Carpet Diem: Lessons from the red carpet for building your own wardrobe

On Wednesday, March 2nd, I will be  following in the auspicious footsteps of such luminaries as Rosalyn Carter, Cokie Robers, Ogden Nash, Michael Frayn, Barbara Bush, Diane von Furstenburg and style icon Nan Kemper, giving a talk at The Women’s Athletic Club entitled “Carpet Diem: Lessons from the red carpet for building your own wardrobe.”

Here are some lessons illustrated by examples from the recent Academy Awards.

The dress should dictate every other detail.

You can start with an absolutely stunning dress like this L’Wren Scott beaded column but if you don’t understand how to accessorize a minimalist dress with a high neckline or how to wear your hair with such a dress so that you maximize its impact, you wind up with this Amy Adams mistake .

Don’t add a necklace on top of a high neckline of a dazzling colored beaded gown. The color and the beading do all the work for you.

The dress creates a long lean line, so her hair should emphasize that–not fight with the neckline and jewelry. Lose the necklace. Wear the hair up in a sleek updo. Add some emerald studs. Done!

What always matters is not how much something costs but the impact it has!

This Channel Haute Couture gown is basically a t shirt dress. It’s exquisitely made but without bold lips and some sort of stunning accessories, it gets completely overlooked on Michelle Williams. My suggestion:  a coral or red lip, yellow diamond studs, a yellow diamond ring and a slightly golden/metallic clutch.

There comes an age when messy hair is not an option. Fifty is well past that age.

There comes an age when trying to look like a princess comes off as looking like Miss Havisham.

You may not be wearing the most original dress, but if the color suits you beautifully and the cut is classic, you will always belong on the red carpet.

The wrong shoes can ruin any outfit. (Even an ugly one.)

If it is your event, your spouse has the responsibility to bring up bring the level of their game. Couples should always look as if they are attending the same event. Always. Not negotiable. It should be in your prenup.

Yes, Mrs Jackman, I’m talking about you.

Who says dressing your age means you can’t look spectacular?

Susan Bridges makes it look effortless.

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