Monday, January 22, 2018

Fashion Review: SAG Awards 2018

The SAG Awards have become one of the most fun red carpet events for fashion. Since it's a looser event that honors both movies and TV, we get treated to some sartorial adventures. Some are extremely successful, and you get to see someone try on a new persona for the night. Some are shockingly bad. A few trends emerged: sequins, halters, florals, white and blush gowns. But praise the lord, we also saw the entire rainbow of colors. Let's get into it!

Best Dressed

Mandy Moore looked flawless in this disco-ready custom Ralph Lauren in the most delightful shade of periwinkle. Her soft curls and nude lip were the perfect complement. She looks like she's planned cocktails at Halston's apartment, followed by a night at one of Bianca Jagger's birthday parties at 54.

Yara Shahidi is just impossibly beautiful, chic, smart and elegant — so much so it's unfair. Her black Ralph Lauren jumpsuit with a train looked effortless when paired with her berry lip and glorious Diana Ross curls. Looks like she's learned a thing or two from TV mom Tracee Ellis Ross.

There are few among us who could rock a Miu Miu halter gown with a midriff of fluffy ostrich feathers, but Margot Robbie is a rare bird, indeed. The silhouette looked very glamorous from the side, and the delicate cascade of the skirt is just dreamy. She looks like Grace Kelly for the 21st century: classic with an edge.

Allison Williams appears ready to take over the Cyd Charisse role in a remake of Singing in the Rain (do NOT greenlight that, Hollywood) in this platinum Ralph & Russo gown. Every girl wants to look this classy, elegant, sexy and fun once in her life. Her burgundy lip and glowy skin were the perfect accessories for such a showstopper gown.

Grecian goddess Tracee Ellis Ross has become a master as showing off her curves. This beautifully draped Ralph & Russo gown is one of her all-time best, and utterly timeless.

Allison Janney is here to be the robot queen of the future and I'm ready for it! This quicksilver sequined disco ball of a gown by Yanina Couture was edgy, sexy and ready for its close-up when the moment came. I'm excited to see her getting so celebrated this season!

The vintage-loving, ballet-obsessed girly girl in me is a complete sucker for Madeline Brewer's pearl-covered Reem Acra gown and flawless make-up. Her rosy cheeks and red-orange lips matched perfectly to her shoes. She's incredibly beautiful but her acting roles in Orange is the New Black and The Handmaid's Tale haven't usually called for this level of glamour. This is a NOTICE ME look.

I can't get over the offbeat ease and elegance of Holly Hunter's Paule Ka gown. The rich gold, the clean lines and her breezy styling are just a master class in red carpet dressing without trying too hard.

The hostess of the evening, Kristen Bell, shined in this raspberry J. Mendel gown. An underutilized color, beautifully tailored, and impeccably accessorized = a winner in my book.

Nicole is a best dressed Hall of Famer at this point. So much so, I almost didn't recognize this hypnotic shimmery Monique Lhuillier for how beautiful it really is. It's not any one color at all — it's all of them!


I don't 100% love Brie Larson's Gucci dress, but I appreciate that it's different, it's pretty and of the many floral gowns on the red carpet, it was one of the best. Her make-up is the look we should all be stealing.

Odeya Rush wasn't familiar to me at first, until I saw she played the popular girl in Lady Bird. But I have to give kudos to her for the cool architectural lines of this Dior gown. It's a bit of an awkward hemline and I'd definitely do something different with her hairdo, but I appreciate how interesting it is when she could have played it really safe.

I'm like a magpie for silver and black and leafy patterns, so I could not ignore Olivia Munn's Oscar de la Renta gown. It's event-appropriate, a little bit disco and a little bit art deco. I feel like it's a dress I could easily dislike, too...but that's the fun of fashion, no?

Lupita Nyong'o's Ralph & Russo feather-trimmed mermaid gown is obviously quite beautiful and looks luminous with her shimmery skin. For me, it was a little too been there-done that to really move me, but it's definitely lovely.

Dakota Fanning just looked like a very pretty ballerina in her delicately detailed Prada gown. Simple, elegant. It's not daring or showy, but its subtle wavy sequin lines are certainly beautiful.

I feel like this Elizabetta Franchi was one of the more glamorous gowns my girl Connie Britton has ever worn. I wish her posture was a touch better to really sell it, but she looked sexy and cool and the color feels fresh.

