Adele in Valentino Couture

Posted on February 11, 2013

We wish you all could have seen our faces when we caught sight of Adele last night.  The phrase “open-mouthed horror” springs to mind.


Adele attends the 2013 Grammy Awards in a Valentino couture dress.

Valentino Spring 2013 Couture Collection/Model: Meghan Collison (NEXT)

Girl, we don’t know who the hell talked you into this, but they’re clearly either blind or insane. Possibly both. We can’t shake the feeling that the top half of her pops off and there’s a smaller Adele on the inside, then a smaller one inside that, until you get to the last one, which is a tiny, baby-sized Adele. Matryoshkas are cute, but seldom fierce, Adele. Remember that next time you get the urge to mimic one.

We’re not even going to bother breaking this one down. The shape is horribly unflattering and the print is too busy for her and too twee by half. Of course the real crime here is the footwear, but we’re afraid we may have to retire to our fainting couches if we spend too much time focusing on it. Suffice it to say, NONE of this is working for us.


[Photo Credit: Andrew Evans/PR Photos,]

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  • lovelyivy

    … this fabric is not even something you’d see on a couch. It looks like she’s wearing a tea cozy.

    Hair and makeup is SUPER Peyton’s Place, and I know that’s kind of her thing, but it looks like she is desperately in need of an update there too.

    • StellaZafella

       Swiss gone aMiss.

    • I could not unsee Mrs. Garrett from The Facts of Life.

      • MilaXX

         I was thinking Ethel Mertz, but yours is spot on.

        • Call me Bee

          Kinda Sally Rogers, too.  But that’s her thing–I like her hair and makeup here alot. 

          • I’m seeing Lulu Roman from back in the day – especially with the hands-on-the-hips pose.

          • Robyn Garrett

            For me it’s all Betty Draper: The Plus Sized Years.

    • JosephLamour

       Little Miss Muffet realness. The spider gets scared away by Adele in this version, though.

      • lovelyivy

         A poster on another board also made the style connection to Evilene from the Wiz. I leave it to the readers (with the assistance of Google) to decide.

    •  Why am I suddenly fixated on the dancing teapot from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast?

    • YES!!!  This one was Laugh-Out-Loud funny.  She def looks like a tea cozy and that is not how one wants to appear in public on a day that is not Halloween.  But thanks for the laugh.  Good stuff.

  • I get that she is a bit uncomfortable with her shape — it’s clear from the dresses she chooses. But this is so frumpy, so aging and so AWFUL — I wish we could get Stacey and Clinton to work with Adele and convince her that she can look like a hot young woman. She doesn’t have to dress like a middle-aged woman from the mid-1960s. 

    • Sobaika

      I don’t think she is uncomfortable with her shape, far from it. More like she/her people have no idea how to dress it. She’s sort of Grammy royalty, I don’t know why a designer couldn’t custom something fabulous for her.

      • SassieCassy

        esp. last year was an all-eyes-on-adele moment so yeah, designers should be lining up. maybe she just doesnt give a spit tho.

      • Mary229

        I agree. I think Adele has very good body confidence and never apologizes for it. She just needs some different choices in her wardrobe.

        • True, and I’m glad she hasn’t gone on an extreme diet — but she always seems so covered up at these events. I’m not saying she needs to lose weight or go the short-and-shiny route, but would it be such a crime to show a little cleavage or even her arms? And the makeup and hair are really aging too. 

          • Sobaika

            That’s her thing, the throwback lashes and hair of the 60s. I know it’s not terribly popular, but I think it suits her musical style, face, and lovely eyes.

          • Denise Alden


          • filmcricket

            There’s a way to do 60s without looking quite so matronly, though. I don’t mind the eye make-up at all, but that hairdo is not her best friend. She and Taylor Swift are only about 18 months apart in age, but she looks like she could be Tay-Tay’s mom with that hair.

          • lovelyivy

             This! Upthread the comparison that was most apt was Mrs. Garrett from the Facts of Life. It’s her ‘thing’ but it also ages her a solid decade or more.

          • MilaXX

             I don’t mind the hair and lashes, it’s the clothes that are painful to me.  She could do so much better.

          • Kimbolina

            I wouldn’t mind long sleeves on her with the dress if they had kept the original sleeves.  Less embellishment.

      • makeityourself

        This dress WAS custom made for her.  Valentino doesn’t sell this collection in her size.  

        • Sobaika

          It was not designed for her, unlike say Florence’s Givenchy.

          • makeityourself

            Yes, but you didn’t say “design” in your original comment.  Most world-renowned designers don’t know what to do with larger women, as they choose to ignore that market.  I wonder what the Valentino team was thinking when they put this together for Adele, and how the entire arrangement came to be.

            Did she fall in love with the dress and insist on it, or did she go to Valentino and say “dress me please,” and they made the selection.  Did the Valentino team tell her she looked  just fabulous in it, like so many sales associates in dressing rooms of designer boutiques, knowing full well that she did not, or did they think it was just great that Adele would want to wear their label?  The backstory always fascinates me in situations like this.

          • SassieCassy

            i think we all know custom means designed for. chanel and valentino do plus size but this collection is very new so idk.

            isnt it usually a stylist and their team who does this? so like valentino and other designers sent over whatever they have in adele’s size, and the stylist and celeb make the choices? anyway her stylist should be ashamed.

