Nicole Richie in Lorena Sarbu

Posted on November 07, 2012

The word for today – or at least, for this post – is “soignée,” darlings. Also: “finger waves.”


Nicole Richie attends the 1st annual Baby2Baby gala in Culver City, California in a Lorena Sarbu gown.

Lorena Sarbu Fall 2012 Collection

Who knew former boho-chick Nicole Richie could work such an elegant, ’20s-inspired look? Except for the tramp stamp, she looks like she just stepped out of a Greta Garbo movie. On a different woman, we might’ve dinged this look for being a bit to bland in the color department, but there’s enough of a contrast here that it works – and besides, the beading goes a long way in keeping it interesting. We just wish she hadn’t chosen such a bland clutch. If you’re gonna go matchy with this dress, then a metallic bronze would’ve been a better choice. Still, we think she looks pretty stunning here.



[Photo Credit: Getty,]

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  • Absolutely KILLING this. I love that she went for the smokey eye, to bring it more forward, time-wise.

    • gabbilevy

      Oh, see, I think it makes her look tired… at least, that’s how I look on Sunday morning when I forget to wash off my Saturday night makeup. Everything else, though, is magical. 

  • A. W.

    That tramp stamp is completely distracting from an otherwise A+ look.

    • 3boysful

       Yup.  It almost looks like escaped design elements from the dress leaped onto her back.

    • snarkykitten

       Why do celebs, with access to money and power, get SHITTY tattoos?!

      • sweetestsith

         Money can’t buy taste! Other than that, I think they make a lot of impulsive mistakes with the only thought being “something small enough/placed oddly enough to hide so my agent doesn’t kill me”. As a lover of good ink, I think it’s a shame. Ah well.

        • snarkykitten

           For sure…just saw ScarJo’s new tattoo and jfc does it look like a drunk kitchen wizard did it.

        • Jerrie Hasbrooks

           As if you or the other no names here have taste yourselves, what with that reverse “I may not be rich but I have sense” please there are poor dunces as there are rich ones

  • decormaven

    Her hair looks very appropriate for this design. Love the beading detail on this gown, and it’s flattering to her shape. Not fond of visible body art, but that’s a personal thing. Very interesting bracelet- wonder who designed it?

  • Wow, I absolutely love this look. Who knew Nicole Richie could ‘werk’ it better than the model. One of the first times that I’d have to say that the red carpet has won over the catwalk! 

  • MissAnnieRN

    I feel like her eyeliner is a little f-ed up.  It’s giving her lower-inner right eye a weird shape.

    But yes, she looks stunning.  

    • kimmeister

      I was more distracted by her brows in the 2nd to last pic.  They almost look like they are glowing orange.

      • Roxanne Pedro

        Seriously!  I can’t believe no one else mentioned those crazy eyebrows.  It’s like she washed her face with paint and couldn’t rinse it out of the brows.  Scary.

  • EEKstl

    She looks beautiful and that gown is GORGE!

  • G

    She looks fab… and those gorgeous dreamy eyes….

  • Can we call a moratorium on the use of the word “tramp stamp”? It’s generally just to denigrate women for daring to get tattoos (for example, the more recent idiocy of the “skank flank”). I know TLo aren’t sexist themselves, but I’m sick of the term. 
    She looks wonderful though. Agreed with the TLo commentary otherwise. 

    • SewingSiren

      She has a tattoo of a crucifix coming out of her ass. 

      • Just say you think her tattoo is tacky. Why say she has a “tramp stamp”? It’s an unnecessary connection of her aesthetic preferences to a judgment of her sexuality, which really needs to be exorcised in fashion conversations. Tacky =/= trampy.  Especially because tattoos have become so conventional and popular that it’s basically just a term used to denigrate women for having tattoos at all. It’s not like we call Heidi Klum slutty for loving tight, shiny, and short dresses, which is just as, if not more tacky than having a crucifix tattoo “coming out of her ass.” 
        Also, I think the descriptor of saying “She has a tattoo of a crucifix coming out of her ass” is funnier and more descriptive than using the generic, vague (and for those reasons, sexist term) “tramp stamp.” 