Not one but two actresses donned celestial gowns that made me smile. Natalia Dyer, of Stranger Things, wore this horoscope-inspired Dior gown that is a little bit distracting (sue me, but I'm definitely doing a double-take when I see a sheer bodice cup) but fun. I give her a B+ for effort.

Samira Wiley also wore the sun, moon and stars with this Tadashi Shoji gown. I think I would like it better if the straps hit the corners of her shoulders, rather than forming a halter neckline. For some reason, I didn't love the lines of the gown as a halter.

Sadie Sink, of Stranger Things, managed to pull off not one but two style challenges: dress age-appropriately without looking like a baby doll and successfully rock Chanel couture off the runway. This looks sweet and chic.

Susan Sarandon has mastered the off-the-shoulder slinky gown for the 50+ woman, and this navy Zac Posen is one of her better entries in this style canon.

When I saw Reese on the red carpet, I was delighted to see her having a little more fun with details than she's been having recently (ESPECIALLY her emerald earrings), but when I saw the actual stripe detail on this Zac Posen gown, I was a little less in love. It reminds me a little too much of a saloon girl at an Old Timey Photo Booth or a roll of Christmas gift wrap. But it's not bad!

I just like the elegant sportiness of Marisa Tomei's simple long-sleeved column gown. She is barely aging, always sexy and this seems effortlessly chic. She looks like a French chanteuse. 

Close, But...

I could easily be swayed toward hating or loving Alison Brie's Dundas gown. On one hand, it's bold and interesting and seems like a perfect tribute to her character on GLOW. It's very superhero chic. On the other hand, it looks like Vegas clubwear you'd buy at a store in the mall for $25 if you needed a bachelorette dress. I think the homage to GLOW is the saving grace here. 

The more I look at Saoirse Ronan's lilac-pink Louis Vuitton, the more it grows on me, but when you really examine it, there's no reason it should be working. The metallic flaps seem like something you'd see on a deep sea fish, and the tied belt is straight out of a monastery. But the color, combined with the sparkle and topped off with her gorgeous face is working just enough for me. 

Vanessa Kirby plays Princess Margaret on The Crown and she seems to have internalized that woman's bad girl glamour. I love her Valentino gown, but her floppy wet blonde hair is just not achieving its intended look. It's a close-but-no-cigar attempt at messy hair that's ruining an otherwise really good ensemble. 


I enjoy Greta Gerwig's fashion moxie and the studded detail of her Bottega Veneta gown is fun and different. The color is...tricky. Chartreuse is a hard color for any mere mortal, and it's especially hard to photograph accurately. I'd be interested to see if I really liked this gown in a different color.

Elisabeth Moss's slinky Adam Selman halter dress is cute and sexy, but felt a little underwhelming for such a fun night. She also tends to shy away from experimenting with color a lot and I'd love to see her in a bright blue or green when she goes to a more fashion forward event like the SAGs.

I cannot pinpoint what I don't love about Laura Linney's J. Mendel gown. I like the color, I love a good cape and normally I like a feather motif. But on TV, I couldn't tell if it was feathers or just random lines or eyelashes or what. And it's pulling and wrinkling in weird ways that mar an otherwise perfect column. It's not bad by any means...I just can't seem to get the small thrill I need to nudge it to the "best" column.

Halle Berry in sparkles and black tulle is about as expected as me showing up in black flats and a black sweater. It works, it's fine, whatever. Sometimes her trusty nude sparkles and black tulle combo is inspired and fresh. Sometimes, like this one by Pamella Roland, it seems slipshod, like someone trying to wing a cake recipe. I imagine an inner monologue like "Lemme do a nude...ok...and maybe some sequins and beads...alright...and like, tie a bunch of tulle around the back of it...ok." And then you slather some icing on your half-risen confection and just send it out the door.

On the plus side, Gina Rodriguez's Rasario dress is different, it's interesting and it hit the floral trend right on the nose. On the downside, the corset-inspired bodice seems extremely forced and the straps veer a little bit away from sexy and more toward a practical bra designed to relieve shoulder/neck strain. I think back to the corseted Dolce & Gabbana gowns of the 90s that had spaghetti-thin straps and that just feels like a slightly more refined approach (assuming your boobs can stay up with that small amount of support).