    •  She isn’t uncomfortable with her shape and has said so many times.  It’s a good chunk of everybody else who seems to be uncomfortable with it.

  • Annabelle Archer

    Well shit.  She will never again try to step away from her usual black, Italian widow style of dressing again.  

    • Sobaika

      Nor should she, if this is the alternative.

    • cooperalden

      And I guess wearing Chanel is no longer an option.  Thanks Karl!!

      • Sobaika

        Awww. I remember reading that she collects Chanel handbags and in apology for his comments he sent over a bunch from the Chanel archives. There’s hope yet!

        • SassieCassy

          karl is so rude esp. since he is a zombie looking creature who wasnt so thin either

  • Ceur

    I don’t know why, but I absolutely do not mind this dress at all. It’s Adele in something short and flowery, I just have to give my thumbs up.

    • Mismarker

      I agree.  She looked happy and I was just glad to see her in something other than her requisite black.  Baby steps, people.  

      • Denise Alden

        Yes, baby steps, indeed!

      • ComeLetsTalk

        This isn’t baby steps, this straight up embryonic stem celling.

    • mjude

      i am with you.   i was kinda excited to see the print last night.  i didnt watch much of the show but i did see her win & she was having fun.  so why not?

    • Carla_Charlton

      I agree.  I think the length could be better and I would have preferred the original lighter material on the top, but overall it’s pretty and I think it’s great that she doesn’t always wear black or navy.

    • Denise Alden

      Me, too!

    • ConnieBV

      This. Headed in the right direction, even if the shoes did make me cringe.

    • Wendi126

      I bet she smells like warm popovers and pudding and scones with clotted cream. I want her to give me a big hug. I do think the dress is hideous however.

    • Rrroza

      I agree. It’s not perfect, somewhat cartoonish, but I like it. Even the shoes. She’s her own thing, good for her!
      (the model version is really gorgeous. Would love to see it on someone, but that probably won’t happen now)

    • I LOVE this dress and I would wear it in a hot minute.  I gasped in a good way when I saw her, she looks great and she looks like she loves how she looks and feels confident in this dress and shouldn’t THAT be what getting dressed up is all about?  I’m so with you!

    • i like it, too. its not perfect – the shoes are too matchy, a belt might have helped, and it took me a moment to get used to the skirt length – but its still cute.

    • Verascity

       Yeah, I’m really surprised by the hatred. I think it’s perfectly fine.

    • AZU403

      I would have liked it with a longer hem, and I prefer the patterning on the runway model’s version. But I get that she is saying “HERE I AM!”

    • Shannon Maxham

       Agreed. I love the shape of the skirt, the pattern — the whole thing. I will admit that the whole package reminds me of something out of a Dr. Seuss book, which maybe doesn’t read as Grammys, but in my world Dr. Seuss is a high compliment. Go, Adele!

  • Sobaika

    She looks like a couch/cupcake hybrid. This is not a compliment. The printed shoes are a confusing choice.

    • SassieCassy

      so matchy! lip color all the way to the shoes

      • ccinnc

        Is the model also wearing these shoes? It appears so. Of course, they’re mostly covered by the length. I’ll give her this, she looks happy and has amazing eyes.

    • charlotte

       I thought toilet roll holder shaped like a cupcake. Bad either way.

  • I think it would’ve worked better with a different neckline and less hideous shoes! 

    • MoHub

       And the original length.

      • SassieCassy

        i think that would make her look bigger and shorter

    • capybara_cafe

       I bet you’re right, a different neckline may have done wonders for it.

  • Oh, dear god. There are dresses that are friends to the curvy girl (SEE: Shoji, Tadashi), and this is not one of them.

  • A scoop neckline might have saved this. And a less matchy manicure.

    • janiemary

      Yes… a different neckline!  When I first saw it last night, it looked so tight up around her neck that I thought she had it on backwards… like a straight jacket!  A hideous old floral couch straight jacket but one none the less!

    • Kimbolina

      Agree about the neckline.  Boatneck might have worked too.

      •  I have a similar body shape and boatnecks – although I love them – give me pillowboob.

    • sojourneryouth

       I agree–any type of open neckline would help a lot.  I also think that the original design with the same thinner fabric up top would have helped, as well, and having it be longer and more flowing at the bottom, like the original.  Having so much of that brocade-like heavy in the bodice makes it too stiff and matronly.  The fabric contrast in the original version lightened that up considerably, making the design more youthful.  I am really, really, REALLY glad she isn’t wearing another black tent, so I am heartened that she is stepping out of her box here.

  • Tatiana Luján

    I don’t find the whole dress unflattering, just the neckline.
    The shoes are hideous and so are the nails, hair and makeup.
    She’s made that over the top/super fake makeup + old lady hairstyle her trademark, but I wish she sported younger styling.

    • I actually think the shape is nice and the fabric isn’t horrid (but then, as a bigger girl, I always prefer solids.)  I agree, the neckline is the worst part.

      • Denise Alden

        That’s funny, because, this big girl loves a pattern!  Different strokes, no?

        • I bought a patterned dress the other day.  I’ve worn it twice and have gotten so many compliments. Trying to step out my comfort zone.  🙂  Perhaps I shouldn’t have equated my size with my love of solid colors as I also liked solids when I was much smaller.  Hehe. 

  • “Tea cozy” is a good comparison, but I like her for taking the risk.

