Monthly Archives: February 2011

Red carpet buzz: 2011 Oscar knockouts and knock-offs

2011 Oscars best dressed

If you caught a glimpse of last night’s star-studded Oscar showcase, you know that Hollywood’s silver screen royalty brought their A-game to the red carpet. From priceless haute couture creations to sparkling accessories worth millions: the industry’s hottest stars had it goin’ on.

Pretty in purple

Several big-timer beauties displayed various shades of purple, including Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, Cate Blanchett and Best Actress award-winner Natalie Portman—whose stunning Rodarte creation was a vast improvement on the candy-colored pouch she wore at the Globes.

For your own version of Portman’s dress, try this ABS jeweled gown in aubergine ($179.00).

Fiery reds

Some of the evening’s most notable knockout dresses were sported by Sandra Bullock, Oscar hostess Anne Hathaway, and nominee Jennifer Lawrence. Their common color? Fire-engine red.

Lawrence’s bold yet simply elegant Calvin Klein creation can be knocked-off with this gorgeous Donna Ricco gown in calypso red ($109.00).

Vintage glam

Not unlike Julia Roberts at the 2001 Academy Awards in her winning Valentino number, Reese Witherspoon opted for a retro-inspired look in a classic white-trimmed black gown by Armani Privé.

Get in on the black and white combo with this stunning two-toned cocktail dress by Issue New York ($119.99).

Emerald accents

If you weren’t blinded by all the diamonds reflecting off camera flashes, you may have noticed that emeralds were a recurring trend among some of Hollywood’s most celebrated actresses.

Highlights include Annette Bening’s Lorraine Schwartz earrings, Reese Witherspoon’s gorgeous Neil Lane drop earrings, and Amy Adams’s Cartier bracelet and necklace—which complemented her midnight blue L’Wren Scott gown beautifully.

For a shade not dissimilar to Miss Adams’s dress, try a Carmen Marc Valvo gown ($339.99) and pair it with emerald accents.

And if you’re looking to complete your red carpet wardrobe, check out the RED CARPET GLAM: DESIGNER DRESSES event on now until March 1.

Burberry: get in the trenches

There are a handful of designer goods that have become so iconic, so adored, that they are instantly recognizable—even if you’re not the biggest fashion connoisseur. Louis Vuitton luggage, Christian Louboutin pumps, and…the Burberry trench.

So you love the glamorous appeal of an evening coat for a big night out and you revel in the relaxed, edgy feel of your motorcycle bomber. But what if you want the best of both worlds?

That’s where the Burberry trench comes in.

The coveted coat is not only easy on the eyes, it’s also one of the most versatile fashion pieces to invest in. This transitional wonder will stay in your wardrobe for years to come, transcending time and trends—and that’s definitely something to consider when picking your splurges.

The famed staple has become so monstrously popular, it’s now available in an array of lengths, styles, and colors. So you can get the one that’s oh-so you.

My pick? The classic light beige. It’s a breath of fresh air after the harsh winter months. Fashion fact: the moment you put it on, wrap that belt around your waist, and step out the door, you’re already 35% more fashionable* than anyone you cross paths with.

*This statistic is unproven, but we’re pretty confident in its accuracy.

Can you pick up a similar style for less? Sure. But wouldn’t you rather have the original? I know I would. After all, it’s been on the must-have list of fashion mavens for decades.

Come see why at the Burberry event on February 26, 11:00 AM (ET) and pick one up for yourself, along with an iconic Burberry bag.

Something worth seeing Art of the Trench website, which showcases stylish people across the globe putting their spin on the classic jacket.

Not your granny’s Shapewear

Remember that wonderful feeling of the sun touching your skin? Me neither.

We’ve survived the long winter months and are getting ready to slowly escape from all those layers. As much as you might have mastered the “cute and cozy” look, you know you’d rather be rocking your spring wardrobe.

Now we all have a habit of packing on a few pounds over the cooler months (it’s to help keep us warm—that’s my excuse). So when the time comes for you to wear something a little less bulky and a little more revealing, let’s make sure that what you’re wearing underneath benefits your figure.