I love when tweens enjoy being tweens and, for the most part, Millie Bobby Brown's ensemble is pitch-perfect and on-trend. It struck me as being basically half the Spice Girls personas combined in one outfit, which seems right on target with the current resurgence of everything I loved when I was her age! My only quibbles are that the train seems truly tacked on and the Calvin Klein by Appointment halter gown reveals quite a bit of skin from the sides, which makes me anxious when I'm looking at a 13-year-old girl.


I've been trying to stretch my imagination to imagine a scenario in which I would not hate Sally Hawkins' hypnotic Dior jumpsuit, but I think possibly only Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie could pull this off. There's so much to dislike here that I need a bulleted list to cover all of it:

  • The color scheme inspired by an afghan your grandparents had in the 70s
  • The leading lines hypnotizing you into looking right at her belly — good for her that it's in good shape!
  • The choir robe cut of the neckline
  • The impossibly wide tent-sized culotte cut of the pants
  • The styling of this INSANE outfit with the hair of a Senator's wife
  • The demure red pumps disappearing into the red carpet, making her look like she's sinking into a pit of despair

Kate Hudson's "Age of Innocence" meets "Prom in 1979" Valentino is not working for me on any level. I like to think of myself as generally open-minded to most fashion, but I don't think there's any scenario in which I would see this gown and think YES. It feels especially jarring with her modern and sleek short hair, like she's starring in a Hallmark romance about a Victorian woman who had to sell her hair in order to afford medicine for her true love afflicted with cholera. Don't worry, he'll survive and she'll get to wear this to the Valentine's Day Ball.

Yvonne Strahovski's lace Ester Abner gown looks like a very formal doctor's coat mixed with a pilgrim's collar mixed with a pair of lacy curtains. The pocket placement is not ideal and the fabric darting out from the waist is just bizarre. I have a hard time imagining flipping through a rack of gown options and seeing this bridal version of a postal worker's uniform and saying, "YES! I have to wear this on one of the most fun and fashionable nights in Hollywood."

That's it for me, folks! See you here same time, same place for Grammy's fashion next week!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Year Three of Home Ownership

Sometime in November, we entered our fourth year of home ownership (!!!). It's easy to feel like nothing is getting accomplished and the house is falling apart for a living, so sometimes I like to step back and really take stock of how far we've come. There are some BIG items I really would love to tackle (ahem, the kitchen) that will just take a little longer than I would have hoped. But we crossed some biggies off the list this past year, including: new front fencing, painted shutters and front door and finally replaced the dining room light fixture. 

Let's climb in the wayback machine and remember the journey:

Curb Appeal

From Day One, I was not feeling the red shutters. For exteriors, I like a classic look and I'm usually pretty partial to black shutters with brick. 

When it came time to paint ours, however, I decided to match the color to the darkest shade of the brick and ended up with a dark, dark charcoal-brown that looks like sealskin. I considered many, many shades for the front door and ended up wimping out and going with my favorite color: Wythe Blue by Benjamin Moore. I can't quit it! I think/hope the exterior is slightly more stately.

I tried and failed — TWICE — to keep boxwoods alive in those planters. I'll start a new hunt soon for a better option. Maybe an evergreen shrub?

Our motion-sensor porch light finally crapped out and I jumped at the chance to replace it. We ended up going with this Capistrano model, which I purchased off Amazon.

It's classic and modern at the same time. 

The biggest item on our agenda was to replace the crumbling front portion of our fence, which our fence guys estimated was original to the house (making it nearly 40 years old).

The new fence is a beaut, and I couldn't resist topping it off with fence jewelry (a.k.a copper post caps). 

Front Room

I can never get over this before picture because the room just looks so, so different. Since buying the house, we've:
  • Removed the railing
  • Put in hardwood floors
  • Removed the wallpaper
  • Painted
  • Added bookshelves
  • Finally hung drapes
  • Finally replaced the dining room light

We had a very hard time agreeing on a light fixture. I wanted something modern and frankly, would have gone a little funkier, but Sean talked me down a bit. We went with the Bautista light fixture from All Modern. 

The dining area before...

And today! We just hung the drapes on Sunday. 

