It's officially Holiday Week! As we countdown the mad rush to 2012, we're anticipating celebrations galore—from cocktail soirees to family gatherings—that don't necessarily require but would certainly benefit from festive attire. Yes, we're talking about the ubiquitous "ugly Christmas sweater," which has become a sort of thing with theme parties now being thrown simply to showcase the best of the worst. While we do think there's a plethora of musty '80s sweaters depicting teddy bears trimming trees or Snoopy chilling out inside of a holly-festooned wreath just waiting for your ridicule, we'd like to offer sweaters of a different sort. We've got outrageous sweaters (for the ironic laugh factor—but they're also pretty cool), mega designer holiday sweaters, and cute sweaters you might actually consider wearing all normie-style. Also, since 2011 could be considered the Year of the Cat, we've included a kitty version in each category. You're welcome.
OUTRAGEOUS HOLIDAY SWEATERS
This 1980s Cat-Tastic Ugly Christmas Sweater is more of the quirky and cute variety than the ugly. Look at these two snow-kittens playing with a mini balloon atop a Christmas present that's just waiting to be scratched to pieces. It's adorbs! Pair it with black pants, a white collared shirt, and red suede heels. This totally weird 1980/1990 Vintage Green Crazy Ugly Christmas Sweater looks like pixilated Christmas camouflage. It's kind of cool, right? Throw it over some skinny blue jeans, add a slouchy hat and some Doc Martens, and it's 1996, but the CK One model version. OK, this Elf Sweater is ridiculous. She's wearing it as a dress, and we can guarantee you that if you did the same EVERYONE would come up to you at the holiday party (just ask our own Rory Rockmore, who wore it to the annual MTV Holiday Party *hat tip*). We'd pair this with black tights, patent booties, and some bright red lipstick.
Photo: Courtesy of Standard Press and Damiani Editore
You guys, something happened. We thought we knew nail art, and then we stumbled upon this book called Nailed: The History of Nail Culture and Dzine, and now we're crying and shaking in a corner wondering how nails went from cute and simple 2-D designs to absolutely insane mini 3-D sculptures. Like, this nail art game is Out. Of. Control. Chicago-based artist Dzine commissioned photographers all over the world to capture their local nail sculpture subcultures on film, and they did NOT disappoint. From nail artists to salon owners to straight-up nail lovers, not one corner of the nail art world is left unturned. The best part, though, is that nail sculptures are beginning to be looked at as real works of art. "The people involved in this community have no formal art training, yet their passion to make beautiful, over-the-top ornamental objects is what truly struck me, hence the body of work. It has reminded me why I’m an artist and why I choose to create," Dzine says. The book covers everything from the history of nail art (it goes waaayyy back, surprisingly!) to personal cultural expression. The book is only available online exclusively through The Standard shops until February 2012, but enough talk! We wanna see some BADASS NAIL ART!
Photo: Courtesy of Kai Regan from Nailed
Jennifer Hudson performs in The Blonds for "VH1 Divas."
Photo: Getty Images
You'd think hearing the words "Jennifer Hudson wore two dresses by The Blonds for VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul" would just smack of "Well, right...," but it isn't until you actually SEE the girl in these bombshell looks that you realize the execution of this idea is even more stroke-inducing than you could have ever imagined. I mean, helloooo, NURSE! *eyes bug cartoonishly out of sockets, right foot taps uncontrollably*
Spring 2012 is shaping up to be the season of the sneaker. We noticed a distinct sneaker trend emerging from the runway collections, but more important, we've been noticing them out on the streets more. We're not talking regular ol' sneaks you toss on with your jeans, either. We've spied ladies in full-on ready-to-be-pap'd outfits tossing a fluoro trainer up in the mix in anticipation for what's sure to come in the warmer months. Just to solidify that this is most definitely a trend, Chanel debuted items from its spring collection in Madrid recently, and the folks at Neo2 magazine snapped a photo of what are, quite possibly, the most killer pair of designer high-top sneakers we could ever want but probably never afford. See those neon puppies up there? Yeah, they're GAHMAZING and all that, but what are these beauties going to do to the proverbial wallet? We shudder to think; in fact, this Chanel high-top conundrum got us thinking about all of the other insane designer sneaks we long for come spring—namely Isabel Marant wedge sneaks and Alexander Wang trainers.
That headline seems almost head-smackingly "DUHHHH," right? I mean, if I were attending, let alone performing for, an event with "DIVAS" in the name, a word so fecund with high-maintenance, red-clawwed, femme dominance, OF COURSE, I'd bury myself in yards of metallics, fur stoles, and the world's butteriest leathers. Florence Welch, Jessie J, and Mary J. Blige are already, day-to-day, three of the most show-stoppingly clothed ladies of late, so we expected nothing short of being totally floored by their VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul outfits. Much to our delight, the trifecta did not disappoint, pulling out all the attention-commanding stops for their red carpet and (*cough* multiple) performance looks for an ascent to ear-poppingly dramatic FASHUN.
Florence Welch, Jessie J, and Mary J. Blige hit the "VH1 Divas" red carpet.
