Author Archives: Beyond the Rack

Oscar-Worthy Jewelry

Last week’s annual Academy Awards showcased some of the most stellar jewelry styles we’ve seen in decades. With trends of oversized bling, beaded gemstones, and white hot diamonds, here’s how to steal the looks for less.

Tassels and Fringe

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Margot Robbie’s sapphire-beaded tasseled pendant by Van Cleef and Arpels, valued at $1.5 million, was truly a showstopper. Get the look with pieces such as this beaded turquoise tassel necklace or this gold chain fringe statement piece.

Silver and Diamond Drop Collars

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Zoe Saldana sported this Neil Lane diamond detail collar. Look for styles like this black and clear gemstone collar or this silver and clear gemstone drop necklace.

Black Gemstones

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Behati Prinsloo rocked a black diamond and gold de Grisogono Boule necklace. Make the look your own with this black and gold multi-strand chain, and pair with these cutting-edge earrings.

Diamond Details

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Delicate and understated yet hardly a wallflower look, there’s a reason diamonds have been called a girl’s best friend. Get Dakota Johnson’s white-hot style with single stud earrings or haute hoops. And pair with a red carpet-ready bracelet like this clear gemstone star cuff for an Oscar-winning style.

Red Hot Red Carpet Styles: 87th Academy Awards

All eyes were tuned to the red carpet last night, as our favorite celebs turned out in their finest for the first and last fashion stop of the year. While everyone seemed to play it very conservative this season, it was anything but boring. Two major trends stood out:

The Delicate Details

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Luxurious lace, embroidery, and beadwork were definitely last night’s showstoppers. Emma Stone shines bright in this beaded Elie Saab gown. We love the artistic sheer panel details and the hair-flattering chartreuse color. Giuliana Rancic spices it up in this lace-detailed Mireille Dagher design; the statuesque silhouette flatters all the right curves. Jamie Chung is truly a firecracker in her beaded Yanina Couture gown. Jenna Dewan-Tatum looks smoking in a beaded white Zuhair Murad dress. Rosamund Pike steals the show in this floral lace Givenchy gown; the scalloped neckline a lovely contrast to the high side slit. Jennifer Lopez looks anything but demure in this embellished blush-colored Elie Saab gown featuring a fearless plunging neckline.

The Solid and Sophisticated

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A combination of clean lines and punchy, all-over color was definitely a red-carpet win. Jennifer Hudson rocks it in this structured Romona Keveza dress. We love the subtle pop of color in her understated accessories. Margot Robbie modernizes ’70’s glam in this Saint Laurent gown with sheer, billowing sleeves. Dakota Johnson is red-hot in Saint Laurent with its embellished off-shoulder detail. Gwyneth Paltrow looks chic and sleek in this one-shoulder gown by Ralph & Russo Couture. We’re green with envy over Scarlett Johansson’s form-fitting Versace dress and matching emerald collar. Anna Kendrick looks polished in this Grecian-style design by Thakoon. We love the structured silhouette and subtly sexy keyhole detail.

The Faux Pas

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And of course, no list would be complete without a rundown on some of the event’s fashion flops. Jessica Chastain misses the mark in this layered Givenchy dress. While the color looks remarkable against her skin and hair color, the oddly draping neckline and under-styled hair remind us more of last-minute prom style. Julianne Moore looks matronly in this ill-fitting Chanel design – the horizontal stripe details do no justice to her lovely figure. Lady Gaga does Lady Gaga in this detailed Azzedine Alaïa gown. While the beautifully beaded dress shows potential, the boxy sleeves and dish-glove pairing make this more costume-party appropriate. Reese Witherspoon’s delicate features look washed out in this highly-structured Tom Ford design. We’d prefer to see her stick to her usual spring palette.

What were your favorite looks? Let us know in the comments below!

Top 10 Red Carpet Oscar Styles of All Time

With the Oscar night approaching, we can’t help reminisce over some of the best dressed red carpet styles throughout the decades.

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Lupita Nyong’o – 2014 This pale blue Prada gown with its ultra-soft billowing fabric and accordion pleating evokes a sense of classic Hollywood glamour.

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Natalie Portman – 2005 This sheer taupe Grecian-style Lanvin gown looks anything but neutral with understated gold accents.

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Beyonce – 2005 Decked in black velvet with a sleek bouffant hairstyle, Beyonce takes her retro-glam House of Dereon gown to ultra-modern levels.

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Angelina Jolie – 2004 The white satin fabric provides a striking contrast to the deep plunging neckline of this Marc Bouwer gown.

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Halle Berry – 2002 This artful Elie Saab Couture dress with its embroidered sheer bodice is truly an unforgettable red carpet look.