 These are very simple, but very elegant IKEA Ritva drapes that, when hung, can almost have the tailored look of a pinch pleat at the top. They are very long and cost less than you'd spend on four panels at Target that would look half as good. I got the rods at Target. They look like a cross between nickel and muted brass and I love the faceted ends. Modern, but not overly trendy.

Master Bedroom

Wow, this picture reminds me how much I did not like that color. 

In 2017, we added a headboard and just this past weekend, we finally hung some art. The prints are two quotes from our favorite authors that I picked up at a boutique in Provo, Utah:

  • "You have bewitched me body and soul," Jane Austen
  • "We were together, I forget the rest," Walt Whitman
The middle print is by Ashley Goldberg and I think I gave it to Sean wayyyyy back in maybe 2007 or 2008? It reminded me of us. 

So that's year three of the Kennedy Casa! I'm not sure what year four will bring, but I know my to-do list includes:
  • Purging!
  • Framing and hanging more art and getting rid of what doesn't have a place
  • Saving for the kitchen reno and maybe seeing what we can do to make it more enjoyable in the meantime
  • Finally giving some shape and character to Sean's man room
  • Possibly doing some small upgrades to the hall bathroom
  • Updating 1-2 ceiling fans
  • Painting trim that's way overdue for painting
  • Painting the trim on the sheds*
*I really, really don't feel like doing that. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Golden Globes Fashion 2018

Wow, what an exceptional Golden Globes. In case you were living under a rock, this Golden Globes was historic. To promote the new organization Times Up, actresses opted to wear black in solidarity and to shift the conversation on the red carpet to issues facing women, including sexual harassment, pay disparity and more. I'm obviously 100% on board with this, and in some ways, I recognize it's fairly ridiculous to then critique their fashion. But there is an art to expression through fashion, and I still think that's worth celebrating, and let's be real: red carpet fashion is an industry unto itself, so these designers/stylists/accessories companies deserve credit. 

Best Dressed

For me, Margot Robbie takes the cake in this lovely gown by Gucci. It has everything I'm looking for: drama, inventiveness, retro callbacks and perfect styling. See that confident strut? She knows she's rocking it. 

Allison Janney managed to walk the tightrope of wearing black in solidarity and still reminding us she is one hot mama not to be trifled with. This hot fire Mario Dice gown is hitting all the right notes, especially to remind Oscar voters she is not the bespectacled and bewigged mother of Tonya Harding she plays on screen.

Diane Kruger is here to remind us mere mortals how couture is meant to be worn. Few could pull off this Prada with its busy neckline of a cross-halter AND a cape of beaded Swiss dot fabric, but Diane Kruger is no newbie.

Speaking of newbies, Issa Rae is a relative newcomer to the red carpet and has been slaying it! This is sexy and perfectly styled with an emerald right down to there. She managed to stick to the script of black for solidarity while making a statement in Prabal Gurung.

Hell hath frozen over, because I am ready to sing the praises of a gown that's actually pants. This Vassilis Zoulias look on Alison Brie is like a lost costume for Sabrina by Givenchy, and her make-up and accessorizing only further the vision of Audrey-level elegance. I'm intrigued to see more from her on the red carpet. Also, kudos for telling E! she chose this outfit because, "tonight is all about women wearing the pants."

Nicole wore a Givenchy ensemble that was elegant and had just enough interest. A lot of people wore outfits that looked like bows and flounces and ruffles were added haphazardly, but the detail of hers was deftly done. Also her speech was so great! If you haven't watched Big Little Lies, get on it.

Laura Dern has perfected her awards show lewk: slim silhouettes with futuristic details. This Armani Prive works perfectly for her, shows off her banging bod and helps her avoid looking overly frou frou or overly mumsy.

Quite a few ladies stepped out in very modern combos of sparkles and black, but this custom Alberta Ferretti on Mary J. Blige is one of my favorites. Look how she works it! Sorry, Mary J. I know you said no more drama, but you look like you're courtin it in this little number.

I also loved Saoirse Ronan's futuristic sparkles-and-black Atelier Versace gown. It looks a little Star Trek couture, but I'm all about that. It's been so fun to see her figure out her fashion profile on the red carpet over the past couple years.

Many, many, many folks donned black sequins, but Sarah Paulson's Calvin Klein gown had the most inventive details, from the mock turtleneck mod collar to the flowy pleats on her satin skirt. The contrast with her casual blunt bob sings.

