Why Fluffy is Sitting Out This Awards Season

Every year I offer my critique on red carpet fashion during awards season in the run-up to the Academy Awards, and some of you may have noticed my absence during the Golden Globes and might be wondering if I will be back for tonight’s SAG Awards. The answer is No. I will not be critiquing anyone’s sartorial choices this year, not even for the Oscars.

The reason why is simple. This is my show of support for the Time’s Up initiative. While the Globes went all-black for this reason– thereby negating the very need for a fashion critique, as black is almost always tasteful and beautiful– and other ceremonies this season will be undoubtedly more colorful, I’m still going to refrain from supplying my opinions on red carpet wear. The underlying message this season is one of support for victims of sexual harassment/assault/abuse, and to chirp negativity (or praise, for that matter) about what people are wearing in light of that circumstance seems disingenuous at best.

I offer sincere apologies to anyone who has previously enjoyed my award season articles and promise to return next year. Thanks for following me and hopefully supporting my stance.


RIP Tom Petty, 1950-2017

I tend to remember my traffic tickets in relation to what song was playing in my vehicle at the time, what song I was enjoying so much I lost a little bit of my roadway sanity and started speeding or whatever. One of these songs was Tom Petty’s “American Girl”, probably my most egregious ticket to date, in which I blew a red light in front of a cop and didn’t realize he was flagging me down for a couple of blocks. That’s how much I loved this man’s music: it made me a road hazard while I was transported somewhere else entirely. I don’t excuse my infraction one bit– it was heinous– but if I’d been listening to something else, I might have at least noticed the cop. 

My first Petty song was “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” encountered on a lazy afternoon watching MTV as a kid, back in the olden days when they played videos. I was fascinated with his winking, mad-hatter persona as well as with the music itself, and he quickly became one of my favorite artists.  I’ll be the first to admit that “Freefallin'” was overplayed, but other tracks hold so many memories for me– “I Won’t Back Down” was a favorite of my late father’s, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” was my gateway to the world of Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac, and the Traveling Wilburys were a level of cool all to themselves. 

Thanks for all the music, Tom– and the incredible memories. You can’t be replaced. 

Katy Perry’s “Witness”:  A Long-Awaited (Mild) Disappointment

I am not ashamed to be a Katy Perry apologist in a world full of edgier, fresher artists. I’ve always identified with her sort of offbeat, goofy persona that almost dips into self-parody, and her music had all the hooks.  Notice I said had.  

I’m a sucker for a good hook; I like my pop campy and catchy, but sadly, there’s little of that this time around. If you’ve heard the three singles that preceded Witness‘s release, you’ve already heard the best this album has to offer (with the possible exception of the Mike Will Made It-produced “Tsunami”, which was robbed in not being selected as single #4). 

I’m late with the review as the album has been out for nearly a month already, but amid the publicity blitz surrounding it– the obligatory SNL performances, the interviews calling out rival Taylor Swift, the weird live-stream of Katy getting therapy and slathered with a lot of makeup– I stepped back to wait and listen with fresher ears. 

I wanted to like this album so much. For one thing, it actually feels like a cohesive album rather than the gleefully random collections of singles her past records have resembled.  However, there’s not a lot of fun being had here, and I couldn’t wait for some of the tracks to be over (I’m looking at you, “Save as Draft”). If Katy is trying to be more serious, that’s fine. That said, she’s painted herself into a box:  her expansion as an artist versus the expectations of her fans. It’s a similar situation to Miley Cyrus’s Miley and Her Dead Petz album– an anomaly in an otherwise steady stream of bangers. But Miley’s album wasn’t really promoted like this one has been, so expectations weren’t as high, and Miley has recovered nicely (“Malibu”, anyone?), while I’m frankly worried about Katy now.  It’s been years since she made a record, and I don’t think she can afford to take that much time on her next if she wants to stay relevant.  And this is coming from someone who likes her as an artist. 