        • SewingSiren

          Why do you think I called it a tramp stamp or tacky?

          • I don’t think you’re sexist, I’ve seen you here a lot and I generally love your comments. I just think it’s an overused term that people throw around without giving thought to how it’s engineered specifically to put down women. I think it’s an easy term, which is why people are using it without a thought. But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s a good term. It’s like the term “fag hag.” Full of problematic connotations and assumptions. 

          • SewingSiren

            ?Please read my comment. I did not call the tattoo a tramp stamp. I did not call the tattoo tacky. Tacky and trampy do not mean the same thing. For that matter neither do trampy and slutty mean exactly the same thing. 
            For the record I first thought the tattoo looked like dingle berry pulled through her butt crack = filth literally.
            On second inspection I realized it was a cross. Which judging by the size scale, originates approx.. at her asshole. Which is rather vulgar or perhaps to put a finer point on it blasphemous.

          • Yeah, sorry, see my edited comment above. 
            It might be a coptic cross, in which case it wouldn’t land so low. 

    • B_C_J

       I applaud your request. The term is definitely misogynistic and while I agree that TLo is most definitely not sexist we need to be sensitive to language that demeans people simply because they belong to an identifiable group.  I am a gay man and I am certainly sensitive to certain terms when they are used to identify me as such.

    • IMNAngryLiberal

      I agree with you absolutely.  I don’t personally like body art (and I have a serious needle phobia so wouldn’t get a tat even if I did like it), but “tramp stamp” is a phrase that needs to be banished from everyone’s lexicons.

    • BrooklynBomber

      I’ve never used the term, and I appreciate your pointing out the sexism, but I would also like to see a moratorium on tattoos! That little act of rebellion is now so de rigueur for young and youngish women it’s downright conventional. And most of the time the tattoos ruin the look of elegant clothing. Whether it’s as Sewing Siren says, “the crucifix coming out of her ass,” or the little angel wings on her shoulder blades, for me they ruin an otherwise gorgeous look.

      • I think the fact that they’re so mainstream and conventional is why we need to stop using the term, because it’s basically a blanket assertion that you get to judge her sexuality for her aesthetic choices. 
        Just say you think her tattoo is tacky. Why say she has a “tramp stamp”? 

        • l_c_ann

          Because T**** Stamp tells us where it is? 

          Heck, there are probably “in” names for the boob tats and others for the tats that point to the good china.  There’s a whole tat world out there. 

          •  I always called them ass antlers. Because that’s what they look like…

          • That’s a funny one! Especially for ‘tribal’ tattoos (which are generally so generic that I don’t understand why people get them). 

          •  That’s what they call them in Germany! “Arsch Geweih”! I about died when my husband told me that, so much more descriptive.

          • It tells us that she chose to have a tattoo that is appropriate for work because it is generally covered up by any combination of work clothes she chooses and assumes she did it for the purpose of the male gaze and judges her by sexualizing it as “tramp.” 
            It’s a lower back tattoo. Is that so much harder than writing “tramp stamp” and not adding sexist connotations to it? 
            And GEE, the “names” for tattoos are only for women’s tattoos, and are all denigrating as to women’s sexuality. But that’s not sexist in your eyes? 

          • tereliz

            I object to the term tramp stamp on so many levels, but mostly because I do have a lower back tattoo, and HOLYFUCKINGSHIT it is a really painful area to be tattooed on. A large part of the reason I chose lower back (and my only other tatt is between my shoulder blades) was because I was going to college for museum studies and knew I’d be working in a conservative environment someday. 

            To nitpick, a “stamp” implies something relatively small, and mine is fairly large, so I find it as inaccurate as I do demeaning. 🙂

          • I have a tattoo on my low back as well. Ditto.

