Scarlett Johansson on the Red Carpet at the 2015 Oscars

Photo: Splash / Getty

Scarlett Johansson topped the list for best dressed at the Oscars on Sunday night in this emerald Versace gown and statement beaded necklace.

Scarlett’s Short Hair


It wasn’t just her dress that had heads turning but her hair as well. Her edgy undercut garnered tons of attention on the red carpet! It has me itching to buzz the sides of my hair again.

Photo: Splash

Who was your vote for best dressed on the red carpet?

Halloween Costumes In Your Closet: Maleficent

maleficent by richard darbonne and sarah ward

For years Maleficent has risen to the top of my Halloween costumes and this year I finally executed it. This costume was certainly my biggest undertaking due to the creation of the headpiece.

maleficent profile by richard darbonne and sarah ward

Costume Components

  • Horn headpiece — bonus points for handcrafting your own! I made mine and finished it within 30 minutes of my Haute Halloween party
  • Vampy makeup
  • Green contacts — the lighter and yellower the better
  • Feather choker — repurposed from my Raven costume last year
  • Black lace shirt
  • Black corset — borrowed from my friend Kim (this was her custom made wedding corset. Girl is badass.)
  • Staff with crow atop — I made mine with a piece of black bamboo, a plastic ball, black gaffer’s tape, and a black crow purchased from Michael’s
  • Edgy rings from Forever21
  • Black skirt — or black dress
  • Bonus: Nude manicure with red on the inside of the nail a la Adele at the Grammy’s

maleficent torso C2maleficent by richard darbonne and sarah ward 3

Costume Inspiration

Photo: HitFix
Photo: HitFix
Photo: Entertainment Magazine
Photo: Entertainment Magazine

maleficent angelina and sarah take 2

Richard Darbonne is a talented Seattle portrait photographer I work with who suggested we do a portrait session after he saw my Malefiselfie on Instagram — “My heart stopped when I saw it,” he said. Richard created an environment with light that really highlighted the drama of Maleficent’s persona. “This light was especially crafted for you,” he told me when I sat down on set. “I tried to get other people to sit in, but it didn’t work.” It required the makeup and light and dark drama of the costume.

maleficent by richard darbonne and sarah ward 4

This is an award-winning costume as well! On Thursday I won Best Costume at the zulily Halloween party for this Maleficent costume. When announcing the best costume, our Studio Director said, “I can see your horns from here!” As my friend Charity said, “You won Halloween.”

Watch for a forthcoming detailed post on the making of the Maleficent horns.

Show & Tell

Did you dress up as Maleficent or pull together a costume from your closet? Leave a link in the comments, post a photo on our Facebook page, or hashtag #costumesinyourcloset on Instagram. We’d love to see your costume creation!

Photographer & Editor: Richard Darbonne | Blog
Model, Stylist, Costume Designer, & Makeup Artist: Sarah Ward

Style Icon Iris Apfel Is Selling Her Accessories!

Iris Apfel is a renown decorator, textile designer, and style icon extraordinaire. Her wardrobe is one of a kind, and if you want to own a part of it, you’re in luck. In an unprecedented move, Apfel has begun to sell furniture and jewelry from her private collection via One King’s Lane.

iris apfel new york times
Iris Apfel via the New York Times

When one thinks of Iris Apfel what likely comes to mind is the art of wearing accessories. Here are a few memorable quotes from Apfel about what accessories can do to elevate your wardrobe.

My mother knew if you bought a couple of really good architectural outfits and put your money into accessories, you could create a million different looks. She taught that to me, which I think was invaluable.

Invest in basics in your wardrobe, then use accessories to change your look.

iris apfel pem
Photo: PEM

I get more compliments on accessories than anything else. I think they’re kind of like herbs and spices. They give zest and zing to an outfit.

You can really make an outfit yours by how you accessorize.

Here are a few memorable pieces from her collection.

iris apfel jewelry collection.jpg

A / B / C / D / E / F / G

Check out her sale!

Is Anne Hathaway Hollywood’s New Short Hair Sweetheart?

Photo: Teen Vogue

Women have been taking Ginnifer Goodwin short hair photos to their stylists for years (myself included), but the tide may be turning now with Anne Hathaway’s darling new pixie cut. After cutting her hair for her role in the upcoming film Les Miserables, Hathaway’s hair has been getting a lot of media buzz.

Photo: I'm Not Obsessed

Anne Hathaway, short hair becometh you.

Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest
Photo: Pinterest


At the world premiere of Les Mis. Photo: Stuart Wilson/Getty Images Europe

I don’t know about you, but I have a haircut scheduled for this week and am half tempted to bring Anne Hathaway’s photo to my stylist Sophia

Halloween Costumes in Your Closet: Effie Trinket Tutorial

I can still remember the day that The Hunger Games hit theaters. I was downtown Seattle for a chiropractic appointment and on the square, there were two women dressed up as characters from The Hunger Games, promoting the film, and I knew immediately that Effie Trinket would be my Halloween costume this year. With her flawless commitment to appearance and perfect comedic timing, she was the highlight of the movie for me. Well, her and Caesar Flickerman.

While there are some pretty impressive custom costumes out there for Effie Trinket, I wasn’t interested in spending a ton of money or time on mine. Once I realized I had teal colored clothes that were similar to her costume in one of the scenes, the costume came together easily from there. I just had to buy a few flowers and a wig.