Anyway, the album isn’t all bad;  you’ve just heard most of its best parts already.  Lead single “Chained to the Rhythm” probably comes closest to the patented Katy Perry Glossy Earworm of yore, “Bon Appétit” has all the sexy, silly swaggery you’ve come to expect, and “Swish Swish” is a sample-heavy, club-ready diss track featuring a stellar Nicki Minaj rap.  Anemic ballad “Save as Draft” has already been slated as the fourth single, and its selection just indicates to me that the album is already running out of steam. There are better tracks here: the spare, 80’s-retro bass figures of “Tsunami”, the slow-burning groove and spastic drum breaks of “Power”, the soulful “Pendulum”. The rest is so much filler, but I have to hand out a special mention to “Into Me You See” for sounding the most like my eighth- grade poetry of any song I’ve heard. (Sorry, long-ago eighth-grade me, but that’s not a compliment!)

Controversial writer-producer Dr. Luke is missing from this project, and with good reason (Google “Free Kesha” if you want background). There are a bevy of producers present here, but they’ve created a finished product that is both cohesive and not. Maybe a single producer could have gelled the album together into a whole– I’d have gone with Shellback or Mike Will Made It.  Katy is in fine voice but is occasionally overmixed and isn’t really given a chance to vocally shine, which is a shame. 

The SeriouslyFluffy Final Grade:  C

“Beauty and the Beast”: The Seriouslyfluffy Review

It’s been awhile since Fluffy published a film review, not for lack of having seen good films, but this Disney remake of one of my favorite movies ever cried out for review in a way few works do. I was super excited for the remake as soon as I heard casting details (as a fan of both the Harry Potter universe and Downton Abbey, I was particularly stoked to see what Emma Watson and Dan Stevens would bring to the beloved titular characters), but just a little anxious about the tampering with a classic. The original animated film was near perfect after all, and instrumental in cementing my Disney fangirling well into my adulthood (it came out in my late teens, and settled any lingering doubts I should leave animation behind as an art form for kids only; I still think it was robbed for Best Picture that year). So, how would the live action film stack up against the animated version? 

I found I need not have worried, though I was a bit confused after seeing publicity photos of the household servants as candelabra and teapots and whatnot. They didn’t seem to translate well to more realistic CGI rendering, particularly Ewan McGregor’s Lumiere. However, stills and action are not the same thing, and the visuals turned out to be delightful; by the end of “Be Our Guest” I had warmed completely to these new versions of the familiar characters, though the film had easily reeled me in long before that. 

The opening sequence established a bit more of the Beast’s backstory than we got in the stained-glass intro of the original, as well as filling in a few plot holes fans had noticed over the years. And Watson’s Belle was of course radiant from her first appearance. She gets a lot more backstory also, and emerges as the inventor of her family rather than her father, who is instead, as played by the always-amazing Kevin Kline, an artist. The viewer gets a great sense of Belle’s disillusionment with her small town and its small minds, especially that of Gaston (Luke Evans), whose violent tendencies and selfishness are even more apparent here than in the original, his determination to marry Belle somehow creepier and more stalker-y than before.  

The real magic begins when Belle rescues her father from imprisonment in the Beast’s castle, taking his place as prisoner before promising him to escape and reunite with him. This is far better plotted than in the animation, as Belle here blames herself for asking her father for the rose the Beast believes him to have stolen. The tale continues from here in the time-honored fashion; after the visually stunning “Be Our Guest” sequence, Belle is caught examining the enchanted rose whose falling petals mark the timeline of the Beast’s curse and flees the castle in the wake of his rage, only for him to ultimately save her from a pack of scary, ravening wolves.  She gets him back to the castle and patches him up, the ice between them now broken as they begin to discover things in common and strike up a friendship. More detail is lavished on their commonalities than before: both are well-read intellectuals who share many views and just seem to click on every level (Watson and Stevens have chemistry for days), and their eventual romance makes even more sense. 

Additional story elements flesh out both characters’ backstories even further. Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson) relates via flashback how the Beast became selfish and uncaring after the death of his mother, and a magical book left by the enchantress who cursed him allows us to see the loss of Belle’s mother and understand a bit more about her father’s motivations. By the time the Beast and Belle decide to hold a ball for just themselves, they are well-drawn, three-dimensional characters– which makes their coming separation, due to Gaston’s mistreatment of Belle’s father, all the more poignant.  The climactic sequence changes slightly from the original, with Gaston shooting the Beast in the back rather than wounding him with a sword;  the staging of Gaston’s fatal fall is changed as well, but it is equally effective, as is the Beast’s final redemptive transformation after Belle’s admission of love.  (Cue gales of tears from Fluffy here; I do love a happy ending, and Dan Stevens in human form.)