Nothing ruins your silhouette more than unsightly bulges. Smooth out those unwanted lumps with help from Yummie Tummie, the first top-oriented body shaper garment designed to be worn each day as a foundation or layering piece.

Some Yummie examples:

Suzi Chin dress goes with the Undercover tank to smooth your midsection

ABS by Allen Schwartz goes with the Cami tank, which shapes the bust

Tiana B dress goes with the Sweetheart slip dress, the ultimate total body shaper

Newsflash: shapewear has evolved. These pieces move with your body, so don’t worry about stiffness and discomfort. While you’re on your way to getting fit for spring, get the undergarments that keep you tucked in all the right places.

A perfect physique without breaking a sweat? Sounds Yummie in my Tummie.

Yummie Tummie Event on now! on top bridal fashion trends blogGetting ready to tie the knot?

We’ve got more tips and trends to help you prepare for the big day. Which wedding-savvy expert will be enlightening us today? None other than’s very own associate editor, Nicole Keen. Here are a few questions we threw her way:

Q – What are the top trends for bridal dresses this spring/summer 2011?

A – For spring/summer 2011 there are lots of exciting trends happening in bridal fashion. White dresses with black accents (belts, embroidery, etc.) are en vogue; tulle and lace are two of the most popular fabrics; romantic rosette details are everywhere; and pale pastel shades of pink, blue and mint green are fresh alternatives to traditional white and ivory wedding gowns. Lastly, the Royal Wedding is going to have a huge impact on bridal fashion moving forward. Whatever Kate Middleton wears is going to set the wedding gown trends for years to come.

Q – Getting ready for a wedding is monumental for a woman. Any tips for brides-to-be to make the planning process simpler?

A – On our website,, we have amazing tools to help brides stay organized. They can manage their budgets, track RSVP lists, create seating charts and more. Also, something to consider is that wedding planners are often available for consultations or day-of services if a bride just needs a bit of help getting started or setting up the venue.

Q – Even though wedding gowns cover the shoes, we all know finding the perfect pair is essential for the big day. What styles would you recommend for today’s modern bride?

A – One of my favourite trends when it comes to wedding shoes is colour! I’m noticing lots of brides wearing shoes in unexpected hues (red, hot pink, black) that coordinate with their décor. This is a fabulous way to guarantee their wedding shoes will be worn again after the big day. I also love shoes with special details: bows, ruffles, rosettes, etc. Metallics such as gold, silver and bronze are also great options that look chic and sophisticated.

Q – In terms of jewelry, what’s a big trend? Lots of jewels or simple pieces?

A – Classic strands of pearls and rhinestone studs will always be in style, but I’m seeing more statement pieces: bold, chunky necklaces and oversized chandelier earrings. I say go for the drama!

Q – Women love looking perfect on the big day, but comfort is key, too. What fashion tips do you have for brides who want to feel comfortable all the while looking fabulous?

A – Comfort is definitely key: a bride won’t enjoy her special day if her feet are killing her or she’s yanking at her dress for the entire night. When it comes to wedding dresses, I encourage brides to look for necklines, silhouettes and fabrics that they have worn before and felt great in. The perfect dress will be figure-flattering and enhance a bride’s best assets while concealing whatever parts of herself she is less eager to show off. In terms of shoes, a bride shouldn’t choose stilettos if she can’t walk in heels! Whatever heel height she feels most confident in is what she should choose (and it never hurts to have a pair of flat ballet shoes as back up!).

From gorgeous and affordable wedding dresses, to decadent Badgley Mischka shoes: get everything you need to make your way down the aisle in high style at BTR today!

Wedding tips and trends from wedding blog

In honor of our first-ever wedding boutique, we contacted one of the industry’s foremost authorities on everything bridal: Kimberly Forrest, associate fashion editor of When we asked her what tips and trends to look for this year, here’s what she had to say.

Q – What hot new bridal accessory do you recommend this coming season?