Tracee Ellis Ross looked so glamorous in this Marc Jacobs number and worked the look like no one else could. The apple didn't fall far from the tree with this lady.

Cutest dates award goes to America Ferrara and Natalie Portman, who are founding members of Times Up. This is truly the happiest I've seen Natalie look on a red carpet in a long time, and I loved her spicy reminder that only men (white men, at that) were nominated for Best Director. I wish America's blazer had been more tailored; it just looked very rumpled in all the pictures. I LOVE Natalie's Dior velvet gown. It looks like the very best of Maid Marion cosplay, and I'm here for it.

Dakota Johnson's Gucci is the best surprise! From the front, I was not 100% on board with the size of that buckle, but then I saw the celestial back and was completely in love.

Good, Y'all

I honestly couldn't decide what to make of Allison Williams' orange target Armani Prive black gown, but it was definitely interesting and I think I liked it? Is there a greater symbolism the target is cut in half? Or does it have some reference to "Get Out?" Or maybe there's nothing to it? Whatever, I found it intriguing.

So I had to look up who Laura Marano is, but god bless her for delivering on my pretty-princess-frou-frou needs. I love chic and sleek, but it was also nice to see somebody find a black gown that was unabashedly princessy. And, it helps advance her name because now I had to look her up and find out she is a Disney Channel star. In other words, we're probably only five years away from her being a household name on par with Selena and Demi.

Catherine Zeta Jones is here to remind you to not count her out. She's hot, ready to trot, and has the decolletage to prove it. Nearly everyone paired their black gown with emerald earrings (I guess a memo went out?) but her pair of earrings was one of the best of the bunch. Her lacy Zuhair Murad gown isn't reinventing the wheel here, but it is reminding us who the F she is, and I'm sure that's a mission: accomplished.

I have yet to see "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" and I've only seen the pilot of "SMILF," so I was unfamiliar with Samara Weaving, but out of a sea of sequined and beaded black dresses, her simple blouson Laura Basci gown with a diamond cuff was one of my favorites. It looks sporty, yet elegant. A great first showing on the red carpet for an ingenue.

It was really cool to see Ashley Judd getting so much respect for coming forward with sexual harassment claims and she deserves a lot of credit for being in the trenches of women's issues for a LONG time. I always think Gal Gadot bears a passing resemblance to Ashley, who was reminding everyone how timelessly gorgeous she is in this beautiful Elie Saab gown. The details of the pattern and overlay on the skirt are definitely worth a closer look.

This might be one of my favorite gowns I've ever seen on Octavia Spencer, but it does have the dreaded stumpifying effect tea length hems can give sometimes. Cut two inches from the hem, and I'm 100% on board.

You can barely see them in this picture, but Maggie Gyllenhaal's extra-long pearl earrings were delightful and a welcome departure from the sea of emeralds. Her sequin outfit by Monse was a solid entry in the black sequin category, too.

I do not know how to feel about this, reader. Ostensibly, I am completely in love with Kerry Washington's Prabal Gurung look until I get to the Roger Vivier booties. I'm not opposed to booties, but with that hem, it just feels awkward to me. But I'm sure, for her, they made the look. Sigh.

Zoe Kravitz kept it very simple, but those emeralds were by far the biggest and baddest of the night, and that bone structure ain't too shabby, either.

Helen Mirren is a bonafide red carpet delight. Never boring, but always elegant, tasteful and redefining age-appropriate. I liked the sexy peekaboo of her gown, which has a lot of interesting detail — including the rhinestone-studded neckline.

Alexis Bledel didn't get any big screen time on the show, but I really liked her graphic Oscar de la Renta black-and-white jumpsuit. It's a little bit "I could make that" but it's at least interesting and dynamic.

This picture is frankly weird, but I really loved Mandy Moore's ruby earrings and red pop of color on her Rosie Assoulin dress. The pocket posing seems overly forced, though. I get it, there's pockets.

 YASSSSS Viola. Slaying us with that gorgeous natural hair and blinging necklace-and-bright white smile. Her simple gown is by Brandon Maxwell.

Angelina Jolie is angling for an Auntie Mame reboot these days, and I don't even mind. This Atelier Versace is very Liz Taylor, which is very on brand for the dramatic and yet captivating Angelina.