The overall look and feel of the film is completely immersive and magical. I found the added elements to the story beneficial and at times, such as in the case of the servants being permanently transformed into inanimate objects when the curse plays out, more moving than the original (how pathetic was the little footstool-dog, FrouFrou, frantically pawing at his silent friends until he too succumbed, landing upside-down and motionless?).  Great big props to director Bill Condon for creating a film that not only lives up to its distinguished predecessor, but occasionally surpasses it, and to all the actors and artists involved. The Seriouslyfluffy Final Grade: A

An Underwhelmed Batch of Oscar Night Fluffy Awards

I’ve been chronicling the red-carpet foibles of award season divas for several years now, and in all that time it’s been rare for me to find myself as bored by the crop of designer frocks on display as I was last night. There were a few bright spots in a sea of mostly dull duds, and at least I bothered to put on my Marchesa and show up (courtesy of Photoshop, as always; Fluffy hasn’t yet finagled an actual invitation yet):

Yep, the gray stripe in my hair is real these days.  Anyway, so little was going on fashion-wise that I’m going to forgo my usual category system (except for the Special Fluffy Award, which goes to the dress most in line with my personal taste); I can’t even name a best or worst dressed, as everything was pretty staid and bland, so will instead talk a bit about why these gowns actually made somewhat of an impression on me. (I was sorely tempted to throw out the whole post out of sheer boredom, but it was the freaking Oscars, and I bothered to ‘shop myself weeks ago, so the show goes on.)

Taraji P. Henson in Alberta Ferretti

A bit on the simple side, but that’s because the fabric is the star and needs nothing else. Midnight blue velvet gets me every time. 

Emma Stone in Givenchy 

I have a sweater in almost this exact color scheme, so that’s an automatic win for me, but the fun addition of fringe seals the deal. 

Chrissy Teigen in Zuhair Murad 

Normally not a big fan of beige (or cream, or eggshell, or whatever you wanna call it), but the beading looks like fireworks and it has. A. Cape. Too cool. 

Priyanka Chopra in Ralph & Russo

Loads of visual interest in the gravity-defying bodice and mosaic pattern, and one of the braver choices here. The diamond bracelets are the perfect touch. 

Viola Davis in Armani Privé 

The brilliant red gown stood out in a crowd of mostly the same old same old. The off-shoulder design and halter neck add nice detail to a simple and elegant look. 

Kirsten Dunst in Christian Dior 

A perfectly accessorized dream of a plain black dress that’s anything but boring. The high-low hemline isn’t done much on ballgown styles, and I love it when it is. 

Halle Berry in Atelier Versace 

Fringe was kind of a thing this year, and this is one of the best examples. The asymmetrical overlay adds additional wow factor. 
Brie Larson in Oscar de la Renta 

Those ruffles!  I love velvet, and this is quite the dramatic application of it, with that plunging neckline and mid-thigh split; and did I mention the ruffles?
Scarlett Johansson in Alaïa

Another standout color choice, this floaty pink print dress is made by the sparkly statement belt. Bracelets which coordinate with said belt complete the look. 
Octavia Spencer in Marchesa 

More fringe, but this time it’s made of feathers! How fun is that? Love the rich silver color and the overall look of this beautiful ball gown. 
Nicole Kidman in Armani Privé 

More beige (sigh), but at least there is a really interesting beading thing going on here. 
The Special Fluffy Award

Hailee Steinfeld in Ralph & Russo

 When I include multiple photos of a dress, you know it’s something pretty special, and this sheer, ethereal flower garden of a gown was my absolute favorite of the evening. 
There you have it; the 2017 Awards Season goes in the books with more of a ho-hum than a bang, but maybe next year will be better. One can hope. Laters…

Fluffy Awards Super Post: Grammy AND BAFTA Fashion!