        • BrooklynBomber

          Are you replying to me? in case you are, I hope I was clear that I don’t use the term “tramp stamp” and am in agreement about the sexism. I’m just sick of seeing tattoos everywhere.

          • I was generalizing. Sorry about that. Too many different threads. 
            I have a problem with impersonal and unimaginative tattoos because if you’re going to put something on your body forever, I don’t understand picking something without a lot of personal meaning to you. But that’s me. 
            I’ve long been considering fibonacci spirals on my shoulderblades, but shoulderblade tattoos (and tattoos in general) are almost as denigrated on women as “tramp stamps.”

          • zuzu

             I put my tat on my lower back (before the term “tramp stamp” became A Thing) because my lower back won’t be migrating anywhere in 20 years.  Nor will my shoulder, which is my next option.  Those are also, as you pointed out, easy to cover up at work. I’m glad you’re taking a stand on that misogynist term.

            I will say this: it’s hella painful to have ink done on your sacrum.

          • Yeah. They’re literally the most convenient places for a woman to have a tattoo that won’t become deformed. 

          •  I have one tattoo. It’s on my forearm. Because, dammit, if I’m going to spend the time & money to get inked, I want it visible & I want people to ask me about it.

          • Eh. For some people, they can’t have visible tattoos because of their jobs. I know a lot of law students with tattoos. 

          •  Fortunately, I don’t fall into that category. And I’m old enough now that I wouldn’t want to work for a company that was so conservative that a tattoo would keep them from hiring me.

      • DeborahJozayt

        You’re almost more of a rebel for not having a tattoo anymore than having one 🙂

    • MilaXX

       I call them tramp stamps even when they are on men, but I agree there is a bit of a sexist/stereotypical overtone to the phrase, much like calling t-back t-shirts “wife beaters”.

      • I just think we’re long past the term because tattoos are so mainstream. (Also, the use of the phrase as to men also has the implied point of denigrating him for being effeminate, which is also sexist in it’s gender-normativity, but that’s a subtler point). I just don’t know why we’re connecting tattoos to sexuality. 

        • MilaXX

          I’ve actually known 2 straight guys with them.

      • BrooklynBomber

        I really despise the term “wife beater.”

        • kimmeister

          Same here.  I won’t use it.  I just call them ribbed tanks.

      • “I call them tramp stamps even when they are on men”

        So do we. It’s a common term among gay men. 

    • Gabbi Trimmings

      amen to that, I have tattoos and wanted to get one on my lower back but decided against it purely because people would judge me and think I’m ‘easy’. It’s really upsetting, I’m a normal girl who happens to think it’s a good place on the body to get inked.

      • This. It’s denigrated because it’s a place where a woman could easily get a tattoo and still be appropriate for work (because most other places might show at some point), and it’s partially called a tramp stamp because you can only see it when the woman is in a state of undress or revealing skin, which is implied to only be if she’s a “tramp.” It’s all very based in the male gaze which assumes women adorn their bodies for men rather than for themselves. 

  • Janet B

    Very pretty look for her.

  • MissMariRose

    Even with the visible tramp stamp, this is a WERQ for me. She was born to wear 20s inspired fashion.

    • Freyja Canidae

      definitely! she’s got the bedroom eyes and tiny waif-like figure necessary to pull off serious flapper fashion without looking costume-y. boho-flapper is totally her thing, and i think she rocks it.

  • nannypoo

    I don’t like her hair but I agree that it’s the right choice for this beautiful gown. I wonder how old you have to be to realize that your tramp stamp is sagging into your butt crack and reminding everyone that you were once young enough to think a tramp stamp would be a good idea. Lucky for her that day is a long way off, and today she looks beautiful.

  • GORGEOUS. I love that dress, and she has the right figure for it.

  • lundibleu

    I think she looks really good… except for the overdone eyes. A little less on them and it would be near-as-dammit spot on. Tramp stamp not withstanding, obviously 🙂

  • Lovely jewellery too.

  • SewingSiren

    Elegance and refinement from the front. Dirty butt crack from the back. It’s a doggone shame.

