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Reflections on Cut and Styling

A few weeks back Jessica Alba wore this red Dolce & Gabbana dress with its bold, sculpturally styled skirt.

She got slammed. Badly.

Then just a day or two ago, Victoria Beckham wore a modified version in black and was lauded for her fabulousness.

The difference between the two, beyond the obvious barer bodice on Victoria's dress, which again emphasizes the female form which works with the startling shape, is one part a cut issue and one part a styling issue.

Notice that on Victoria's version of the dress the cut on the skirt is kept rounded, whereas Jessica's version almost comes to points at the sides, and the eye does not like angles, it likes curves.

Victoria's dress exaggerates the female curve, Jessica's almost mock it.

That combined with the more revealing and cleavage accentuating bodice on Victoria's dress, pretty much seals the fate on Jessica's ensemble as the worse of the two.

However, as said above, there is also a styling difference.
Victoria's version is simple, simple simple.
One clean line so you immediately get the overall feel of the piece, which is the only way one can possibly take in this dress with that cut. It's already startling and so different, that your mind initially rebels so to add anything to it just is too off-putting and once your mind has decided it does not work, you can't go back and get that second chance.
Victoria understands this.

Jessica's version already has a strong color fighting with the cut for center stage.
Then when you add a strappy shoe, and the belt, and the dangling earrings and stark, straight across bangs, that add yet another straight line to the look....well..... it just gets too much for the eye to take in. The result is that, what is already a statement dress, becomes the kind of statement you look back on in years to come and wish you would have kept your closet shut.

Both should be applauded for taking such a public risk.
Few of us would dare to wear a dress that strong.
However, if you do wear something so bold that it makes a statement with or without you in it, then let it do the talking on it's own and you just work on becoming an interesting part of that conversation.

Jessica's dress is wearing her, Victoria is wearing the dress.


Sally So said...

I don't know what Jessica was thinking but I do agree, these styles are daring and few are lucky to be able to pull this look off

Yin Yee said...

Agree with your assessment of the two dresses. And the curves on Victoria's dress are fabulous. But I like Jessica's dress too. It's different, and it dares to stand out differently. Great colour too. But yes, it needs to be styled differently. I believe if done well, Jess's dress would be the more fab of the two.

Shrimpton Couture said...

Sally - you are so right - if we slam celebs everytime they wear somethign different how will we get new trends - remember Jennifer Connolly and the Balenciaga sandals? Everyone killed her for it - then since then they are the biggest trend ever!

Hi YY! I miss you! You are right too. The thing about VBs dress is that its black so easier no matter what. Jessica could have really made a statment withg a bit of tweaking!

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