  • Looks like something Queen Elizabeth would be wearing for inspecting her horse stables… wearing rubber boots and a green head scarf. 

  • karenbttc

    I said on Twitter last night… she’s wearing my Bat Mitzvah dress… from 1987.

  • EverybodysStarling

    On the one hand, this is truly and terribly awful – but on the other side: wasn’t everbody complaining about her wearing boring lbds all the time? I mean, ok, this is goddamnawful, but she tried. Babysteps. 

  • Scimommy

    I think she looks cute! Like a matryoshka, yes, but an adorable matryoshka that I would put on my mantlepiece (if I had one) and it would cheer me up when the day is dull and gray (like today).

  • Mary229

    Yeah….this is not the best look. Luckily, once she opens her mouth and that stunning voice comes out I don’t quite care what she is wearing.

    I’m continuing my trend here of being overly apologetic for the people I find super talented. I can’t help it. I basically have a talent/fug bell curve I work from. The less talented you are the less room to wear ugly clothes.

    • greyhoundgirl

      Stunning personality, too!  

    • Carrieanno

      Singing the same song (figuratively speaking).  I doubt she cares what anyone thinks either.  She’s fabulous no matter what.

  • at least it’s not totally black….? baby steps, right?

  • Janet B

    I wouldn’t have dressed Adele in it, but I like the fabric.

  • FrayedMachine

    You know, I’ve been seeing a lot of people giving her gripe for this but I outright love it. It’s definitely too busy for her but 1.) I think it’s great to see her stepping out of her shell and experimenting. It’s great to see her in color and even more exciting to see her in print. I also am pretty confused over the constant verdict that the shape’s not flattering on her. I think it makes her look great, though there’s definitely some room for improvement for structuring the top/bodice of the dress. It’s a cute and fun little piece and just over all more and more exciting since she’s so typically in all black/full length/full coverage/nunnery-esque attire. 
    The one thing I will definitely agree on is the shoes. Definitely not crazy about them and something else, probably anything else would have been better.

    • capybara_cafe

       Maybe the print and the overall stiff appearance are tricking the eye in to thinking it’s not a good shape. I agree with you that the shape would be ok for her with a different fabric. It gives her a great waist.

    • Denise Alden

      Well said.  Agreed.

  • SoThenISaid

    I like it. I do. As a not-skinny-woman myself I sometimes feel like I’m playing on a whole other sartorial playing field where the goal isn’t sexy or slimming but fun and memorable. I like the pattern, I like the sleeves, I like the color. I could have done with less eyelash action. I know I’ll be in the (vast) minority, but I think she looks good.

  • Apostol Tolev

    To me she looks fresh, adorable and even a little bit fierce. I don’t agree about the “unflattering” shape. To me she looks fun with a hint of vintage and her personality shines.

    • mhleta

      This has potential, but it’s too much pattern. If the bottom had been done in black raw silk, or peau de soie in a wide box pleat with the pattern just showing through between the pleats it might have broken it up a bit, sat a little closer to her body and had some interesting movement to it. The pattern on the sleeves is also a bit cloying.

      • filmcricket

        That sounds like a fantastic fix, actually, well-done.

  • Awww, she’s a little teapot!

  • It’s not my favorite look she’s ever worn, but I think she looks great and I like that she tried something different. Your melodramatic overreaction seems to presume that every woman (especially those who who aren’t skinny-minnies) wants to look small. I don’t think she looks uncomfortable at all — perhaps weight bias is distorting your perception?

    •  BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She looks VERY confident (I don’t see a lick of shame on her face that she is NOT a size zero).  She looks happy, don’t you know behind those eyelashes she is thinking ‘don’t you wish you could wear this bitches’? with that wonderful laugh? If she thought this that horrible, wouldn’t she be wearing a shawl? (or gone in the back). Good for you Adelle for working the hell out of it. can’t wait for ’22’.

      (okay I do admit my first thought was a laugh of ‘oh look, miss piggy legs’ (but I also have Miss Piggy’s Guide to life proudly on my bookshelf)

    • Perhaps your need to find weight bias is distorting yours because we never once mentioned her size or weight.

      •  You say it looks unflattering but it doesn’t! she looks big – so what?

        •  We said her dress was unflattering. You said she “looks big.” And we’re the insensitive ones?

      • For the record, I don’t *need* to find weight bias — it finds me all too often… 😉 But when you lead with “open-mouthed horror,” and then refer to her as a set of Russian nesting dolls containing smaller Adeles, it sounds like you’re saying she looks too big. 

        • Yes, when you take tiny chunks of our words out of context like that, it can sound like practically anything. But it’s more than clear, when you read the entire thing, we’re talking about the dress and not about her size.

          • Annabelle Archer

            That makes me a sad Panda TLo.  As a woman who is certainly not a size 6 and who has learned so much about fashion because of this site, it bums me out that hypersensitive chicks who go out of their way to get their feelings hurt on behalf of the bigger girls will dictate your postings. I would love to see more full figured celebs covered here, I can relate to those women and your comments on what they could do to look better would be as fun and educational as your comments on the skinny women.  Cracked out fashion choices and our snark about them should be equal opportunity.  

            Also, accurately and truthfully commenting on a person’s size is not the same thing as saying something negative and hurtful about it. The pussification of America continues. 