  • mjude

    the dress is really pretty.  she looks great.

  • imspinningaround

    I loved this look when I could only see the front, and I was blown away by its daring when I got a shot of the back.  Snaps up, Nicole Richie!

    (In ivory, silver, and gold, wouldn’t this make an incredibly chic, sexy wedding dress?)

  • Pants_are_a_must

    She’s a bit…one color all over, non? The hair, face and eyes all seem to be the same shade of gold, which doesn’t contribute to the bland color of the dress. It’s a beautiful dress, though.

  • MilaXX

    She looks great, but I have quibbles. She should have covered the tramp stamp because it really does cheapen the look here. I don’t mind the wing tats, but I can’t with the tramp stamp. Also not feeling the makeup. She’s another one who often defaults to the smokey. Her eyes are pretty so I get that she often features them in her makeup but she also tends to have dark circles under her eyes and this look seems to emphasize it . Perhaps it’s the color. She may have needed to break up all that pinkish tan color she had going on between her skin and the dress.

  • Love the look but the dye job on her eyebrows is bugging me.

  • schadenfreudelicious

    she certainly has the face and figure to work that “Gatsbyesque” look…a shame about the tramp stamp however….

  • mmc2315

    I want to take a tissue out of my purse and wipe away the smudge under her eyes.

    The dress looks great on her.  I might be showing my age, but my heart sank when I saw the back.  The tats ruin it for me.

  • Lilithcat

    Is this the same Nicole Richie who was on All on the Line?  Because she looks like a totally different person.  This one can actually dress herself.  (On the other hand, the tattoos look vulgar.)

  • I really love this look on her. She has classed herself up immensely since her days with Paris Hilton.  I will say that low back is a bit loose (for lack of a better term) and I’m afraid with one wrong move we’ll be seeing more than just that tramp stamp.  

  • RzYoung

    I LOVE it when she does 20s, I think she’s done it before. I’m sure I’ve seen her in finger waves, it really suits her – as it does Drew Barrymore

  • eowyn_of_rohan

    I think this is the best I’ve ever seen her look.

  • jw_ny

    The gown and hair are lovely…makeup tho, makes her look kind of sickly.  

  • The dress reminds me of a Gustav Klimt painting. Absolutely stunning. A slightly less risque cut in the back would raise the elegance of this gown in my eyes. 

    • kimmeister

      Exactly, I feel like I’m about to shout out “Say no to crack!”

  • Tatiana Luján

    I wish she went lower on the selftanner. God, she looks so orange!
    The dress is great, but I also wish it didn’t go so low in the back.

  • bertkeeter

    Very nice….but a tad more shape on the body would have been a good look…just a a tad!

  • MoHub

    I think the problem is that the dress—although fabulous—is too long for her from top to bottom, rendering the back plunge far too deep and placing the horizontal detail on the skirt at her knees rather than mid-thigh as it is on the model. However, she seems born to wear the ’20s look. 

  • granddelusion

    She looks great. I would have preferred the back to be just a tad higher (which would have, coincidentally, covered the tattoo). she’s straddling the line to slutville.

  • eandh99

    sorry for the double post – it IS a lovely dress

  • Sorry, I think the hair (which is beautiful) makes it costume-y and therefore, I like it better on the model 

  • eandh99

    the tattoos, especially the base-of-the-spine one, ruin the look for me – give this dress to Vanessa Paradis, who can rock the 20s gamine style with class.

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    LOVE the dress – hate the makeup.  It makes her look tired.

    • Agree completely.  Terrible make-up.  She has a tendancy towards undereye shadows and I think the smoky eye just emphasizes it.  I have the same problem and I have yet to figure out how to wear a smoky eye without looking completely wiped out.

  • Her hippie look melds surprisingly well with Deco. She looks pretty damn fab in that dress.

  • Not a fan of died eyebrows. 