A – Anything with color! Brides are realizing that their wedding day look doesn’t have to be strictly white or ivory. And this doesn’t just mean “something blue” either—from green shoes to red birdcage veils, we love when brides infuse a bright pop of color into their accessories.

Also, I think perhaps after the William and Kate wedding, tiaras might make a comeback. I’m curious to see how designers translate the tiara into something more modern.

Q – What’s the number one thing brides should look for when picking out their dress?

A – It’s very important for brides not only to find a gown that they really and truly love (not one that they’ve been pressured into buying by family or friends), but also a style that fits their venue. That’s why it’s essential to start shopping for a wedding gown only after you’ve selected your wedding site. A heavy, beaded ball gown just won’t look right at a low-key beach wedding, nor will a barely-there sheath work in a grand house of worship.

Q – As far as bridesmaids are concerned, what’s a popular and fashionable choice for spring/summer 2011?

A – This season, we saw a lot of bridesmaid dresses with black elements, like sashes, brooches, floral details. The idea of adding a touch of black to a feminine silhouette is something we saw a few seasons back on wedding dresses, and the trend translates well to bridesmaid styles.

We also really like patterned bridesmaid dresses—florals, polka dots, stripes, even plaids. It’s a great way to incorporate more than one of your wedding colors into your bridesmaids’ looks.

Bridesmaid dresses in neutral hues—black, navy, and particularly gray—remain popular, but we recommend punching up the look a bit by adding a brightly-colored accessory like a belt, headband, or shoe.

Q – Which bridal gown style is flattering on most women, regardless of their body type or measurements?

A – We find that V-necklines and A-line skirts are universally flattering, and a little strategically-placed ruching is always helpful as well! We actually did a great slideshow on flattering dress silhouettes a few months ago, which I think addresses a lot of body concerns.

Q – We’ll be featuring Badgley Mischka wedding shoes on BTR. Which is your favorite bridal design?

A – Hard for me to choose! I could totally imagine Keyes and Kiss Kiss designs looking really hot with a short dress at a reception. I also love the modern-classic feel of the Odessy model—the bow is so unique and architectural. I’ve noticed that our readers really like “bridal booties,” so the Olaf, with its lovely antique feel, is something I think a lot of brides will gravitate toward. And the “petals” on the Randee styles really mirror the floral elements we’ve been seeing on the runways.

For more insightful wedding tips and trends, check out the website today!

And if you’re getting ready to tie the knot, get full bridal coverage on BTR as of February 17 for a limited time only.

2011 Grammy Awards: The good, the bad, and the egg

If any of you watched the 2011 Grammy Awards over the weekend, you know the music industry’s biggest night served us fashion lovers well. From Lady Gaga’s egg cocoon to Nicki Minaj’s cotton candy coif, wild costumes gave critics and fans alike something to talk about. Let’s go over some of the highlights.


Selena Gomez in J. Mendel. Whether to warn Justin Beiber fans that she’s his lady, or simply to show off her foxy curves, Disney star Selena Gomez turned some heads in this shimmering dress. The perfect touch? Those long, tousled waves.

Jennifer Lopez in Pucci. This hot number proved that Jenny from the block is still a reigning diva. The spiked Louboutins, the disco-ball mini that showed off her killer gams, and that famous golden mane.


Katy Perry in Armani Privé. Don’t get me wrong. I can appreciate kooky, theatrical fashion. Especially when we’re talking Grammys. But this princess-gone-bride-gone-angel plastic-wrap dress was a bit too saccharine sweet to digest. The wedding ended, honey; time to move on.


Lea Michele in Emilio Pucci. Not a show-stopping look but a big improvement on her puffy Globes prom dress. While she still got to rock her beloved ruffles, the actress’s strong, dark features popped out beautifully in this understated black dress.


Rihanna in Jean Paul Gaultier. We know your body is bangin’ RiRi, but leave at least something to the imagination. Anything. While I loved the white against her coffee-colored skin tone, that dress was a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen.


