Oscars 2014 Red Carpet: The Best And Worst Dressed

The Oscars are one of the biggest nights for fashion as A-listers flock to the red carpet to flaunt it. And though I was expecting a bigger impact from many stars who decided to play it safe, there were also less offenders than usual, that or I’m getting soft!

Here are my best and worst dressed nominees.

86th Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsThe queen of the red carpet continues her reign in this Armani Prive masterpiece embroidered in what looked like shells but were in reality Swarovski crystal baguettes. I love the cap sleeves which we saw a lot of last night and she accessorized her look with a stunning pair of Chopard drop earrings. My best dressed.

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Sexy and Vintage. Number two on my best dressed list is Kate Hudson in this showstopping Atelier Versace ivory number. There is so much thought and detail that went on in the design of this dress that it left me just starring in awe. I absolutely loved how the plunging neckline is also knotted in her midsection and the gorgeous sparkly cape with those shapely shoulder pads. Her side swept hair and soft makeup gave this gown all the attention it truly deserved.

US-OSCARS-ARRIVALSEvery designer in the world awaited Lupita Nyong’o appearance who sashayed in this ethereal ivory blue Prada princess gown and a diamond-studded headband that reminded of of a modern Cinderella as she snuk out to the ball. Not anybody can pull of this look so effortlessly without looking to princessy but Luptia has rare combo of the look, the confidence and the charisma to do so.

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I’m not sure what went on in their heads when Naomi Watts  and Calista Flockhart spotted each other on the red carpet but it must have been slightly awkward. I couldn’t decide who’s dress I liked more so I decided to group them.

Naomi’s wore this stunning cap-sleeved custom-made Calvin Klein Collection gown fully encrusted in beading with a jaw-dropping Bvlgari diamond collar necklace while Calista also wore a fully encrusted dress by Andrew Gn Resort 2014 and gorgeous emerald studs. Calista looked a little older with her messy updo while Naomi gave her look a younger touch with her sleek do and red lipstick.

Julia-Roberts-Wearing-Givenchy-2014-OscarsOnce again Julia Robert disappoints in this very ill-fitting borderline baggy lace gown by Givenchy. Why she insists on making herself look shabby and older is a mystery to me but she’s really not giving her career the praise it deserves with all these bad fashion choices.

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Anne Hathaway showed her playful side on the red carpet in this black Gucci halter gown with a heavy crystal embroidered bodice that made her look super slim and edgy especially with her pixie cut. The look worked so well on her boyish frame I just wish she wore a bolder lipstick shade.

Jennifer-Lawrence-in-Dior-Couture-2014-OSCARSI like it, it’s old-hollywood and glamorous but it’s exactly how we’ve been seeing Jennifer Lawrence for the past red carpet events. I know she’s Dior’s face but I’m tired of it and I’m sure as hell tired of seeing her in that strapless cut looking much older. This peplum crimson gown is pretty and she looks good but nothing worth remembering.

Angelina-Jolie-in-Elie-Saab-Couture-2014-OSCARS1I’m gonna say it. I liked this long-sleeve metallic sequined Elie Saab Fall 2013 gown on the runway more than I did on Angelina Jolie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m relieved not to see her wearing yet another black gown but the gown actually makes Angelina look somewhat top-heavy, yes as ludicrous as that sounds since she’s very skinny. It also washes her out a little bit. Perhaps it’s the makeup and boring hair but this was a lost opportunity.

Jennifer-Garner-Oscars-2014Jennifer Garner doesn’t strike me as someone to watch on the red carpet but she really impressed in this metallic fringe Oscar de la Renta number. In fact I loved how simple yet glamorous she looked and how flattering that dress was on her. I would lose those platform Brian Atwood shoes and darkened the lips.

86th Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsJessica Biel can make a Chanel Couture dress look plain jane.Now that takes skill. And although this nude and silver strapless gown is filled in all the all the right places she just looked too washed out. Too bad that even Tiffany & Co. jewels couldn’t save her.

