Monday, January 31, 2011

2011 SAG Awards

This award show season in the fashion department has been a wild ride of "What the heck?" to "Whoa!" to "Okay, now that is pretty."  Nothing has wowed me beyond belief, so I am hoping everyone is squirreling away the best dresses for The 83rd Annual Academy Awards.  Otherwise, I am worried about the state of fashion in Hollywood.  A couple of the categories from The Golden Globes are carrying over to this year's SAG Awards.  Here we go:

1.  Flesh:  Okay, are your stylists watching Fashion Police on E!?  It is very rare that Joan Rivers or Giuliana Rancic ever rave about one of these nude dresses on the red carpet.  In fact, they even called Leighton Meester's dress a "sister wife" dress from The Golden Globes.  Find a color, kids. Go back to your Crayola Pack of 64, pick your favorite crayon, and wear it in a dress.

2.  Mother of the Bride Dresses:  What happened to you, Nicole Kidman?  You used be a fashion icon, everyone wanted to dress you.  Now I want to run from you. Your fashion choices scare me lately.  Just because you moved to Nashville, does not mean you have to add tassels and frou frou to your elegant red carpet wear. Simplicity is king on the red carpet. Leave your Bedazzler at home.

3.  Get A NEW Stylist:  Amy Adams.  I can confirm that Amy Adams does work with a stylist.  I do not know who it is specifically, but my friend, Ali, and I have decided that her stylist hates her.  Why?  She continually takes one of the most classically beautiful women and cuts up her figure, smooshes her boobs, or dresses her to look chunky. (Amy has a beautiful figure!) She always looks a bit "off" and her stellar career deserves more.  It's just time to spend a few extra dollars on an A-List stylist, Amy.  You've earned it.

4.  Most Improved:  January Jones.  I knew you could do it!  While I don't think this look is flawless, it is a strong start to improving her red carpet look.  Carolina Herrera designed this dress for the Pre-Fall 2011 collection.  January's hair is a bit severe, but her body is divine in this piece.  I think she might have her look polished in time for the Emmys next fall.

5.  The It Is NOT Your Night Award:  Angie Harmon.  You are not a nominee, you did not star in Black Swan or Pink Swan.  Leave the feathers at home.

**UPDATE**:  I love that I have to write an update a 6:35 AM. Thank you, because it thrills me when my posts elicit a response.  I think the Angie Harmon fan club has stopped by, so I am going to print my response to one of them in regards to Angie's dress from last night because I failed to explain myself well in my #5 above.  Here it is:

Annie wrote:  Pfft. Angie is gorgeous.

ME:  She is. No doubt about it. The problem? There is a hierarchy to the red carpet on how you dress if you are a nominee, an entertainment reporter, or just attending. She was doing coverage for TNT, but she was dressed like a nominee. It may not make sense to you, but it's like wearing a wedding dress to someone else's wedding. Great dress, wrong night to wear it.   I'm giving my insider's perspective on this one.

What were you thoughts about the SAG Awards?  Other than the red carpet, were you as bored as I was?  It's the same format as The Golden Globes, but without the fun or spontaneity.  You know the drill, give me the dish below.

PS  Despite the snark scooped out above, I am a proud member of Screen Actors Guild.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Reminding Me Why I Love The Princess Diaries...

When The 83rd Annual Academy Award hosts were announced, I was initially lukewarm to the idea of having Anne Hathaway and James Franco lead the evening's events.  Yes, the Academy wants ratings, they want younger viewers, but most importantly, they need to shake the formulaic formula up.  A good way to do that is to change up the expected idea of a host.  We expect comedians, but it is a night that the entertainment industry takes very seriously.  What we saw Ricky Gervais do at The Golden Globes this year would never be done at the Oscars.  So, often times, comedians can't be funny in the way we expect/want them to be.  So, enter James Franco and Anne Hathaway and the new promos for the upcoming show.  The first piece is my favorite, but watch Anne's outfits in the promos, they scream Rachel Zoe all the way.  I am "bananas" waiting to see Anne's entrance on the red carpet on February 27th as I'm sure a pregnant Rachel Zoe will hold off on childbirth just to see her client's big moment.   Either way, the promos are well-produced which I think is a good sign for this year's Academy Awards. (And I reminder that The Princess Diaries is a classic to watch on TBS over and over again. Long Live, Princess Mia of Genovia!)

