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Grammy's Recap: All Hail Queen B

My sister once said that she was interested in clothes that she could "fully embody as an art piece" rather than clothes that were "overwhelming"in terms of artistry. The wearer, of course, is the most important aspect of any look; the articles of clothing should just serve as a form of inner expression. I feel like many celebs wear designs that are all too distracting for Red Carpet events.  For example, twenty-year old Disney star Ariana Grande, decided on a floral Dolce & Gabbana frock for Sunday night's Grammy Awards. Not only was this dress overpowering in terms of size, length, and volume reminiscent of cotillion, but also, in my opinion, way too old–she was wearing pantyhose for Christ's sake. One attendee who not only owned her look but fully embodied it was–surprise, surprise– Beyoncé. The gown, designed by Project Runway alum Michael Costello, was on par with the beauty who rocked it. 

 The extent of Beyoncé's perfection never fails to baffle me. In her mere sixteen years in the industry, she has maintained a triple threat status, won a record-breaking seventeen Grammy awards, and, on top of it all, managed to have a seemingly normal family with husband Jay-Z. The idea of dressing such an icon as Beyoncé would be exciting for any established designer, let alone someone who was introduced to the world four years ago on  a reality show competition. Costello really proved himself with this incredible frock. The white lace appliqué's over a nude mesh created an illusion of a Winter Wonderland, with Beyoncé as the beautiful, and very sexy, snow queen. As I mentioned before, the most important aspect of this look is Beyoncé's ownership of it.  The dress looks (and was) made for her, and no one else could ever wear it the same. Furthermore, her styling is flawless. If she had, for example, added a necklace, or worn her hair up, the look would have been overdone. 

Performance wise, Beyoncé absolutely stole the show with her opening act of "Drunk In Love" with Jay-Z. No one after had the same impact. However, I wasn't to keen about the soaking wet hair. Turns out I wasn't the only one. Thank goodness we have the great people of the Internet to create memes that keep everyone–even Beyoncé–human. 

Deborah Harry: Style Icon

The smokey eyes, defined cheek bones, killer voice, and, of course, signature blond hair made Deborah Harry one of the most prolific figures in the punk and new wave cultures of the 1980s. The Blondie lead singer was, in basic terms, the Gwen Stefani before there was Gwen Stefani. Harry was the blond beauty who could sing like an angel–while rocking thigh-high boots, baseball t's and fish nets. Her iconic femme-fatale persona paved the way for others in the music industry to follow suit. Harry's innate ability to dress androgynous while maintaining her sex symbol status, is a trait no one since has mastered. 

Can't Be Tamed

Miley Cyrus undeniably took 2013 by storm. Her edgy hair cut, outrageous music videos, and public use of marijuana all aided in her complete obliteration of any previous Disney identity. So, when the twenty-one year old announced her long anticipated Bangerz Tour for 2014, everyone wanted to know what over-the-top stage costumes she would be twerking in. 

Renowned Italian designer Roberto Cavalli recently unveiled sketches for a larger-than-life Miley that look straight out of her bad-ass street style wardrobe. As a huge Miley fan since the beginning, I regret to express my disappointment with the collection as a whole. High-waisted hot pants, bejeweled body suits, and body baring bustiers, while in vogue, are all too predictable. Furthermore, with the hype around Miley at the moment, I was expecting for a show-stopping ensemble– not outfits she could easily wear in her everyday life. I would even go on to describe some pieces, like the nude body suit with Swarovski crystals covering just the right places, to be incredibly unoriginal (ie: Britney Spears' popular 2004 "Toxic" video). 

Despite my personal distaste, it is safe to say that Miley's tour will consist of over-the-top sets, legit dance numbers, a plethora of twerking teddy bears, and whatever else she dreams up for her dedicated "Smilers". I just wish that a ticket to her show was in my starving student budget. 