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Gwyneth Paltrow – 1999 Gwyneth looks princess-perfect in this sugar pink gown by Ralph Lauren. Her choice of sleek hair and diamond necklace are classic and chic.

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Nicole Kidman – 1997 This form-fitting John Galliano dress looks vibrant and sophisticated. The bold chartreuse color stands out on the red carpet and perfectly complements her fiery locks.

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Elizabeth Taylor – 1961 What Oscars best-dressed list would be complete without Elizabeth Taylor? We absolutely love the hourglass silhouette of this Christian Dior dress.

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Grace Kelly – 1955 Classic Hollywood icon and Princess of Monaco looks timelessly feminine in this Edith Head gown.

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Audrey Hepburn – 1954 A little quirky yet always sophisticated, Audrey is the essence of lady-like in this white floral dress from Givenchy.

Did we miss your favorite Oscar style? Let us know in the comments below!

50 Years of Romance in Cinema

Whether you’re sharing your bowl of popcorn or spending some quality solo time, nothing beats a great feel-good flick cozied up at home on a Saturday night. Given that it’s Valentine’s Day, we thought it fitting to compile a list of the top romance movies of the past five decades.

2010’s: Her (2013)

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This quirky Spike Jonze film will really make you rethink what it means to fall in love. Recently divorced and heartbruised Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) finds himself falling for his new phone’s OS (voiced by Scarlet Johansen). Equally humorous and touching, it’s sure to become a contemporary classic.

2000’s: Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

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In what may be the ultimate chick flick about the battle of perfection all women face, Bridget (Renee Zellweger) is determined to improve herself while looking for love with the help of her personal diary. Based on the novel by Helen Fielding and directed by Sharon Maguire, this movie is a must-have for every woman’s library.

1990’s: Pretty Woman (1990)

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In this classic rags-to-riches story directed by Garry Marshall, Edward (Richard Gere), a wealthy lawyer, has an unusual encounter with a beautiful, quirky prostitute (Julia Roberts) while asking for directions. After he gives her a classier makeover so she can accompany him to his elite cocktail parties, he soon discovers she’s stolen his heart.

1980’s: An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

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Troubled pilot in training Zack (Richard Gere) stars in this military drama directed by Taylor Hackford. Even though warned about the local girls, he still finds himself falling in love with wild child Paula (Debra Winger). Will he be able to balance his romance with his dreams of being a jet pilot?

1970’s: Annie Hall (1977)

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This classically neurotic Woody Allen film is perfect if you’re looking for a laugh. Features awkward Alvy (Woody Allen), a stand-up comedian who falls for freespirited Annie (Diane Keaton). With its dry wit and silly humor, this “nervous romance” is simply a timeless classic.

Grammy Awards 2015: Fashion Highlights

All eyes were on the red carpet last night as our favorite performers flaunted their stuff for the 2015 Grammy Awards. We noticed three major trends:

Sparkle and Shine

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Jessie J glams it up in a black sequined gown from Ralph and Russo. The sheer texture contrast and shimmering details are reminiscent of classic film noire style.

Katy Perry dresses the part with this Zuhair Murad dress. With its vintage silhouette and beaded details, this roaring ’20’s style takes a hyper-modern turn with Katy’s surreal hair color.

Nicki Minaj vamps it up with Tom Ford in a plunging neckline and beaded fringe skirt. The defined hourglass fit flaunts her killer physique.

Cutout Details

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Chrissy Teigan looks polished in this Emilio Pucci gown. With subtle cut-out details, this geometric design looks sultry and powerful.

Miley Cyrus looks sophisticated while showing some skin in a bandage dress from Alexandre Vauthier. Her understated hair and makeup create a quiet, elegant style.

Ariana Grande looks grown-up in this ladylike gown from Versace. The cut-out detail at the back emphasizes all the right curves.

Structured Solids

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Anna Kendrick sports a solid pantsuit featuring a plunging neckline by Band of Outsiders. Her understated hair and pointed pumps give this outfit a bold feminine touch.

Iggy Azaleas keeps it simple with a solid blue gown from Giorgio Armani. The cut-out details are figure-flattering and the electric color contrasts strikingly against her golden braided hairstyle.

Jennifer Hudson looks white-hot in this Tom Ford dress. The elegantly chic silhouette and simple accessories perfectly complement her structured pixie and bold lip.

BTR Home Finds: Bedroom Makeover Edition

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Revamp your bedroom quickly and easily with BTR’s hottest home finds. Just a few small changes can create a completely different atmosphere, so experiment with our stylish solutions for a spring-fresh transformation.

