Just when we thought that pyjama dressing was the only unlikely trend of the season, you can add peplum to that list too. The silhouette isn't something new but for some reason or other, many women avoid it like the plague but this season things have changed. The style has made a serious comeback and everyone seems to being embracing it.
Everyone from Jason Wu and Giambattista Valli to Alexander McQueen and Givenchy paid homage to the style back in September and it's not hard to understand why. As someone that has suffered with finding clothes to fit around my typically South African pear shape, the waist skimming effect is perfect. As Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian show, it accentuates a tiny waist whilst skimming your hips and celebrating curves. Even for those that are more straightly shaped, peplums help create the illusion of curves like it did for Emma Watson and Emma Stone recently.
When Michelle Williams sported that beautiful statement red Louis Vuitton peplum gown it became clear that everyone was converted and unsurprisingly, the high street has picked up on it too. Not all are good but Zara has created some great styles that are sculptural and structured without the fuss that made many people avoid them in the first place.
The red carpet looks at last night's Oscars was mixed. Angelina Jolie looked incredible in an Atelier Versace black gown with thigh high slit, just about everyone wearing Elie Saab Couture looked incredible and Emma Stone stole the show in a red halter neck Giambattista Valli Couture gown.
Unsurprisingly, Jessica Chastain chose an Alexander McQueen gown and Rooney Mara chose Givenchy as we expected but unfortunately did not make the statement that we were all hoping for. The most interesting look of the night came from Gwyneth Paltrow who, like last year with that Calvin Klein dress, managed to pull off a difficult Tom Ford dress.
Gucci isn't the only brand in Milan taking a walk on the dark side. For fall Donatella Versace continued the Gothic aesthetic that brother Gianni Versace had begun to explore before his tragic murder in 1997. Crucifixes came on everything from black velvet coats to oversized clutch bags and just in case the reference wasn't strong enough, all of the models' hair came with what Guido Palau called the 'fugly fringe'.
Alongside the gothic theme was a feeling of strength and the clothes serving as an armour. This was particularly true on a studded leather corsetted strapless dress and coat in a similar style, as well as a killer biker jacket which wouldn't have looked out of place on Rooney Mara in 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'. Even the orange and yellow pieces that came towards the end of the collection had a similar strength.
I was really worried about seeing the Prabal Gurung show yesterday. His S/S12 collection was such a hit that expectations for his fall offerings were really high but he took the challenge in his stride and wowed us with yet another stellar performance.
Gurung has long spoken about his love of contrasts and contradictions and that was visible in the collection. The show started off in dark representing hell. The first look featured a dark but romantic black cape teamed with perfectly low slung flared trousers. A strapless dress came tamed with over-the-elbow length leather gloves, jackets came in fur or along the hemlines on coats and dresses had the sheer panels that he showed in his SS12 collection that went down well with the likes of Rooney Mara and Zoe Saldana. Stemming from his interest in spirituality and light and dark, the first part of the show featured black hats created by Phillip Treacy which were half visor and half Archbishop hat. As the show progressed, we moved into heaven with those low slung flares coming in white teamed with gold belts and statement cuffs and feathered skirts skirts also made a welcomed appearance.
Aside from the black and white and gold, Gurung also interested blue tones on the eyes and on the knitwear inspired by the blue rose from Japan. The rose print appeared on structured tops and trouser combos to the delight of buyers who were quick to lap these prints up last season. The shapes were good too. Jackets came with volumous sleeves and rounded cocoon shaped shoulders and one coat had a greenish blue oil effect on the arms and came nipped in at the waist with a skater skirt style from the waist down.
Vanity Fair's annual Hollywood Issue cover is always good but this year's offerings is my favourite. The pull-out cover stars Rooney Mara, Mia Wasikowska, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Elizabeth Olsen, Adepero Oduye, Shailene Woodley, Paula Patton, Felicity Jones, Lily Collins, and Brit Marling.
Shot by Mario Testino, the actresses appear in an Art Deco set which was designed 'to evoke the all-white, Jazz Age interiors of English decorator Syrie Maugham, whose clients included Bunny Mellon, Elsa Schiaparelli, and the Duchess of Windsor', the magazine explained.
Awards season is officially in full swing and last night Beverley Hills played host the 12th Annual AFI Awards. Compared to what we've seen so far this week, red carpet looks at the event was disappointing but naturally, Rooney Mara was produced the best outfit of the night in pre-fall Lanvin.
Find what everyone wore by going through our gallery.
So far Rooney Mara's red carpet looks have come in predominately muted tones so it was nice to see her change things up yesterday in ths red Valentino dress at the premiere of her new film in Rome. On any other actress the dress would have been romantic and very feminine but there's something really interesting and dark about the dress on her in the way that Mara has quickly managed to perfect.
The big award shows are where style stars are born - fact. 2011 marked the first time that we seriously stood up and paid attention to Jennifer Lawrence. That navy Louis Vuitton gown she wore to the Golden Globes was unconventional but worked, the hot pink Oscar de la Renta dress she wore to the SAG awards definitely made a statement and of course, nobody can forget the red Calvin Klein creation that she wore to the Oscars. Having got it right at all three big awards ceremonies, Lawrence seemed to explode this year and the same is true of Hailee Steinfeld.
With that said, all eyes are on Rooney Mara, Elizabeth Olsen and Felicity Jones for the coming awards. All three got it right in one way or another in 2011 but none have had a big red carpet moment. While Olsen should be the front runner simply because, well, she's an Olsen, my money is on Mara. Her recent choices for the promotional tour of 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' have worked perfectly and her slightly dark and brooding aesthetic makes me think that she'll be brave and do something interesting and different this award season. In the last few weeks she's worn Givenchy twice and something makes me think that Tisci will be the designer of choice for her big Oscar moment and the partnership would make sense. The Tisci for Givenchy woman is always sexy but in a dark romantic way and that's Mara all over.
Being a Golden Globe nominated actress has its perks one of which, of course, is the ability to wear clothes long before the rest of the world can. That's exactly what Rooney Mara did today at the photocall of 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' in Madrid. Not content with sporting that black pre-fall Louis Vuitton dress earlier this week, she stepped out in this look from the pre-season Givenchy look.