The Undercut: Halle Berry Highlights A Summer Style Trend

The undercut hairstyle has been a hair trend for quite some time and actress Halle Berry recently jumped on the train and the crowd went wild. She recently posted an Instagram picture of her new summer style; an edgy nape undercut with a lotus etched in and her style choice highlights just how versatile the style can be.

 

It’s almost commonplace to see a man or woman with some version of the style and as with any fashion or hairstyle trend, undercuts are nothing new. The asymmetrical cut was a predominately male hairstyle that goes all the way back to the Edwardian era. It  was popular from 1920 through 1940 and re-emerged in the 1990s.

Skater subculture and hipsters are credited with bringing it back in 2010, and women quickly clamped onto the style. Soon creative interpretations of the cut emerged such as engraving designs or symbols (known as “hair tattoos”) into the hair, and even glittering it up.

Halle Berry isn’t the only high-profile person to submit; Scarlett Johansson, Cassie, Rihanna, Tilda Swinton, and Natalie Dormer have or are currently wearing this trend. My favorite looks are interpretations created by everyday people who are their own stylist.

Berry’s version (the nape undercut) is a great summer style and highly versatile — she can pull it up into a ponytail or a bun to add some edge or contrast to an otherwise conservative outfit, or cover it up with her longer tresses when she has to be a professional.

Dormer’s look (the side undercut) is a little more in your face and requires more maintenance, although she can always sweep her hair to the side to cover the shaven part. In other words; it’s a commitment. Celebrity hairstylist and Mizani global artistic director Cesar Ramirez told PeopleStyle that achieving the desired result requires a professional.

“This technique takes a lot of skill and talent. After buzzing the area a straight razor is used to etch out the pattern. A stencil can be used or the pattern can be drawn on the scalp with a eyeliner pencil to get a really clean outcome.”

Until recently, elaborate nail designs and lengths were a favorite way to accessorize, but less flamboyant nails are trending and non-traditional hair color choices and varying versions of the undercut are huge. It’s what I would consider punk inspired (but what isn’t lately?) and an attention magnet, so if you aren’t into calling attention to yourself, this style isn’t for you.

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I Barely Recognized Kristen Stewart At The 2016 Met Gala: ‘Manus x Machina’ Event

There were a few outstanding looks at the 2016 Met Gala: Manus x Machina event, but I really liked Kristen Stewart’s look; there was something provocative about it and I barely recognized her. Kristen Stewart’s interpretation of the Manus x Machina theme was really more focused on her hair and makeup.  Participants were asked to embrace fashion and technology; the future of fashion. I’m not sure she embraced the technical aspect of the challenge, but she doesn’t look like she took any fashion steps backward.

Kristen Stewart in Chanel at the Met Gala 2016 event.
Kristen Stewart at the Met Gala 2016 ~ Image via The Cut.

She’s what I consider an enigma; there is something so confident yet panicked about her. She’s one of those rare celebrities that isn’t desperate for attention. While scrolling through the Gala photos on The Cut, I had to stop and stare because it didn’t look like her, but I could see her in her outfit if that makes any sense. In other words, she pulled it off, and she did it in Chanel, but a lot of the attendees did. Chanel was a prominent fixture.

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Kristen Stewart and a model wearing a dress from the Chanel Fall 2016 RTW collection ~ Images via The Cut and Vogue.

Stewart wore a dress from the Chanel Fall 2016 RTW collection (actually my favorite dress from that collection) but it goes beyond her dress; it was the whole package. It was minimalist; barely-there lips, one earring (she doesn’t seem to wear earrings), the necklaces she wore were hidden beneath her dress, and her hair was haphazard. Her makeup featured silver graphic eye shadow and dark liner. Her presentation wasn’t overdone or cartoon-ish, it was still fashion-forward. She could have easily pulled this look together herself without a stylist.

Kristen Stewart wearing a look from the Chanel
Kristen Stewart wearing a look from the Chanel 2015/16 Cruise collection.