Charlize-Theron-Wearing-Christian-Dior-2014-OscarsTalk about a dramatic statement. Charlize Theron missed in this Dior Couture gown thanks to those heinous invisible straps that in my opinion should be banned worldwide. And although her mermaid silhouette looks banging this dress does not work on her bust and small frame from the waist up though the tiered bottom is absolutely stunning. This is the kind of gown I would see Sofia Vergara wearing.Sorry.

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Portia de Rossi sure knows how to grab our attention. She brought risk and spring to the red carpet in this peekaboo Naeem Khan Pre-Fall 2014 cut-out white halter gown. She gave it a edgy touch with her slicked back hair.

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Lady Gaga should definitely stick to her theatrical get ups because normal just doesn’t work for her. She tried a little too hard in this metallic and lavender Atelier Versace and dreadful chiffon scarf she wrapped around her neck. Her hair delivers the final blow to this mess.

Giambattista Valli gown

Penelope Cruise goes for the draped Grecian Goddess look and fails. This pink powder pink Giambattista Valli dressdoesn’t fit her nicely in fact it makes her look preggers.  Her hair do was the best thing going for her but that tacky lipstick shade killed it.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

After a fantastic set of wins Amy Adams decide to play it safe in this understated navy Gucci dress. The collar-like bustling and faux pockets are  the only things that stop this gown short of being just a really well fitted boring gown with a typical train. Regardless, she still looked beautiful.

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Young Hollywood take notes. Hermione, I mean Emma Watson is one of those people that usually annoys me, but I was really caught off guard when I saw her in this  sleeveless metallic and black Vera Wang gown. I loved how casual and laid back the bodice look almost t-shirt liked and the mermaid skirt below. And she was one of the few that finally put on a kick-ass red lipstick!

Who were you best and worst?

Compare with Oscars 2013 Red Carpet

More of my Red Carpet Coverage HERE

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GAP styld.by + IvySays = Under The Bridge

Ivy Says for GAP styldby Dana Khairallah

Part Two of my latest collaboration with GAP styld.by took place this time right under the bridge where Souk el Ahad (Sunday Market) sets up every week.

I chose this crimson pleated GAP print skirt and styled it with a casual black DKNY crew neck pullover and opaque black stockings and my cream and black leather Celine Luggage bag and Marc Jacob cat eye glasses. I dressed it down with my favorite comfortable pair of black belted Maria Pino Uggs. To complete this punk-chic look I matched my lips to the crimson on the skirt with MAC’s Dreaming Dahlia lipstick.

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The look transformed into a dressier one instantly as soon as I switched it up with a pair of black Zara platform pumps.

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Photographed by Mokhtar Beirut.

Check out Part One of this collaboration HERE

Ivy Reviews: Métropole Brasserie

Métropole Brasserie located in Downtown Beirut (right by Porsche) is supposed to be somewhat of an upscale restaurant and so naturally you would expect grade A service especially when the head waiter insists on playing the role of a Parisian chef de rang. And so yes, when you’re greeted with that sort of ambiance/attitude naturally your expectations are somewhat high.

We were a table of 11 celebrating a friend’s birthday, and things seemed to be going smoothly as we started out with a classic selection of  appetizers you would usually find in a French Bistro and they were delicious.

The juicy sautéed calamari with parsley and garlic was cooked just right, not a hint of seafood almost like I was having  tender chicken.

calamari Metropole

For salmon lovers I recommend this fresh Salmon Tartar garnished with sliced radish and purslane.

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The Lentil Salad was my least favorite as it was dry (barely any dressing) and slightly boring, I would have much rather they added at least one other ingredient like Arugula or some raisins.

Lentil Salade Metropole

I particularly enjoyed chèvre salad, as I don’t usually enjoy goat cheese but this one was not pungent and the cheese was perfectly toasted on the bread centered with crisp red lettuce leafs.

chevre salade metropole

The Mozzarella and tomato salad was refreshing garnished with fresh basil, and sprinkled with olive oil and a side of ripe sliced avocado, though I feel they could be slightly more generous with the cheese.