What do you think of this year's hosts?

Photo Used with Permission from AMPAS.
Photo Credit:  Bob D'Amico / ABC

Thursday, January 27, 2011

After The Nominations

Now that all of the serious coverage of the 83rd Annual Academy Award Nominations is completed, here is a loopy and quick (1 minute. 20 seconds) video made by me and my cameraman, JD Piche of Mingle Media TV, after all of the morning's events.  We had both been up for hours at this point, so forgive my hair and my camera work.  If you are a fan of entertainment news, Nancy O'Dell of ET makes a cameo as well.

I hope to do a few of these videos from time to time, so you can see what it really looks like behind the scenes. (and I promise my shaky camera hand will get stronger.)  Now, I am off to do some Oscar dress shopping with the amazing Roni B. I need to think tall and lean today because these gowns are built for glamazons.  Tall and lean, tall and lean, tall and lean......

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

83rd Annual Academy Award Nominations

Yesterday was quite a day!  From my 2 AM wake-up call to the 3:30 AM breakfast to the Academy Award Announcements themselves at 5:38 AM, I cannot believe I managed to stay awake.  Okay, I did go to bed at 5:37 PM the day before.  It was a thrill of a lifetime to cover this event and I cannot believe it is about to get better with my upcoming red carpet coverage and backstage press room opportunity on Oscar night.  I could just scream with excitement.  I worked for several media outlets yesterday including Mingle Media TV, Starpulse, and then a guest appearance on Minnesota's 107.1 FM's Lori and Julia Show.  Phew!  It was a long and crazy day, but here is where you can find all of the links and photos to yesterday's events"

1.  To read my insider thoughts on what happened at the theatre yesterday morning hour by hour, head on over to my Starpulse article here.  I had a great time writing this article because you never really know what happens inside the theatre until you are actually there.

2.  To hear what I had to say with Lori and Julia on 107.1FM (My favorite radio duo when I lived in Minnesota.), head over here.  See the "What You Missed Section", click on "Hour 2", and then hit "Listen Now".  My favorite highlights include the ladies asking whether Mo'Nique shaved her legs for the event and what was up with that awkward kiss with Academy president, Tom Sherak?

Nancy O'Dell makes her official debut with ET replacing longtime host, Mary Hart.

3.  Mingle Media TV:  If you missed yesterday's announcement, you can find it here along with my commentary at the end of the video:

4. Photos from inside the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre courtesy of Mingle Media TV can be found here.

Photo 1:  Courtesy of Mingle Media TV.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oscar Nominations Dress Winner

I just returned home and changed back into my pajamas to file all of my Oscar Nominations stories I have to take care of before I nap.  I wanted to post the winning dress before I hit slumberland. (My call time for the Nominations announcement was 3:30 AM!)

Congratulations to Lula for choosing the Banana Republic dress.  It was perfect for the occasion.  I looked professional, but I was comfortable and I was pleased the dress had pockets.  I was constantly on my phone or camera during the event, so they were very useful to me at 5 AM.  I was thrilled with the color and the stretch of the fabric because I don't usually have a lot of luck with Banana Republic. I decided to buy one from their petite line and that was definitely the right call for a 5'3" gal like me.

The cost of the dress is $150, but with free shipping, a 25% coupon, and 6% back from Ebates, my total cost was:   $116.72.

Dress:  Banana Republic
Shoes:  Guess, DSW
Jewelry:  Ring, Bracelet:
              Earrings:  Roni B

Lula, be sure to contact me so I can send you a $25 gift certificate to the store of your choice. Congratulations and thanks for picking such a great dress for me!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Academy Award Nominations

If you have been following all of my fashion dilemmas lately (official Nominations dress will be revealed tomorrow too!), you know that I will be covering the Academy Award nominations LIVE from the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills tomorrow at 5:30 AM PT/8:30 AM ET.  I will feature extensive coverage this week on my site, Starpulse, and Mingle Media TV.  I will provide all of the links here at Red Carpet Closet, so you have one central hub for all of the awards action.  If you want the up-to-the-minute update, please follow me on Twitter as I will be giving the inside scoop from the theatre.

