Keira Knightley in Erdem

Posted on November 15, 2012

Pivoting away from fashion-as-middle-finger, let’s turn toward Keira and fashion as just plain old pretty:


Keira Knightley attends the premiere of ‘Anna Karenina’ in Hollywood, California in an Erdem gown.

Erdem Spring 2013 Collection/Model: Erjona Ala


That is a really pretty gown. The colors are unusual and striking. We have to admit, though; we like it better as a dress with a jacket. We also have to admit that we really don’t like her hair and makeup here. And while we’re at it, we don’t like the train either. And yet, despite all that, we still think she looks lovely. It’s that whole old-school “lady-like” thing. She’s got it in spades, and her persona, plus a pretty dress, can overcome any of our objections to the look.


[Photo Credit: Getty,]

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  • CPK1

    i too wish she had gone with the shorter dress/jacket combo. And I am not liking this icy pink/bubblegum lipstick I am seeing everywhere.  But she still looks very pretty.

  • choco

    I dig any dress with pockets

  • Sobaika

    Hate the train, love the makeup. It’s different for her and very very pretty.

    She could have used a delicate necklace, or maybe stronger earrings.

    • I’m with you on that. I can (and do) watch any of the Pride & Prejudice versions on a fairly regular basis, but the makeup they put on Keira in her version always has bothered me. It didn’t come close to fitting the early 1800’s timeframe; the shadowing around her eyes was way too heavy.  Minus the cateyes line and pink lipstick, this would have been much better.  Even with, she looks more natural and prettier here.

      • luciaphile

        Do not get me started on the version of P&P she was in. Blecch. She looks very pretty here. I love this dress on her.

        • JulieTy

          AMEN to that. That “version” of P&P was a TRAVESTY! Do you hear me!?!?!? A TRAVESTY!! Joe Wright ruined Pride and Prejudice, my favorite novel of all time, largely by refusing to read it. He thumbs his nose at source material. I shudder to think what he’s done to Anna Karenina. The tag line on the posters is bad enough to keep me from seeing it.

          Oh – I agree; the dress is better short.

  • teensmom99

    Hard to know what to do with her long neck when she wears strapless–the dress is beautiful without the jacket too (and I love the train on her) but she needs something between her ears and her boobs.  I’m not sure what necklace would have worked. It’s an incredible dress and she does look beautiful even if, once again, TLo is right.

    • Anathema_Device

      I think stronger earrings (like drop or pendant style earrings) would have been enough. Then maybe a bracelet to add a little more oomph. It is very tough to get the necklace right with strapless: anything too strong over powers the dress; anything too delicate gets lost or looks like an afterthought.

      • Monabel

        Real pearls. Never fail.

  • I don’t like the shape of the dress – tiny flat bodice + big skirt always reads medieval to me, she looks like she should be wearing a wimple and pointy hat with a veil. The fabric is so pretty though!

    • Jessica Goldstein

       It read a little period to me, too, but I liked it for that. The colors and the wearer made it work for me, but I totally get your point.

  • eowyn_of_rohan

    Pretty, but puddling around her feet.  It all kind of collapses by the time your eyes hit her ankles.  I love the earrings, though.

  • VeryClaire

    It’s a very pretty dress but without volume on top (iow, boobs) I find a strapless long dress to be off in the proportions. It needs some kind of strap to balance out the heavy bottom. 

  • Full on WERQ for me. It’s all very Givenchy with a pop of pop art in the makeup. Jewelry-wise, needed something bigger at the ears or a necklace (a dainty one), but it’s working like gangbusters for me. 

    • LCTerrill

      Agree completely. And I loooove the makeup. The lipstick looks just pink enough, but not like she downed a bottle of Pepto, like so many others trying this trend.

    • LaylaSV

      I agree. This is a gorgeous ensemble with appropriately breezy styling on a lovely woman. But holy hell kid, it’s WINTER! I totally get that if the stars want to wear free dresses they need to pimp the current collection and that we can look forward to a lot more Spring 2013 dresses in mid November. But I, for one, lament the inevitable wane of seasonal dressing and the further death of the illusion that these clothes in any way belong to the person wearing them.

      • See, the problem is that by the time these dresses are in stores, they’ll already have been knocked off and trends will have moved on. Fashion may have to reevaluate its tempo with releases given fast fashion and global awareness of fashion. I’m not sure how long the current fast fashion bubble will last (it’s unsustainable), but I’m also not sure how long major fashion can keep to their old schedule without being woefully behind schedule. I know it’s hard for me to remember what fall fashions I was interested in trying to reproduce in my fall wardrobe when it was 6 months ago that the fashions came out. I keep an image bank on my computer for that purpose just because there’s so much visual noise to sift through. 