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Start with fresh bedding – opt for a low thread count for an airy, lightweight feel or a higher count for a heavier, more luxurious texture. Choose soft white or pastel hues for a vibrant seasonal style. Ditch your old dusty comforter for a divine duvet, a lightweight model like this works best for warmer weather. If your room is on the cooler side, you’ll prefer something heavier, like this wool-rich duvet.

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Add a fast splash of color with the perfect window panels. Choose from sheer, gauzy styles for a bright, sunny look. Not a morning person? You can also layer it up with a set of blackout panels for a cozy, restful sleep whenever you please!

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The real fun is in the finishing touches. A well-placed mirror can totally transform and define spaces we may otherwise overlook – try placing a horizontal mirror against a narrow wall for the illusion of a wider room. And accent your space with perfectly placed shelves for a practical yet decorative touch.

What’s your spring decorating inspiration? Share your tips in the comments below!

Black History Month – Iconic Women in Fashion

In honor of Black History Month, BTR is celebrating the iconic faces of diversity that have influenced our beauty standards through fashion, film, and music.

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Lupita Nyong’o

Oscar winner and Yale graduate, Lupita has demonstrated that beauty and brains are not mutually exclusive. Her fresh face and classic style come together to showcase her incredible acting talent. In the short span of her early career, her brilliant style has already captivated our hearts. We can’t wait to see her shining brightly on the red carpet for years to come!

Eartha Kitt

Not one to shy from the spotlight, Eartha exuded a distinctive charm both on and off stage with her irresistibly seductive voice and her bold choice of furs, pearls, and exotic animal prints. A true performer, Eartha shined on screen as the original Catwoman, and with her ability to sing in seven different languages, we consider her to be a true icon of culture and glamour.

Michelle Obama

Known for bucking the trends with her bold choice of sleeveless designs, the First Lady always maintains her poise with refined elegance and strength. With subtle cues from Jackie-O, she creates a commanding yet feminine style all her own.

Naomi Campbell

With her signature sleek locks and sky-high legs, Naomi quickly became the face of the 90’s, rocking haute designs from Yves St-Laurent and Versace. Blazing a trail on the fashion runway, she illustrated the beauty of diverse representation for generations of supermodels to come.

Beyoncé

Fierce, glamorous, flawless. As a 17-time Grammy winner, the Destiny’s Child diva has made her rise to fame with fearless fashion sense. Whether she’s playing it cool in understated neutrals or dazzling us in a jeweled one-piece, Beyoncé’s no-holds barred style makes her our favorite Feminist icon.

Screen Actors Guild Award: Best and Worst Dressed

Combining the best of television and fashion, the SAG awards showcased some of the best-dressed celebs of the season. With a mix of classic and cutting-edge styles, we’ve picked some of the best – and worst – highlights of these well-heeled looks.

Fashion Forward

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Emmy Rossum rocks it in this Armani Privé gown. With its intricate mesh detailing and sequin accents, we love the angelic look of this art-nouveau silhouette.

Emma Stone is set to impress in this standout tuxedo jacket dress from Dior Couture. We love the bold cropping and innovative texture contrast of this ultra-contemporary piece.

Sofía Vergera vamps it up with a fearless Donna Karan gown. Not for the faint of heart, she rocks this busty look with a sleek hairstyle and understated accessories for a brazen bombshell style.

Reese Witherspoon flaunts her figure in this chic Armani dress. The classic silhouette and off shoulder detail are reminiscent of Old Hollywood glamour.

Julianne Moore looks simply radiant in this colorful Givenchy gown. The exquisite, body-hugging beadwork and blue-green hue make her delicate features stand out on the red carpet.

Fashion Flop

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Laverne Cox looks like she’s playing dress-up in this ill-fitting Johanna Johnson gown. The beaded details are pretty, but the sweeping satin confection drowns her fabulous figure.

Lorelai Linklater flops in this odd dress from Honor that wears more like a cult costume. While we love the lace back detail, the oversize bell sleeves create a heavy, frumpy silhouette.

Rosamund Pike looks weighed down in this Christian Dior Haute Couture frock – the heavy high-low train does nothing for her svelte physique.

Uzo Aduba sure knows how to rock a bold yellow, but the perforated fabric of this Angel Sanchez dress reminds us more of Swiss cheese.

Melissa Rauch looks stiff in this two-toned sweetheart dress from Pamella Roland. The darted bodice is flattering, but where are her feet? The awkward hemline and plastic fabric of the skirt make this outfit a fashion fiasco.

Tips from A Real Life Bombshell Just in Time for Valentine’s Day!

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A bombshell is a sultry, mysterious and stunningly beautiful woman who is loved by both men and women alike. She’s glamorous, commands attention and is welcoming all the same.