When there are red carpets on both sides of the pond, it makes for a long day for yours truly, but the two events in question are so very different that I’m going to handle them separately within this post. The Grammys are kind of an award season anomaly, having nothing to do with the Oscar race and decidedly different in tone from events of that sphere, while the BAFTA Awards in the U.K. often feature faces less familiar to those of us stateside along with the stalwart Oscar hopefuls and tend to get lost in the award season shuffle. Anyway, let’s dive into the Grammy looks first…


Category: Most Improved 

Rhianna in Armani Privé 

Last time RiRi appeared at the Grammys back in 2015, she wore what can only be described as a dead pink jellyfish. This two-piece ensemble is so much better that there is no comparison. Serious Bollywood vibes here. Love it. 
Category: Cutest

Carrie Underwood in Elie Madi

Carrie is always adorbs, but there’s something about this dress that makes her look like she’s a little girl playing dress-up in big-girl clothes. Maybe it’s the sleeves, which fall a bit long, but the result is just too cute. 
Category: The Fairy Princess Award

(Tie)Kelsea Ballerini in Ines Di Santo

Elle King in Teuta Matoshi

 These dresses are both so ethereal and lovely, Kelsea in ice blue and Elle in blush pink. 3D florals are very trendy right now, and both ladies look like they stepped straight out of a fairy tale. 
Category: The Gold Medal

Solange Knowles in Gucci

I just love this liquid gold, one-shoulder look with its statement ruffles and teeny tiny pleating. Solange is absolutely radiant, and I’m all about those near-invisible shoes too. 
Category: Red Royalty 

Charli XCX in Vivienne Westwood 

Charli is feeling the Valentine groove in this plunging sweetheart neckline and floral jacquard fabric with matching satin pumps. Awesome!

Category: Gothic Glam 

Chrissy Teigen in Roberto Cavalli

Look. At. All. Those. Laces!  This gown is serving up a healthy dose of bondage-inspired gorgeousness.  Wowza!
Category: The Dare-To-Bare Award

Laverne Cox in Bryan Hearns

The Orange is the New Black star shows a lot of skin in this smoking hot chain-embellished custom number and strappy sky-high heels. 
Category:  The WTF Award

Girl Crush in ???

There is worst-dressed, and then there is another level of tacky that you only see at the Grammys and their like. Are they balloons or gum balls? And who the heck is Girl Crush anyway? I guess that’s the whole point. Ummm. Okay. Moving on. 

 Category: The Divalicious Award 

Demi Lovato in Julien MacDonald

Check out this very sheer and statuesque look on a beautiful Demi Lovato. Sexy yet elegant, and a complete win. 
Category: The Goddess Award

Jennifer Lopez in Ralph & Russo

Nobody does a red carpet quite like J-Lo, and this slinky lilac gown is just kept from best-dressed honors by the dubious virtue of the large chiffon shoulder doodad. Otherwise a great look, with the Best Shoes of the evening. 
Category: The Shining Star

Hillary Scott in Jenny Packham

Quite literally in this case, as Hillary’s gown is bedecked with hundreds of beaded stars. So pretty!
Category: Most Intricate 

Lea Michele in Roberto Cavalli 

There is just a crazy amount of detail in this two-piece ensemble, which looks to be all embroidered rather than beaded. With a fresh, minimalist makeup and hair look, the dress speaks for itself. 
Category: Wildest

Katy Perry in Tom Ford

This is certainly an odd look, isn’t it?  I want to like it, but there’s a weird wrongness about it. It can’t decide what it wants to be. The dichotomy between the sequin bodice and the fringe skirt is somewhat jarringly executed. Well, it is a Tom Ford, and his designs are often meh, so maybe awkward is a sign he’s trying to do something different. Anyway, it’s a bold choice and Katy otherwise looks flawless.  
Category: The Prom Queen

Tori Kelly in Badgley Mischka

First off, I don’t dislike this look. It’s a really pretty dress, but the kind of thing that doesn’t really stand out at red carpet events. I love the color, but it needs something to bring it out of high school dance territory and into the realm of high fashion. 
Category: Worst Dressed

Halsey in Christian Wijnants

And then Halsey shows up to the Grammys in her Grammy’s wrinkled old pajamas and mistakes a necklace for a top. Once again… this sort of thing happens only at the Grammys, folks! 
Category: Best Dressed