Gaga. ‘Nuff said. Although her embryonic entrance was the most tweet-worthy of the night, I think the ultimate shocker would be if the superstar were to work the red carpet in a sleek, black dress, straightened hair, and minimal make up. Too crazy, I know.

So who took your breath away? Who scared you to tears? And who, exactly, is Esperanza Spalding, winner of the Best New Artist award? Things to think about…

LET’S STAY IN TONIGHT: a special giveaway for couples

As much as you love a night out on the town with your special someone, there’s nothing quite like spending time in the comfort of your own home. No noise. No crowds. Just the two of you.

Since love is in the air—what with the whole Valentine’s Day spirit and all—we’d like to offer you an awesome “stay at home” gift set that’ll make that alone time even sweeter:

His and her bathrobes. Snuggle up to your cutie in style with these plush, luxurious robes in pink and black.

Rom-com and tear-jerker DVDs. Have a couples-inspired movie marathon featuring Bride Wars, Couples Retreat, Walk the Line,and William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.

Micro mink reversible throw. Cuddle up under ultra soft covers to watch the fab flicks listed above.

Champagne flutes. Sip a lil’ bubbly with this beautiful 6-piece champagne flute set.


Maybe you’re a busy power couple who can’t seem to find time to connect. Perhaps you’re overtired parents in desperate need of some serious R&R. Or maybe you’re newlyweds who just can’t get enough of each other.

Whatever your story, TELL US WHY you and your loved one deserve this one-on one downtime.

Go to and enter your story in the comments under this blog post.

IMPORTANT: Remember to include your email address in the necessary field so we can get in touch with you if you win. Don’t worry: only we will see it.

Not yet a BTR member? Here is a special link you can use to join until the end of the contest on February 14, 2011 at 11:59:59:

Next date night, just stay in. You’ll be glad you did.

Designer fragrance: What’s the occasion?

I have a confession to make.

I am head-over-heels obsessed with perfumes.

Like any good collector, I never feel like my assortment is complete. Maybe I’m still looking for that one fragrance that’s 100% me. Or perhaps the choices available today are too delicious to pass up. Whatever the case may be, in my totally biased opinion, there should be a fragrance for every occasion.

Let’s break it down.


Calvin Klein Euphoria

One of my all-time favorites, this one has notes of pomegranate, lotus blossom, black orchid, and mahogany wood. It’s a deep, seductive fragrance, that’s sure to leave an imprint on your date’s mind. The perfect blend of mysterious and confident, this one tops my list.

Escada Magnetism

Perfect for a girl’s girl and tempting for a guy’s guy, this alluring and inviting fragrance is bound to impress. Its sensual aroma is powerful, unforgettable, and reserved for women who are truly comfortable in their own skin. Leave them wanting more with this enticing choice.


Gucci Flora

Fit for the modern-day lady, this spring-perfect fragrance has notes of citrus, rose, and patchouli. It’s sweet and fruity, but in a subtle way. As appropriate for the young ingénue as it is for the mature woman, this scent is pretty, but not too overpowering—which makes it ideal for the office.

Givenchy’s Organza

This one’s a crisp, white floral fragrance with mossy woods undertones that give it an air of sharp sensuality. A heart of gardenia and jasmine is complemented by fresh green sap, and a nutmeg and vanilla base. Its wonderful aroma is bound to put you in a good mood and start your day off right.


Usher Eau de Parfum

This sexy scent will put you in the driver’s seat. Channel your inner diva with help from red currant, pink freesia, and apple bloom. Make an impact on a night you and your friends will remember for years to come.

Bulgari Notte

This fresh, feminine aroma is a sophisticated blend of vodka, alluring acacia, and sensuous iris with hints of tobacco. Mysterious and passionate, this is one perfume all your girlfriends will want to borrow. Strut your stuff and make it the best notte ever.

Am I the only fragrance addict in this joint? Are you faithful to one brand or do you like to shake things up?
While you ponder that question, have a look at the Designer Fragrance event on now until February 14!

Tips from Allure Magazine’s Beauty Editor: Part 2

You didn’t think we’d leave you hanging, did you?