        •  “Fashion may have to reevaluate its tempo with releases given fast
          fashion and global awareness of fashion. I’m not sure how long the
          current fast fashion bubble will last (it’s unsustainable), but I’m also
          not sure how long major fashion can keep to their old schedule without
          being woefully behind schedule.”

          What are you basing this on? Fashion is a multi-billion-dollar industry and it’s doing just fine for itself.

          • I don’t think fashion is failing, I just think that the current timeline is a little outdated. It’s mostly from a legal perspective where I’ve heard about a lot of designers complaining about their inability to protect their work from knockoffs before it even hits stores being what I base my ideas about the old schedule of Fall/Winter shows in February, Spring/Summer in September; it might make more sense to just push back the shows closer to when the clothes are available than keep struggling for legal protections that, in the US, aren’t coming all that soon (Europe has a different mode that better protects designers, but even there, Zara is wildly successful knocking off brands). As a lawyer, I think that if you want to protect your IP when the law won’t, it helps to keep it secret longer. I do think it helps that bigger brands make a lot of their income off of things like accessories and perfume which tend to float on branding better than straight clothing (and tend to have more bang-for-your-buck post-season wear). I don’t think fashion as a whole is failing though (I didn’t mean to imply fashion on the whole would fail, I just think there might be better practices to keep current) – however I do think FAST fashion is unsustainable and that bubble will burst when cheap labor from India and China is no longer available (which may be sooner than we think), which the NYTimes recently mentioned in its article on Zara (which was crazy, and not really a fashion business model I want because I don’t think it’s sustainable, but it’s hard to deny they’re wildly successful).
            But I will wholly admit to being a newb outsider (I love the industry, watch it through media outlets like WWD, and want to work in it someday as a lawyer, but I’m still on the outside looking in) so my perspective is skewed. But I do think that a lot of the brand marketing via dress-lending is a little on the early side – by the time this collection is in stores, Keira Knightley in this dress will likely be long forgotten. Something seems off there, and I don’t know if it’s the stylists insisting on the early dresses or what, but it seems like poor marketing/dealmaking. But like I said, I’m a newb and there’s probably more I’m missing. 
            I know the timeline for normal fashion has a lot to do with manufacturing timelines so it might be impossible to change, and I’d hate to see fashion shows disappear, but I think it might be interesting to see if anyone can break that mold and figure out a way to match the nigh instantaneous tempo of global communications. Something somewhere between the slow march of the fashion houses and the frenetic sprint of Zara. Actually, I’m surprised no one’s copied Zara’s business model in the NYC garment district, but it may be economies of scale and different costs prevent it. 
            I don’t know though. Sorry I wrote an essay, I get so excited when I get a direct comment from TLo, even if it is one chastising me (rightfully) for sounding more authoritative than I actually am. 

          • No chastising here. We just don’t think the industry is as rife with problems as you seem to. There has to be a gap between the time collections are shown on runways and the time they wind up in stores, in order to get the pieces manufactured. In the interim, pieces like this are lent out to celebrities to wear and lent out to magazines to photograph, providing priceless marketing value to the brand. We’re not seeing how that’s “outdated.”

            Yes, there are IP issues, just as there are in the film, television and recording industries; basically any time creativity meets up with commerce. That’s not going away any time soon and there’s no real solution for it, at least not yet. But it’s not nearly the issue you’re making it out to be and it’s more of a feature than a bug. Major fashion brands and fashion mags define the trends, which then trickle down to the knockoffs and retail houses.

          • Yeah. I might just be projecting my annoyance with seeing off-season dresses all the time. (Not that Keira’s not pretty here, it’s just weird to see someone looking like the picture of springtime sylvan nymph in November.)

      •  It’s not winter and she’s in Southern California.

        • LaylaSV

          But this is such a lovely Spring dress and even in Southern California it has to be around 55 degrees out.

          • it was 80 degrees here day before yesterday.

          • NinaBoo

            She’s from England. 55 degrees is nothing…and it wasn’t that cold last night.

          • LaylaSV

            Well. Coolio. Apparently Erdem and I are the only ones who thought this was a Spring dress.