Adele in Givenchy

C’mon, how gorgeous is this? Though I was no fan of “Hello”, Adele continues to win me over with more upbeat numbers like this one. Patchwork detail is so on-point and she’s rocking it. The color and texture are just so luxe. Love. 
Special Category: The FLUFFY Award

Camila Cabello in Miri Couture 

I love me some ballgowns, and this one, chosen for its alignment with my own personal aesthetic ( i.e., the dress I’d have picked for myself), is a stunner. It’s so floaty and glam at the same time, and the purple is absolutely beautiful. Showstoppah!!
Now we move across the pond to take in the sights at the…


Category: Most Improved

Nicole Kidman in Armani Privé 

After a severe misstep at her SAG appearance (in a feathery parrot dress), Nicole is back in good form in this revealing column with a plunging metallic bodice and ritzy Harry Winston jewels. Much better. 
Category:  Cutest

Daisy Ridley in Roland Mouret

This dress is just intensifying my patchwork obsession. So perfectly adorable.  A matching wrap and awesome stilettos complete the look. 
Category: The Silver Medal

Sophie Turner in Louis Vuitton 

Whoa, this is smoking!  A liquid-sequin skirt and embellished top make this long-sleeved column a real standout. 

Category: Wildest

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton 

This sequined mini is hiding a scary face in its colorful details. Cute at first glance, creepy at second, and all-around cray-cray. 
Category: The Blue Ribbon

Viola Davis in Jenny Packham 

 Flowing shades of blue, from sapphire to sky, and a simple criss-cross pattern make for a beautifully eye-catching gown. 

Category: The Gilded Flour Sack

Amy Adams in Tom Ford

Note to Tom Ford:  please stop making beautiful women look like literal bag ladies. The back of this dress has a sheer drape and a bow, but it’s not enough to make up for the front looking like a sack of potatoes. Sorry, Amy; at least it’s a good color on you. 
Category: Gothic Glam

Felicity Jones in Dior

A sheer overlay and chain-mail straps make this simple A-line silhouette darkly glamorous and very memorable. 
Category: Cinderella Style

Naomie Harris in Gucci

This ruffled gown with floral details and a knife-pleated skirt is the stuff of little girls’ fairy tale dreams. So romantic. 
Category: Worst Dressed

(Tie) Caitriona Balfe in Gucci

Emma Stone in Chanel

 Caitriona’s dress is probably the saddest thing I’ve ever seen from Gucci; the scarlet skirt clashes with the pastel colors on the top, and while it could’ve been pretty (with a white skirt maybe?) it ultimately doesn’t work. Emma’s outfit is sad in that it is almost great. The dress is beautiful, the heels are perfect, and I love the ankle bracelet. The look is ruined solely but wholly by the tacked-on addition of inexplicable pantaloons underneath the dress. What? Who would do that to that innocent dress? Boo. 
Category: Best Dressed

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in Alexander McQueen 

It isn’t often that actual royalty attends an awards season event, and did you have any doubt she would steal the show? Kate is always textbook perfection, and this floral gown is a great example of the polished, elegant style the world’s most photographed woman is known for. Oh, and she wins The Arm Candy Award forever with her real-life prince. It just doesn’t get better than this. 
Special Category: The FLUFFY Award 

Emily Blunt in Alexander McQueen 

Like Camila Cabello’s dress at the Grammys above, this is the best representation of my own personal style at the BAFTAs. Just look at it. It’s so me. I would wear the hell out of this dress. It slays. 

So there we have two red carpet wrap-ups in one post. Hope you enjoyed, and see you next time…

SAG Awards fashion: More Fluffy Awards

So the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards were last night, and amid the wins, losses and political statements, there was quite a bit of sartorial savvy on display as well. Here are my Fluffy Awards of Fashion for the evening. 

