29 August 2007

Dressphemy (pt. II)

As I told you many a month ago, I simply adore this glittery-gold, cap-sleeved, slim-cinched Monique Lhuillier mini with front keyhole and sweet, pleated neckline. It's prim, it's showstopping, it's unique in its cut, fabric and color -- for lack of a better term, it's one of those dresses I would describe as "to die for."

You can understand, then, why I had to delay the piece on Fall handbags I'd intended to post this afternoon to address this, only the second instance I've come across in seven plus months of blogging in which I feel wholly justified in using the term "dressphemy."

Before today, I didn't know much about Hayden Panettiere other than the fact she celebrated her coming-of-age with a "tasteful" FHM spread, that she has a Mom even more intent on out-hotting her daughter than LiLo and that she plays some cheerleader on some show everyone keeps telling me is worth skipping Friday night reruns of "To Catch a Predator" for, but after a scant bit of Internet research, I've come to learn that what I suspected was in fact the truth -- Hayden, listed on IMDB.com as 5'1" (which in real life translates to 4'10") has a figure that both in height and width is akin to that of an Olympic gymnast's.

Oh, and that she has a thing for tight, unflattering gold dresses.

Now I know, I know, she's cute as a button, isn't too thin, isn't too fat, consistently wears underpinnings, probably still writes 'thank you' notes after sleepovers and is, in my opinion, much healthier and much more attractive than the model in the first picture, but even so, there is no denying the fact that sister has some disproportionately muscular thighs for her slim frame. And judging by how flat a tummy she has, my guess is them trunks are here to stay. My friend L has disproportionately tiny shoulders, my other friend G shares Eva Mendes' condition of disproportionately large hands and I, mostly by my own doing but in part due to genetics, have disproportionately large calves. It happens. It's frustrating, for sure, but somehow both life and style go on. The trick is, of course, learning how, with the use of certain cuts, colors and fabrics, to effectively draw attention to and away from certain parts of your body.

Specifically, my issues with Hayden in this dress are threefold:

(1) She is too diminutive and too disproportionately thick in the hip-thigh region to pull off a fitted mini successfully; I'd wager, based on the number of unintended folds in the material of the skirt and the placement of her left hand, pretty Miss Panettiere would agree with me that in theory, in the lookbook, this dress was a good idea, but in practice...not so much. And from my vantage point, not so comfortable or confidence-enhancing, either.

(2) She should have had Monique "let out" the bustline a half-inch so the keyhole could lie flat and narrow as it was originally intended. The way it looks here (and even in pictures when she wasn't raising her arm), the slight "peek" of skin we're meant to see instead resembles a puckered, pulling cleavage porthole more befitting the likes of designers Cavalli or Versace whose dresses, while still sexy, aspire to a much less traditionally ladylike aesthetic than Ms. Lhuillier's.

(3) She should have chosen an ensemble that smacked less of night-on-the-town and more of morning-meet-and-greet for her, um, morning meet-and-greet. Yes, you're in Paris, and yes you're a young celebrity in the epicenter of all that is fashionable and c'est la vie, but gold lamé - tight gold lamé - in the AM? Tsk, tsk.

For a seemingly sweet little thing who's forged a path thus far of consistently promising style choices, I have to admit, today, I'm more than a bit disappointed in the indestructible cheerleader.

Either that or I'm just really, really jealous.


manhattan_darling said...

This dress is not flattering at all on her. She's got a cute face, but I think she's trying to stuff a still growing girl's body into women's dresses. She'll grow into them eventually, just like Drew Barrymore did, but in the interim I suggest she stick to the junior's department.

Anonymous said...

I can't comment on Hayden's dress because I was so focused on the fact that her mother really needs to wear a bra.


L said...

Save the dress, not the cheerleader.
And that show is not worth skipping anything for. Don't tell K I said that. Oh wait ...

Mike said...

She looks a lot better in red in the milk mustache ad. (see pic here) There's also a video floating around if you Google it.

brown rowergirl said...

I'm with "l" - I can't support Ms. Fire Hydrant wearing such a lovely dress.

L said...

J- your calves are FAB! Especially in those Jennifer Simpson slingbacks.

lana said...

I really like her. And I usually like her choices. She actually recently made a statement telling people she will not be another lindsay lohan. I hope not.

I have a similar build on the lower half and I've recognized it right away. Flat stomach, huge hips and unfortunately, big thighs.

She ran around for half a season in a short cheerleader skirt, so it's not that her thighs necessarily need to be hidden, they just need to be shown in a more flattering way.

She's young. She'll learn. She already has shown she has good fashion judgment...most of the time.

Anonymous said...

yeah, it looks like a nice dress on the stick figure model, and totally trashy on hayden