  • Theodora_Rose

    While this is definitely not without it’s issues, I really don’t think it’s as bad as it’s being made out to be. The styling certainly leaves something to be desired, I’m not sure what possessed her to choose those shoes, but I like the print and it’s something different from her so kudos to her for stepping out of her comfort zone for once. 

  • How do dresses like this get made?  It looks horrible on the runway and on Adele.  What was the designer thinking? What was Adele thinking? What was her stylist thinking?  The only one who can’t be blamed for this is the runway model- they get no choice in the drek they have to wear.

  • BrooklynBomber

    It’s fabulous on the model. But Adele looks like Mrs. Mondello all dressed up for 25th anniversary.

  • Well, at least her nails look gorgeous.

  • *brings tea and snuff*

    Okay, but you see what she was going for, and it’s not a bad idea, right?  I think she was trying to do a mod sort of thing (which would look great on her, properly executed), and she just missed the target.  (By a lot.  But still.)

  • This is a clear example of couture vs. RTW (or whatever this is).  The runway garment has appliques on the sleeves, lightly applied, and the bodice fabric is over a light liner, not black. The neck in the couture is a flattering V. Obviously the length is different.  I think she should have sprung for the original. I think it’s fresh and different.  Unfortunately, the translation didn’t work.

    • annyb

      Just what I was thinking – this looks like the knockoff version. The couture neckline, bodice and sleeves look interesting and well-worked, while on A’s version they look cheap and heavy.


  • BrooklynBomber

    Also, I prefer the original version’s bodice. It loses something when the skirt pattern is up top, too. Plus I think the original length (with original bodice) is better.

  • I actually really like it–it feels to me less like she inadvertently chose an unflattering silhouette and more like she’s making a deliberate point that she isn’t a size zero like the rest of them. She looks like the life of the party.

  • mhleta

    Well, I suppose we can be grateful she didn’t do the floor-length version or we would have had Mother Ginger from The Nutcracker with all the children coming out from under her skirts. 

  • Kathy_Marlow

    I thought I might think the color was good on her…but I snapped out of it. The whole thing is tragic and she’s a beautiful woman. 

  • To quote TLo:


  • stubbornthoughts

    I dunno, Uncles. I kinda dig this on her, in a “I know I’m in costume but I love it” sort of way. She’s workin’ it for me.

  • jilly_d

    I don’t mind the print on her, but it would have been saved by leaving the length, dropping the neckline, and possibly cutting the sleeves to 3/4 length.

  • She looks great to me! 

  • The silver lining is that she at least tried color instead of staying in the all black outfits she is always sporting.  On the other hand, as a bigger girl myself,  we know that two things don’t work for us 1) large busy prints (especially over the bust) and 2)  high neck outfits rarely flatter.

  • fabulousrobots

    I LOVE this. I think it’s so 60s and if I saw this at a vintage or thrift store I would buy it immediately. There are lots of curvy people that dress like this and I love it.

  • Molly

    Not only do I like the dress, I would wear it! She’s usually all dressed in stern looking black. Her look makes me smile, and she looks happy.

  • Jamie Sanders

    I totally said she looked like a Russian doll right before I read this post! I just think she’s so beautiful, and this is a travesty.

  • Dear Adele – Dolores Umbridge called. She wants her dress back.

  • schadenfreudelicious

    in this case the curtains really do match the carpet….

  • Pants_are_a_must

    WHY IS SHE WEARING A SOFA COVER? I know this is abandoning the widow’s weeds, but WOMAN. WHY.

    And oh, the SHOES. Adele, I love you SO MUCH, but you’re killing me here.

  • becky tonkin

    completely disagree, i though she looked AMAZEBALLS! and that’s a good thing.

  • Grandma’s drapes.  Awful.  It’s too bad because I love her.

  • bookish

    Oh dear. She looks like she’s about to go out square dancing.

  • I love Adele but this dress was just so bad.  She’s not even that big and the dress made her look huge.  

  • Jessica Goldstein

    She knows it, too. The look on her face is not at all confident. The real pity is that she finally chose an actual color! Back to black for her…

  • decormaven

    OK, I will spring for kudos on the vintage earrings, but that is it. Wrong shape, wrong length and I can’t even go there on the hiddy footwear.

  • Susan Collier

    Betty Draper-Francis in da house!

  • j_anson

    Yeah, I’m one of those who’s not seeing it as being as horribly unflattering as y’all are. It’s got issues but I like it in some ways too. I do have to admit I’ve never been crazy about her hair.

  • kolokOlchik

    The first thought that sprung to mind when I saw this was that she looks like “baba on the teapot” which is a common Russian tea accessory – a teapot warmer that resembles a Russian peasant woman in traditional costume

  • I kind of love the original runway dress.  It has different sleeves, length, bodice, neckline.  What Adele got sent to wear takes all of the worst aspects of the runway dress and magnifies them.

  • shelley514

    I couldn’t agree more with T & Lo on this one.  I had the same reaction when I saw Adele step from the car in this number.  The ONLY thing I can say on a bit of a positive front is that at least Adele strayed from her usual black; red works for her but obviously not this red or this print. 

  • My sister was pretty bent out of shape, as a plus size woman, that everyone was trashing Adele on line last night- thinking it had something to do with her weight. Well TLo have trained me well and I was all “that dress would look like ass even on Taylor Swift”…. then I knew I could count on you for supporting criticism, just like a college term paper. Thank you boys- I love you – and am still reading every day!! XXOO

  • The dress and shoes are HORRIFYING. That’s all I can say about this without going into a fit of hysterics.

