Cobie Smulders in Alexandra Vidal

Posted on April 20, 2012

It’s amazing how different a dress looks, depending on the picture. We saw much smaller versions of these pics last night and said “Alrighty, then. There’s our WERQ for the day.”

Note: We don’t really say things like “Alrighty, then.” We prefer “Okey-dokey.” *

*Another lie.


Cobie Smulders attends the London premiere of “The Avengers” in a gown designed by Project Runway Season 1 designer Alexandra Vidal.

Alexandra Vidal Fall 2012 Collection

But we’re afraid we’re going to have to take away the WERQ, now that we’ve seen the dress from all angles. It’s still a high-impact dress, guaranteed to inspire a lightning storm of camera flashes on the red carpet, but there are a couple things here that aren’t working for us. The bottom half looks great; very dramatic in a drag-queen kinda way. And we love a ladystar who can tap into her inner drag queen. The top is interesting, but it feels like it belongs on another dress. The keyhole at the neckline looks roughly finished and the little gaps in the sleeves are distracting. We’re going to assume the roughness of the top was intentional, but we don’t think it plays well with that skirt and it’s kind of distracting to our eyes. It’s still a pretty great dress; just not as great as we originally thought. Also, that hair is not the hair to be sporting with a dress like this.

In case you can’t remember who Alexandra Vidal was, she was the season 1 Project Runway contestant who everyone said looked like Britney Spears back in the days when Britney’s hotness and sanity weren’t questioned.


[Photo Credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images,]

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  • The top looks like it was part of a “Project Runway” assignment. Unfinished, too busy, too many elements.

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    “I’m Melting…melting………

    • TieDye64

      Yes! Exactly where I went.

  • BigShamu

    Oh the lies.

  • She’s WERQing the face but the dress is not good. Reminiscent of the saloon-girl stuff Olivia Wilde was wearing to pimp Cowboys and Aliens. I also hate the hairband.

    • snarkmeister

      I don’t even think she’s WERQing the face.  She looks like she started celebrating 420 day a little early.

  • Violina23

    I think Cobie is gorgeous, and the dress (be it flawed) is interesting, but doesn’t it kinda look like she materialized up FROM the carpet?  I wouldn’t be surprised if that particular shade of red is *called* “Red Carpet Red”.

    I like the idea of the up-hair and the headband, but I feel like it should be bigger. But I probably don’t know what I’m talking about 🙂

    • RebeccaKW

       I feel the same.  The hair in front of the head band should be sleek, and then behind it all bouffant.  Then again, I’m from Texas, so I’m biased toward big hair….

      • introspective

        the headband just needs to go. period. it reeks of “just came from the gym” to me.

    • I hate when dresses are the same shade as the carpet. It basically takes away all visual interest: can’t see any of the details. She looks gorgeous in this color, but I still think that stars dressing for the red carpet should take the shade of the carpet into consideration. (And events should let them know if it’s not going to be red. Some of the weirder shades – green or orange, for example – can make gorgeous colors look terrible.)

    • Adriana_Paula

      Makes me think of the scene towards the end of Terminator 2 where all the little mercury balls from the second terminator melted and came back together to re-form him in the foundry.

  • BrooklynBomber

    It does look like 3 different dresses, doesn’t it? The whole back . . . the skirt. . . and then the front of the top w/ the sleeves with cuffs??? Strange. Still, brava, Alexandra; it IS an interesting dress – just not quite there yet.

  • I thought it was a disaster based on the smaller picture. I’ll take that away too–I still don’t like it overall, but there are interesting details that didn’t jump out before.

    Styling is pretty bad all around. 

  • RebeccaKW

    She looks…good.  Not great.  At first glance, she looks fab, but the more I look at the dress, the less I like it.  It’s an interesting dress, but it has too much going on and I’m not sure I like the ruffled hem.  I also don’t get the collar-why is it limp on one side?  It’s obviously designed that way, as it’s the same on the model.  Weird.  On the plus side, her face is great and the back cut out is sexy and it makes her ass look good.

  • Alexandra needs Tim to tell her to edit.  Too much shit going on here.  I really love the back and the bottom of the dress, but the front almost looks like a shirt.  It’s just not working here.  With the headband in her hair she looks like most women who put a head band in their hair to wash their face at night…not good for the red carpet.  Her make up is fresh and flawless.

  • petalfrog

    Well it certainly makes her look much taller than her 5’8. Also, according to IMDB, she’s only 30. I would have assumed mid-30s at the very least. 

  • The top doesn’t look rough/gappy on the model (although overall I think the dress looks better on Cobie than the model).  Also, even though the hair doesn’t go with the dress, I love the ‘do.  At a more casual event, with a cute little dress, it would be killer.

    • Lori

       I agree that overall the dress looks better on Cobie. The fact that the dress looks so much rougher on her seems to be due to fit issues.

  • It exactly the same color as the red carpet.  Why would someone choose a dress that acts as camouflage?