This is going to the start of a very exciting month.  Thanks for joining me for the ride!

Top Photo:  Hanging with Oscar in 2008, Meet the Oscars exhibit.
Bottom Photo:  Me and my pal, Ashley Head, pretending we won an Oscar at the 2007 Meet the Oscars exhibit.  

Images and content may not be used without permission.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm Looking for A Dress, Part Two

I am dutifully following the cross country arrival of my dresses for the Academy Award Nominations.  So far, both of them seem to be in limbo; one on the West Coast and one in the Midwest.  Hopefully, they will arrive by Monday so I have a 50/50 shot that one of them will fit and look good.  Cross your fingers that I will have something to wear!

After critiquing the Golden Globes fashions and after I figure out my fashion dilemma for January 25th, I will have to start searching for some serious wardrobe for February 27th.  I received huge news this week that I will be covering THIS event in the press bleachers on the red carpet and the backstage press room where the winners are ushered after they receive there award for Mingle Media TV and Starpulse.  Can you believe it?  It's a dream come true. 

On the red carpet after the 79th Annual Academy Awards with my friends, Rose and Ashley in 2007.  I was kindly invited as a guest that year by Ashley.  The Departed was the big winner and Erica Davies designed my dress.  Guess who styled me for this event?  Kim Kardashian.  Yep, she was working as a stylist in 2007.  No E! show back then, she was known as Paris Hilton's friend and worked behind the scenes in the entertainment industry.  Wow, have times changed.  

So, I am reaching out to all of my fashionistas who have contacts in the fashion industry.  I am looking for a gown.  Where should I go?  Who should I contact?  If you have any ideas or suggestions, let me know.  I only have a week and a half in LA in early February and two weeks in Chicago in mid-February, so those cities would be my ideal locations for dress shopping/fitting.  Please note, anything I wear will get promotional consideration.  

Feel free to contact me in the comment section below or on my Contact page.  Thank you all for your assistance!

Photo 1: Courtesy of Seth Maxwell
Photo 2: Courtesy of Brian Wilson

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

North American International Auto Show 2011

If you have been following me on Twitter, then you have seen my notes and comments on NAIAS.  Right after I finished the live internet broadcast of the Toyota Prius v in LA, I jumped on a plane to Detroit to the North American International Auto Show.  This is the fourth year we have hit Detroit with Toyota Live and I have to say, I am having a better time this year than previous years.  Yes, service is still slow and things still close down early, but the economy is looking up in this town and the automotive industry is a whole lot happier versus January 2009.  I ranted and raved last year about my visit and an electrical fire in Cobo Hall dampened one of the days, but I think Detroit and I have turned the corner and happily, we have a new understanding.  Check out a few fun photos from the first weekend of NAIAS:

Thanks to Joe Neuberger and Jalopnik for giving me the secret sign via Twitter to get my free CFL bulb from BYD Auto.

 I am one big day-glow orange pumpkin head while being interviewed for a local news story. Ah, convention center lighting!

Hanging with NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series champion and Toyota Racing team member, Todd Bodine.  

Photo 1 & 4:  Courtesy of Trackside Tina.
Photo 2 & 3:  Courtesy of Matthew Troyer.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011 Golden Globes

It's the glitz and glam of red carpet season and the Golden Globes never disappoints.  The stylists are working overtime to get their clients a bit of fashion buzz.  Did they succeed?   Here is the knowledge I am imparting from last night's show:

1.  Botox:  If you want to look your best on the red carpet and you think that involves a shot of Botox, do it two weeks before the big night.  Your face needs time to relax and get used to its new position.  You want the press to avoid describing your forehead as frozen, surprised, or shocked.  In fact, they shouldn't be talking about your forehead, JLo.

