Ciara and Jennifer Hudson: Who Does It Right at the Grammys? Celebrity Style Slam!

Celebrity Style Slam comes back with a real twist to the attitude and presentation. NY-based writer Nancy Lichtenstein who covers NYFW for me joins me in evaluating the fashion content seen on the red carpet. While we talk about the fashion winners and losers, you can weigh in with comments about our perspective.
Nancy’s comments are bolded, mine are not- just so you are clear on who’s talking.
Grammys: Ciara and Jennifer Hudson
I matched these two up because they have similar coloring and are both dressed in black…I’m completely convinced of the power of color to transform a wardrobe so I was curious how much of a difference shape makes if you take color out of the equation. Turns out it makes quite a bit…

I think black is fine on both these ladies, although I would like to see a little bit of color somewhere on Ciara, even if it was in a simple pair of dangle earrings.


It is hard to see the basic shape of this gown with all that’s going on here, but it appears to be flattering. She’s long, lean and supermodelish, and I’m very keen on the lace overlay over her legs, which is a fantastic look for her.

SW: I like the basic shape simply because it follows her bodylines but the style of the dress is entirely a different matter.
I’m surprising myself on this one. I usually prefer simple and classic, and when I first saw this I thought it’s part Battlestar Galactica (the original version), part Chicago. The more I look at it the more I like it. If anyone can wear something like this, it’s tall, thin, gorgeous Ciara, so why not go for it?

SW: Not liking this over-embellished dress. It’s got way too many things going on and all in black so you can’t see the details. Here’s a video where Ciara tells you about this Givenchy outfit with lace pants, body suit and a jacket. Can we say she’s got the body but *oh my gosh* waaaay too over the top– but then again, it’s the Grammys! It’s the only place where she could pull this off and she has the figure to do it.

The hair is wisely simple–as an aside here, I’m so envious of women who have perfect enough features to wear a part down the middle and get away with it. The makeup is great, she looks glowing. The accessories are minimal, and that’s a wise choice with this much going on with the dress, but again, a noticeable pair of ruby earrings or cocktail ring (she does have one on but it doesn’t appear to have color to it) would have been one step beyond.

SW: if you watched the video, she has toned down the look and it’s really a tightly done, low-key look for her because the outfit has all the bells and whistles. Minimal jewelry and I wish she could have done something to put a pop of color into the outfit.
Overall Rating: Four stars. Tough look to pull off but she looks great.
SW: AGREED!! She does look great. I would have taken the outfit down a notch but since it’s the Grammys, she did pull this off and with dignity and sophistication.

Jennifer Hudson
jennifer hudson.jpg
Same reaction as for Ciara. Jennifer Hudson does have a bit of noticeable color on her lips and eyes so she has the slight edge here–it livens up the black a bit.

SW: Is this a wake or a party? Haven’t seen this much black in over a year on the red carpet. Jennifer looks great but still, where’s the pop of contrasting color to make it really stellar?
I don’t know where to start with this. Well, let’s start with the positive. The modified sweetheart neckline shows off her attractive cleavage and collarbone tastefully. I would have liked to have seen it open up a bit more instead of the bolero shape, though. It would have made this outfit feel less constricting.

SW: Can’t say this is the best look for Hudson. I love the jacket neckline as Nancy described it. It’s perfect for Jennifer but there’s bare landscape there too. (wait till we get to accessories)
The peplum is terrible–even though she’s apparently wearing shoulder pads, it makes the widest part of her body her hips. I thought maybe it was a just a bad angle so I went in search of a picture from a different angle and when I saw it close up, it was even worse–there’s a diagonal pocket on the peplum! Short, sausage casing skirt with whiskering on it (despite the fact that whiskering is a fad in denim right now, what it indicates when it happens naturally is poor fit). Elbow length sleeves which just look peculiar. This shape is just about as bad as can be. There’s a sexy figure under there and it’s not being showcased at all in this look.
SW: Where is a good stylist when you need one? This is so *not* the jacket for a curvy girl. It emphasizes her hips beyond belief and she really needs to have a clean, sleek figure enhancing outfit- not one that screams “hips, hips, hips” for such a curvy lady.
While I love the short skirt, it needs a better fit. Better to have gone longer and a bit looser to give her a better cut on the shape. How about a plain sheath dress with the same neckline if she wants to go all black? A LBD wouldn’t have hurt, but this suit sure does.
80’s power suit with faux bolero/peplum/shoulder pads and super-short skirt? I don’t see anything remotely stylish about this. It’s downright frumpy, which is an odd choice for the Grammys. I wish I’d saved my line about Dynasty remakes–it’s more appropriate for this look than the one I applied it to.

SW: I don’t know if this is a power suit but it does give her clean lines from the bustline up. Anything else below that area doesn’t work at all. It’s not flattering, it’s not great for her body type. It’s almost boring except for the poor fit.
Just say no to straight-across bangs. Not a good look on anyone, and with the tiny bun in back her hair looks like the top of an acorn to me.

SW: I actually liked the bangs but only when I was looking at her from the bustline up. It cuts off her face, she chops herself in half again — a la the peplum and destroys the symmetry of her face. A tiny bun on a large woman does not make a great hairstyle or show that the hair stylist has any imagination.
The makeup is better–I approve of it except for the short black nails (we’ve already discussed numerous times why this is inappropriate at an awards ceremony, but it looks especially weird with the matronly black suit).

SW: Her make-up is great and I bet the black nails are “coordinated” to go with the outfit. What’s with the unrelieved black? That’s just lazy on the part of the stylist. She needs color, she needs better guidance and a new stylist.
As for accessories, I like her ring but the button earrings and Lucite bracelets are still way too 80’s.

SW: Love the shoes but why black? How about a colored shoe? What about a great necklace with color? How about changing out the bracelets and the ring for some great colored jewelry and add in a handbag wtih a coordinating or contrasting color.
Jennifer, you have done better so many times before. What were you thinking when you walked out of your bedroom? This is not ‘star quality’ of your caliber; this is boring.
Overall Rating: One star, for the makeup. Virtually everything else about this outfit was wrong.

Winner: Ciara

SW: Agreed on all counts with Nancy, though I might give her 1.5 stars only because her neckline is great and the shoes work but it’s just boring!
Thank you to Nancy Lichtenstein for her spot-on, incisive commentary. It’s really interesting because she’s on the East Coast and I am on the West Coast and yet we come up with similar conclusiions. (PS. I don’t see her writing until she’s finished the review).
Stevie Wilson,, inc.

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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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