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And finally the Lobster Quinoa salad was a real treat and though I never had cold lobster I actually enjoyed this one very much as it was cooked to perfection and the quinoa added just the right amount of crunch to the combination.

photo 3As for the main dishes three of us had the  Filet Mignon which you can’t usually go wrong with it came with a side of buttered green beans. Now here is when things began to go wrong, this filet was supposed to come with a side of fries that didn’t arrive with the dish, we had  to remind the waiters twice who also ended up forgetting to present us with the sauce until we were halfway through our meal.

Filet Metropole

My man had the burger which although was presented so nicely, truly disappointed. It felt like one of those you could easily make at home as the patty was way too thin, tasted too processed like it was pre-prepared and frozen, none of that soft and tender minced meat texture you would  would expect from a top-notch French joint with a measly slice of cheese and a thick uneven slice of tomato. I definitely wouldn’t recommend anything about this burger.

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My friend had the Beef Stroganoff with a sauce that both resembled paprika-colored watery sauce and tasted like nothing really. None of that thick creamy goodness you would expect from a Stroganoff and hardly any mushrooms.

Stroganoff Metropole

The service was mediocre to say the least. Staff seemed disheveled with their tasks and it took waiters an exceptionally long time to get something as simple as a soft drink or even extra cutlery.  By the end of the meal we began to feel frustrated with the service and complained. The head waiter/ manager paid us a visit and told him about our experience.

He didn’t apologize but rather explained to us that “this usually doesn’t happen” and that he “will look into it”  but he didn’t seem very sympathetic either. We were clearly dissatisfied with his response and began discussing our dismay in an obvious manner at this point. But it was only after we ordered the bill that he finally greeted us at the door and apologized. To be frank, it was a little too late he had already lost us.

You can have the best food in town, but with poor service and even some attitude it’s pretty hard for customers to focus on anything else, and in a depreciating economy like ours, you would like to think that businesses would strive harder to retain customers. Apparently not at Métropole.

View all Restaurant Reviews HERE

An Apology Letter To Jackie Chamoun

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Dear Jackie,

I’m a little late to this party, I was abroad amidst the #StripForJackie craze that took Lebanon by storm last week and was too busy to chime in on all that boob business. Actually I made the decision not to take this opportunity to jump on the “let’s milk Jackie” bandwagon. You see I too hail from this backward region we call home and understand:

1) How hard it is to be a fully dressed woman let alone a semi-naked one in the Middle East

2) Just how truly judgmental people can be, so I thought I’d be doing you a favor by just letting this “scandal” pass.

But this incident didn’t just pass, it’s went viral. I can’t hold my silence anymore, so instead I want to apologize to you on behalf of the Republic of Primates, you know the schizophrenic country we like to call Lebanon, the one we’ve been priding ourselves for years for being “The Paris of the Middle East” or for making it on some foreign media’s list of “Top World Destinations” But let’s not kid ourselves this type of moral prosecution shows that we’re no better than the Taliban or Muslim Brotherhood, in fact maybe even worse, at least they’re not pretending to be Paris.

We named and shamed you and even publicly prosecuted you like you’ve committed some sort of national honor crime, even the Minister of Youth and Sports felt compelled to take part in this character assassination by calling upon Lebanese Olympic officials to investigate your actions. How dare you expose your breasts in a public space three years ago and think you can get away with it?  Perhaps a flogging or stoning would have been in order.

And though I was impressed with the swiftness, humor and creativity of Lebanese brands and agencies (A for effort guys)  and while I understand that some of their intentions were to show solidarity with you I thought they did you more harm than good. Here’s why:

This is not YOUR cause. You never signed up for it, it chose you. You never thought that posing in nothing but a thong and ski boots for a calendar would suddenly make you the poster child for liberalism in your country. Actually you apologized, expressed your frustration and asked us to move on and focus on the sport. We didn’t.

What we did do instead is insist on using your name (which I’m sure caused you a huge amount of anguish and stress) as the determining reference in this debate. Liberals use you as a yardstick for progressiveness while conservatives vilified you. You on the other hand were busy training for the upcoming Olympic Games.