  • piecesofconfetti

    She looks very awkward trying to walk. Also many unfinished or imperfect details. A good dress in theory, but needs a little help.

  • ballerinawithagun

    As much as I love red dresses, they don’t work on an actual red carpet. It just looks like an art installation where she is growing up out of the carpet.
    Love the detail on the skirt, would love to see it up close. The skirt looks fabulous in motion, but the bodice and sleeves don’t seem to move well. Too many elements and gapping openings. I’m imagining a sleek mock turtleneck.
    Cobie is beautiful though, very classy, old school glamour on the runway. 

    • mountainFashionista

      I don’t know if it’s poor construction, poor fit, or what, but I agree that the bodice and sleeves (esp. on the left arm of both Cobie and the model) look hard to move it.  When I try dresses on that have armholes like this, I don’t buy them, because they feel bad and look bad.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Oh, but the main thing is that I keep feeling confused and disappointed when I see “The Avengers” and there’s no Diana Rigg.

    • But on the upside, there is no Uma Thurman! (who I love, but she is no Emma Peel).

      • BrooklynBomber

        Who? (When it comes to The Avengers, I’m an originalist.)

  • jw_ny

    I like a lot of the elements in the dress, but it does share the commonality with many a project runway designers in that they put everything in their bag of tricks into one look.  Editing was necessary…as well as a couple of inches of length.  The bottom ruffle looks heavy and out of place.  Cobie looks great anyway, and I like the hair and hairband as is…with a more simplified version of that dress. 

  • MilaXX

    I just don’t think this works unless you are model tall

    • petalfrog

       She is… she’s 5’8 which is the “starting” height of models. Her posture is a bit lacking I’d say.

      • MilaXX

         I’m think more in the 5’10, 5’11 range. Dress looks like it should needs an inch or 2 more leg to work.

  • golden_valley

    That hairstyle looks like she just came from playing volleyball.

  • Kayceed

    There’s a heaviness to this dress, and as noted, it is overworked with extraneous details. But the overall silhouette is nice, and the color is wonderful with her complexion.

  • nannypoo

    I think this dress is very odd and unattractive. There is not one element that I like except the color, which is not good on the red carpet.  And her hair looks awful. If I had made the poor choice to go out looking like this I would slink away like she appears to be doing in the last picture, too.

  • It’s…interesting. The texture on the cuff and collars almost drag (lol) it into housecoat territory. But she looks fabulous in that second to last picture, even if she’s blending into the carpet a bit much for my taste.

  • NurseEllen

    Workout togs!  Formal gown!  It’s two—Two—TWO dresses in one!

  • Judy_S

    You are right that the top is a bit overdone + not properly finished. When you are sporting that kind of delicate cellular tissue-paper centerpiece stuff on the hem, and so much else, everything needs to be trim and in its place. At the same time, what a great Avengeress dress. 

  • I love it, but I hate the headband.  it looks like something she would wear while working out.

  • It’s a gorgeous dress but she is not pulling it off.

  • Judy_J

    I really wanted to, but I just can’t like this dress.

  • schadenfreudelicious

    it just looks like two different dresses smushed together…i typically love an open back, but i find that keyhole distractingly large, the hem also reminds me of those crepe paper balls that fold together and get hung as birthday decorations…she’s also sporting the  same hairstyle as my yoga instructor..i’ll stop now….

  • Jessica O’Connell

    Agreed and thank you for saying something about the hair! Ugh a cheap looking headband on the red carpet? Really, Cobie? Really?

  • TheDivineMissAnn

    I just love the color of the dress – but the way it blends into the carpet robs it of it’s drama. The cut-out on the sleeves make my eyes twitch too, it looks like she got it caught on something and the dress ripped.  If she was going to keep the detail on the bodice, she should have skipped the embellishment on the bottom of the dress. 

    I can still see that model’s bum in Project Runway S1 trying to maintain her dignity in a bikini that was, oh, two sizes too small?  “We wear bikinis that small in Miami”  couldn’t save Alexandra from the auf.

  • guest2visits

    She’s beautiful. The dress is not. So far not seeing any beautful red dresses out there.
    This one looks like it was designed as a tucked-in shirt to a flaminco skirt. Weird.

  • quiltrx

    I like the bottom, but the top looks like a sweater set experiment gone wrong.

    I also don’t like the way the dress clings in the back-the puckering and just generally not flattering.

  • Ooh. Just not working. And the hair, are you kidding?

  • dramamajor

    So proud of Alexandra! Good for her, I really liked her way back on PR

  • christinewithanx

    Eek. I thought she was Canadian, not Flamenco-an.

  • My inner Nana wants to karate chop her between the shoulders so she’ll stand up straight in that last picture. The slouching makes her ass look unhappy. 