She seems to favor Chanel, she wore it to the Met Gala in 2013, she skipped the Met Gala in 2015 in favor of a Chanel show in Seoul, where she wore a look from the Chanel 2015/16 Cruise collection, and again for this year’s Met Gala. I understand her Chanel obsession and personally, the look from the Seoul show would have worked at the 2016 Met Gala, perhaps better than the one she wore.

Feature Image by Dimitrios Kambouris

Denver Fashion Week Spring ’16

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A look from Velvet Wolf at Denver Fashion Week Spring ’16.

Let me start out by saying that I really enjoyed the Denver Fashion Weekend Spring ’16 festivities, a multi-day event that features local and national designers and boutiques, along with hair shows and awards ceremonies. Unfortunately, I missed the 303 Awards/Southwest Hairstyling Awards on Night One, but celebrity stylist Tabatha Coffey received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In Focus host, Eden Lane was holding court, and without too much criticism (I can’t imagine what it takes to pull off a production like this on multiple nights), compared to my experience at the Fall ’15 shows, DFW Spring ’16 was a massive improvement. It was better organized, the press didn’t have to fight to get into place, and the overall mood was less manic. This production had their act together; they were much friendlier (even after I knocked a stack of cards off of a pole), the security staff was more personable, the press was given more respect, and the people attending this event were much more festive and much less bitchy than the last fashion event.

Eden Lane hosting Night Three at Denver Fashion Week '16.
Eden Lane hosting Night Three of Denver Fashion Week ’16.

I should have had this blog out last week, but I wasted a lot of time trying to unsuccessfully edit fashion week videos while trying to learn a new job, so please excuse me in advance for the janky video and extreme lateness. Last year’s footage was so bad I barely bothered to post anything. This time was no different. The Fall ’15  runway was cool but complicated, and we were situated on the side next to a platform with a lone photographer on it. Thankfully, the person I brought for photography was taller than my 5′ 2″ frame, so he was more successful with photos. This year, I was told that we could have used that near-empty platform, but no one told us.

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Back to work after having to bail on Night Two of Denver Fashion Week. The one and only time I successfully applied false lashes.

This year was no different as far as lousy positioning, but at least there was a reason for it. Night Three was PACKED and so was that platform. Apparently, there was a schedule change because when I RSVP’d the event, the night I attended was scheduled to be a hair show.  I was a little bummed because I had to bail on Night Two at the last-minute and I was more interested in the fashion than the hair, although I had planned on going to both. To be honest, I was probably more bummed about the fact that I had finally applied false eyelashes without them coming off or getting adhesive all over the place, and I had nowhere to go. I can’t be the only person who hates to waste time and a good makeup job.

A streetwear look from Denver Fashion Week.
This was the cutest outfit. This local blogger knew how to mix her prints. The photo does not do this outfit justice.

I should probably go back; the kick-off event for DFW Spring ’16 was Red Pearl, a fashion comedy movie by Stacy Barton and Jessica McGaugh. The comedy-drama movie with fashion overtones is based in Colorado, and is about Scarlet (Desira Pesta), a recent transplant from Ohio fresh out of fashion school. She’s having difficulty making friends professionally and personally, and she’s nursing a broken heart as well. Project Runway’s Mondo Guerra makes an appearance as her mentor and I thought he was in attendance, but it turned out that the gentleman I mistook as Guerra was not. One would have expected him to turn up for the premiere of a movie he is in, but…

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The gentleman I mistook for Mondo Guerra.

My favorite performances were from Scarlet’s creepy apartment manager (William Leiren), and her married lover and neighbor (Matt Block), whom I met at the fashion show. He walked right past us and I said, “He’s cute,” and my daughter/photographer said, “That’s that guy from the movie, her neighbor.” Being who I am, I ran after him. He’s all kinds of cute. That movie does not do him justice. He was beyond charming and very funny. He was also taking part in the shows.

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Red Pearl actor and model Matt Block with me at the Denver Fashion Weekend Spring 2016 show.