So I’m sorry,  please accept my apology on behalf of everyone, the people who condemned you, the government that singled you out and the brands and campaigns that used you.

Oh and Good Luck in the Sochi Olympic games.

Ivy

GAP styld.by + IvySays = Beirut Street Pop Art

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Now that I’m no longer anonymous I’ve been having some fun as you can probably tell!

My latest collaboration is with GAP as part of their international styld.by digital campaign which entails a global platform that showcases a catalog of personal/street style outfits and looks by fashion bloggers and artists from all walks of life.

What I loved about this initiative is the incorporation of a few GAP items of clothing into my everyday wardrobe rather than a full look from head to toe, which allowed me to stay true to my personal style.

As someone who favors comfort over style any day of the week, I chose this warm dark powder blue and crimson GAP  mix-stripe boatneck sweater and paired it with my favorite pair of American Eagle distressed jeans and a classic Tory Burch Saffiano belt. It went perfectly well with my Zara Badic Envelope clutch and a pair of color-blocked suede kitten heels also from Zara. I accessorized the look with my favorite ballerina Thomas Sabo Charm.

The pictures were shot by the very talented Mokhtar Beirut and took place right by Beirut’s Art Center.

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I’ll be sharing more looks from GAP’s styld.by collaboration in the upcoming weeks!

Ivy Says is Special Magazine’s Beautysta of the Month

For February’s issue, I had the pleasure of getting selected as Spécial Magazine Beautysta of the month. In this interview (in French) I share some of my beauty DO’s and DON’T’s and makeup tips and tricks, favorites products and more!  Take a look and don’t forget to grab your copy.

Dana BeautystaClick on the image to enlarge

Hair by Riad Khalil at Tony El Mendelek Salon

Follow Special on Facebook and Twitter

Lebanon’s 4 Unknown Heroes Who Deserve Our Respect

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1)      The Delivery Guy

Through rain or shine, hail or flood, this brave man will get on that worn-out zero-safety-measure scooter sans helmet and put his life at risk just so you can get your Kafta wo Jebneh Man2ousheh fresh and on-time. You don’t really think about him or the fact that his scooter almost skid under a sixteen-wheeler truck because his insulated delivery bag is too heavy carrying more than four separate orders, who cares that he’s drenched from head to toe, what matters is your food arrived hot and you feel good about yourself when you hand him 2000LL ( less than 2 Dollars) for his effort. This guy deserves a medal so next time you see him give him a hefty tip why don’t you.

Maid in Lebanon

2)      The Washroom Attendant

This woman has to deal with your shit. Literally. She’s seen it all and most of the time people treat her like she’s invisible, no hellos no thank yous. Sometimes she even has to take the role of a peace keeper especially when two drunken males or females are having a little I was-here-first toilet face-off.  She will work up until the wee hours of the morning wiping barf of toilet seats for a measly $150/month and probably have to clean her boss’s house the next day and babysit the kids. So be nice to her, don’t make her life any harder than it should be and try to aim IN the toilet.

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 3) The Sukleen Cleaner

Never mind the politics behind Sukleen. I’m talking about that poor fellow at the very bottom of the food chain that’s picking up the cigarette bud you so unhesitantly flicked out of your car window. The guy that keeps the city you live in clean so you don’t poison yourself with your own filth, yes him, the one that escaped poverty from his own country to come and become a slave in yours.  The one that’s caught more skin rashes than you know how to pronounce just because your lazy ass  can’t be bothered to wait until you find a garbage bin. Would you throw a can of soda on the floor of your own living room? I hope not, so I don’t see why you would behave any differently outside!

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4) The Red Cross Volunteer

The hero of all heroes. While most of us are throwing back cocktails on a weekend night this altruistic person volunteered his/her time, for no remuneration whatsoever, to save someone’s life because that someone made the stupid decision of drinking and driving and ended up crashing their car into a sidewalk.  The Red Cross Volunteer will administer first aid on you because he/she went through hours and hours of vigorous training while you slept in on Saturdays. All this while he juggles a part-time job to pay his way through college. So instead of spending a $100 on some drinks tonight go donate them to the Red Cross.