May we present Part 2 of Beyond the Rack’s exclusive interview with Allure magazine’s beauty news editor Heather Muir. The bona fide beauty guru spills the beans on the best makeup tips, hairstyles, homemade beauty tricks, and more.

Q – If you were shipped off to a deserted island and were allowed one single beauty product, what would it be?

A – Sunscreen would be the most essential, for sure—one with at least SPF 30. One of our favourites: Neutrogena Dry Touch SPF 55—it packs great protection and the texture feels nice and light.

Q – What’s the best homemade beauty remedy you’ve ever come across?

A – I like adding a pinch of sugar to my cleanser, body wash, and foot lotion to create gentle scrubs. It leaves your skin smooth and I always have it around.

Q – What are some key brands or items you’ve seen on Beyond the Rack that consumers should jump on next time they are featured?

A – Smashbox blushes always win Best of Beauty. Urban Decay has great eyeliner—24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils.

Q – What are your top 3 beauty tips?

A –1. For hair, cut long layers. Some styles look amazing blunt, but on most people, soft layers bring out waves, increase volume, and add shape/style to your look.

2. For skin, dermatologists say that sunscreen is the best anti-ager—and prevention is key!

3. An easy makeup tip: Line your bottom, inner rims with a black pencil—it’ll instantly define your eyes.

Q – We always look forward to Allure’s yearly beauty awards. Which product do you see winning year after year?

A – Tweezerman Slant Tweezers are the best and win year after year. Neutrogena and Aveeno always win for SPF because they offer protection and feel good on the skin. And the Fresh Sugar Lip Balm (smells like brown sugar and moisturizes dry lips) is a repeat winner, too.

For those who love everything beauty: starting February 8, treat yourself to Lancôme, Dior, Clarins, Estée Lauder, and more skincare essentials that will renew, refresh, and revitalize your look.

Want more great beauty tips and trends? Pick up a copy of Allure on any newsstand, or visit today!

Tips from Allure magazine’s Beauty Editor: Part 1

In an exclusive interview with Beyond the Rack, Allure magazine’s beauty news editor Heather Muir shares the best tips and trends for makeup, skincare products, and fragrances to look for this spring. Part 1 below, Part 2 to follow…

Q – As the beauty expert, what would you say are the biggest beauty trends for spring/summer 2011?

A – Bright, matte lips—think day-glo pink (seen at Jil Sander) and tangerine (seen at Marni)—are going to be the biggest makeup trends for spring/summer.

Q – What’s the biggest beauty blunder women make and how can they avoid it?

A – Women sometimes OD on makeup, especially foundation. Mistakes include wearing too much (so it looks cakey), wearing the wrong shade, and not blending correctly (which can result in a makeup line at the jaw). My trick: Take a few samples home so you can determine the best shade and look at your face in different lighting. Then apply it with a damp sponge (I love the Beauty Blender)—it sheers the formula out a bit and prevents it from looking like a mask.

Q – At Beyond the Rack, we’re all about designer fragrance events. Which new scent do you recommend for the upcoming season?

A – We’re loving a few designer fragrances right now: Love Chloe, Prada Infusion de Rose, and Marc Jacobs Splash in Curacao.

Q – Neon is big for spring. Any tips for women who are afraid of trying such bright makeup for the first time?

A – To ease into wearing neon colors, start with a sheer bright gloss: Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté (sheer gloss sticks) deliver a splash of color in an easy-to-wear way.

Q – BTR shoppers love their labels but don’t want to break the bank. What essential beauty product for spring 2011 is affordable, too?

A – Nails are a huge spring trend and they don’t break the bank. Essie has beautiful shades that are now sold at CVS! We’re loving pearlescent white nails right now.

Stay tuned for more beauty tips and skincare essentials from Heather: Part 2 coming soon!

In the meantime, work on your glowing, youthful complexion by shopping the Biotherm event on now at BTR until February 4!

For more up-to-the-minute beauty news be sure to pick up the latest issue of Allure magazine and check out the Allure website.