Claire Danes in Preen

Posted on April 05, 2012

Miss Claire takes the Frankendress to new heights.

Claire Danes attends the premiere of HBO’s “Girls” in NYC in a Preen dress. 

Preen Fall 2012 Collection/Model: Marie Piovesan

This is when the red carpet commenter comes up against a true moral dilemma. Do we go straight for the jokes and say that this is a psychological condition in dress form? A sartorial form of MPD? A cry for help? What Snow White’s dress really looked like after those mice made it for her? (Or is that Cinderella? One of those bitches.) Or do we hold her fragile ego gently in our hands like a baby chick as we kindly offer minor critiques and advice for future red carpet appearances?

Oh, hell. There’s no critique to be made here, other than, “Never wear this dress again.” Sorry, Claire. We don’t want to be held responsible for scaring you away from bold choices, but there’s nothing to recommend here, girl. You look like you were kidnapped by an insane dressmaker.


[Photo Credit:  Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images,]

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  • I dunno… I kinda love its dementedness.

    •  I think that “dementedness” is spot on! But is that really the look that an actress wants on the red carpet – if she isn’t Helena Bonham Carter, that is.

      • Or Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga or Katy Perry.  Leave the bat shit insanity to the pros Claire.

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    • Frank_821

      I kind of like it as well. Rather I like the core idea of it. It is demented and could work in a bohemian kind of way. However the proportions on the fabric blocks need to be re-thought. The dress looks much better in the last pic where its cut off at the skirt

    • elizonthelam

      I think it would look better in front of a less crazy backdrop. There’s just waay too much pattern and too many shapes going on to let the demented dress do its thing!

    • Louise Bryan

      I with you.  She kept the go withs simple, and I kinda like this.

  • But just look at those eyelashes!

  • Oh. Wow. That really is just terrible. “What Snow White’s dress really looked like after those mice made it for her” pretty much sums it up.

    • I would like to think mice could do a better job. 

      • formerlyAnon

        They surely do in the movies.

  • I ALMOST like it…and wasn’t it Cinderella who had her dress made by mice?

    • Actually, It was Snow White, Cinderella’s dress was a magical dress made by her Fairy Godmother and dissappeared at midnight… I know my fake royalty XD. 

      • Dorothy Colegrove

         Actually, it was Cinderella and then her stepmother ripped apart the dress and she was standing there in rags, crying, when her fairy godmother rescued her…according to Disney.

        • Really? In my book the first dress was Cinderella’s mum’s dress… I had a more grown-up version of the story I guess. It wasn’t a disney book and I don’t remember disney’s versions very well though so it’s probably like you say. 

          • mountainFashionista

            In the original Grimm’s story, Cindy goes and wishes under a tree that grows on her mother’s grave, and two magical birds bring her better and better dresses for each of the 3 balls that the prince is holding.  (Well, THAT doesn’t sound quite right, but you know what I mean…)

            The fairy godmother is a later addition to the story, but certainly not invented by Disney.  In fact, I like that the Disney screenwriters included birds as Cindy’s friends (even though she clearly prefers the company of rodents) — it seems like it’s an intentional reference to the source material.

          • Derek_anny

            Disney only had the animals help Snow clean.  No seamstress bluebirds.  My copy of Grimm (which I’m conveniently reading through at the moment) says bird, singular.  But the brothers Grimm were only collectors of tales, whose methods are sometimes criticized.  There are other variants just as authentic.  And yes, three successively better dresses.

      • RebeccaKW

         I believe it was Cinderella.  The mice made her a dress from scraps they stole from the step-sisters, then when she came down to leave, the sisters ripped her dress up.  The godmother came after, when Cinderella was crying, and turned her rags into a gown, a pumpkin into a coach, etc.  Snow White was friends with animals b/c of her sweet nature, but never had a gown made by anyone.

        •   In the Disney version, the original dress was from her mother, but it
          was outdated and not suitable for a ball, so she planned to update it.
          Because her stepsisters kept her busy, she wasn’t able to work on her
          dress and then the mice did it for her(using scraps and beads the sisters threw away). The stepsisters then destroyed
          the dress, and Fairy Godmother turned the rags into the shiny pretty dress she wears to the ball. Love that movie <3

    • RebeccaKW


    • Thathoodwink

      Cinderella’s dress was made by mice. I saw this movie probably fifty times on VHS with my 3 year old daughter. THAT dress was destroyed by those stepsister bitches when the stepmother, in effect, egged them on. Then the fairy godmother made her the magical dress that did indeed change back to regular clothes at midnight. Sleeping Beauty had the two fairy godmothers that kept changing the color of her dress from pink to blue.  :o)

  • Perhaps one of the single worst looking garments it has been my displeasure to clap eyes on in a very long time.  Even on the model it’s a nightmare in fabric form. The twisting perspectives on the skirt pattern only make all the other stuff going on worse.  Cardinal rule of design: When working with an overwhelmingly strong textile pattern, keep the lines and details simple.  OUCH!