  • PeaceBang

    The dress, although flawed, could have been carried off by someone who knew how to really wear it. This gal does not. She appears to be dragged down by it. She needs to pull her shoulders back, lift up her damn NECK (girl, please, you need some regal bearing in a gown like that) and … well, the little plastic headband thing is purely criminal. 

  • I like the overall impression, but I generally dislike dresses that match the runway, and her hair looks like mine after I work out. I love Cobie, but yeah, it’s not a WERQ.
    I love her smug smirk face.

  • lovelyivy

    Her hair looks way too unfinished, like she pulled it back to do her makeup and then completely forgot about it. It ruins the whole look for me.

  • lovelyivy

    Her hair looks way too unfinished, like she pulled it back to do her makeup and then completely forgot about it. It ruins the whole look for me.

  • MzzPants

    There is nothing about this dress that says ‘headband’.

    • I totally agree with this statement, but otherwise really like this.  Seems I stand alone on that count.

  • Stefanos Mantyla

    Thanks for planting that image in my head: Britney Spears behind a sewing machine.

  • Lina_bee

    Yeah, this isn’t working for me at all. There are a bunch of interesting ideas going on here, but they don’t work together to produce a cohesive whole, and on top of that, the styling (hair, esp) is too eh for such a dramatic dress. Also, she looks worn out, even though this junket is going to last for approximately elebenty million years, poor thing.

  • marilyn

    If you need a long sleeved dress, you don’t need a mermaid evening gown.  The long sleeves take it out of the formal evening category.  

  • EEKstl

    I agree.  It is an interesting dress but the top just looks ill-fitting.  It does on the model too so I’m assuming as you say this was intentional, but ill-fitting long sleeved tops aren’t meant for the red carpet.  I do like that you’re covering Cobie with such frequency.  She and her gays are really doing some good RC looks; however, the “I’m fabulous and I know it” smirk is wearing thin for me.

  • greatscoutm

    As Michael Kors would say, “Ungapatchka.”

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      ahngehpatchkeh? w/ a flat a?

      • greatscoutm

        Ha!  Ungapatchka: a Yiddish word that describes the overly ornate, busy, ridiculously over-decorated, and garnished to the point of distaste. 

        I’ve also heard it (from my relatives) as “Ungh–ga–patch–key.”  They describe it as “too much, one element too far, too busy.”
        This dress is a case in point, IMHO.

        • holdmewhileimnaked

          pahtchky, as in:
          stop that patchkying around!

          i heard that a lot from my parents when they were still alive.
          as, i would bet, did MK from his mother a decade or two before me.

          • greatscoutm

            Oh, I like that.  Alexandra Vidal: Take note.

            My parents (Irish) said, “Knock it off, that’s the kind of laughter that turns to tears.  My inlaws were the ungapatchkey–ers.  Nice.  Thanks for the memory.

  • Joyce VG

    Who is Cobie Smulders anyway?  I guess I’ll have to google her and Alexandra Vidal. The dress looks over designed.

    • turtleemily

       She’s on How I Met Your Mother and is playing Maria Hill in The Avengers.

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    Gym hair, schizophrenic dress. 

  • TSkot

    Too much going on here.  

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    Hate.  Hate the hair.  Hate the neckline of the dress. Hate the fabric that clings to her butt/thighs in a less than flattering way under the lights. The dress doesn’t look well made to me at all.  I am not sure why… Hate that hair band.  Either make it bigger or send it away.   NO.

  • The dress matches the carpet a little too perfectly.

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    What is wrong with the collar piece?  That’s done even more badly than the keyhole.  And those gaps in the sleeves, I just don’t understand their purpose.  Cobie is gorgeous, and she looks like she’s not feeling it in these shots.

  • formerlyAnon

    It’s the rough finish/droopiness right around the edge of the neckline that kills it. Otherwise I could be convinced the top and bottom belong on the same dress.

    But then, I never get the true wonder of anything deconstructed unless it’s taken all the past it into home-made punk or boho Mad Max territory. (Hmm, wonder what Jerell Scott is doing these days?)

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    i think it’s mostly a just stunning dress. i’m even willing to give it up for the collar, the reason being that the collar is identical on both model & starlet. perhaps it looks better when one is closer to it? even though, yep, i do understand that AV shouldve taken that into account when designing for the red carpet.

    still, CM looks wonderous in the first shot, the second shot, the third shot, all the way until the last one, wherein all that wonder breaks down. but thats cos CM is squishing down & perhaps there was a reason she did it? maybe her feet hurt or she felt a desperate need to do half an air-crunch all of a sudden. [like the kids today say: J/K, J/K. or maybe they said it a decade ago.] but i wouldnt pull her points down, no pun intended, just for a momentary pause.

  • I hope we don’t have another Katie Holmes-style perma-smirk with this one.  And the back view of that dress does her exactly no favors.

  • tsid2012

    That top, besides being “rough”, is poorly fitted and unflattering.

  • This is the kind of dress that needs a big Diana Ross weave; but maybe Cobie is tired of her curly bob all the time.