Back to the show…

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Final walk for Soignee.

I immediately ran into the Beauty For Real booth at the bazaar and the rep. went to work selling us on how innovative the makeup line is. Ok, the lip gloss has a mirror AND a light on the applicator. Hello, where have you been all of my life? She told me Leslie Munsell, the founder of Beauty For Real was walking in the show.

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Is this Leslie Munsell, founder of Beauty For Real walking in the Marks-Lloyds fashion show?

I thought I saw her walk for Marks-Lloyds, but I can’t be certain. [Doesn’t this look like her? I feel like a post about the brand is in order.

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Beauty For Real

When I left Beauty For Real counter, I perused a couple of apparel vendors, and then ran into Sam LaBella, hairstylist and makeup artist at Family Affair representing the Balmain Hair Couture line. Remember when I said I had never heard of Balmain Hair? Ta-da! She was so much fun, and I had the best time with her. She even spritzed my dusty bun with a shining product. In the middle of entertaining me, she also provided me with a little more education about the line and where it is headed. Balmain Hair won’t stay hush-hush for long.

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StylEnigma (Lynnette Southwood) and Sam LaBella from Family Affair.

The line up for the shows I attended were:

Marks-Lloyds Furs
Lions in Four
Kouture
Velvet Wolf
Soignee
Royal Outerwear
ILy ILey
Femme Fatal Intimates
Georgine

While I enjoyed every show, the standouts for me were Velvet Wolf, Kouture, and ILy Iley. I am not an outerwear fan per se, but as far as a physical reaction, I loved Royal Outerwear. The styling and makeup was inspiring and Torell Madsen, A.K.A. Tory, was especially breathtaking. I may have to relax my style a bit and embrace street wear more.

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Torell Madsen in Royal Outerwear

I recorded a few of the shows but I didn’t get them all. Unfortunately, I didn’t get photos or footage of Femme Fatale Intimates and Georgine NYC, which I truly regret. Poor battery life and difficulty holding the camera with so many bloggers and photographers jockeying for position dictated I sit out a few shows so again, please enjoy the sketchy camera work. The fact that there were so many people in attendance tells me that the popularity of the event is growing, as it should. A special shout-out to my photographer Raven Refuerzo, a.k.a., my kid. Denver Fashion Week Spring ’16 was a great production and a lot of fun. Can’t wait till the fall shows.

Kouture
Marks-Lloyds
Velvet Wolf
Lions In Four

I Didn’t Know Balmain Had a Hair Care Line Either

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Balmain Hair muse Noémie Lenoir.

 

It was during Paris Fashion Week that the I discovered Balmain was into hair. Should I feel stupid for not knowing the French fashion brand extended to a hair care line? This revelation came just yesterday while reading an article on Business of Fashion about Balmain’s new custom wig venture – an extension of the already existing Balmain Hair Couture line. During Paris Fashion Week, Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadi seemingly swapped hair colors at the Balmain Fall 2016 RTW show and of course, everybody went nuts because those two can’t cut their nails without it becoming breaking news. Sorry (not sorry), I’m just so sick of those two. Anyway…

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Balmain Hair Couture muse Devon Wilson and Gigi Hadid as brunettes.

 

According to the piece, that was an introduction of sorts to Balmain Hair, a custom-made wig and hair extensions service. The intended fuss about the hair color swap got tails wagging about the orientation of the wigs the chosen were wearing , expansion news, and the admittance that the hair care line is largely unknown. Now, I don’t feel so stupid.

 

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Alessandra Ambrosio walking in the Balmain Pre-spring 2016 show in her natural hair color.

Alessandra Ambrosio, a favorite Balmain runway model is shown with her natural hair color in the Pre-spring 2016 show, and again wearing a Balmain custom-made wig in the Fall 2016 show at PFW 2016. Joan Smalls, Rose Huntington-Whitely, and Lily Donaldson were among the models walking with one of those coveted pieces.

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Alessandra Ambrosio walking in the Balmain Fall 2016 show in a Balmain wig.