    • drdirection

      I bet that model was pissed

      •  She sure doesn’t look happy, but then , they so rarely do.

        • TheDivineMissAnn

          That’s ’cause they’re always hungry.

          •  And they get told, most of the time, to keep their face “neutral”.  Unfortunately, when you’re constantly starving, and wearing clothed you only would wear if you’re paid to, “neutral” looks like this.

  • VanessaDK

    She makes it work. Would be a mess on lesser mortals.

    • JimMcC

      Totally agree. I actually think it looks like hell on the model, but I like it on her. It’s a crazy dress, but it’s fun, and she pulls it off.

  • schadenfreudelicious

    good gawd where to begin, the dress is a complete shitshow…and please red carpet ladies, unless you’re an Amazonian model (or Nicole Kidman) that length does nothing but stumpify…We have been discussing Claire’s unfortunate choice of blonde for some time now, but those roots are close to giving Rihanna’s recent do a run for the money…perhaps those Latisse enhanced eyelashes are preventing her from seeing herself???

  • Oh and the fact that she is standing next to a Giant BO right beside her underarm is just sophomoricly hilarious.

    • hahaha!  no mercy in a dress like that!

      • I couldn’t resist commenting. When I saw it, the teenage boy in me barked with laughter.

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    I admit it’s a Frankendress, but I kind of like it. Even in front of that wretched blue background. 

  • Vaniljekjeks

    I love her, but that dress is fuck-ugly. 

  • She should have stayed wearing the Vanity Fair bed sheet.

  • That is no one’s dress. Or everyone’s. All at once. 

  • G

    It’s a hideous dress that does nothing for her lower half.

    • ballerinawithagun

      Every woman aks for a dress to make her thighs look big and jiggly!

      • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

        Hey I can do that all by myself, I don’t need any help from an ugly dress!!  😉

  • What is this fuckery? It looks like something I would have attempted in my 8th grade Home Ec class.

    But I also have an irrational hatred for Claire Danes so nothing she does will ever please me.

    •  She always looks like she’s about to rip the photographers’ heads off with her teeth and bathe in their blood. So, Godzilla dress suits her in a way…

  • gabbilevy

    There’s no saving that dress, but the girl in the dress looks great. 

    And wow, the distance from the Shelly O Preen dress from this same collection… 

  • dress_up_doll

    AAACKKKK!!! On top of all that’s going on and going wrong with this dress, is that a drawstring waist I see??? WTF?

  • MissAnnieRN

    I…Don’t hate it?  At least she’s not on the cover of VF in a bed sheet?  Oh wait…

    But no, I don’t hate this.  I don’t love it either, but I’m not mad at it….

  • In the words of George Takei: “Oh My!”

  • J D

    I love Claire but no.  Just no.

  • I think it’s a stunning dress hampered by the fact that the lime green square on the shoulder exists. The merging of the other two fabrics is really cool, makes the shape more interesting, and is kind of out there. The green square just throws it all off. One detail too many!!

  • Pants_are_a_must

    It’s not like it doesn’t fit her. Whether it’s flattering on her or the model is another question. And I would say it’s the tiny triangle of neon green that takes this from “decent attempt at Frankendress” to “oh dear LORD it’s searing my eyes NO MORE FRANKENDRESSES”.

  • Cheri Lee

    AWFUL! She looks like a mental patient. Seriously, that is terrible on her.

  • lonepear

    I feel like this wouldn’t have been as bad if it were a short-sleeved dress.

  • sarahofalessergod

    Ms. Danes, will you please pay to replace my keyboard after I spewed coffee all over it when your dress engaged my gag reflex?  Thank you kindly.

  • kmc1138

    This totally reminds of a toy I had when I was a kid called (I think) “Flip and Fold Fashion.”  So I can’t decide if it makes me furrow my brow or smile warmly.

  • I think it’s the fabric in the middle of the dress that ruins it. It’s reflecting the light in a weird way. If the whole thing had the same overall tonal quality, and the green shoulder square were gone, it might not be so offensive. Also, short sleeves might help. The tight cuffs only make matters worse.

    • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

      So with just a few “minor” modifications, this might go from fugly to merely ugly!

  • Now designers, you have just six hours to use an opponent’s fabric scraps from the last challenge to make a glamorous red carpet look. Guest judge Claire Danes will be forced to wear the losing entry to the premiere of HBO’s “Girls.”

    • Spicytomato1

      Make it work 🙂

  • Jecca2244

    oh my and it is a drawstring too.

  • This dress is a hot ass mess.  I can see the effect on the model, but that green patch, plus the warped print on the fabric, it’s just not working.  From the neck up, she’s stunning. Listen to TLo, never wear this dress again.  Matter of fact, you should just burn it. 

  • guest2visits

    This may be a crazy-awful dress; but Claire is managing to make it look like pure fun. Ten points!

  • Funkykatt

    I appreciate that you guys can take over where Mr. Blackwell left off. It’s awful. 

  • newtonGOTbeaned

    Except for that gathered part at the waist, I like this dress a lot. 

  • Judy_J

    My god…that is one ugly dress.

  • MilaXX

    What I really hate is that green bit. I think I could almost tolerate the dress without that bit.

  • cmb92191

    It is a sad Project Runway challenge “take two old dresses and repurpose them”  And this designer was a  loser..
    And to put it straight, it was in part Cinderella.  The first dress was made by mice. (the pink one).  Then the stepmother and stepsisters ripped it up as she was going to the ball. Then the fairy godmother -don’t we all wish we had one- came out of the pumpkin and made the blue dress which she went to the ball in.

  • PeaceBang

    Ooof, this is a Hall Of Fame-r, for sure. 

  • It’s an interesting idea for a dress, but the print is tough to wear, and both the skirt hem and the sleeves are too long on Claire.

  • DeborahLipp

    There is not one piece of this dress that is right. If you took the dress apart and allowed it to be the three different dresses it longs to be, they’d all be ugly.

  • formerlyAnon

    Not Her Dress.

    Possibly not anyone’s though I guess one could play with the hem length and on persons of different bodily proportions you might get it to looking good . . . though I doubt it.

  • Sara__B

    A bold, unusual choice? Yes. Attractive? No! I know designers like to push the envelope, play with shape and proportion, do something different and unexpected, but this is a dress for Chloe, not Claire.

  • uprightcitizen

    Wow. That’s ugly. An extremely beautiful woman is made to look oddly proportioned, like she has a super-long torso and thick little stubby legs. And that’s without addressing the hideous print, the eye-jarring colors, or the cheap-looking fabric. It even looks bad on the model.

    It must be so exhausting for these women to have to constantly be trying on edgy, new, donated dresses, and having to listen to stylists flatter and cajole them, while trying to figure out what looks good and what doesn’t. Mere mortal woman are able to find a silhouette that flatters the hell out of them, and wear it over and over again.

  • I feel like if it were a little more structured, a touch shorter, didn’t have that horrible draw string-like belt and that green triangle were a less offensive color, it could be a really cool dress. But… well, yeah.

  • marilyn

    She looks stocky in this.  The prints fighting one another, combined with the shape, makes it something only a fashion model can wear.  I know Clare is probably a walking toothpick, but this dress makes her look stocky and with very short legs.  It might have actualy been attractive (or at least as close as it is going to come) if it had been a mini dress.  This is the kind of dress that screams for loud, wacky shoes.  The line of the blackfabric on the body of the dress is extended out on the sleeves.  Interesting.  “Frankendress” is a good call.

  • elemspbee

    Hmm. It’s not the dress. it’s the dressee. The dress looks quite fine on the model. On this claire person, the dress is too long and ill-fitted. ya, def SHE shouldn’t wear it again.

  • Thathoodwink

    I’ve had it. I am pitching a new reality show where Angela Kinsey ambushes these broads with the HIDEOUS blonde hair/black roots thing going on. She grabs them, whips out an attache filled with all the different shades of Root Touch Up, drags them into the nearest ladies room, and retouches their ugly roots right there on the spot.

  • Thathoodwink

    If you put your finger over that silly hot lime triangle, it improves the dress 100%. But, it just isn’t flattering on her. 

  • TheOriginalLulu

    I kind of love it. My only issue is with that length. Should be at the knee or slightly above.

  • kimmeister

    Girl, that’s not your length or your colorblocking placement.  As some have said, the length makes her legs looks stumpy, and the placement of the black swath just emphasizes the length of her torso.

  • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

    How many of Chloe Sevigny’s alters had to die to make that dress?

