Uma Thurman in Atelier Versace

Posted on November 28, 2012

Velvet gowns, darlings. They’re tough as hell to pull off, even for the preternaturally thin.

Uma Thurman attends the 9th Annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball in an Atelier Versace gown.

But we’ve gotta say, Miss Uma’s coming damn close to making it happen here. It helps that:

  • The color is gorgeous
  • The gown has a pretty great shape to it
  • Her face is looking very refreshed.

But it all goes a little wonky around the bust and waist. And we just can’t ignore how heavy and thick the whole thing looks. Dramatic, yes; and – refreshingly! – seasonally appropriate, but this is one of those “initial impact” looks that loses its impact the longer we look at it.

But we have to admit, she really does look facially great.


[Photo Credit: Janet Mayer/, Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images]

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  • That color is one of her besties, for sure.  My only real issue is the way the fabric has been worked. Though the deliberate gathers on the cross of the bodice are well spaced, there is a volume to them that is distracting. A backing piece, to which the rear of those gathers could be tacked, would address that, and smooth the overall shape.

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      Seriously, wouldn’t you think her stylist would have made sure this was fitted to her properly?  I love the color, I love velvet; this could have been a WERQ if not for the fit issues.

      • My understanding is, that unless the alterations are reversable, such as hemming, then its not really possible with borrowed stuff like this.

    • kikisayshi

       Well now that you say that, I can appreciate the dress much more. I couldn’t see past the velvet. And it looks like her left boob needs some help.

  • Ros

    The waist shaping looks a bit like a good idea someone had on PR but then it was a one-day challenge and it didn’t quite get worked out properly.

  • RzYoung

    Personally I love velvet and when you’re wearing it you feel just lovely and you want to constantly touch it and you’re warm. I think she looks great.

  • She just had a baby right?

    • Yes, I was just thinking that her milk delivery systems are pushing proportions off….still, lovely color and festive.

      • And they likely changed size over the course of the evening too, unless she pumped backstage. 🙂

    • Sobaika

      Ahhh that explains a lot. She’s very pretty and thin here, but very different from the last image I had of her (which is from the Kill Bill days so…)

      •  Ah, that explains it. After I had a baby, I went from a respectable B/C cup to holy-shit-Dolly-Parton-gave-me-her-boobs.

        • barbarienne

           Her boobs may be lactation-enhanced, but they are also hiked way high. She’s got some serious support under that dress.

      •  My point exactly. I wanna say she doesn’t look so skinny anymore but man will people slam me for saying that. Don’t get me wrong, she’s still a gorgeous woman and she has a killer figure for a woman who just had a child. And not being skinny is not a sin, people. Anyway, “different” is still a better choice of word, I guess.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          I’d forgotten about her new baby. That does explain the fullness in her face and the boobage-and I find that all to the good. She looks lovely and fresh to me.

        • CozyCat

          Don’t worry–you aren’t the only one who had the “non skinny” thought.  I didn’t know about the baby (guess I need to allocate more time to celebrity news!); that and the heaviness of velvet explain why she looks like a normal human rather than “unnaturally thin.”  Also:  since she’s always been known for a more boyish figure, she might be enjoying and showing off the post baby curves. 

        • I would argue that she has a killer figure, period! Baby weight or not, she looks gorgeous. 

  • zenobar

    Yeah, velvet is tricky…even the highest-quality velvet (which, I have no doubt, this is) can look a little cheap under certain lighting conditions. 

    Still – love love LOVE the wintry-glam realness Ms. Uma is serving up in this gown.

  • decormaven

    My choice would be an upswept ‘do, something that repeats the wave action in the way the velvet is worked on the bodice. Plus, such a luxe fabric cries for some fabulous drop earrings. She may be wearing earrings, but we’ll never know with that hairdo. 

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      I agree; a little bling goes a long way.

  • eowyn_of_rohan

    I think she looks pretty great.  There are minor quibbles with fit, but they’re so minor they don’t detract from my overall appreciation of the look.  And she’s got that new mom glow.

  • formerlyAnon

    Living proof that full body velvet requires the right body, cut and fit.  Props to her, though, I like this a lot.

    I think the bust/waist are not so bad – looking a little busy, here, but probably not from 2-3 feet away w/ no photographer’s flash. I think the issue is between the waist & knees – the ease/drape just disappears a few inches down her thigh, which gives her the illusion of more of a belly than is probably there. if the fullness of the drape had gradually faded out around the knee, I think it’d have been more graceful.

    Not that I know how to accomplish that, mind.

    I wish her hair were more polished to go with the unmistakable fact that she is wearing a gown, not a mere dress.

  • nannypoo

    I always think she looks facially great, so that’s no big achievement. This is a very bulky dress and it doesn’t fit well in the boob area, plus it looks like it’s made from a theater curtain, so I would say she can do a lot better.

  • dsco3031

    I love this color and I love velvet in the winter. The shape is not the best, but it’s also not the best choice of fabric for gathering. I think the best way to do velvet is very simple and classic– like Duchess Kate’s black velvet gown from last winter. LOVE that.

  • Weirdly, I think this would work on a curvier woman. For someone as slim as Uma, it adds too much, but for someone who has a little more booty, it’d be fabulous. I may be wrong, but it just seems that way.

  • Introspective

    the bustline is wonky but she looks gorgeous. full stop. uma’s on my irrational love list though so i think id support whatever she did fashion wise, especially in her post-partum moment.