Photo: Getty Images
Florence Welch glittered down the red carpet in a sequin-drenched white-nude dress from the Antonio Berardi spring 2012 collection. As if being steeped in shimmer were not enough, her long-sleeved mock turtleneck dress also featured an eye-catching full mullet hem. Jessie J dared to wear one of Falguni & Shane Peacock's notoriously provocative creations from the spring 2012 line. The black and gold gown is panelled with sheer black fabric of varying degrees of transluscent and emblazoned with ornate and *achem* strategically placed gold embellishments. Originally a midi-length, Jessie added the lower black ruffle to extend the dress to floor-length. Mary J. wore head-to-toe fall 2011 Michael Kors, pairing a slinky ruched nude gown splattered with rhinestones under a MASSIVE blonde fur jacket.
Sure, we can cop a certain celebs' style or emulate their beauty game, but when our favorite artist actually COSIGNS a product it's a whoooole other story. Now we can dress like them, paint our nails like them, and even smell like them. (Kinda creepy, eh?) But between all the killer clothing collabs, fragrance releases, and fashion lines, haven't you wondered which products are ACTUALLY worth buying? Luckily, we've sorted that allll out for you—we picked the top ten celebrity endorsed/collab'd stuff from 2011 that you need to want.
KATY PERRY FOR OPI
Katy Perry for OPI campaign and her polishes.
Photo: Courtesy of OPI
It couldn't be more fitting that Katy Perry, one of THE masters of the nail art game, chose to work with OPI for a collection of glittery, shimmery, and crackle polishes. The nail colors were named after all of her songs ("Last Friday Night," "The One That Got Away") and featured a black crackle top coat that (at the time) was REVOLUTIONARY. She was a pioneer of bringing crackle polish the forefront of finger fashion, and for that, we salute her. (The next OPI collaborator Nicki Minaj ALSO added crackle in her line as well. That makes TWO cosigns on crackle.)
Iris Apfel wearing makeup from her MAC cosmetics collection.
Photo: Courtesy of MAC
Iris Apfel is one of fashion's most beloved icons. You could call her the grand dame of accessories, a rare bird of fashion (a term commonly used to describe her), an iconoclast, or simply the most stylish 90 year-old woman on the planet. We here at MTV Style call her our style hero, because even in her elder years, she continues to reinvent herself and embrace the new. She isn't afraid of color, bucks trends in favor of what she thinks is stylish, and is always up for layering multiple accessories no matter the shape or size.
Mrs. Apfel's everyday ensembles have been captured on blogs such as Ari Seth Cohen's site, Advanced Style (which, if haven't checked it out yet, is a MUST), and she recently collaborated on an accessories collection for HSN full of googly eye scarves and giant alligator bracelets. Did we mention that she also has a camera crew led by renowned cinematographer Albert Maysles following her around for a new documentary? She doesn't slow down! And now, thanks to MAC cosmetics, her sensational sense of color and style will be coming to beauty, too. We just peeped the new collection (which is full of vibrant colors with names like Pink Pigeon and Party Parrot), and asked Iris herself how it all flew into being.
Get your favorite crop top out of storage and polish that bejeweled naval ring because it's about that time to get into the holiday Spear-it, y'all—Britney Spears is getting married! It looks like Britney may have finally found her knight in shining armor (or, at least her Sam Merlotte doppelgänger—that guy is all "True Blood" kinds of foxy. WOOF!) in talent manager Jason Trawick who you'll remember from that BANANAS "Criminal" video. And while we'll make wild speculations about what our girl will wear on her big day, 'til then we're going to take a jaunt down memory lane and revisit Britney Spears' MOST memorable wedding dress moments. Leggo!
A still from Britney Spears's "Hold It Against Me" music video.
Photo: Courtesy of Jive Records
The Femme Fatale era kicked off with Britney's Jonas Åkerlund-directed "Hold It Against Me" video complete with the return of the midriff, a hair whipping frenzy, and a sea of basically naked chiseled male dancers. It also featured a celestial Britney flying in the air in a GINORMOUS wedding dress with dancers (sans eyes) bouncing around underneath her flowing ensemble. We think Team Britney got the "Godney" (what true Stans call Ms. Spears) memo for this heavenly look. That is until Brit Brit reminds us she's "not that innocent" and begins to spew paint from her fingers turning her wedding dress into a Crayola smeared work of art. Can you imagine the heel you'd have to sport to walk down the aisle in this? MURDER.
Daphne Guinness in Monaco on Oct. 20.
Photo: Getty Images
Could a makeup line inspired by PIGEON BLOOD get any odder? Of course—when the creator is beer heiress Daphne Guinness. The latest MAC collaborator, who harbors a penchant for outrageous fashions, also has a predilection for experimenting with makeup. No, we're not talking about blue lipstick or printed lip tattoos (that's SOOO two weeks ago), Daphne gets inventive by using nail polish... as her lipstick. Yes, you read that right.
Nail polish is the new lipstick, according to Daphne who is apparently a GENIUS when it comes to product development. I mean, what a great way to put all that neon nail polish collecting dust in your bathroom drawer to use! And if you bought too much paint for your living room wall, you can totes use that as makeup too. Paint is also a sporadic part of Guinness' beauty regimen. "Sometimes I use paint. Yesterday, I was wearing nail polish as lipstick," she tells Stylelist. "It's just experiment after experiment." Excuse us, we're in awe. Have you met anyone as FIERCE? Naturally, Guinness' brazen approach to makeup has us dreaming up innovative ways to use her new MAC collection. Lipstick as eyeshadow? Blush as hair dye? Why not? That's what ALL the cool heiresses do.