Posts Tagged Dress

Fashion ‘Holice Oscars Special

Welcome to the to the inaugural edition of the Fashion ‘Holice – the Soho’s very own take on celebrity style that attracts men.  Which styles draw rave reviews from women and repel men (hint: peplums) and which cross gender lines?  There were four key trends at this year’s Academy Awards that illustrate the difference between men and women, and within those trends, it’s a story of contrasts.  We’ve got sleeves vs. shoulders and demure vs. vampy.  Now let’s break it down.

Shoulders – Bridesmaid Kristen Wiig, The Artist’s Missy Pyle and model/actress Milla Jovovich nailed the rules of attraction by bearing their shoulders.  I’ve got a post on shoulders coming, so I don’t want to throw a spoiler into the mix and will keep it brief.  Men love a shoulder, even more so if you only let them look at one.  Leave them wanting more is the lesson (see JLo), so for now, I’ll leave some mystery for my coming post.

Sleeves – When Gwyneth Paltrow arrived in a cape, the Twittersphere started to buzz about a new trend – maximum coverage. I heard one stylist position this as an empowerment thing: women exercising control over what they reveal. I believe women are more or less in control of that anyway, unless of course they are celebrities, so my guess is that they opted for high fashion over high control. And to men, high fashion = high risk.  Any guy who saw Shailene Woodley in a bikini for most of The Descendants is wondering why she chose to cover all last night. As for Gwyneth, she was proud and statuesque and very grand dame. Women loved it, but I’ll bet that while some men appreciated the idea, the look left the majority lukewarm. Who got the reveal right? JLo. While her nipple received the most PR for exposure, the woman continues to master the fabric-to-skin ratio.

Demure – What a mixed bag. The gamine thing seems to work consistently for Natalie Portman, probably because she is so very beautiful. Known sex bomb Penelope Cruz looked a bit like a prom queen, albeit one with an amazing rack. But there were two standout fashion failures in this category.  It pains me to say that Emma Stone’s bow was not only derivative (see Kidman, Nicole) but is the type of feature that confounds and potentially terrifies most men.  Also, kudos to Michelle Williams for wearing attention-grabbing coral that showcases that alabaster skin, especially on her open back, but was that a… gasp – peplum?  I once purchased a peplum skirt after a fashion editor convinced me it was ‘timeless, elegant and fashion forward.’ When I tried it on for my… gasp – mother, she simply said, ‘Honey, that’s a boner shrinker.’ The tags hang on that skirt to this day.

Vampy – No surprises here; men love a vamp and a few celebs played the part last night.  Notably, we have Angelina Jolie in her go-to goth get-up with a slit that got her right leg its own Twitter feed. Men might have been amused watching her work it like a kickstand, but they do like an, ahem, slit.  She also had a good red pucker, ‘bedroom hair’ as we’ve come to define it and a surprising glow.  Analysis? She and Brad had sex in the car.  Rose Byrne also showed her edge in her black asymmetrical situation.  The jury is out on this one. While the dress is surely sexy, her stick skinny frame couldn’t hold it up.  I also wonder if that heavy fringe and parting scrambles a male mind – it’s entirely too intentional.  On the subject of confusing fringes and eating disorders, I give you Rooney Mara. Yes, Rooney, you’re edgy and you’re fashion, but was last night’s dress the success we’d expected?  Men may like her dominatrixy vibe but if you intend to show some skin, you might want to be a bit more flesh and less bone.

Finally, in the area of hair and make-up, I want to give a shout out to Jessica Chastain, who just looked outstanding.

So what have we learned? 1) When it comes to style that attracts men, ask first ‘What Would JLo Do?’ 2) If it’s got a peplum, think twice. 3) We need some male feedback on the fringe.

What’s so right? What’s so wrong? Over to you?

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Rihanna

That black dress

Today marks the birthday of the woman who currently features the highest on the ‘I would’ charts of my male British friends: Rihanna.  And why not?  This woman serves up her sexuality on a plate.  Did you see that black ‘Ode to Scarface’ number at the Grammy’s? That dress proves it. When it comes to dressing for men, Rihanna ‘gets it’. (And as a result, likely gets plenty of ‘it’, too.)

But is she getting it right or wrong?

At the risk of sounding old or possibly maternal, I worry about our RiRi. Here we have a woman who has been the victim of incredible violence within her relationship espousing in ‘S&M’ that ‘pain is her pleasure’ (and nothing else can measure, apparently). Her ‘We Found Love’ video features an addicted, damaged and abused woman – though I wonder if the lowest common denominator can divine if it’s a cautionary tale or an ambition. And even that dress – the one I loved – is based on Michelle Pfeiffer’s character in Scarface, Elvira Hancock, who despite being very desirable and snorting cocaine rather elegantly, is also drug addled and essentially owned by powerful men who mistreat her.

Believe me, my aim is not to attack Rihanna, especially on her birthday.  She is talented and beautiful and if I had a body like that, I’d probably walk around naked or nearly nude most of the time (hey wait, she does!).  What interests me about Rihanna is what sits at the heart of this blog – when it comes to attracting male attention, can we do it in a way that empowers us or is the very thought objectifying?

Women, Rihanna, MEN – hear me: there is nothing sexy about damage, and we can own our sexuality without emulating the most vulgar parts of it: promiscuity, domination or a loss of control. As this blog gets up and running and I talk about how to attract male attention, it’s because I am a feminist and I believe in anything – anything – that makes women feel good about being women.  That includes male attention (when it’s sought). And if chains and whips DO excite you, then I join Rihanna in saying ‘na, na, na, na, na c’mon’ to that, too.

All I’m asking is that we’re honest about why we make the choices that we do, whether those choices relate to our style or our lifestyle. Attracting men is easy; they are primal and visual and they are the first to admit it.  The trick is in attracting the right kind of attention in a way that feels guided by and true to no one else but you.

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