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5 Common Fundraising Mistakes that Might Be Hurting Your Organization

Fundraising is hard work, done with the best intentions in mind. While you might get caught up in the spirit of “doing good,” you could be doing it wrong. Whether it’s a communication failure or a lack of foresight, here are five mistakes you’ll want to avoid when…

Life Changes I Wish I’d Made Sooner

By the time I turned 25, I was sure my life was a single-lane highway.

A single-lane highway with no exits. As far as I was concerned, I was headed in the same direction, with no…

3 Easy Ways to Share Nature With Your Kids This Summer

There’s something about the summer that brings out the fun in kids. Long summer days without any thought of school foster the type of carefree living children relish every year. The only bad thing about the summer is it can go by really fast. As parents, it is important to…

The Succulent Wives' Dress the Oscar Nominees

We’re girls. We love the movies. We love the Academy Awards. Well, not really. We put up with them because we get to watch Hollywood glam for three (four?) hours. And, mostly, we get to do lots of backseat drivingstylin’.

Just as we did last year, we thought we’d have some fun and gather ’round some of our favorite contributors to put together award winning (yes) looks for a few of the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominees.

Interesting note: each of our contributors chose her own nominee and was given no instructions on how to style her. And this resulted in the very interesting two-toned outcome that you see below. A trend of red and nude? We definitely think so!



ROONEY MARA’s Oscar look by Kristin Fast, Lifestyle Editor and In-House Wit-Cracker

Ridiculously beautiful and new face this award’s season, Rooney Mara is a top contender for the Best Actress award at this year’s Oscars. While I may not be able to predict how the Academy will vote (Viola Davis is my guess) I can guarantee that Rooney, with her gorgeous face and lovely figure, will be an absolute sensation on the Red Carpet.

Rooney is incredibly petite and in order for her to avoid being “worn by the dress” she tends to favor simple lines and solid colors. However, this is the Academy Awards and quite frankly, I want fashion which recognizes the evening for what it is: Hollywood’s Biggest Night!

This look, beginning with a Jenny Packham gown will send her to the top of every Best Dressed list.

The deep scarlet hue will be amazing against Rooney’s porcelain complexion and dark hair and the fitted, almost architectural silhouette is sexy without being vulgar. Giuseppe Zanotti sandals are elegant with a slightly modern flair and the Judith Leiber bag, with it’s quatrefoil design, continues the idea of classic Hollywood elegance. A stack of vintage Art Deco diamond bracelets compliment and complete the look.

Rooney, call me and I will hook you up.


MERYL STREEP’s Oscar look by Marjie Killeen, Contributor- Midlife Wisdom

Fresh off Golden Globe and BAFTA wins for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in Iron Lady, Meryl Streep should enter the 2012 Academy Awards looking like the film goddess she is. Usually Meryl’s red carpet style is regal and mature, but here I’ve dressed her like a comely babe in a red-hot draped Lanvin gown combined with geometric gold and diamond accessories. I sense that Meryl doesn’t like baring her arms, so I tossed in the sumptuous Valentino lace trimmed scarf to use as a wrap. Meryl forgot her glasses at the Golden Globes and had to give her acceptance speech from memory, so I’m tucking an extra pair of reading glasses into the chic Maiyet pony hair clutch. The Stuart Weitzman sandals complete the goddess look and still appear comfortable enough to walk on stage without tripping.


MICHELLE WILLIAMS‘ Oscar look by Jill Carroll-Thomas

Jill Carroll-Thomas is a member of SAG and best known for her roles in Psycho II and 21 Jump Street. She has attended the Academy Awards and has seen first hand the glamor and lure of this magical evening.

Having been to the Academy Awards myself, I will never forget what is was like to be a part of all the excitement and exhilaration generated around this incredible evening. Unfortunately, I was not bombarded with designers competing to dress me for the event.  I am sure Michelle Williams, who was nominated for Best Actress for “My Week with Marilyn“,  had scores of designers clamoring to be the one to adorn her with a beautiful evening gown.  I have always admired Michelle Williams’ simple, sophisticated style and if I were a designer, this is the look I would have presented to her. I felt this beautiful evening dress from Amanda Wakeley, with the platinum diamond choker necklace, honored Michelle’s unique style. Michelle is an amazing actress.  She has the talent and staying power to succeed in this crazy industry. I wish her all the luck at the 2012 Academy Awards and I am confident that if she doesn’t win, it will not be the last time we see her nominated.


OCTAVIA SPENCER’s Oscar look by Mrs/Dr. T, Snarky PhD Scientist and Guest Contributor

All eyes will be on Octavia this Academy Awards, as the Golden Globe winner vies for an Oscar for her performance as Minnie Jackson in The Help (bringing the saying, “Eat sh*t”, to a whole new level). Octavia’s style seems to be simple, yet chic. I’ve taken her lead by dressing her in an elegant champagne-colored gown with to-die-for Tabitha Simmons shoes that kick up the glamour for her red carpet walk. And who wouldn’t feel like star wearing these $32,000 diamond earrings?

Dress by Peter Langner, clutch by Salvatore Ferragamo, shoes by Tabitha Simmons, earrings by Irene Neuwirth, and bracelet by Roberto Coin.


GLENN CLOSE’s Oscar look by Audrey van Petegem, Senior Editor

Glenn Close is the consummate Hollywood Star. And I do mean Star!  This will be her 6th Oscar nomination and possibly her first win for her starring role in Albert Nobbs. If you are not familiar with the story line it is about a woman (Glenn Close) living as a man in order to find work during a repressive time in the 19th century in Ireland. The entire movie (except near the end, which I will not spoil for anyone who has not seen it) Ms. Close plays a very drab and homely man. February 26th, 2012 will be her time to Glam-up and bring out her sex appeal. With her pale skin and aristocratic features Ms. Close would look stunning in a Sangria Evening Dress by Talbot Runhof. Christian Louboutin crystal covered pumps in gold, a beautiful peacock feather inspired crystal jeweled clutch and 18 Karat rose gold diamond drop earrings will add just the right amount of bling for Ms. Close to shine. To complete her vivacious look is M.A.C. Viva Glam Lipstick. I don’t know if she will win but wearing this sexy ensemble, she will most definitely bedazzle!


JESSICA CHASTAIN’s Oscar look by Anne-Marie Kovacs, Chief Wife

Jessica Chastain is a chameleon. I barely recognize her from role to role. She is definitely one of Hollywood’s new treasure.  For her red carpet walk, I wanted her to look as far removed as possible from her character, Celia Foote, in The Help. Nothing tight, candy-colored or anything that could even vaguely whisper floozy. So, I went for regal and I dressed her like a modern Egyptian queen. Nothing skin-tight, because Jessica has nothing to prove. She’s naturally the full package. And then some.

Gown and shoes by Balmain. This masterpiece of a dress is actually very wearable (and might even be comfortable!!), with an embellished bustier and flowing skirt. The colors will suit her complexion and though intricate, the dress will not overwhelm her elegant frame. I don’t usually do matchy-matchy, but this dress-shoe combo was hard to resist.We’ll certainly get a glimpse of these pièce de résistance shoes, as she picks up her skirt and floats up the stairs to accept her Oscar. These shoes have wings. Modern, geometric yet simple accessories polish off the look without competing with the main event that is the dress. Hair is up and evening-like but every-so-slightly messed up to add down-to-earthness to an otherwise majestic look.  Makeup? Red lips, bien sûr and a neutral evening eye. Gorgeous, isn’t she?


Want to play? All these looks were created on Polyvore. Send us your look!

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