2.  Pregnancy:  Often times, it is a guaranteed way to win an award.  The press loves belly bumps as do the awards show voters.  Think Catherine Zeta-Jones back in 2003 when Chicago swept the awards season.  She sang, danced, and she even had EMTs on hand to deliver her baby just in case she went into labor while accepting her Academy Award.  This is Natalie's year to win it all for Black Swan, so please find a stylist who doesn't dress your bump like a mound of soil to plant your little flower.

3.  Flesh:  Okay, okay, we get that flesh tones are in vogue, but it's time to leave your skin tone dresses at home.  They don't look great on the red carpet, in photographs, or on camera.  It's time to tell the stylists to drop the fleshy palette and look for a bit of color to liven up the joint.  Who wore flesh dresses?  Nicole Kidman, Michelle Williams, Leighton Meester, Carrie Underwood, Sandra Bullock, Julie Bowen, Scarlett "The Frankenbride" Johansson, and more.  You want to be a movie star?  Act like one.  (You know that Lea Michele is gunning for the movie star title, so watch your backs, kids.)

4. Mother of the Bride Dresses:  Leave the frump at home.  This means you....Angelina, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway (Her dress looked like it would feel itchy with the thousands of sequins.), and Jenny from the Block who gets a mention here for the capelette over her gown.

5.  Stop Dressing Yourself:  January Jones.  Your Versace dress with a side of smooshed boobs and a dash of "What the hell?" should send you straight into the arms of a stylist.  Any stylist.  I don't care whom.

What were your thoughts on last night's show?  I would love to hear who you were happy and horrified with on the red carpet.

All photos are property of Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Dress Challenge: The Finalists

After much deliberation and searching at the dresses you picked, we have two finalists!  I think you might be surprised at one of the choices because it doesn't exactly fit all of the criteria, but I think it could be a perfect choice with a cute little jacket or sweater. There would have been three finalists, but we can thank Bloomingdale's for running out of inventory.  The winner will be announced on Oscar Nomination Day:  Tuesday, January 25th.  In the meantime, take a look at the two finalists:

From Andrea:   Dress by ModCloth (a favorite of mine), $162.99
I know there isn't a lot of color here, but the possibilities for accessorizing are endless all the way down to my shoes. It's a blank slate, so I think it makes the outfit a bit playful and fun. 

From Lula:  Banana Republic, $150
I think this cut and color are terrific for camera and I cannot wait to try it on.  I am hoping the ruffles add the touch of drama that I want to this dress without being overwhelming.  

The Runner-Up:

From Krystyn AND Kimberly:  Cynthia Steffe, Bloomingdale's, $110.25
This would have been a finalist, however, the dress is out of stock at Bloomingdale's. Boo! This would have been a strong contender. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Prius v Launch

Hello, I'm back!  I know I usually post a little more, but my week involved a live internet broadcast for the launch of Toyota's new Prius v and then I immediately hopped a plane to Detroit for the North American International Auto Show.  I have spent the last two days immersed in the automotive press and industry all while trying to adjust to my Eastern Time Zone.  Yawn, it isn't easy!

See if you can spot in the photo taking a photo of me, taking a photo of me, taking a's very meta.

I was honored to be asked to co-host the first internet broadcast of Connect Live with University of Toyota veteran, Dave Lee.  We rehearsed on Saturday along with the producers, Creative Design Group, to help hype the newest member of the Prius Family, the Prius v.  It is no secret that I am a proud Prius owner, so it was thrilling to be on set that day--live on the internet immediately following the press conference in Detroit.  We had a studio audience made up of Prius Chat enthusiasts, Toyota corporate, and representatives from nearby dealerships.  I was a bundle of nervous energy, but the show went off without a hitch.  Thank you to Toyota for inviting me to participate in the "Prius Goes Plural" event and many thanks to Rodney Esteban for the additional photos.

With my pal, Joe Neuberger after the shoot.  We let everyone jump into the vehicle and check out all of the new features. 

After the big event:  James, Dave Lee, me, Rodney Esteban, and Jason Kong.