  • Judy_J

    Is there a more sensual fabric than velvet?  I think not.  This is a gorgeous gown, and despite the slightly weird fit in the bust, she looks fabulous.

  • Kayceed

    I think she looks pretty great – by a long velvet gown calls for some jewelry, no?

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      Especially diamonds. 🙂

  • That’s a pretty gown on a pretty lady and yes, thank jebus, finally someone dressing for the weather and the season.

  • neofashionista

    she definitely has the post natal glow

  • G

    I don’t mean to be snarky here, but what I love is that she’s not wafer thin.  She looks like she put on some weight – maybe it’s the dress – and for some reason that makes me happy…  her face does look lovely.

  • I am deeply in love with that colour on her. The dress is a bit wonky but man, she should wear that colour more often. It’s stunning.

  • I have an unnatural love for velvet gowns, but if it makes Ms. Thurman look dumpy, I really need to reconsider wearing one myself.

  • miagain

    I love velvet… I am of an age, when growing up, our fancy party dress was always a black or navy blue velveteen dress or jumper… so the inner 8 year old in me just loves this!
    I have a silk, velvet party dress now, but it is sleeveless, and has no waist, so the weight of it pulls down and keeps it neat… so I never have a wonky problem with the bust!

  • quiltrx

    She looks gorgeous, and kudos to her for wearing something not everyone could or even would try.  The color is great on her, and she looks relaxed and happy.

  • kikisayshi

    Really? My first thought was, “Yikes!” I absolutely abhor anything velvet. It just doesn’t – ugh there are no words. Just NO. But she does look fantastic from the neck up.

    • Pennymac

      I love the color, but the fit is wonky because of the velvet, I think.

  • Titscrepancy & embiggening, but I just love velvet.

    • kimmeister

      It’s like one side’s a baby head, the other side is just a baby cheek.

      • Tamara Hogan

         Yes. Definitely a titscrepancy.

  • Janet B

    She looks beautiful and the color is gorgeous on her.

    Velvet probably works better with a more simple silhouette.

  • It’s Kim Kardashian with Uma’s head. 

  • PeaceBang

    Hot Velvet Mess. Terrible hair. Her face does look beautiful. But this isn’t nearly fabulous enough for UMA.

  • kayleymaybe

    There’s something about the shape and the fabric that just reads “old” to me.

  • friedalighthouse

    I don’t know. . . does anyone else think she looks a little plastic surgery fake-y? Doesn’t look like herself to me. Love the gown, though.

  • I really wish someone wore this in June so we could hear you guys freak out

  • Contralto

    I actually gasped.  I think she looks amazing.  That color!  That shape!

  • Call me Bee

    Love.  It.  And…  Want.  It.  What a great winter dress. 

  • kimmeister

    Her face is starting to morph into Lisa Kudrow.

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      I thought the exact same thing!

  • Maya Gurantz

    Maybe one has to be 17 feet tall, as she is, to potentially pull it off.

  • Kate4queen

    It doesn’t photograph well either like satin. 🙂

  • Dot

    I bet this looked way more fabulous and dramatic in person. Velvet never photographs all that well. I kind of want to smooth her hair down, though.

  • SewingSiren

    I love velvet.

  • The only thing worse than baby heads are uneven baby heads!

  • alyce1213

    Uma hasn’t been preternaturally thin for some time now.  No matter.  She looks phenomenal — womanly, sexy, and VELVETY.
    I heart velvet. Blue, green, crimson, black . . .

  • She looks amazing.  The velvet looks lumpy.  In another fabric, this would have been swoonworthy.

  • Velvet should be allowed to flow on it’s own, not tortured into submission

  • Saucysusan

    One & 1/4 babyheads & wonky seams. Beautiful color.

  • LauraWL

    I think if she had done an updo this would have been a WERQ for me. 

  • omg com’on you know she doesn’t look facially great!!! and pointed that two thime doesn’t help! 

  • judybrowni


  • Trisha26

    She looks lovely – the best in a long time. (Except for the bust/waist as TLo mentioned.)

  • erinbinek

    Short(er) sleeves would have helped this immensely.  It’s just too much fabric.

  • ellabob

    Velvet makes you look heavy – that’s the bottom line… like you are wearing your grandma’s drapes

  • kaycem

    i die for super-dark shades of velvet, particularly blues and purples, so this is working for me.  i’m almost wondering if we’re going to go all day (or even a whole set of posts from the same event) w/o much snark…

  • Where did she get those boobs? I could swear they are new!

    • MsALVA

      She just had a baby a couple months ago. 

  • ojosazules

    I’m just so happy to see a seasonally appropriate dress that I forgive the problems.

  • oohsparkley!

    The drape is a little off in the top. I would have taken a little tuck to the waistband to pull it down on the one side.  I like it anyway, it’s a gorgeous color and material.

  • pookiesmom

    Wow, I think she looks wonderful a little more voluptuous than usual. I didn’t realize she just had a baby, but she looks fantastic.

  • Patricia Gillett

    Bodice fit ruins it. Gives her babyheads and makes her look thick. Hair and make-up are fab, though. 

  • teensmom99

    I know it’s crazy to say that Uma has a normal woman’s body but I love that this look is very elegant and yet normal . . . I kind of see at as embracing the flaws.  But I know that’s crazy talk.

  • marigi

    She looks like Jane Seymour.

  • I wonder how much botox is in her forehead.

  • MilaXX

    Face looks great, not loving the dress

  • Ages her, regardless.