  • Corsetmaker

    It could’ve done with a bit of contrast, or a bit more skin (interesting the catwalk version has more plain sheer on the sleeves) but I don’t hate it as much as you guys. It’s very 60s retro and the print is cool. 

    As for the shoes. So, matchy is a thing, just as it used to be a thing. Un-matchy was just as much a thing in between – not a permanent rule, just an era specific one.

  • kschwarting

    Well, she looks upholstered like a brothel couch, and therefore larger than she actually is–but on the other hand, it’s so very Adele somehow.

  • I just had a vision of you two fellows, with your hands covering your faces mid-faint with this lovely couch there to catch your fall. Lulz!

  • Airkisses

    judging by the comments, it sounds like if TLo had made this post an In or Out, it might very well have been voted IN.

  • warontara

    I love Adele, and think she is gorgeous. This entire ensemble is hideous.

  • Zippypie

    Oh, that poor girl.  That poor poor girl.  Who did that to her?

  • crash1212

    You know – Adele isn’t a fashionista and never claimed to be. She’s an original with a voice from some ethereal place, coupled with a witty, sly, raucous sense of humor…and she can wear whatever she damn well pleases….IMHO.

  • It’s a hideous dress that I wouldn’t wish on anyone but maybe Katy Perry could have pulled this look off. As for Adele, the busy textile just pulls focus from her beautiful face.

  • capybara_cafe

    The sleeves on the original aren’t as bad as on her version, but I can’t say a lot for this in either version. It seemed so stiff when she walked. I wonder if it was uncomfortable. She’s so pretty, I hate to see her in something so unflattering and just downright fugly.

  • DaveUWSNYC

    Tablecloth at a traditional festival in Warsaw.

  • Stubenville

    I believe someone was thinking of dazzle painting, the WWI camouflage for ships. Seriously, some stylist or designer thought a busy pattern would distract the eye. But you have to give Adele props for doing her best to work it. That shape is terribly unflattering on her and the pattern just overwhelms. But those shoes! Take them out and burn them IMMEDIATELY!

  • The only thing I actually hate is the full skirt. The shoes are awfully matchy, but they’re super cute on their own.

  • Denise Alden

    I has a sad. :(.  I loved this on her, though I agree the shoes are not good, and even I (who truly believes ‘the higher the hair, the closer to god’ maxim) think the hair is a little too much “Attack from Planet B”.

    •  I hate the shoes, but thought she looked lovely in this too. 

  • krystinamarie

    Love her, but she looks like Mrs. Doubtfire in this getup.

  • twocee

    I agree with others that at least it’s not all black, but my first reaction was Victorian couch.  I closely mimicked TLo’s  “open-mouthed horror.”  Oh well, at least she looked happy, won something, and was her usual kick-ass self on stage.

  • R. L.

    Ditto.  Open-mouthed horror.

  • ballerinawithagun

    Busty girls need a V or a square neckline cut to exactly where the cleavage starts. That will cut the bust area in half instead of creating a Gibson Girl mono-bosom all the way to the chin effect as we have here. She has lovely decolletage with beautiful milky skin and she needs to highlight it. A full length gown would have been lovely with a princess silhouette and to really make it contemporary–black sleeves and black side panels with the brocade down the middle! This would still be in her style house and would look great with her hair and make-up. She is a stunning woman!

  • I like the shape. I blame the print, which is so bad you can’t even see the shape.

  • MissMariRose

    Love her; hate the dress

  • EEKstl

    I know we wanted her to move away from the black, but really, dear…there are SO MANY OPTIONS between black and sofa.

  • Yowza.

  • suzq

    I could have lived with the long version of this dress and a nice pair of black shoes.  My theory is that post partum, she’s still trying to hide baby weight around the tummy and hips.  Add to that every girl’s desire to dress like a Valentine so close to the day and you get the look she delivered.  She should have passed out chocolates.

  • Judy_S

    I didn’t watch but caught a comment (of the horrified kind) on Facebook this morning so I was prepared for a horror. Actually, I think that if you get rid of every single preconception about time and place, and just look at the picture, she looks beautiful. She IS beautiful, and the dress does not detract from that–or apologize for it.
    I guess on a thin girl the same look would be twee and juvenile, and anyone less beautiful would be overwhelmed by it, but I like it on her.

  • Open-mouthed horror was my reaction as well (although most of the BKs apparently didn’t have that reaction).

  • The colors look amazing on her, but my first thought when I saw this dress was “SHE LOOKS EITHER LIKE A COUCH, A RUG, OR A DREADFUL SET OF CURTAINS!!!” I think this made her look larger than she is, more than likely due to the print.  I am glad that she stepped out of the realm of just black.  This just wasn’t the right thing to step out in…

  • VioletFem

    Adele, call Tadashi Shoji. He’ll know how to dress you well. 

  • jjfg

    Atrocious.  And another one of those situations where I had to google her age to convince myself she wasn’t a senior citizen.  (Not that a senior wouldn’t have the sense not to dress like that – just that the whole get-up ages her terribly.)