Costume Components

  • Teal turtleneck
  • Teal skirt
  • Teal tights
  • Teal flower pin – bought at Michael’s and converted to a clip
  • Black rose – bought at Michael’s
  • Gaudy turquoise jewelry
  • Blonde wig – bought on Amazon
  • White makeup (be sure to check out this step-by-step Effie Trinket makeup tutorial)
  • Yellow, blue, green eyeshadow
  • Pink blush and lipstick
  • Teal nail polish

Costume Inspiration

Photo: Hayworth1981 on Flickr

To really become Effie Trinket, I enlisted the help of Celebrity Makeup Artist DorothyInez. With 25 years background in makeup in the entertainment, DorothyInez was instrumental in helping me get into character. She embraced the role of creative director, and served as assistant photographer, making the shoot a phenomenal success.  You can watch for a separate blog with a makeup tutorial for Effie Trinket.

If you are looking for Halloween costume help, both DorothyInez and I do online consultations worldwide, providing helpful costume and makeup tutorials from the comfort of your living room. And if you are in Seattle, we’re available for hire to get you into character this Halloween! In the meantime, check out this step-by-step Effie Trinket Makeup Tutorial!

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Linking up to Monday Mingle and Watch What I’m Wearing.

2012 Oscars Red Carpet Winners

Ellie Kemper in Armani Prive - Getty Images

Love love love this rust number that Ellie Kemper wore that complimented her hair so beautifully.

Stacy Keibler in Marchesa - Getty Images

Absolutely radiant! Doesn’t she just glow?

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford

The cape that was part of Gwyneth’s gown didn’t sit right with me. But once it came off? She looked so long and lithe. The cuff and cocktail ring are perfect accessories.

Sandra Bullock in Marchesa - Getty Images

Unexpected and elegant. It did look like she’d had some work done though — her face looked different.

Glenn Close in a Custom Zac Posen Gown - Getty Images

Even though she didn’t win best actress, Glenn Close was a red carpet winner in this custom Zac Posen gown. The matching tuxedo jacket gives her a terrific air of authority.

All in all, there weren’t too many ornate gowns or accessories. This year seemed to be all about how less is more.

Who do you think wore it best at the 2012 Oscars?

What I’d Wear to the Oscars

Earlier today I pinned a gorgeous golden gown so reminiscent of the ornate ancient Egyptian sarcophogi that I subsequently tweeted. One of my Twitter friends, Spencer @nbcphotog, quipped, “Is that what you’re wearing to the Oscars tonight?” Which got me thinking:

What would I wear to the Oscars?

Here are some things I’ve pinned on Pinterest that have me wishing for an Oscar invite.

Carolina Herrera
Elie Saab Pre-Fall 2012

What would you wear to the Oscars?

Fashion Infraction: Clothes that make you uncomfortable

Last Christmas, my career coach friend Jen Armitstead bought me a great gag gift — a fashion citations pad of paper to write to people for fashion faux pas they wore — permission to be the fashion police. While I wouldn’t approach total strangers to call them out on their fashion choices, I’m going to use this style blog platform to educate people about what’s not working in their wardrobes and how to turn it around.

Today’s fashion infraction: clothes that make you uncomfortable.

If you watched Madonna’s performance at the Super Bowl on Sunday, chances are you were impressed by the 53-year-old’s tip top physical shape and her perennial ability to work a stage. She’s still got it! But did you see her slip on the bleachers? As fabulous as Madge looked in her Givenchy getup, jumping around on the bleachers in high heel boots became hazardous and she stumbled, luckily regaining her balance.

Here’s another example. Recently I was stopped at a light in Downtown Seattle and saw a woman wearing a micro miniskirt walking across the street. As she crossed, she must have adjusted her skirt six times in the 20 seconds that she was within my line of sight. Can you imagine how many times she must have been pulling on that miniskirt all day long? Talking to her boss. Sitting at a business meeting with a client. Riding the train home.

Wearing clothing that makes you uncomfortable is distracting and prevents you to be wholly present wherever you are. Not only is it distracting to you, but to those around you as well.

If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable about something you put on in the morning, err on the side of caution and change.

Have you ever worn something uncomfortable that distracted you from what you were doing?


Cinna the Stylist’s Big Role in the Hunger Games

After listening to The Hunger Games non-stop, I’ve just completed listening to the first book in the series. The intense build-up to the games, the calculated competition within the games, and charming love interest between Katniss and Peeta were captivating! But the thing that really lured me in at the beginning was the important role the stylists played in the story line.

Cinna, played by Lenny Kravitz in the upcoming feature film, is the heroine’s personal stylist and is responsible for creating an image for her that everyone will remember. And he does. The “girl on fire” dress at the opening ceremonies of the games completely wins everyone over and makes Katniss and Peeta the talk of the town.

[Spoiler alert!]

It’s not until after Katniss and Peeta win the Hunger Games that Cinna truly shows you how important her appearance really is to her safety. Knowing that Katniss is still in danger after defying the Capitol, he puts her in a demure yellow dress that plays down her fierce strength, painting her in a feminine light so she can play the romance card in the final interview.

When you are getting dressed each day, it’s important to consider where you’re going, who you’re going to be with, and what you want to accomplish as you choose your clothes. Starting with the end in mind will help you to choose clothing that is appropriate for the occasion and as a resource to help you achieve your goals. And if you want the help of your own personal stylist, I’m here to help!

Maybe She’s Born With It. Maybe It’s Photoshop

This parody video drives home the point that Photoshop is a big reason women are preoccupied with perfection with lines like:

You don’t have to rely on a healthy body image or self respect anymore.

Even models experience the pressure of perfection. Cindy Crawford was quoted in saying, “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.”

When I read Bossypants by Tina Fey earlier this year, Fey talks about her experiences on photo shoots and even mentions the best Photoshop work that has ever had done, for the cover of Bust magazine (pictured below). And one thing she said stood out to me. When discussing Photoshop from a moral standpoint, she says this: it isn’t worse than getting plastic surgery.

I’d take Photoshop over plastic surgery any day. Thoughts?