One of my favorite pictures of the day.  Me and Dave goofing around before the big shoot. He's got some great Karate Kid moves.  

Photos: 1, 4-7:  Courtesy of Rodney Esteban

No photos may be reproduced or copied expressly without my permission.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Dress Challenge: More Selections

I cannot believe the response to this challenge.  It confirms that you like to shop, you have good taste, and you have been hard at work shopping for me.  Someone even gave me 13 options to choose from!  I have a lot of new selections to post that really stand out in my mind.  Let me know what you think of some of the options from Friday's post and today.  Remember, you have until Wednesday at Midnight ET to enter.  All of the rules are here.  This decision won't be easy.

Let's see some of the latest frontrunners:

From Krystyn:  Julie Dillion, Nordstrom, $178
Ah, the first green dress of the bunch.  I love this color, the simplicity, and the belt.

From Krystyn AND Kimberly:  Cynthia Steffe, Bloomingdale's, $110.25
So cute that TWO of you selected this dress.  The color is perfect for the camera, the neckline is asymmetrical perfection, and the layering of the fabric flatters the front of the dress.

From Roni B:  Yep, this Roni B.  The amazing woman who styles a lot of my looks has even jumped in this challenge.  This time, with accessories.  
You will see that this is a very "KB" look, especially with that belt in the mix.  I think I want a little more color for this event, but I may be stopping by Roni's for a closer look at the outfit.  I am sure there is something I could wear this to..... 

From Bentoboxx:  Adrianna Papell, Nordstrom, $148
I am a huge fan of this shade of purple and this dress is available in petite sizes--score! This is probably one I would also hem above the knee.  It's all about the shoes and a little leg.  

From Rebecca:  Tahari by Arthur S. Levine, Nordstrom, $118
A very Jackie O look and the first one of the bunch.  The color is gorgeous and the simplicity is divine.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Dress Challenge: A First Look

Thank you for rising to The Dress Challenge.  I am so happy that many of you are excited and shopping online for my big event.  I want to show you some of the entries that I have so far. It is not all of them, but it certainly gives you an idea of what is catching my eye. I will showcase a few dresses the next couple of days to show off what great taste in fashion you all have. Keep them coming, I am having a blast with your choices.

Take a look at some of my virtual wardrobe:

From Andrea:   Dress by ModCloth (a favorite of mine), $162.99
Not a ton of color for camera, but this is so feminine.  I would get a lot of wear out of this. 

From Robin:  Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Nordstrom, $124.
Love this color, classic design, might want to shorten to show a little more leg.

From Lula:  Banana Republic, $150
This one hits almost everything I am looking for: color, a little leg, yet classic.  

If you want to enter your choice for my on-camera wardrobe for Nominations Day, here are the rules.  Remember, there is a $25 gift certificate at the store of your choice at stake!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Dress Challenge: What to Wear?

With the announcement of my recent news, I have to find a dress.  Now, this is where it gets a little tricky:

1.  It's not a red carpet event. So, simple, classic, and understated is the way to go.  Think more along the lines of a DVF wrap dress or a Jackie O sheath dress.

A good example of the type of dress needed for the event, but finished off nicer with accessories.  I want to look polished, professional, yet feminine. From the George Lopez Golf Charity event, May 2009.

2.  I will be working at 5AM PT that day.(Nominations are announced LIVE in time for the  So, that means prep time begins way before 5AM, so I want it to be an easy and comfortable dress in the wee hours. (Meaning I don't want to fashion cranky if the dress is fussy.)

3.  I think I want sleeves.  Whether it is a shift dress with a cute sweater or a long sleeved dress, I just don't want to be cold that morning.  While LA has a very mild winter, I have become a weather wimp who thinks that anything below 70 degrees is cold.

4.  Finally, I like color.  It has to be camera friendly colors too:  No white, black, or red.  No crazy prints or patterns.  I love blue, purple, green, or even bright pink for on-camera. 

