upcoming looks :) Happy fashioning !
This look from Renee reminds me of my pretty much perpetual fashion in high school, minus the awesome hair. In those days, I was still in the "fighting with my tresses" phase. Have I ever mentioned how much I love buns and ponytails? Their respective inventors should be kissed. Also given plaques. It's a total tribute to Renee that she's making the shacket work here. Unless you are a magical fashion goddess (and sometimes even then...), it's waaay too easy to fall into the "I'm so busy adulting/almost-adulting that I don't even care how I look" look. The tricky part here is the whole shacket concept and we're gonna talk about that because you can make this über-cool, casual look function for you, even on days when you're not feeling like the magical fashion goddess you are. First, the easy part: slim or skinny bottoms. The simplest way to make oversized or flowy on top work is with form-fitting on the bottom. It's a proportion-play that's 101 go-to. Do leggings, do vegan leather, do track-striped polished knits, do denim - it's all good, as long as it's leg-hugging. Ditto your underlayer. Body-skimming, body-kissing, body-con: it and your body are ca-lose. Like, bff close. Ok, to the trickier aspects we go! Renee's look works here for a couple of reasons. First, she's wearing an actual shacket, with has a jacket-type styling and a little more heft/stiffness to the fabric than a shirt. Also, it has a straight hem, instead of a shirt-tail hem (rounded at the bottom, curving upward toward the hips, making a u-shape when viewed from the front or back). If you have a shacket, feel free to employ it here. [Note: Renee's does have a bit of drop-tail hem (longer in back than in front), but that doesn't have a relevant effect on this styling]. A straight-hemmed shirt creates a more polished, jacket-like connotation, which is something to keep in mind if you're doing this look with a shirt. The challenging part about that option is that a button-up shirt doesn't have the same polish as a jacket and leaving a basic, shirt-tail hemmed shirt open over a tank top is a really quick route to Soccer Mom territory. (No offense to Soccer Moms; I get it - life's busy, practicality rules.). You can segue around that avenue in a couple of ways. Go for a button-up tunic (duster and other unexpectedly long lengths encouraged) , instead of a shirt, especially one in a more sophisticated fabric (i.e. silk or voile). Avoid stiff woven cottons. To up the chic factor, keep the color story minimal and bold: black and white, red and navy, beige and graphite. Don't worry about the formality of a fabric like silk. It won't feel fancy when you complete the look with sneakers or flat espadrilles; it will be just enough to elevate the outfit. Ditto with voile. Note: with drapey fabrics and this longer length, you can also button or partially button said tunic if you so desire. If you're sticking with the standard-length button-up, def skip the leaving-entirely-open part. There are easier ways to do casual ;). Try knotting the shirt in front as low as possible to create a slouchy feel (don't button the rest of it up - the deep 'v' that's created will elongate the line of your body). Or tuck it in and button only the bottom button for another variation on the same theme. Alternatively, use an oversize shirt and create your own asymmetrical hem by doing up two or three central buttons using a button-hole that's one or two holes below the one straight across from the button. The fun thing about these knotted and partial-button options is that you don't need a super-drapey fabric, which opens up linen for consideration and all the amazing summer shades it's available in: aqua, lilac, tiger-lily, lemon. Yum, right? :) Finish with block-heeled sandals or wedge espy's in a coordinating color or light neutral. Lastly, amp up the stylish intent on all these variants with a polished hair style: a sleek pony, a refined bun, pretty braids. Happy casually cool styling!
Naomi celebrated the Fourth of July with four bikini looks (guess she's giving Lana and Selena some competition for most looks in a day, huh? ;) ).
For her first, she poses in front of a massive white fence in a super-fun mix-n-match combo. Her black top gets a spark from the lace-up detailing in a multicolored cording. I love the way it lights up the classic black bikini! She ramps that up by adding bikini bottoms in one of the neon bright shades from the cording. I'm 100% on board with this look! It's such a fun way to make the black top feel summery and joyous. I also love her pile of bracelets, which add dashes of additional colors - that's the party vibe I was looking for! :) I'd have loved to see her get crazy with her eyeshadow shades here to add one more shot of brightness to look - imagine a bright magenta and intense lemon combo! Yum! Naomi does a solid job of posing with the fence and creates some confident shots - her clasped-hands+leaning foward shot is a gem!. It seems like it may have been a bit constricting overall as a backdrop, though. Some of the other settings allowed her greater freedom, with magnificent results!