Balmain Hair Couture brand isn’t new if you are heavily immersed in the beauty scene or in Europe – it’s been around for 40-years slowly making its way into high-end salons and fancy-schmancy fashion sites. Currently, the Balmain Hair repertoire consists of extensions, styling products, styling tools, and now custom-made wigs. You’ll have to do some jet-setting if you want one of those custom-made, 100 percent human hair wigs. The Balmain Hair wigs are only made at their location in the Paris at 13, rue Royal which is headed by Nabil Harlow a “master hair designer.” Yeah, you’re going to need super model money in order to afford one.

 

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However, if you want their Argan Moisturizing Elixir ($43), or instant extensions ($390), that’s available onlinealthough the company encourages you to seek a professional for extension installation. For professionals, there are classes to teach you how to install their products. I’ve watched some of their tutorials, it looks very involved. There are 5,000 hair salons worldwide (300 in the US) that carry Balmain Hair, and “Prestige Salon”  has been created to place their products in exclusive style focused salons.

 

 

Balmain joins the likes of  Wendy Williams, Jessica Simpson, practically the entire cast of RHOA, and Beverly Johnson – who have been on the hair extension/wig train for quite some time. Balmain has stepped up as a response to the apparent explosion of couture wig and hair extensions. Well, when everybody is trying to be Beyoncé, that’s gonna happen, and Bey ain’t wearing Sally Beauty Supply hair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Denver Bronco Super Bowl 50 Celebration Style

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Image Source: Pinterest

 

I thought I would produce a quick little post at 1:30 in the morning to gloat. The Denver Broncos have won Super Bowl 50 and now it’s time to celebrate by putting away our game day apparel and put on some celebratory blue and orange (and gold for the golden anniversary) clothing and rocking those Bronco nails and makeup a little bit longer. While blue and orange can be a difficult color combination to pull off, it can also be mesmerizing when done correctly.

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Image Source: Pinterest

 

I live in Denver so we’ll be wearing blue and orange for the foreseeable future, and I would encourage all Bronco fans to stretch it out as long as possible. Again, congratulations to Peyton Manning and the Broncos on another Super Bowl win and for showing the doubters why this team has been one of the top teams in the NFL for decades.

Denver Bronco Super Bowl 50 Celebration Style

 

Nars cosmetic
barneys.com

Lovers Friends orange dress
revolveclothing.com

Lovers Friends dress
revolveclothing.com

Illamasqua eyeshadow
$24 – illamasqua.com

Happy New You! Jumpstart Your Personal Style

 

Image source: Kevin Michael Schmitz Photography.
Image source: Pinterest ~ Kevin Michael Schmitz Photography.

I’ll be honest, 2015 was rough, but I’ve had tougher. It was also exciting, enlightening and showed me that I am resilient, gullible, and an optimistic pessimist. I’ve learned that my refusal to give up is not always a good thing, but my stubbornness isn’t something I’m willing to change. Armed with more wisdom, I’m looking forward; 2015 is over and 2016 is just beginning.

Now is the time when we typically take stock of what we did the previous year and what we would like to do in the present one. Regardless of whether we habitually make resolutions we most likely won’t keep, there is a collective reset, an ‘after a rainstorm’ freshness in the air. I tend to clean house metaphorically. I get rid of people who are toxic and I look at what I can do to improve my physical and mental health.

I’m going to really focus on pinpointing my personal style which means putting more energy into myself, better known as being selfish. I’m a nurturer by nature, so I tend to take care of others needs before my own and I’m not alone in that. If I were one to make resolutions, this a resolution I would always break. I think most of us try to revamp or refresh our look. Unfortunately, coming right off of Christmas, trying to decide which trends I want to embrace or create contrast with my yearly thought to be fiscally responsible, another resolution that wouldn’t stick.

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Unretouched photo of me just after finishing a four-day braiding project wearing body jewelry.