  • Anathema_Device

    The pink lipstick is too bubblegum for me, but I think she looks great otherwise. I do like the short dress a lot, especially b/c there isn’t just an expanse between the pattern at the top and the bottom. Very pretty overall, though.

  • A trim of the train and it’d be WERQing for me

  • Introspective

    A dress that makes someone so petite look so bulky in the midsection is just a no. Thers just waay too much fabric here and it overwhelms her frame. So despite the striking impression it makes the dress isnt for me. And had she done the short dress w/jacket version of this number it would be cute but a little “older socialite who lunches” so in general I think she needed either better tailoring or really I suspect a different gown altogether.

    But I think her hair and makeup are quite lovely. she’s a gorgeous girl but she can (and has done) way better.

  • MilaXX

    This is really soft and pretty. My only quibble is the lashes and the cat eye liner. It’s too mod for something the dress. A more classic eye would be less distracting.

    • NinaBoo

      But what I wouldn’t do for her eyebrows.

      • MilaXX

        Agreed, she does have gorgeous brows.

    •  Cat eyes are not especially modern, having begun in the 60’s. More retro than anything else.

      • MilaXX

         Mod as in 60’s retro style

  • Beautiful dress, but is that a butt bow I see in the back?  Her hair is awful, and that lipstick color is doing her no favors.

    • margaret meyers

      Watteau back, falls from the shoulder blades — google image Watteau and see how the ladies dressed back in the jour.  It was originally an elegant, elaborate dressing gown that was fitted across the front, but loose in the back for comfort.  Court ladies wore it in their chambers during the day until they had to put on court dress for the evening. Eventually it became stylish enough to be worn formally.

  • TieDye64

    The overall effect is very pretty, though I hate the train and wish she’d done something different with her hair. 

  • Not sold on the hair. Lipstick color is also kind of weird, but mostly because it doesn’t go with the hair. Basically, the hair is weird. 

    • eowyn_of_rohan

      Not at all a fan of the lipstick color.

  • piecesofconfetti

    Love this, love her. A petty complaint, but I’d like if her lipstick was a tad darker and less Barbie pink. 

  • SewingSiren

    Seems a little under played for the premier of a movie based on a very dramatic Russian novel. But she  looks pretty never the less.

  • VicksieDo

    Love!  She is my #1 fashion maven.  She looks good in everything. sigh

  • kolokOlchik


    • ecallaw1977

       That was my first thought, too, but I’m kind of wondering if that’s just the way her face looks when she closes her mouth.

      • LesYeuxHiboux

        She has a bit of an underbite and her lips do tend to push forward when her mouth is closed. 

        • kolokOlchik

          She gives extra duck face in addition to the underbite thingamajig 

    • Ceur

       I’ve noticed that I tend to forgive her for the face when she’s doing a dramatic black dress, but not when she goes the light pretty route.

  • MissAnnieRN

    Lose the train and I’m in.  I also don’t love it when lady stars put their hands in their dress pockets.  Dress pockets as a trend is something I love, they are the perfect reservoir for credit card, DL, lip gloss, cash.  I just don’t like the look of a beautiful gown with a casual hand-in-pocket stance.

  • Janet B

    It’s a pretty dress for her, but I’m not sold on the styling.

    (Why don’t stylist care about my hate of out of season clothes? /end rant)

    • l_c_ann

      To the stylists, their clients are immune to weather, rush from one temperature controlled venue to another in limos that are also temperature controlled. The pavements they walk on are always clean, the air they breath never has exhaust fumes, the theater seats never have barbs to catch their stockings (well, you know, back when they wore them). All bodily functions cease while they are dressed and unicorns carrying renewable sourced spotlights guide their every step.

      Yeh? Right. 

  • zenobar

    It’s gorgeous – but why are so many celebrities wearing spring looks at this time of year?  (I realize they get their hands on these things before the unwashed masses do, so maybe that’s a factor…?)

  • I prefer what the model is wearing- I think the length is better, although it’s a pretty dress. And I wish she’d quit with the duckface.  

  • RzYoung

    I love this head to toe! 

  • It is an absolutely stunning gown, but the colors are not in her wheelhouse. But that embroidery – damn. I love the little gloves on the model, too. Missing those.

  • IMNAngryLiberal

    Keira may be a total wild child in her “real” life, but she pretty consistently comes across as elegant and classy in public — which is quite an accomplishment when you consider how young she was when she first hit the spotlight.

