Monday, February 25, 2013

Adele, Octavia, and plus-size fashion

I am a big believer that the phrase "for her size" or any of its equivalents should not be used when paying someone a compliment. Phrases like "that dress flattered her figure" should also be booted from the fashion vocabulary.

Every woman, no matter her shape or size, has features she wants to show off - and those she'd like to hide as much as possible. The right dress can do that for any woman. Regardless of size, one bad fashion decision can make even the most beautiful woman look regrettable.

When you're talking about red carpet fashion - and particularly the Oscar red carpet - fashion isn't just about the dress. It's about how the whole look is pulled together. That means hair, makeup, jewelry, accessories, the dress, the shoes, the smile, the posture - the whole picture.

When a thin actress wears a particularly bad dress, we don't say it's not flattering to her figure. We don't say she couldn't pull it off because of her hips, or whatever. We say - holy $&%#, what was she thinking?!

I think curvy women should be treated the same. Beautiful is beautiful - and awful is awful. Size and shape don't need to be mentioned. It's implied - if the look was awful, then obviously the dress did nothing for the woman.

Take Adele. She's beautiful, immeasurably talented, well-spoken, funny, gracious - all the things that make you root for a celebrity.

When I say she's beautiful, I don't mean "for her size" or when she wears a "flattering outfit." I mean she's a freaking beautiful woman - one who has made some regretable fashion choices.

Her dress from the Grammy Awards - actually, her whole look - is awful. Not because of her size. Not because of her age. It's ugly because it's ugly. She's worthy of better. Period. It's not about her size - it's about no one can make this dress look OK, especially on a red carpet.

What it looks like is someone thought her hips needed to be hidden, and her legs elongated to draw attention away from her size. So someone thought Adele's size was something that needed to be hidden, and they thought covering her in a field of flowers was the way to go. I can't explain why the hair is all the way up...but it also goes to show that whoever styled the look doesn't appreciate true beauty.

I'm hoping whoever this person is was fired.

After last night's Oscar broadcast, it seems like someone was fired - or at least schooled a little.

Adele wore this look on the red carpet...

...and this look when she performed her now Oscar-winning song "Skyfall."

Found them both here

Her performance look? Hot - at any size.

Black is a traditional red carpet look. I think that's fine (and Adele does it all the time) because there's never anything wrong with being classic. I like that she added some sparkle to the red carpet look, but I still don't understand hiding the hips and arms. Her body is beautiful, and her skin is gorgeous - show it off!

A "curvy" acress who seems to have it all figured out (pun intended)? Octavia Spencer. She isn't afraid of color, sparkle, or fit.

2012 Oscars

2013 Oscars

I have read that Ms. Spencer always works with the same designer. She has said Tadashi Shoji doesn't just hand curvy celebrities a "designer tent" and send them on their way, but rather works with women to come up with her look, regardless of size.

I wonder if there's any way Shoji could have helped some of the acresses of a smaller size last night?


  1. I couldn't agree more. I hate those phrases "For her size" and "she carries it well". They're just annoyingly backhanded putdowns disguised as compliments.

    Adele is freaking gorgeous and super talented. That crazy red tapestry couch fabric dress was a horrifically bad choice. Octavia is always a knockout. Anne's choice - not so much

  2. Since we're on the subject.. Did you see the horrible thing they put Melissa McCarthy in? I mean, it could have been a beautiful gown if the had hemmed it... it was like they through a sheet over her... like a RAIN poncho. She's so beautiful, it's as if her wardrobe coordinator didn't even TRY to show it.

    And Anne Hathaway... is ALWAYS very fashion forward.. this... did nothing... It was an awful color... and awfully THIN... I wonder if it would look better in black... Everything looks better in black..
    But, maybe not THAT dress...

  3. Anne Hathway's dress made it look like she had beamers !! How embarassing.

  4. I wanted to put in a photo of Melissa McCarthy as an example of what you say, but I couldn't bring myself to do so. I usually love her, but I don't know what anyone was thinking with last night's dress. It lacked structure of any sort, which doesn't look good - period. A dress should compliment the woman's figure - not hide her completely.

    Octavia is just gorgeous. That is all.

    As for Anne - there was a lot of debate over whether those were nipples (since she obviously couldn't wear a bra with the dress) or the seam of the dress. Either way, shouldn't someone have said (if she didn't notice), "no, it looks awkward..."?! She's ridiculoulsy beautiful, and a couture dress should only add to that.

  5. I wonder if Adele has some post baby skin things going on and that's what she's covering up? She used to bare a little.

    Anne H should never ever be in a color that pale. She should know better as a pasty white girl.

  6. And if Adele wants to send me that awful red number, I can make a few alterations that would knock everyone's socks off!