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    I just don’t like tattoos much.  They distract from most fashion looks in my opinion.  And typically they fade – even the prettiest ones don’t seem to look nice after time has passed.  They all seem to turn this weird sad shade of green – and they lose their sharpness.  Am not a fan.  

  • tessasouthworth

    That gown is so exquisite that it belongs in a museum! It makes me long for The new Great Gatsby movie to open (and hopefully read TLo’s style posts about it)!

  • Her tacky tattoos are ruining the entire look for me. A cross in your ass crack, really? 

  • Bill Curtis

    It’s reading a little mid-century wallpaper to me.

  • Anathema_Device

    Great dress and it looks wonderful on her. Her makeup is really bugging me, though. Too heavy? The eye makeup in particular looks really bad, distractingly so.

  • j_anson

    Yeah, this is a great look for her. A WERQ for me.

  • Love the dress & she’s working it.  In the one shot it looks like her eyebrows have been colored the exact shade as her hair; I find that a little “off”.

  • Contralto

    She looks great.  I think she has become more beautiful, in an interesting way, as she has aged.

    • formerlyAnon

       I think she’s learned to showcase her own beauty.

  • She looks like she was crying or something.  Makeup is ‘off’.

  • Lisa Dugan

    Gorgeous.  She looks better than the model.  Love the angel wing tattoos on her back.

  • Joyce VG

    She’s come a long way.  She looks beautiful and happy.

  • teensmom99

    What you said; also, ombre hair that looks good!

  • watchmeboogie

    Yikes, girl needs some undereye concealer, stat.

    Also, her brow powder is pee-colored.

  • Lisa Kramp

    Like everything but the neutral lip…makes her look ten years older!

  • Absolutely love it! She’s glowing!

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    She looks pretty fabulous. I wish that her eyebrows were little darker, since the color palette here is so monochrome, and I agree that the clutch should have been metallic. It’s a fantastic shape for her bod, and something I expect to see more of with The Great Gatsby coming out soon.

  • Ann

    Regardless of what you want to call the tat coming out of her ass, it ruins a gorgeous, elegant look. I think if you are going to put a tat there, you need to commit to wearing formal red-carpet attire that covers it. Showing it while wearing a swimsuit is fine, but it looks horribly tacky with an evening gown.

  • crash1212

    Gorgeous. That is all. (aside: I wonder how many women are lamenting their tramp stamps as they get older….too bad, really.)

  • MoHub

    Would love to see her with a ’20s beestung lip.

  • formerlyAnon

    My first though was “1920s faux Russian nobility in exile.” All she lacks is a cigarette holder & she could have stepped out of one of the Lucia novels. (E.F. Benson).

    I really, really love that hair. I’m glad that between-the-wars hair seems to be sneaking back into fashion.

  • TheDivineMissAnn

    Love that bracelet!

  • Dana Dellus

    Did anyone see the orange color something she had in her eyebrows? in the shot of just the face it looks like she has an orange eye shadow on them… does anyone else see it?

  • Trisha26

    Hideous – tramp stamp, angel wings (seriously?!), no bra (because she doesn’t need one), no hips, and horribly depressing eye makeup. What’s not to like?

    • Lilak

      It’s the awful makeup, the back view, and the virtually monochromatic head to toe that are killing me.
        I’m concerned that, though she’s certainly not near it yet, she’s going to be flirting with the mutton-dressed-as-lamb zone earlier than she should.

  • spooki C

    Every so often she totally brings it. This is one of those times. 

  • Esz

    Love this outfit! Her hair is fantastic. She’s become quite the glamour (in the finest sense of the word) as she’s grown up.

  • LeifBallard

    kind of obsessed with this whole look! You go Nicole!

  • quiltrx

    She looks pretty great here, though I’m having trouble understanding why her eyebrows are orange.

    (there appears to be a weird vertical tanner-line on her neck, so maybe the stuff just got WAY out of hand.)

  • decormaven

    Good call!

  • lesmaha

    Is this a WERQ? She looks amazing here!

  • Her make up though… She looks like she’s dying of consumption.o