Elie Saab Spring/Summer 2014

Excuse me while I geek out over Elie Saab's incredible Spring/Summer 2014 collection which is, in two words: absolute perfection. I think what I love the most is the careful balance between the opening chimerical pieces, with the dramatic onyx in the finale, all tied together by a skinny black belt. With an aesthetic that plays tribute to Valentino, but is entirely his own, Beirut-born designer Saab cultivated a jaw-dropping show, proving his well-deserved place in the industry. 

Grunge Resurrected

All decades have their own distinctive styles and trends that frequently recycle back into modern fashion. There was the boho 70s revival in the mid-2000s, followed by the re-mergence of 80s neon during the late-2000s. It was only a matter of time before 90s fashion would seep back into mainstream, and frankly, I couldn't be happier. As a girl who spent her high school nights watching reruns of Friends and My So Called Life,  the 90s continually flood me with nostalgia.
YSL's Fall 2013 

What intrigues me most about 90s fashion is its direct correlation to 90s music. Contrary to the produced, electronic, dance music of the 80s, the 90s were a time where people went back to their roots, generating a resurgence of organic alternative music. Although alternative music at this time prided itself on being "underground", the culture that surrounded it came to define the decade of fashion. Acts like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden all played a crucial role in not only the creation, but the rapid and rampant spread of "Grunge".  Doc Martens, flannels, ripped garments, grimy hair, and a blatant apathy to the outside world characterized the typical 90s teen. I would also like to point out the irony behind the time, with teenagers dwelling during some of the most prosperous years of American history, choosing to clothe themselves as dirty and disheveled as possible. The counter-cultural tendencies and deep-rooted rebellion are obviously nothing surprising, but still an interesting detail.

By the turn of the century, Grunge was overthrown by low-riding denim skirts, flared jeans, and a plethora of belly shirts, only to be revived again by high fashion designers in 2013. Marc Jacobs and Hedi Slimane, the new creative director of once conservative Saint Laurent, have been at the forefront of this movement, with Fall and Spring runway looks fit for Winona Ryder and Courtney Love. In fact, after viewing Saint Laurent's Fall line, Love, via Twitter, expressed her delight over the idea of "rich ladies buying what we used to wear".

Of course, Grunge is not here to stay, and is destined for replacement yet again. However, for the time being, I am trying to embody Grunge fashion to the best of my ability, as the 90s teen I always yearned to be. Next on my shopping list: a plastic choker and a Tamagotchi.

History in the Making?
The first time I saw Angelina Jolie’s iconic emerald green Atelier Versace dress on the Golden Globes red carpet in 2011, I became immediately infatuated with the glitz and glam of award show season. As strange as the red carpet is– the beauties of Hollywood, adorned exquisitely in designer jewels and gowns, broadcasted to the judgmental eyes of the entire world–it never fails to showcase the hottest names and styles in fashion. However, are ball gowns and cocktail dresses really the pinnacle of fashion? Is a Chanel tweed suit, for example, worthy of the same amount of praise? Emma Watson, a  mere presenter at the Golden Globes this year, challenged the aforementioned notion by wearing visible, black trousers underneath her blood-red gown, all courtesy of Dior Couture.  Obviously such an unconventional outfit would have been somewhat expected at the Grammy’s or MTV Video Music Awards, yet its juxtaposition at an event as prestigious as the Globes opens the door to exciting alternatives outside the expected dress.
Watson’s outfit worked on so many levels, but what really struck me was how it achieved complexity through highly simplistic means. The only factor somewhat complex about the gown-trouser ensemble was its construction and very nature; it demanded the audience’s full attention. The perceived intricate construction, however, served as a direct contrast to her minimalistic makeup, simple, pulled-back hair, and single pearl earring in the left ear. Furthermore, the color-blocking technique created a complete separation among all the outfit’s components, thus negating any viewer confusion or uncertainty. If Watson had worn matching red trousers, for example, the drama would have been replaced by distasteful perplexity.  

 Watson, at the age of twenty-three, created her own pivotal moment to kick off this year’s award show season. Only time will determine the sheer strength of her potential influence in red carpets to come.