I  found myself on Born Pretty Store when I was researching a story on ‘glitter roots‘ and spent way too much time in their jewelry department. I usually purchase nail art supplies here, but as a person who recently got into body jewelry, I was hooked on their selection. If you are not familiar, get familiar. Beauty and fashion enthusiasts rave about Born Pretty Store for a reason. They are on top of the current beauty and fashion trends: matte lipsticks, glitter for nails and hair, club clothes, and body jewelry, and the quality is great for how inexpensive it is. Their inventory of beauty and styling tools is pretty impressive as well.

As a thank you to my followers, I have a 10% off coupon for non-discounted items. Just use DFBT10 when checking out and know that you have exercised fiscal responsibility on top of welcoming the new year with a new you.

Born Pretty 10% banner

Happy New Year!!!

 

 

Double Take: Lupita Nyong’o Solidifies ‘It Girl’ Status In Ralph Lauren

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I can’t stop looking at this woman or that dress. Lupita Nyong’o has been crowned fashions latest ‘It” girl and this red Ralph Lauren gown with its built-in cape is not only extraordinary, but the color is a stunning compliment to her beautiful skin tone. I hope Ralph let her keep it.

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The Kenyan actress is getting a lot of attention primarily because of her role in “12 Years a Slave” but look at her, this woman is GORGEOUS and it is doubtful that the face of Miu Miu’s SS14 campaign is going away when award season is over!

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No one is rockin a short ‘do like this Yale graduate.

Beyoncé Stuns With New Pixie Cut

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Beyoncé shows her fans her new hair cut on Instagram.

No, it’s not a wig. Everyone, and I mean everyone is going gaga over Beyoncé’s new haircut with some speculating that it is a wig, and she would never shear her long locks. Well, she did and I like it. It is a little difficult to see the long hair gone after seeing her with it for, well, since day one. But honestly, it was time for a change and after the fan incident, it makes sense.

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Beyonce with a Princess Braid before cutting of her long locks.

The reviews are mixed with some thinking she should have left well enough alone and others loving it and swearing that Beyoncé, has empowered women with the blond pixie cut (Really???) that longtime hairstylist Neal Farinah of the Neal Farinah Salon created. I don’t know about empowering others with a hair cut, but Emma Watson tweeted her approval as well as her own restraint.

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What do you think? Do you love it? Do you feel empowered? Couldn’t care less?

I Want: Michelle Williams’ Edgy Pixie Cut

Michelle Williams is the new face of Louis Vuitton‘s new accessories campaign.

Is this not the cutest haircut ever? Michelle Williams rocks a carefree and funky ‘do that definitely suits her in this Louis Vuitton accessories ad. Her hair was styled by Sam McKnight (genius),and the gorgeous actress was lucky to have the one and only Stéphane Marais grace her face with her enviable artistic skills. Love the lips.

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Michelle is wearing a coat from the Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2013 campaign.

If this choppy coiffe inspires you, make it happen with a hairstylist that knows how to cut hair. It’s worth it to spend a little more for a great haircut. There is nothing more soul sapping than a butchered cut, and it’s not worth all the potential bad hair days. Seriously, research and splurge and if you have found a stellar stylist that can cut the sh*t of out some hair, don’t be selfish, pass the word around. Let’s make a concentrated effort to eradicate bad hair days.

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Cassie is one of the few people that looks good with her hair half shaved.

Evidently, Michelle’s haircut looks good even during the growing out process. The proof is in this photo taken at Old School in NYC. It reminds me of that asymmetrical style trend worn by Rhianna, Cassie, and Amanda Bynes where one side is long and the other side is shaved except Michelle’s cut is a little more balanced and less extreme. It’s also great because it’s low maintenance and the messier it looks the better.

Michelle Williams at Kate Young For Target Launch on April 9 in New York City.
Michelle Williams is super stylish at Kate Young For Target Launch on April 9 in New York City. Her hair looks just as good grown out.