  • I only take issue with the hemline. Because of all that gorgeous detailing at the bottom it needed to either be perfectly straight when she was standing or be a bigger skirt that naturally poofed out.   I think maybe a very delicate necklace would have looked nice as well.  Also, I’m thinking that hair style looks an awful lot like the Irene Adler style from the new Sherlock on BBC. 

    • l_c_ann

      It gives major angst to my embroidery addicted soul to see that wonderful work drug across the ground.

      But for the length the dress is wonderful and it fits her and makes her look very, very good.

  • theblondette

    I just cannot with pockets in an evening gown. 

  • imspinningaround

    I’m totally stumped by how that dress stays up on someone who is so petite upstairs.  It’s a masterpiece of embroidery AND engineering!

  • Beardslee

    Lovely, but it’s November and that is a such a spring dress.  It has an anachronistic vibe to it that I find distracting.

  • selianth

    Pockets on dresses are useful, and I would never say they shouldn’t exist. But why is it, whenever the stars are wearing a dress with pockets, their hands are ALWAYS in them?  It’s not like these people don’t know how to pose/what to do with their hands when there are no pockets. I understand half of it is ‘advertising’ the features of a borrowed dress for the designer. It just annoys me.

  • Not a fan of the hair, but she looks spectacular anyway. The dress is so delicate and pretty.

  • ojosazules

    Her hair and makeup are so unflattering. Beautiful dress (for spring).

  • jilly_d

    Truly unexpected for KK.  She usually veers toward the edgy, but I think she looks great in this.  And I like the lipstick. *runs away*

  • Its a glorious dress, and really good for her. Not loving on the little side rolls on the hair, or the candy pink lip color. Otherwise. Lovely.

  • LOVE the dress, and very pretty look overall for Keira. My only beef is that the makeup makes her look like Ashley Madekwe, which is not a bad thing in itself, but for a major star like KK to be taking style cues from a newcomer seems strange.

  • B_C_J

    This gown is magnificent.  The color is delicious. Moreover the fact that the train begins just below her shoulder blades gives this look a fantastic retro-French feel. This is a very refined and sophisticated interpretation of a show-stopping dress.  

    The short outfit worn by the model with that ghastly see-panel at the bottom of the skirt is perhaps appropriate for a member of the “ladies-who-lunch” crowd.  However, I would hope that her poodle ate through that stupid see-through panel before the esteemed lady left her home.

  • miagain

    Sometimes, a girl just wants to look pretty!

  • SapphoPoet

    It’s pretty, but I like the shorter dress/jacket combo better. With the gown, there’s a vast expanse of shiny material between the decoration on the bodice and the decoration on the hem. Having said that, she looks really pretty; the dress suits her really well. 

  • Judy_J

    Very pretty dress; don’t love the hair, though.

  • decormaven

    Brava on the embellishments on the hem and bodice of the garment. If it were a tiny bit shorter so we could get full effect of the hemwork, a tweaking of the make-up, and perhaps a more striking choice of earrings, this might be my Pretty for the Week (so far!)

  • StellaZafella

    Keira may not be Tilda or even Zoe but, in a league of her own she can make a glorified bed sheet look downright lovely.

  • nannypoo

    Beautiful dress, hate the hair. Every time I see her I attempt that cheek sucking face and every time I fail. In the 5th picture I’m noticing a duckbill element I haven’t tried. Maybe that’s the secret.

  • bertkeeter

    Love the dress…but if the line under the bust was higher she wouldn’t look like a dwarf. The “Watteau” train is very romantic. The make up n hair not so much!

  • amaranth16

    Wow, she has been really knocking it out of the park lately. That shade of green is luscious and the embroidery is exquisite. Her hair looks underdone, but I am too overwhelmed by the loveliness of the dress to care.

  • This should be a Werq.  Just because it’s not “in your face” doesn’t mean it isn’t spectacular.

  • THAT is how it’s done.  I’m afraid I disagree on the jacket, I think the original dress/jacket combo in the runway show is a bit matronly, this just flawless.  Not sure I like the winged eyeliner or the pink lipstick but it actually works with the 50’s ish vibe of the top of the dress.  Like it very much.  Thanks for the palate cleanser guys…

  • Imasewsure

    Lovely dress… agree about the hair and especially the lipstick which is distracting…very very pretty without being dull

  • maggiemaybe

    She is SO pretty but I wish she wouldn’t do that fierce-model-duckface thing. Drives me right out of my freakin’ tree.

  • alyce1213

    Love the dress, although I prefer the shorter version.  Did someone do that to her hair?  And she paid for it? Ugh.

