School of frock

Who's on top? And who's a flop? Our headmistress of haute couture grades the best- and worst-dressed celebrities of the week.

DISTINCTION: Alessanda Ambrosio
2014 amfAR LA Inspiration Gala in Los Angeles
Gown: Zuhair Murad

We know by now that the Brazilian bombshell can do sexy in her sleep, but the slinky shape, risque sheer panelling and snake print of this black embellished number brings seduction to a whole new level. Showing everything without really showing anything at all, Ambrosio easily slithers her way to the top spot.

DISTINCTION: Jessica Chastain 
Premiere of Interstellar in London
Gown: Saint Laurent

Talk about putting the stellar in Interstellar. Salmon pink is definitely her colour, but what makes this elegant Grecian gown extra special is the glittering crystalaccented shoulder strap. Isn't she just radiant?

2014 amfAR LA Inspiration Gala in Los Angeles
Gown: Rubin Singer

Warning: Dangerous curves ahead! The fit is just perfect, and I'm loving how well the futuristic sculptural draping and grey liquid nylon fabric meshes with Dennings' Old Hollywood styling.

PASS: Rihanna
2014 amfAR LA Inspiration Gala in Los Angeles
Dress and shoes: Tom Ford

In theory, I should probably hate this schizophrenic boudoiresque creation, but I don't. Maybe it's because nobody beats RiRi when it comes to pulling off crazy couture. And, of course, nothing can beat the scandalousness of her infamous CFDA Awards naked dress.

Here, I only need to deal with bejewelled nipple pasties, plus a couple of other questionable design elements. But there are no other exposed body parts. That's very considerate of her. Also, at least her face looks great.

PASS: Juno Temple
Premiere of Horns in New York City
Dress: Balmain, Clutch: Edie Parker

Again, this is another Marmite outfit. Call me bonkers, but I'm leaning towards the positive. Temple is giving me 80s power dressing in this awesome tuxedo dress featuring gold military buttons and yellow satin lapels, cuffs and pockets. But she should have swapped the dated platform heels for fierce strappy booties.

BARELY PASS: Elle Fanning
Premiere of Low Down in Los Angeles
Gown: Marchesa

Little girl, tuck your mummy's puffy-sleeved floral peasant frock away in a time capsule and bring it out again in 10 years, okay? It's pretty enough, but you're too young to be looking this old.

BARELY PASS: Miley Cyrus
2014 amfAR LA Inspiration Gala in Los Angeles
Dress: Tom Ford

It's S&M-ish, it's sheer, and has straps that barely cover the twins - and it's predictable. Who else isn't bored of Cyrus' faux edgy shtick already? What is truly shocking, however, is how horrible her hair and make-up is. 

BARELY PASS: Dita von Tesse
2014 amfAR LA Inspiration Gala in Los Angeles
Jacket and skirt: Ulyana Sergeenko, Shoes: Christian Louboutin

The impeccably-groomed burlesque star rarely gets it wrong, but this royal purple satin ensemble, although very much in her retro-glam wheelhouse, doesn't live up to her usual standards. Shorten the skirt, ditch the heavy pumps and burn that gigantic buckled belt in a fire. And then maybe I'll pretend all this never happened.

Fail: Zosia Mamet
Premiere of Olive Kitteridge in New York City
Jacket and skirt: Rebecca Minkoff

Pity is what I feel whenever I see Mamet's miserable attempts at hipster-chic. This sloppy pinstripe twopiece is no exception. I expect nothing but the worst whenever any of the Girls stars hit the red carpet, and they never fail to disappoint. A for consistency, but it's still an F for sheer bad taste. 

This article was first published on Nov 01, 2014.
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