I can’t say I’m a diehard Michelle Williams fan I am likely to watch a film if I know she is in it because she is a talented actress, she is picky about the roles she chooses and she makes great choices.  I find her intriguing because while she appears demure there is nothing demure about her sense of style. She’s gritty, and there is something truly magical about her which makes me take multiple looks when I see her on the red carpet. I like grit but I love how she represents edgy hairstyles even better.

For more pictures of Michelle Williams visit: Michelle Williams Stuns In Dreamy New Louis Vuitton Campaign | Marie Claire.

2013 MET Gala Ball Exhibition and Fashion Notables

Everyone is salivating over what the celebrities wore to the 2013 MET Gala Ball, when the real fashion moments were courtesy of the Costume Institute‘s Punk: Chaos to Couture Exhibition. Those who were lucky enough to participate in the event, barely put forth the effort to follow the theme. The majority simply wore what they wanted or let their hair and makeup do the talking.

The Costume Institute’s exhibition, led by Andrew Bolton, mixed distress with luxury to tell the history of punk and how it inspired and continues to influence today’s fashion. At this very moment, punk is surging as a trend; so did the MET’s theme influence what’s next, or is this just a coincidence? There was a total of seven galleries, some were interactive, but all of them offered visual homages to a style that will never die. Take a look at a sample gallery of what the exhibition offered and for more pictures visit – Costume Institute: Punk: Chaos to Couture Exhibition.

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I was so excited about the punk theme for the 2013 MET Gala Ball’s Punk: Chaos to Couture Exhibition, because every fashion icon still breathing was there and  punk, THE ‘no rules’ style was being honored. I was anxious to see how creative the participants would be. I have to say, I was disappointed in the lack of effort. With the exception of Madonna, Sienna Miller, Nicole Richie, and a few others, the majority neglected to take the theme seriously, or dressed to impress no one but themselves. Perhaps their anarchist attitude was punk enough?

The one person I wanted to see in reimagined punk was Anna Wintour. Apparently, this floral Chanel couture gown from the Spring 2013 collection, is as punk as she gets. This was her show, and she didn’t even bother to play along. As lovely as that Chanel gown is, it isn’t remotely MET worthy. Boo, Anna! Boo!

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Anna Wintour punk’d everyone by showing up dressed for a garden party. Photo courtesy of Refinery29.com

Let’s give a shout out and a round of applause to those who made an effort and paid attention to the memo.

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Best Dressed ~ Sarah Jessica Parker in Giles. She knocked it out of the park in re-imagined punk & topped it off with Philip Treacy’s mohawk headdress. Photo Courtesy of InStyle.com

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Sienna Miller and Tom Sturridge looked like they knew what they were doing. She kept her dress simple and let her studded Burberry jacket and nails handle it. The studded headband was another great choice. Photo Courtesy of Instyle.com

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Ginnifer Goodwin’s look is a complete departure from her Snow White persona wouldn’t you say? She punked it up head-to-toe with dark eye makeup, punked out nails, and a Tory Burch gown. Photo courtesy of InStyle.com..

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Madonna in Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci ~ Go ahead diva, show them how it’s done. She took the theme seriously, down to the shredded fish net dress. Who else was this daring? I love that she wore Casedei pink blade heels that complimented her ageless body. Photo Courtesy of InStyle.com.

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Miley Cyrus in Marc Jacobs ~ This is her category so I knew she wouldn’t disappoint. Simply and elegantly punk. Sometimes you can make your point without all the bells and whistles. Photo Courtesy of InStyle.com.

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Nicole Richie in Topshop ~ This is another style icon that thinks outside the box. Thank you Nicole for dressing for the occasion and straying away from clichés. Her Bordeaux lips, silver hair, and white Topshop gown were the very definition of anarchy. Photo courtesy of InStyle.com

Even though I was disappointed with the lack of punk fashion, there were some outfits worn by Jennifer Lawrence, Christina Ricci, Anne Hathaway, and other fashion notables that made up for it.

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Not Punk But Who Cares?

For more pictures from the 2013 MET Gala Ball visit InStyle’s Photo Gallery.