  • I keep looking at it thinking something is missing–and it might just be a lovely necklace. Her face and makeup are so beautiful, and a little sparkle around the neck would have been a great way to frame them. 

  • Laylalola

    Looks like a prom gown to me — shiny material, and an aunt or mom or grandma who embroidered some lovely crap and stuck it on.

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    She looks lovely, but then she’s dressed in my wedding colors so I might be biased. Soft and pretty. I think the lip color was actually a good instinct, but it needed to be a slightly more saturated fuchsia. As-is it looks like it’s rubbing off her mouth. The cat eye is making her look like a different person. 

    It’s a very springtime look, pretty as it is, and I wish she’d kept the jacket both for added interest and to bring the look into November. 

    • Lilak

      Your wedding colors?  Divine!

  • She needs to take the whole thing by the top of the bodice, and hike it up 2-3 inches, then it will be perfect. Which means, that it WAS perfect except the bodice was too loose and it slipped down. Tsk tsk to you, Keira’s Gays, you should have caught that.

  • I like the shorter version of the dress MUCH better and the Amish hairdo is atrocious.

  • dress is too long and GET YOUR HANDS OUT OF THE POCKETS! Repeat after Auntie J,  “pockets in dress clothes are NOT for my hands.” They are for small to tiny incidentals like hankies!  Fine with the hair, hate the lipstick.

  • Stephanie Leach

    I love that only one picture has her with her mouth open.

  • A B

    Way too long–would have been better tea length or short/long a la Audrey’s Sabrina dress.  The way she holds her mouth (open or lips pursed) irritates me to no end.

  • aumerle

    Though I agree with all the “hem it a little” messages, I really like the back/train, because of the reference to 18th c. sack-back gowns.

  • PrunellaV

    They’ve got to stop making that lipstick shade. It doesn’t look good on anyone.

  • The dress is gorgeous; I love a good Watteau train, but dearie that hair is awful and the eye makeup makes her look squinty. Derails the entire outfit. She is usually spot on, don’t know what happened here.

  • I have the same objections – plus it’s rather springy – but I acquiesce as you have. She looks lovely.

  • Alyson Lamble

    Can’t get behind it.  The short version is a thousand times better and I despise formal gowns with pockets.

  • What a pretty dress!  Dunno why they had to add the train though.  I kinda like the make-up but it doesn’t exactly work with the dress or the hair.  And I think the short dress with the jacket is too much, especially with that damned sheer bit on the bottom.  Oh but I love Keira <3 <3

  • Gorgeous. Love it, head to toe. 

  • PeaceBang

    I think she looks ridiculous with that bad community theatre production of “The King And I” eye make-up, Barbie lipstick, terrible hair and insane facial expression. I can’t even see the dress, seriously. 

  • librarygrrl64

    Oh, I like it better as a gown. The chiffon (?) panel at the bottom of the dress was setting off my fashion OCD. The gown is a bit too long for her, the train is superfluous, and I hate that eyeliner, but I like this overall. And POCKETS! 

  • hate that fabric as a gown it looks like it’s right out of the Lyndon Johnson Inaugural Ball

  • margaret meyers

    The Watteau back is so feminine.

  • J MN

    I think it’s lovely but hate the eye makeup.  That eyeliner ruined her eyes, doesn’t really look like Kiera.

  • neofashionista

    Gorgeous Gown but HATE LOATHE DETEST the cat eyes YUCK

  • quiltrx

    I agree it’s much prettier as a dress/jacket look.  This looks like too much volume just for the sake of it.

    And I hate her squinty damned duck-ass face.
    That is all.

  • frankystein123

    Uber face-giving skills people.

  • guest2visits

    I like the dress a little more than the gown, too. I also wish her hair had some more style to it; but still – she’s gorgeous.

  • leftcoastpickle

    LURVE this. She is gorgeous, and the dress is so so pretty! 

  • ChristinaRi

    Proving once again that a brown haired girl can always pull off pastels better than a blond.   Love those colors.

    But, I did like the runway outfit.  I’d love to be rich just to buy and wear that dress to a lovely luncheon.  For charity, of course.

  • cleep1000

    ACK! The pink lipstick. So wrong.

  • I’m not nuts about her makeup but I like that she tries different things. It’s interesting! 

  • Oh, wow. It’s like a fresh and modern take on a sack gown. I LOVE it.

  • I can’t say I like it. Everything combines to make something a little off for me

    But she just looks so beautiful and ethereal that I like her in it.