With a little help from Bar Paly, a real life Hollywood siren, turn yourself into a bombshell this Valentine’s Day. Bar, a Russian-born Israeli actress and model, has acted with the likes of Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Jon Hamm, Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore. With three new movies coming this year, keep an eye on this up and coming starlet.

Check out what Bar has to say on becoming a bombshell in this intimate Q & A.

Where do you find the inner confidence to flaunt your femininity and sexy side? Does it come naturally or is it something you had to work on?

Answer: Honestly, I don’t really think of my self as “sexy”, but I do appreciate the compliment. I think the trick for me is that I just really love being a woman. I adore feminine things, like dresses, heels, hair and makeup. In business, there is no stopping a determined woman. I find women strong and inspiring. I mean, we do it all! And we do it with grace and compassion while wearing 5 inch heels! So, I guess embracing my femininity gives me confidence, and confidence is always sexy. To put it in the words of the ultimate bombshell, Marilyn Monroe: “I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.”

What are your best tips for women to turn ourselves into a bombshell?

Answer: I am a huge believer in the right undergarment. The right bra will do wonders to your shape. That’s the reason I own so many different cuts and styles. Clothes just lay different on the body with the right underwear. With a deep V cut top I wear a good Plunge bra, with a scoop or square neck I recommend Balconette bras, with high neck tops I wear a Minimizer bra (to not look too top heavy), and a strapless bra that works well is a must in every women’s wardrobe.  Invest in a few good, differently shaped bras and see your outfits transform! Besides, having a nice undergarment on will always give you that extra oomph.

I had the wonderful opportunity of recently spending time with you in LA, and you couldn’t be sweeter. Do you ever feel you are judged solely by your looks?

Answer: Thank you! Hanging out together in LA was definitely fun! When it comes to people judging me on my appearance, there’s not much I can do. Maybe it’s human nature, but until you meet someone and have a conversation with them it’s tough to really know what they’re about. For those that do judge me based solely on my looks, I can only hope they change their opinion when they meet me. In my years in the fashion and entertainment industries I’ve met many beautiful women, and I can tell you that physical beauty alone does not get you very far. On the other hand, brains, kindness and compassion are always sexy! Be smart, be nice to others and yourself (we all forget that last part sometimes), take joy in life, and be passionate about what you do. That’s what people gravitate towards, and what defines true beauty.

This is one we all want to know – what’s the perfect face and body position for taking a pic (or selfie!)? Is there something you do specifically to make sure the photo turns out well?

Answer: I think the key to taking a good photograph is understanding your light source. If it’s a bright, straight-on light, like a camera flash, it usually flattens the image and makes every thing look very two dimensional. So with those photos you don’t want to be facing the camera straight on, because it’ll make you look wider, since the natural curve of the body will be erased by the flash. Turn a little bit sideways with your hips, but keep your chest toward the camera. This pose will make you look slimmer in those types of photos. Avoid taking photos when the light source is directly above you. This will always create unflattering shadows on the face. To erase those, just tilt your face up so the light is hitting your face more evenly, and take the picture holding the camera slightly above your face. Ideally, the best “beauty light” is always day light, but not harsh sun light. Direct day light coming from a window as the only light source will look beautiful. Always face that light when possible, it’s a very good trick.

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Finally, with several movies coming in 2015, we’d love to know what do you do to prepare for filming – mind, body and soul?

Answer: I landed roles in some great projects over the last year and I could not be more excited to share them with you.  All the characters are so different, and I had a blast with each and every one of them.  I got to play a futuristic femme fatal spy in Mark Polish’s “Headlock” opposite Dianna Agron and Justin Bartha, a hilariously oblivious model in Judd Apatow’s “Trainwreck” starring Amy Schumer, in “Sons Of Anarchy” veteran David Labrava’s “Street Level” I play a homeless heroin addict, and in Aaron Kaufman’s thriller “Urge” (Pierce Brosnan) I got to play Denice, a good girl who turns bad after partying on a new drug that unleashes the users secret urges with lethal consequences.  While all the roles are very different, my preparation on each is the same.  Most of my process is character work.  Finding out what motivates my character?  Who are they? What do they want?  I also love figuring out a character’s wardrobe and look, because those directly influence the character’s physicality.  For example, you just walk different wearing high heels than you do wearing flip-flops, the same way you hold things differently after a brand new manicure.  Other times a characters wardrobe can reflect their inner characteristics or mood.  All those details really matter to me when building a believable character.  I also find it very inspiring watching other actor’s work.  When I watch a great performance, it gives me the courage to make braver choses and try to elevate my work to the level of my piers. My mantra is: It’s better to fail spectacularly than play it safe and be boring!

Keep in touch with Bar Paly through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Have some of your own tips? Share them with us here or on Facebook!