I finally got this dress dry cleaned so that I could wear it; this is the Helmut Lang dress I alluded to earlier, and now that I've worn it I love it even more than I did when I brought it home. Behold how the asymmetrical neckline dips down to perfectly frame my snake tattoo -- did I tell you this company designs clothes just for me, or what?
I didn't feel like this dress needed much additional embellishment, and in keeping with the Helmut Lang minimalist aesthetic I kept my makeup fairly light and even went without lipstick. The jacket added plenty of interesting detail though, and the cropped length worked beautifully with the dress without hiding any of that gorgeous draping at the waist.
Dress: Helmut Lang
Leather jacket: Skin Graft
I want to talk for a moment about asymmetry in clothing, because a comment from my Fashion Week post the other day got me thinking about why I love asymmetry in certain garments and abhor it in others. What it comes down to is balance and flow. If you look carefully at the dress I have on here, you'll see that on the top half the visual "weight" of the dress is skewed to the side with the sleeve; however on the bottom half that weight shifts to the other side, where draping gathers into the long sash. Now consider these two one-shoulder dresses:
Sorry Giuliana Rancic, but I think your dress sucks. Also, I have no fucking idea who you are.
What are you doing at the Oscars if I have no fucking idea who you are?
What works for me in the Oscar de la Renta dress on the left is the fact that the visual weight shifts smoothly from one side to the other as your eye travels down the length of the garment; the shoulder side of the dress swoops across and flows naturally into the cascade of ruffles on the other side. This type of asymmetry gives a garment movement -- can't you just see the model's wiggle, even though this is a still photo? With the dress on the right however, the shoulder strap just looks weird and out of place. There's nothing to transition it to the bottom half of the dress, so it feels like an afterthought. And sure, there's that long train sticking out, but that's the back of the dress; if you looked at it straight on, it would be a big stupid tube with an awkward strap stuck on one side. Thus, I hate it. Giuliana, call me; I'll get you hooked up with a better dress for the next Oscars, and maybe by then I'll know what in the hell you're doing there.