I rarely write about red carpet events because I prefer analyzing fashion from a different point of view, but sometimes I like focusing on celebrities who catch my attention, those I call “red carpet heroines”. They rarely appear on the best-dressed lists, which is another reason why I like them so much. Show business is more about business than about show, and the choice behind the outfit sported on a red carpet is often ruled by business itself. Sometimes it happens to see people who apparently don’t conform to the rule, people who seem to wear what they want, who are proud of their style. Probably this is not true, because even their “different” style is the result of a stylist’s work, but still.
The red carpet heroine I’ve chosen today is Bryce Dallas Howard, a beautiful and talented actress who has been mediatically crucified for her pregnancy style. She has been criticised for wearing muumuus, unflattering dresses and – guess what? – maternity clothes! Well, if the touchstone is Victoria Beckham, it’s clear Bryce looks like a tramp, but all this criticism shows one of the biggest contradictions of our times. The female body has become a battlefield, literally: the way in which is modified and treated, the way in which it changes, is often used to speak about politics and society. Women (celebrities included) are not even free to live their pregnancy as they wish: if you spend 9 months perched on 10-inch heels, you’re cool, a role model for the whole world; if you wear loose dresses and you still manage to look good (this is the case of Bryce), you’re pointed out as the shabby one. Isn’t it absurd and totally out-of-this-world?
You may not like her style, but I think nobody can deny Bryce’s maternity outfits have been always nice and original in their simplicity. Let’s see some of them.
When she attended the Cannes Film Festival in May 2011, she was in the early stages of her pregnancy. At the photocall of the film Restless by Gus Van Sant, she chose a very severe outfit, which included a long blue skirt and an awesome lace blouse. She also wore Pollini grey strappy sandals and a gorgeous pair of gold earrings with semi-precious stones (a recurring element in her style).
One of her best assets is her gorgeous red hair. Now, I hope she will never get bored of it because it’s incredible on her. The braided hairdo above is fantastic, though it’s not as stylish and predictable as milk-maid braids.
She also walked the red carpet at the premiere of the movie. In this case, she wore a patterned long dress by Reem Acra, a clear message to emphasize her growing belly bump. She also wore Giuseppe Zanotti sandals, embellished by Swarovski crystal flowers, and a Monete satin clutch by Bulgari. Her loose hair was just smoldering!
In June, she attended the MTV Movie Awards with the cast of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. In that occasion, she won the Best Fight award, which she shared with Robert Pattinson and Xavier Samuel. She looked heavenly in her J Crew Phyllis dress, made of pink chiffon with a central section in hot pink. The loose dress was accessorized with a simple string belt. The jewellery department only included a pair of Le Vian rose gold diamond stud earrings.
In early August she walked the red carpet of the Hollywood premiere of The Help by Tate Taylor, which has become a very successful movie. In this case, she wore a custom-made Kate Spade  color-block dress in white and royal blue with a coral sash, completed by a pair of Ivy sandals. Her hair was styled in a nice updo, which emphasized her gold pendant earrings, embellished by cabochon stones. I’m not a fan of color-block (a fashion craze which has quickly gone out of control), but she looked pretty anyway.
After Cannes, Restless was presented at the Toronto Film Festival, too. The dress code in Toronto is not as glamourous as the one in the French Riviera, and Bryce surely took note of it. She attended the premiere of the movie wearing an Isabella Oliver print silk maternity dress and she looked amazing. I like the print of the dress and I like the draping just above the baby bump. She wore her hair loose and wore no make-up, and still managed to look better than most celebrities. This is such a relaxed and easy-going outfit, I love it!
In Toronto, she also attended the press conference of 50/50 by Jonathan Levine, where she acted alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen. She wore another dress by Isabella Oliver in a vibrant royal blue shade, and paired it with a pastel blue cardigan with white trims. She completed the outfit with nice earrings made of gold and lapis-lazuli.
She wore very similar earrings (again made of gold and lapis-lazuli) when she attended the premiere of the film. The dress she chose is unusual: striped clothes are rarely seen on the red carpet, not to mention clothes where vertical and horizontal lines mix. Well, she didn’t care and she wore a long white dress with blue irregular lines, v-neck and 3/4 sleeves. In this case, she styled her hair in a sleek ponytail.
After a couple of days, Restless finally arrived in New York. She attended the screening and wore a sensational saffron pleated chiffon dress, which beautifully contrasted with her pale complexion and red hair. She rarely wears bright colours, but I think she should do it more often. In this case, she styled her hair in a chic updo and wore no jewellery, but she opted for a jewelled box clutch instead.
In October, she was among the guests of the 15th Annual Hollywood Film Festival Awards Gala, where she arrived wearing another dress in a bright colour – a Dolce & Gabbana red lace dress. She looked beautiful in red, but the shape of this dress doesn’t convince me much. It’s a bit too loose, especially the bodice; I would have preferred something more structured or with a different neckline. She also wore gold earrings and a necklace with colourful stones. This is definitely one of her worse-chosen outfits.
One of the last events she attended before giving birth to her baby (I still don’t know if her pregnancy has come to an end or not) was the screening of When You Find Me in late November 2011. The short movie, directed by the actress herself, was inspired by Canon’s multi-platform “Long Live Imagination” campaign. She wore a lovely aubergine print silk dress by Christian Cota: this is a loose dress, but the one shoulder gives it structure and a twist. She looked beautiful with her long straight hair and side parting. She completed the outfit with a box clutch and a gold chain bracelet.
What do you think of her maternity style? Do you appreciate her relaxed and unfussy approach?