  • I see people commenting that the proportions are good, but I can’t agree. I don’t mind that it is a frankendress, but it cuts her into segments in all the wrong places. As a result, she looks stubby, rather than the lithe goddess that she is. There was potential, but a dress with this many elements has to divide your body up properly for it to work–and this dress doesn’t do that.

  • Cecilia Evans

    I’m surprised one of Chloe Sevigny’s alters didn’t get to this dress first!

  • efishfan

    I’m getting the terrible feeling that we’re about to enter a spectacularly ugly period in fashion. She’s a harbinger of fug.

  • NurseEllen

    That dress has multiple personality disorder.

  • Please. Advice not needed. Claire Danes is a pro, so she should know better.
    This dress is SO bad.

    ETA: And let me just say. This is one of the rare times you can tell it looks bad just from the thumbnail. It’s usually an (un)pleasant surprise or scrolldown fug. But every inch of this is bad.

  • Lexie

    horrific dress, but great hair/makeup. 

  • …I think I love it…

  • Bad on the runway and worse on a non-model.  She looks like she stepped in a mesh hole.  Wow that’s bad.

  • BeeBeauNYC

    Without the green patch, I might actually be able to get behind the dress. The hem seems off though.

  • greatscoutm

    Can you imagine if one of the designers from the early PR days turned this loose on the runway?  They would have been aufed. Someone on Claire’s styling team has it out for her.

  • are we sure this wasn’t Mondo’s last look made from remnants? It certainly looks like therapy is needed.

  • CatherineRhodes

    That is the ugliest dress I have ever seen.

  • Also – this looks like something for the dead of winter. Is it really that cold in NY? 

  • Caaro3

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no–Sob–no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, 

  • DaniColman

    I think Claire is making an astute social commentary about the ugly chip on their shoulders so many celebrities have.

    Hideous strip of green aside, I think there’s a length issue going on here.  On the model the black strips across the body make nice clean lines to the strips on the sleeves, making it an interesting – if not necessarily attractive – optical illusion dress.  Claire didn’t get the dress shortened, and the cuffs are making the sleeves bunch, throwing off the lines.  Also, the green strip is hideous.

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    I thought the Sevigny dress was ugly, but this one has it beat by a mile.  Poor Carouse, just can’t catch a break.

  • Sara R

    I think it’s the hem.  If it was a good 4-5 inches shorter, I think it would look more proportional.

  • joe_tey83

    Julianne Moore wants this dress and she wants it Right Now.

  • Not that I approve of this dress on any level, but out of morbid curiosity:  how the shit did the model make it work?  Because she did and I can’t figure out how.

    • turtleemily

      I looked at it and went, “I don’t understand; I don’t hate it on the model.” I suppose that’s her job, though. 😛 Maybe it looks better because it’s moving and the model’s hair is up?

  • librarygrrl64

    Ugly dress, horrible hem length for her.

  • berkeleygirl

    This is defintely the ugliest dress I’ve seen in quite some time.  Even worse, it’s singularly unflattering to her body type – long-waisted pear.  She looks stumpy!

  • Sophie Collier

    It’s fine for a runway show, but in real life, it’s just ugly.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    as ugly as all that fabric is–& it is, no doubt–it looks almost great on the runway.
    off the runway, however, it looks like it should be burned in a vat of neo-hellfire.

  • Judih1

    if she was taller, edgier and had a different hairstyle and different shoes this dress would be fierce

  • Lisa

    It was Cinderella.  And yes.  Actually, the mice probably did a better job.

  • Susan Walker

    The proportions don’t look quite so off on the model, but it doesn’t look right on her, either.  That dress is a  problem and I agree it should never be worn again.

  • Tangier Bates

    no ma’am

  • ccm800

    just lose the gree block and the lines are really great – print wise. Its just one step to far and the length is matronly 

  • bitterk

    Just when I think I have seen all unholy ugliness on the runway…this monstrosity appears

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    No one should wear this dress.  Claire’s fault is not knowing that just because it’s on the runway, that doesn’t make it High Fashion.  

  • judybrowni

    The skirt looks like the dressmaker was going for an optical illusion.

    Not a good look in a skirt.

    As for the rest: sigh, drink or drugs were involved. I’m going with depressing drink, a crying drunk amount of drink.

  • TieDye64

    Lawd have mercy! Gawd awful.

  • HobbitGirl

    Hiddy. Just hiddy.

  • Chris Ketvirtis

    “Snow White’s dress really looked like after those mice made it for her”
    I’m rolling on the floor…!

  • The dress looked great on the runway, but you have to be six feet tall and in six inch heels or the proportions are off.