  • Qitkat

    You know I get Adele here, I really think I do. Having become a larger woman in the second half of my life than I was the first, I know how hard it can be to find a really pretty dress with style that fits me and flatters me. When I was slender I always took it for granted that, no matter what my budget, I could find clothes that I liked and that fitted well and looked good. I never ever gave a thought to what the big girls had to choose from. Then I became one, and discovered that in ready to wear its a goddam desert out there, and one of the worst times of my life came when I had to go find something to wear for a special occasion. Invariably I would cry in the dressing room. I HATED those dressing rooms and the unflattering lighting. So I began to avoid dressing up or defaulted to some old thing already in my closet. Or bought clothes I hoped would fit, take them home, and try them on in the privacy there, returning what didn’t work, sometimes everything. I know it’s an untenable situation, it’s not nice to talk about someone’s shape, but 90% of the people are thinking it and saying it to themselves and in girl talk. And nowhere does fat discrimination rear its ugly head more than in fashion design. Especially for the average consumer, which obviously Adele is not. I can totally understand why she wears black so much, I do too. It becomes the equivalent of an everyday costume, a safe choice, fancied up with shoes, scarves, jewelry. But inside you are dying to break the mold and feel pretty. Could this dress have been made a little more flattering for her? Yes, I think so, a little less bell shape in the skirt, the lighter fabric on top as in the model, a slightly modified neckline. We big girls know why she covered up her arms, oh yes, we do! But the sheer might have worked on her with the appliques. I’m not trying to hijack this thread, but I get so sick of the dancing around how difficult it is to dress a larger body, even a full-figured, nicely proportioned woman like Adele. It’s even tougher when a woman is clearly much larger on the bottom or the top. In my opinion, being so very careful not to say anything about her size is as discriminatory as talking trash about it.

    See you in the funny papers.

    • RedRaven617

      Perfectly stated Qitkat. The only thing good about middle age (for me) is that I feel less self conscious about how I look.

      • Qitkat

        It’s the shopping that sends me into doldrums.

    • formerlyAnon

      Exactly, Qitkat. My comment had most of this as subtext but is nowhere near as eloquent.

      I think Adele may be enough of an original (truly or out of bravado, I don’t know) that she chose this dress knowing it would cause comment (direct or indirect) about dressing a woman of size, and wanting it to be clear that she knows exactly what size she is (which is certainly not an excessively large or unusual one) and wanted simply to enjoy a vibrant, period-evoking dress without pretending it was going to “flatter” her into meeting entertainment industry norms.

      But that’s just speculation and I really know less about her than even a casual fan.

    • Corsetmaker

      The problem as well of course is that put her in the context of a room full of size negatives and she looks a lot bigger than she really is. She’s curvy and not thin but I’d bet on the street she’ll look a lot smaller than she ever appears in shots like these.

      But she is well out of the realms of sample sizes so she’s never getting loans. And she still has her own style. It’s pointless suggesting she goes to the same designers as some larger actresses as she’s not them. Why should someone be forced into ‘classic’ just because they aren’t a tiny size.

      But so with you on the shop dressing rooms and on defaulting to black. And definitely on covering my arms, I’ve never been happy showing them even when relatively slim. 

  • MilaXX

    Nana’s couch & curtains. She’s 23 people! WTH is wrong with whoever styled her?
    This is another of my fat girl dressing pet peeves. The thought that defaulting to a 50’s silhouette is a good idea because it  hides curves or emphasizes a waist or some variation of that BS. I don’t want to hide, I want to celebrate and embrace who I am.
    Let’s also kill the nimrod who thought matchy shoes was a good idea. I wanted to see Adele in a color, but this? Oh hell NO!

  • kimmeister

    When the cameras first cut to her seated in the audience, I was gleeful that she wasn’t wearing black.  Then she got up and I was happy she wasn’t doing floor-length, but then I realized this dress wasn’t necessarily a better option.  Different shoes, different neckline, and a belt would have done wonders.

  • butterflysunita

    She is so beautiful and fierce.  Agree that the dress is wrong for her, but she is so fabulous that I don’t even care.  

    •  And she was genuinely surprised to win, and kept her speech short and sweet! Class act all the way, dress as you like!

  • I HATED this when I saw it last night, but today, I don’t think it’s so bad except for the shoes.

  • funkydonut

    “caught side,” TLo? Really? Not “caught sight”? C’mon now, you guys are usually great with the grammar!

  • l_c_ann

    So we now know that Valentino will do anything for money, except flatter the client.

    It IS the Valentino fabric and it is apparently custom made for this very, very rich client.  This client deserved better from the House of Valentino.  Valentino should be ashamed of their lazyness.

  • B_C_J

    Oh my. This woman is sooo talented and sooo beautiful but this dress is a complete mistake. It hurts to look at her in this outfit.

  • What, were all her gay friends out of town that week?

  • MsALVA

    Ugh, it just looks so stiff and scratchy and I’d be DYING hot in it. It’s like she took an Oriental Rug and made a dress out of it. 

  • I don’t mind it.  I think it’s probably better in motion, but it’s not hideous.

  • Call me Bee

    I think this could have worked very well had it been a solid color, maybe dark pink.  Then the shoes wouldn’t look so odd, either.  But I do applaud her for not playing it safe.  Too bad this just doesn’t work  (though the hair and makeup are gorgeous…) 

  • Veronica1022

    Can someone PLEASE get her in touch with Octavia Spencer’s stylist, who knows how to make a bigger girl look gorgeous.  While the print is cute, I think its a little busy for a whole dress for someone over the age of 4.