Her next look had a classical Americana vibe that was just right for the Fourth of July. I love the way this piece represented a take on the Stars and Stripes that referenced it, without being an exact replica. The intense, clean colors look wonderful on Nay-nay and the ruffle on her top makes for a pretty and trendy detail. I love the softness and movement it adds to the look! Her red stone bracelet and apple-hued lips enhance the iconic vibe. I really enojyed the choice to shoot this bikini poolside - it's a stunning and brilliant background that's color-appropriate, while still having depth and movement. It also gives Naomi a chance to explore some really unique and different poses, which creates several highlight moments, including the one of her in the water, leaning on the pool's edge and her killer leaning-back poses, where the swirl of the water creates a gorgeous visual around her.
Her printed lime and black one-piece is the most in keeping with her feel-the-glow aesthetic. The colors in the suit translate particularly well to that vibe and the tribal print has an ancient, lost-art quality to it that fits in nicely. As with her Americana bikini, Naomi breaks some new ground her poses, exploring some hands-over-head and hands-on-body stances that work really well. My hands-down fave, though, is her hair-flip pose - that is completely AMAZING! Her hair colors leap off the white cement background, while the tall grass below echoes them. It's a glorious moment of modernity meeting nature that concurrently captures a spirit of freedom and exuberance, while the sun reflects off her skin, making Naomi truly glow. It is unquestionably one of the top photos in the set, flawless in every way.
And speaking of flawless, how about my hands down #1 set of the group: Nay-nay's final bikini pairs a leopard push-up style top with fabulous neon melon bottoms. The combo of leopard with orange is ahhhmaaaayyyyzing - the warm tones of the leopard are deepened and enriched by the sweet citrus glow. And the bottoms have their own special detailing - an array of straps that make them way sexier than your standard bikini bottoms (which are generally plenty sexy even sans embellishment ;)) The look gets and additional boost from the accessories - statement earrings in the form of a chain of golden globes and a lace-up choker. There's an untamed-glamazon-queen quality to the styling and it looks like Naomi was feeling it right down to her fingertips. Her soft smoky eye brings some extra attitude ...and so does she! She works this ensemble to the ends of the earth and SLAYS absolutely every shot! The bamboo makes the perfect prop, working not only as a background, but as something Naomi can bend and play with and half-hide in as well, creating wonderful visual depth. She looks completely at home in front of the camera and it's like she can literally do no wrong - the lens loves it all! And so do I! I'm ecstatic seeing such an incredible set from her. Rule it, Queen!
Lana made a huge impact when she debuted on Smackdown Live . And she made one here too, giving us not 1, not 2... but 5 outfits to review! Oh boy, lets get this started because we have a lot to cover!
The first look from Lana is one of my favorites - which actually took me totally by surprise since I am really, really, REALLY over the sheer trend! Lana manages to inject some freshness into it with a design that's tantalizing without being overtly revealing. I love the way the central mesh turns this visual two-piece into a bodysuit and, at the same time, allows an extra sprinkling of crystals to be added that ties the top and bottom together. I'm also not generally a fan of visible panties, but these are so subtle, with the nude under nude tones, that rather than bugging me, they create a tastefully daring couture-tinged vibe that I really enjoy. Lastly, I don't generally love silver with beige. This shade matches Lana's skin so perfectly, however, that it's more like a silver monochrome piece. So, basically, Lana took just about everything I hate and made me love it. Now, that's style! The leafy pieces used in the construction are gorgeous and elegant (what a rare adjective for ring gear, right?) and remind me of snow-covered branches and give this piece a magical quality. She completed the look with her silver OTK boots and the way they solidify the dancing quality if the silver and crystals is perfection. The only pop of color in the whole styling comes from Lana's berry lip tone, which looks amazing, softer and sweeter than a fiery red would be and making warm, romantic counterpoint to the chilled beauty of her gear.
From there, she moves on to another of what appears to be her new trademark piece: the sequined maxi. This is a fairly simple rendition with a sweetheart neckline and on-trend thigh-high slit. It's the color that gives this piece it's power and impact: this deep magenta shade is mesmerizing! Once again, Lana reaches for just the right lip shade, this time choosing a fuschia tone that coordinates with the sequins, but matches the dress' lining, adding a nice touch of complexity to the color story. She completed the look with metallic pointy pumps. While they are appropriate, I wish she'd gone for something with a less weighty and fierce silhouette. Although it could be a bit tricky to zigzag around the pitfalls of "dance contestant" or "beauty pageant participant", a simple ankle strap or wrap sandal would do quite nicely.
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.