This is a great color for the camera--bright, simple, and clean. From the ITVFest Gala, July 2009

The Challenge:  Can you help me find a dress?  I know so many of you are fashionistas out there with amazing style and you are great online shoppers.  Add the links in the comments section and I will post some of the best ones to vote on.  I think this will be a fun challenge. I look forward to seeing your picks for me and the winner of the challenge will win a $25 gift certificate to the store of their choice.  US residents only, entries must be in by Wednesday, January 12th at midnight ET. On your mark, get set, SHOP!

**UPDATE**  Thanks to Rebecca who pointed this glaring omission out:  Budget.  Let's keep the dress under $200.  You are also welcome to post links on my Twitter or Facebook page if you don't want to comment here.

For those who have not met me in person, here are a couple of facts.  I'm short-5'3", I love shoes, and I like to show leg more than cleavage.  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cleaning Out the (Red Carpet) Closet

It's a new year and it's time to clean up the old blog.  Beginning today, you will start seeing a few changes around here at Red Carpet Closet.  I officially have a new URL that you can bookmark:  I think it makes my site official and I love the .tv URL because this site encompasses all types of media.

Next up, a new page for you to look at (or ignore).  If you want to know where I am or where you can find my latest video, hit the NEWS tab for all of the latest information.  If you head there, you will see my exciting news.  I cannot believe I was given this opportunity!

Also, I have added new photos to each page from a variety of red carpets and hosting jobs.  I hope it livens up the place a bit.  Coming in the next month, will be a new header and graphic for Red Carpet Closet, but I will keep that under wraps until it is ready.

If you are someone that comments here frequently, you will notice I switched to Disqus versus using Blogger's comment format.  After one of my favorite blogs, Adored Austin, made the change,  I realized that it is a clean and efficient way to communicate.  I will also be able to respond directly to your comments instead of my giant comment blob with @, @, @.  I would love to hear your feedback on Disqus too.

Finally, meet my friend, Joy.  I have known her since she was 3 and now she's a whopping 8 years old!  She comes every year to see my show in San Diego and it reminds me that no matter how trivial my job may seem, I can make a small impression.  I might not have a important job like a teacher or a doctor or an emergency responder, but I am thrilled that I can impact people in simple little ways.  So, thank you, Joy, you make my day each year with your visit.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Huh? What Did I Just Say?

I love what I do for a living and I am so happy that each day is different because I am not sure I could handle a desk job.  My creative brain likes to bounce all over the place and my job offers the opportunity to learn about so many different subjects.  I never thought I would become an alternative fuel vehicle expert, but my Toyota Live job has afforded me that.  I love entertainment news, so it is easy to prep for a red carpet job.  Plus, my ability to memorize quickly and pitch a product has allowed me to dabble in home shopping and infomercials from time to time.  Every once in awhile though, I watch myself on camera and think, "What did I just say?".  This is one of them.........(And that screen capture is priceless!)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Year in Review: Last Four Months of 2010

Happy New Year, everyone!  I ran out of time and I did not finish my Year in Review.  I left off at September, but we are already into the New Year.  I decided to give you one photo from the last four months and then tomorrow we are on to 2011, officially!  Here we go:

September 2010:
Some of my favorite posts of the year involve The State Fair of Texas.  This year, we had new music for Toyota Live that it just made us want to dance.  Here is a fun moment captured on the stage:

October 2010:
I was in invited to the Series Finale Party of The Legend of Neil.  This web series is absurdly funny and its creator, Sandeep Parikh, is just one of the sweetest guys around.  Check his series and the other photos from the evening:

November 2010:
I love alternative fuel vehicle cars and one woman who has been at the forefront of the EV industry is Chelsea Sexton.  She stopped by to see me after she saw a tweet I wrote about her. Talk about the power of Twitter!  Thank you, Chelsea, you made my day.

December 2010:
December was a rough one for me, but I look forward to the new opportunities and new possibilities that a fresh year and decade offer.  Thanks for joining me in 2010 at Red Carpet Closet.  I look forward to sharing more with you in 2011.  Happy New Year!

Photo 1:  Courtesy of Tina Pettet
Photo 2:   Courtesy of Bernie Su
Photo 4:  Courtesy of Lisa Cole

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