  • I am watching PRAS 2 right now, and Emilio’s red dress for the couture challenge looks an awful lot like full length Valentino. Does anyone know if this dress is from the collection they went to see in Paris in PRAS 2? If so, I must tsk tsk at Emilio for deceiving me.

  • m0r0

    For a woman who popped out a baby five minutes ago and almost always wears black I thought she looked fab.

  • conniemd

    My comment was she looks like the bride’s very matronly aunt at the wedding. My 27 year old daughter told me “She’s younger than I am.” Couldn’t prove it by that god-awful look. I might add that we both did stare open-mouthed and in shock as well

  • I actually didn’t hate this dress…or maybe I was just happy to see her in something other than a black long sleeve floor length gown. The alterations from the runway dumbed it down to oblivion.  I wished she would have at least worn a belt to break up the pattern.  We all gasped in horror at the shoes.  But damn if her face wasn’t down right gorgeous. 

  • Imasewsure

    I don’t hate the original dress, although it is a whollottadress and I can’t imagine it working on anyone really… on Adele with those modifications… a definite no to me. Can’t wait until she changes her dress up hair too. Definitely a Mrs. Garrett as said before….

  • GorgeousThings

    Jesus, she took my Great Aunt May’s lace table topper, dyed it black and red, cut a couple of holes in it and threw it on.

    My first thought seeing it was, “Oh, honey. No.”

  • xmixiex

    I think the shape is great on her.  the print is just too much.

  • It would have been better long, but it made her look huge.  Maybe she is tired of wearing black, though.

  • BuffaloBarbara


    As a fellow woman of size, let me say… you’re not helping us in this dress.

    I actually think full skirts are good for us, but not when they’re as stiff as lampshades and in that… print.  I guess that’s the word for it.  Nothing about this dress works.  It doesn’t really work on the model.  There’s no one to send this dress to, unless it’s a white elephant gift next Christmas.

  • warnerave

    hideous dress…but still..she’s Adele so, she can wear any effing dress she wants!

  • Dot

    I like the pattern! What I hate most is the stiffness of the skirt. And I think a wider/deeper neckline would have broken the pattern up a bit, making for a more flattering silhouette. All in all, I don’t think she looks horrible — except for the shoes. Atrocious pairing, there. I confess that I find her rigid hands-on-hip stance a little puzzling.

  • LuisaNL

    horrifying. and yes, Matryoshkas do come to mind. oh adele, why?! 

  • julnyes

    Oh I was happy to see her out of black, but this is not the way to go… on the plus side she always seems to be having a good time and that is fun to watch.

  • thecitysleeps

    I’m so sad.  As a big girl I also look up to her for her choices in dresses.  Yes, they’re all black but I love black and it looks good and she looks beautiful.

    This, I don’t even know what it is.  And it’s made worse without the full length somehow.

  • Valentino’s not doing anybody any favors lately.

  • Vlasta Bubinka

    Two things come to mind here. 1- Eric Cartman dressed as the Toothfairy on South Park.  2- Collectible bells of New England.

  • formerlyAnon

    My only thought is that after an entire angsty day trying on gowns, she said “Fuck ’em all. Half of ’em will come right out and call me fat and the rest will damn with faint praise no matter what I wear – bring on something that will make it clear I MEANT to look like the broad side of a barn.”

    • demidaemon

      I love your take on events! I can believe she would say that too.

    • Corsetmaker

      LOL except the vernacular would be more along the lines of a brick sh*thouse than the barn ;D

  • Offbalance

    I screamed when I saw this.  I mean, I get that you want to do something different, but oh honey NO.   This would have been fug on anyone. It’s fug on the model.   Designer needs to be bitchslapped, and so does Adele’s stylist. 

    Will someone PLEASE put her in bright blue or vibrant green chiffon for the Oscars?  Her signature black would also be lovely.

    • luciaphile

       Agree about the model not looking good in this either.

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    I look at her at see Shelley Winters in “Lolita”.

    •  I take that as a compliment!

  • PastryGoddess

    ummmm…at least it’s not black

  • Kristi Mitchell

    I actually thought it would have been kind of cute – if it had been strapless – the high neck and long arms are just too much. – Well and the shoes are plain hideous.

  • WOW. That is bad.
    And Valentino? Couture? Oh, no no. For shame, Valentino, for SHAME!!!

  • Bill Curtis

    Right out of the wardrobe room of a production of The Pajama Game or Damn Yankees…and just an ensemble ensemble at that.

  • ojosazules

    I dislike the print so much that it’s hard for me to judge it objectively. A really skinny woman would look awful in this, in my opinion. Her size is not the issue for me. If she loves the dress, well, it becomes a matter of taste, maybe?
    But those shoes I judge without hesitation. Awful awful shoes. Awful.

  • MaryAtRealityTea

    Do you remember that show on BBC, PBS played it a lot, it took place in a british lingerie store and the main clerk with the pink hair always had wacky, velveteen sofa patterned poufy dresses like this and the same exact up-do? Yeah, that’s what’s happening here and it’s a damn shame! 

    • Qitkat

      Mrs. Slocombe! Are You Being Served?

  • siriuslover

    I saw the picture of this last night and my first thought was “boy, T and Lo are not going to like this one.” She’s so beautiful, I wish she could find a stylist who helped rather than hindered her beauty.