Category: Most Improved 

Anna Chlumsky in Elizabeth Kennedy 

This is a lot better than the green bedsheet she wore to the Globes– it fits, and I love the color. Not sure what that stray bit of navy cloth trailing the ground is about, but overall a good look. 
Category: Cutest

Naomie Harris in Lanvin

This is trés adorbs!  There were a few more jumpsuits than usual, but this one is my favorite. Love the floral and chain detailing. 
Category: The Arm Candy Award

Sofia Vergara in Zuhair Murad 

This look is a departure for Sofia, who usually wears slightly different variations of the same mermaid dress, but check out her hottie husband Joe Manganiello and how sweet they look together. Awwww.  
Category: Best Accessories 

Amy Adams in Brandon Maxwell

Not much to say about the dress, a Generic Column™ that’s just a backdrop for those cool jewels. The matching set is by Cartier and is too faboo. 
Category: The Gold Medal 

Ariel Winter in Mikael D

It’s soooo shiny. I love it. Somehow it has the effect of mermaid scales and rushing waves at the same time. Did I mention I love it?
Category: The Blue Ribbon 

Ellie Kemper in Wai Ming

Ellie is a consistent style hero of mine, and this velvet one-shoulder gown in royal blue continues her winning streak. Beautiful. 
Category: Pretty in Pink

Rashida Jones in Vivienne Westwood 

This elegant, toile-inspired print chiffon is pure perfection. With tousled hair and minimal jewelry, it’s a deconstructed look that feels effortless. 
Category: Little Miss Sunshine

Salma Hayek in Gucci 

I’m starting to really love Gucci lately. Their designs can be somewhat hit or miss, but this one is a big hit. It looks like an actual flower. 
Category: The Rose Garden

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Lela Rose

See what I did there?  I need to leave off the bad puns. All kidding aside, this is a great dress on the Veep star. Eye-catching, well-accessorized, and well-played. 
Category: The Goddess Award 

Viola Davis in Vivienne Westwood 

Extraordinary. It’s quite a plain dress, but the structured bodice and gorgeous necklace take it into Wow territory. Seriously. Wow. 
Category: Most Intricate 

Emily Blunt in Roberto Cavalli 

Check that out. It looks like a medieval tapestry. Just magnificent. Also a runner up for the Arm Candy Award, as Emily and hubby John Krasinski are just so cute together. 
Category: The Fairy Princess Award 

Kaley Cuoco in Marchesa

An ethereal, gauzy number from my favorite ethereal, gauzy designer. Love the ombré colors and leafy details. 
Category: The Candy Cane Award

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

Formerly known as the Sad Candy Cane Award, but this dress isn’t as sad as it could have been. It’s saved by a healthy dose of glitz and a sophisticated take on the choker trend. 
Category: The Bridal Show

Kerry Washington in Roberto Cavalli 

It’s the best wedding gown I’ve ever seen on a red carpet. That’s not a bad thing. I would love to walk down an aisle in this bejeweled, bell-sleeved confection. Love. 
Category: Back in Black 

Gwendoline Christie in Vivienne Westwood 

Wowza. Another of my fave jumpsuits of the evening, this sparkly biker-chic ensemble is both memorable and as badass as can be. Slay. 
Category: The Divalicious Award

Taraji P. Henson in Reem Acra

This is so stunning. Both sweet and racy, with the just the right amount of sparkle. Just ah-mazing. Best ballgown of an evening somewhat short on ball gowns, but one this cool makes up for the lack. 
Category: Worst Dressed

Nicole Kidman in Gucci

Oh, Gucci, Gucci. When you do right, it’s SO right, but when you mess up you REALLY mess up. This dress could have been awesome, if you had only resisted the sick urge to cover this perfectly reasonable green sequined dress with dead parrots. Okay, not actual dead parrots, but just because no birds were harmed in the making doesn’t make it all right. Just NO. 
Category: Best Dressed

(Tie) Maisie Williams

Emma Stone in Alexander McQueen

I couldn’t decide between these two lovely ladies.  I always have trouble finding the designers of Maisie’s dresses, and this time couldn’t find out at all, leading me to believe it may be an original creation of her stylist; either way, it’s a vision and so is she, emanating Old Hollywood glam. Emma is breathtaking in a black gown that’s like two dresses in one: a sheer lacy one blooming out of a pretty floral. 
Special Category: The Fluffy Award 

Thandie Newton in Schiaparelli 

If you’ve visited this blog before, you know that the Special Fluffy Award goes to the dress I’d have picked for myself. I love this sparkling design, with an asymmetrical neckline and carnival-esque print. So unusual and pretty.  So me!
So there you have it. See you next go-round!