Red carpet dos and don’ts

This Jenny Peckham dress is a risky choice even for the red carpet in private life it is a disaster.

This Jenny Peckham dress is a risky choice even for the red carpet in private life it is a disaster.

NEW! Please open by clicking on title

Darlings, DolceDolce is back with changes. The first thing change you will notice is  that you now click on the title of each block to open the stories. Second the newletters, will now go out on Fridays now Thursdays. Third, some reads don’t realize the newsletters are just weekly update to point you to your favourite stories and give you advance notice of any special news or contests – go the the website  for full issue. Over the next weeks we will have more changes let us know what you would like to see. Have a wonderfull season!

Hollywood award shows are a great way to see runway fashion come to life. Stars and stylists case runway shows for the best dresses. What the stars wear on the red carpets is the best predictor of what will look hot for the holidays. It is also one of the best places to  learn what works and what doesn’t when it comes to special occasion looks. Even with the best resources, some stars’s looks fall flat. 

Here are some of the best red carpet trends and looks we spotted on the red carpet at  the recent Emmy Awards show. This is why some looks work and why others don’t. 


Red is a classic colour for the red carpet. Men love it and it is a power colour that says “hey look at me!”

 _sopfia vera wangTo look fabulous in red for a special occasion channel Sofia Vergara’s red lace-trimmed, mermaid

 gown. This look is very sexy but not trashy. You need a killer body and the right occasion to pull off this type of dress, but the look is hot. Our killer red dress is from

 While it is not exactly like Sofia’s, we like the sweetheart line and the flow of the mermaid skirt.  For less than $400 we think it captures the look! Heidi Klum also wore red from Atelier Versace. We love Heidi and we love Versace. We even liked the dress, but not for this occasion and not on Heidi. Heidi’s dress was too  the colour was too dark for her. Some writers have suggested that Heidi tried to “soften” the look of the dress with delicate hair and makeup. If that is the case, she failed. The dress on the runway looked dramatic. On Heidi it was to over-the-top and just plain wrong.  

The take-away: Choose the right shade of red for your complexion, but if you have doubts, see an expert. You can find a colour expert at most makeup counters or good department stores. Remember, just because a  dress fits that doesn’t mean it is flattering. If a dress is very dramatic or over-the-top sexy, be ruthless in assessing your appearance; better yet ask your most honest friend or advisor. 


Black lace, alone or combined with silk or velvet, is a popular look. When it is done well the look is feminine and sexy.

Mad Men star, Christina Hendricks wore a black velvet form-fitting dress by Christian Siriano. Lace accented the deep sweetheart neckline of the form-fitting garment. The look was very Mae West, with the actress’s bobbed curls, porcelain skin, generous curves, and red lipstick. 

Anna Gunn, also from Breaking Bad, nailed the lingerie look in a stunning, strapless gown by Romona Keveza. It had a fitted bodice in black lace with a mermaid-shaped skirt in a gorgeous shade of blush silk. This how to look sexy and lady-like. 

Julianne Hough wore a sparkly Jenny Peckham dress with a completely sheer skirt over what appeared to be crystal-trimmed matching pants.  Some commentators felt she was “pushing the fashion envelop,” but to me it looked like a pretty dance costume. This look is strictly red carpet and for ladies with Julianne’s legs. 

Amanda Peet’s trendy black lace dress didn’t work. The cover-up sleeve and bodice overwhelmed her petite figure and the weird double-layered sheer hemline was distracting. Actresses Lena Headey and Aubrey Plaza wore long black lace dresses similar to Amanda Peet’s that also looked frumpy on the very pretty actresses. 

The take-away: The lingerie look is a style; it doesn’t mean you should wear a dress that looks like lingerie or like you are naked.


SEquin Iluus DMFor a more covered-up look we like David Meister’s feminine Sequin Illusion Gown, $570. David Meister is a popular red carpet designer who dresses many stars and socialites. 

Lace should be feminine and sexy, so if a dress looks like anything you might see on Little House on the Prairie or on an Amish woman, it will not be flattering. 

If you want a long-sleeved gown to cover your arms, look for one that is sleek and not matronly.  Avoid stiff and bulky fabrics. Unless you are very tall and wearing a flowing dress or billowy sleeves for dramatic effect, a covered-up dress should be sleek to be chic. This Ralph Lauren long sleeved surplice jersey gown is elegant and slimming. It is only $190 at Nordstrom. 

Jewel tones!

Bright, rich jewel tones are always popular and flattering. 

Tina Fey’s structured, bias-cut bright blue gown by Narcisco Rodriguez is a sophisticated way to wear this trend. Even a structured bias-cut dress can be unforgiving, if your body isn’t toned. The strapless teal dress by Zac Posen that Jane Krakowski wore is an easier style wear for most women.  The slim line and waist flattering inset of the gown made the most of the petite actress’s figure. 

Actresses Alyson Hannigan and Allison Janney both wore shades of purple. Hannigan wore a fitted gown of amethyst satin with a mermaid skirt. Janney’s gown was a pretty violet in a Grecian style that accented her waist; the skirt was softly gathered with a deep slit. Both fair-skinned ladies looked stunning in their colour choices. 

The take-away: Jewel tones are flattering and easy to wear but sure to select a dress that flatters your complexion and figure. A too-simple dress in bright colour or chintzy fabric can look cheap or like a prom gown. Remember to choose a gown to suit your figure. Try it on with the right undergarments and shoes. A bias-cut gown will show all figure flaws. A structured gown will help to hide them, as will shirring.