  • Beverly Kozma

    I had an initial bad reaction, but the more I look at it, the more I like it.  It’s kind of a “go to hell” dress.  But the shoes are awful.

  • 909girl601world

    I liked it. Or at least didn’t hate it.

  • wawawah

    ADELE…love you but you need to FIRE your stylist! 

  • Good for her for stepping outside of her black gown comfort zone BUT this is a train wreck!  She looks like some plus-sized doll and it hurts to look at this pattern.  Only the very skinny can handle this much design on their bodies, and even then it’s iffy.  Hopefully someone will be fired for making a normally attractive woman look awful.

  • Crystal

    At least it’s not black? 

  • guest2visits

    No, none of it is salvageable.  I started by removing the collar… but it just isn’t anything but a doll’s dress.

  • YolandaHawkins

    Did she lose a bet?  What in heaven’s name would possess her to wear that?  It must be Satan! 

  • Judy_J

    Did she have those shoes covered in the same fabric as her dress?????  Just wow…….

  • Susan Rappenwolf

    Even the model version was pretty nasty. The flowers perfectly juxtaposed on the nipples. The drag queen face. Could be so much better…no, it couldn’t. I wish it had never been imagined for anyone!

  • DTLAFamilies

    I like it. I do. She looks pretty and completely at ease in it. Not loving the shoes but it doesn’t kill the look for me. I get what she was going for here. 

  • At least it’s a color? And a print? I kinda like it. Maybe shouldn’t have shortened it, though.I know, shamefaced!

  • Kristy Evans

    Whoa! I have to vehemently disagree. I think she looks adorable. Yes, she’s shaped a bit like a bell, but she has a defined waist. The pattern is cute and she’s not wearing black for once, so that deserves a kudos, yes? The shoes are wrong, but I think she looks darling.

  • I think she looks very cute.  I love for ONCE she’s not wearing black.

  • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

    As a plus size woman I applaud her for not wearing black, again. But this….no, not this. 

  • Lisa_Cop

    Believe it or not, in Europe the design houses are making shoes that have fabric matching certain dresses. In May, in Rome, I was talked into buying a pair at Dolce & Gabbana. Well, at least they’re not putty color pumps.

  • BrightsideSusan

    Not my favorite look of here but glad she moved on from the black dresses.  At least she was not the train wreck that Miranda Lambert was.

  • LambeeBaby

    House coat. She should be out sweeping the stoop in that. Blech.


    I have to put myself in the “like it” camp here.  It is a lot of print but I feel she is just statuesque enough and has a big enough personality to pull it off.  Wish she had kept the length and not my fave shoe choice but I am giving her an IN.  Sorry……

  • zelavie

    I like it.  I was so excited to see her wearing something other than black, and I kinda dig the print.

  • when i saw her on tv getting out of the limo, i screamed “OH HONEY, NO!”

  • DeTrop

    You know, if she had worn the longer version and was an opera singer, this would have been one heck of a win.  As it stands, kudos to Adele for stepping out of her comfort zone – black and basic.  In a way it’s refreshing to 

    1.  See someone ‘zaftig’ in this day and age who is a ‘success’ and a ‘woman’
    2.  See a woman not trying so hard that she has to expose her skin at every chance
    3.  See someone who seems comfortable in their own skin

  • Elleachaudaucul

    I feel like everyone who has been moaning about how Adele keeps wearing the same black dress all the time really has no leg to stand on here.

  • Trisha26

    I love her and I love this look and the shoes. I don’t care what anyone says, she’s “her” to a fault and I’m on board.

  • Melizmatic

    Oh, gurl…


    Just… No.

  • save_the_hobbit

    Personally I didn’t care for it, but I know people that loved it so I guess it was kind of up to personal tastes lol. 

  • YayaGurl

    I know that tlo is totally right about this but at the same time she’s so charming that I feel like she’s saying , ” oy! I’m Adele! love me or piss off, mate” or some such charming bit of brit-speak.

    • myristica_fragrans

      that’s exactly what i pictured her saying!

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    I love Adele, but this is just no good.  To me, it looks like she’s playing someone’s wacky mom in some really broad musical comedy set in the ’60s.  She’s beautiful, but this just looks so costumey.  

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    This dress is not doing anything good for Adele.  She needs new gays-stat.

  • quiltrx

    Oh honey, no.  Only Ms. Slocum can pull off this look!

  • Louise Bryan

    I actually think she looks great from the ankles down.

  • ZnSD

    I approve – Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet, dear)

  • bd73

    agreed. fug up the wazoo. it makes her bust look like a flattened shield, the color is not flattering, the print is too busy to allow the eye to focus. and then you see the matchy shoes. i normally cut foreigners slack on account of cultural differences. but this is a bad call, ripley. a bad call.

  • Kirsten Kirsten


    • Melvis Velour

      From the neck up, GORG – motherhood really put that glow in her that no makeup can ever truly do.

  • Definitely not the best thing she’s worn. Though the red does look good on her.

  • Is she still pregnant? If so, than there is a baby-sized Adele inside of her. XD

  • mmc2315

    I’m trying to picture the long version on her.  I think it would make the look more elegant.

  • *snort* She’s certainly very well upholstered.

  • Someone said somewhere to imagine it without sleeves: so much better! And black shoes.

  • Aww! I thought she’d get points for not wearing black!

  • Alyssa

    Oh girl…no.