I see what she's doing here, but I wish Claire Foy's Stella McCartney outfit had even just a little more pizzazz. More fun with the buttons? More fun with the hair? More fun with the earrings? Just more fun somewhere. 

At first I felt like Sarah Jessica Parker's Dolce and Gabbana dress reminded me of something her Hocus Pocus character would wear, but that almost made me like it. It just feels a little like a cocktail-length Versailles court dress — too many ideas going on here.

I had mixed feelings about this Dior gown on Jessica Biel. It's beautiful! But...the ruching over the nude fabric on the bust line was feeling kinda meh to me. I LOVE the delicate pleating of the skirt. I just couldn't get really excited about this, but I feel like that has to be my lingering "meh" about Jessica Biel as a person.

In recent years, Reese has really narrowed in on her preferred look: tailored, simple, sleek. And I've been incredibly bored by it. I miss the Reese of the early aughts who would show up with a pin curled bob and gorgeous vintage gown. I mean, you do you. This Zac Posen gown is not bad. It's just very simply "meh."

For a press junket or appearance on Colbert, I'm all about this bejeweled collar Dior Haute Couture gown. But for the Golden Globes, this felt extra somber and again, the tea length is so challenging to pull off. Still, Elisabeth has come a long way sartorially from those first appearances in the early Mad Men days.

I think I'm supposed to find this Valentino gown on Kate Hudson very sexy. I don't really. I like the pleating of the skirt portion, but otherwise, I'm just not feeling the look on the whole. It feels half-baked.

I like Debra Messing's Christian Siriano pantsuit in theory but not as much in execution. I kind of wish the top portion extended into a skirt, ending up with something more similar to Alison Brie's outfit, or that the entire pantsuit was sparkly. Help me readers...what would make this a slam dunk?

I LOVE Connie Britton, I love what she's trying to achieve here, but her "Poverty is sexist" sweater by Lingua Franca retails for almost $400. True, a chunk of that change goes to charity, so I'm a little torn here — I have dropped serious money on sweatshirts because they donated a portion of proceeds to charity. But felt an eensy bit tone deaf to wear a really expensive sweater decrying poverty. Let's give Connie the benefit of the doubt that she also puts her money where her cashmere is.

Worst Dressed

Alison Sudol's gown felt like a goth girl Gunne Sax dress Carrie would have rejected for the's a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. I have a lifelong hatred of baby bangs, so this whole look was basically my worst nightmare. Otherwise known for her musical performances as A Fine Frenzy, Alison appears in "Fantastic Beasts" and is beautiful, so this look is a bit of a disappointment. I don't think it will make her a household name by any means.

Chanel couture is notoriously challenging to pull off outside the context of the runway, and poor Catriona Balfe is no exception. I described this look as "S&M Furbie" to my husband. It looks a little bit like the result of a Project Runway unconventional materials challenge, and not in the good way.

In every red carpet picture, Millie Bobby Brown looks like a deer in headlights, and it might possibly be because she was trying to put on a "sexy and fierce" face that, frankly, feels premature. Do not try to grow up too fast, little ones! Her Calvin Klein looks a little like a sexy judge Halloween costume and it had a very open back, which I wholeheartedly disapprove of on 13-year-olds.

Alicia Vikander's Louis Vuitton gown is full-on Queen Victoria mourning Prince Albert, and that's not even so bad, but it just felt especially dark and macabre for an already sober Golden Globes.

Amanda Peet's gown looks like a 1980s bridesmaid's gown that was dyed to wear to a funeral. I think it's the neckline that needs some work here, but the whole ensemble is just generally really lackluster and looks like it needs some boosting from a pair of scissors and some different accessories.

Jamie Chung's Ermanno Scervino gown isn't all that bad, except that it looks less like a design than a last-minute pinning together of assorted elements from a fabric bin.

Sharon Stone is delightfully bonkers, so I appreciate her decision to wear a truly questionable (like, defying gravity questionable) cutout gown by Vitor Zerbinato that was serving us a strange glimpse of underboob. Even better is her decision to wear this as accompanied by her pre-teen son. Even better than that is her hilarious red carpet appearance with Mariah Carey, a soul-sister if ever she found one. She's a treasure.