Amy Adams in J. Mendel

Posted on February 05, 2013

This is kind of a hard dress to love. For us, anyway.


Amy Adams attends the 85th Academy Awards Nominations Luncheon in Beverly Hills, California in a J. Mendel silk chiffon dress paired with Casadei shoes and Amrapali earrings.

J. Mendel Spring 2013 Collection/Model: Lindsey Wixson

Amrapali 14 K Gold Diamond Earrings

She’s just soooooo covered up; so very sister-wife. The hair doesn’t help in that regard, since it’s totally tent-revival when you pair it with a dress shaped like that. And yet, we think she looks very pretty here. The colors look great on her and the print helps lift the dress up from its potentially dowdy silhouette. The slightly sexy back also gives it a boost.

Still, we would’ve recommended a looser hairstyle, a raising of that hem by a good three inches, and more delicate shoes with a little color to them (see: the runway look).  We almost never think she looks anything less than pretty when she hits the RC, but we always find ourselves wishing she’d just loosen up a little.

[Photo Credit: Getty,,]

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  • LeSourire

    I know it’s a busy dress already, but I wish it had a belt. A simple belt of course, but just something to break it up a bit. A lower neckline would also help. 

  • Patricia Gillett

    These shoes are the red carpet equivalent of a figure skater pulling her tights over her boots. You get an very unattractive “hoof effect” – that’s too bad since this is a pretty print on her.

    • Violina23

      Perfect analogy! (I used to follow figure skating like MAD through about the 2002 Olympic season on/about when they changed the scoring system & I got a job and stopped paying attention…  I ALWAYS hated the tights-over-boots thing!)

    • 3boysful

       Hoof, indeed.  I was scrolling down, thinking “OK, a little sister-wife, but still pretty . . . GAH!  My eyes!”  The shoes should be innocuous–beige, platform stilettos–but the hoof effect is truly unflattering.

  • mjude

    the long sleeves bother me

    • RedRaven617

      I agree. Maybe if it was sleeveless is wouldn’t look like the print was engulfing her? I do love the print and flow of the skirt.

    • Louise Bryan

      I’m so glad to see somewhere wearing long sleeves.  It is winter, after all.  I’m more than a little tired of expecting even celebrities to bare their arms and shoulders when it is <=50 degrees outside.  After all, they don't seem to be allowed to wear coats in L.A.

  • Rebecca Neal

    Those shoes are just toooo heavy.

    • Sobaika

      Yeah. I actually really like the dress (great colors, and the sister-wife look suits her) and those are great earrings, but the shoes really weigh it down. It’s too bad.

  • It just looks frumpy to me, at least in the first picture. It’s the pose she’s holding. Maybe if she was walking and a low-speed fan was able to move just ahead of her while she moves, to get that runway look the model has. She is so very lovely – you are so right about the hem.

    • Mary229

      She looked lovely and funny and joyful if you watch the actual video from the event. She seemed very relaxed and happy to me at the actual event.

      •  First time I ever saw her was in Catch Me If You Can and I immediately thought “she’s going to be a big star!”  She sure has charisma.  Wasn’t she a treat in Enchanted?

        • Mary229

          I think she’s one of the best working actresses period.

          It’s probably why I feel bad when people pick on her. Cause I’d rather defend someone with talent.

        • Sobaika

          She is always good. I can’t think of a not-great role of hers that I have seen.

      • 3boysful

         Can I hire a low-speed fan holder to precede me thru life?

    • Kimbolina

      Yes, this dress looks like it’s much better suited for walking/moving around rather than standing still.

  • Waste of a great pair of earrings.

  • GET THEE AWAY FROM ME, DEVIL SHOES.  God, those are hideous and so wrong for this sister-wife dress (nice call on that, boys). 

  • I agree with all that was written, though I think I like the dress more. I think instead of raising the hem, I would have lost the sleeves, which tend to read more “mature” to me (especially because I think part of the interest in the hem is the structured drop-waist combined with the gradiented pattern. I think without the sleeves it’s be a leaner, more modern silhouette while still being an updated 1920s silhouette. 

    But the shoes are awful. On the note of the runway shoes, I’d like to see metallic shoes like those replacing the irritatingly ubiquitous satin bridesmaid pumps. 

    • conniemd

       My first thought also was that the dress would look less frumpy and busy without the sleeves. You can’t really see her figure or design with the sleeves as it all blends together in one blob shape.

    • B_C_J

       I think your sleeve suggestion is right on the money.

  • Introspective

    those shoes should be burned first when the polygamous cult amy has apparently joined goes up in flames.

  • IAmJ

    She’s gotta be punking us with those shoes. She can’t possibly think they’re pretty? Right?

  • this is a summer dress if ever there was one.

  • gabbilevy

    Nothing about this is working for me.

  • Unkempt

    My first thought was “Gunne Sax”, but it is a pretty lady luncheon dress, great color for her.  Why, when are so many gorgeous FREE shoes out there for the movie stars, do they pick those?  

    • Mary229

      Because once upon a time someone convinced women that they make your legs look great. It’s a myth but one many women follow at times.

  • Jangle57

    For me, the hair is what really ruins this look on her though perhaps she wore it the way she did to show off the earrings…  Pretty color on her though…

  • BuffaloBarbara

    I like the back a lot more than I expected looking at the front.  There’s something about the placket on the front combined with the high neck and long sleeves that is just not working, which is too bad, because there’s something ethereal and nice about the fabric itself that ought to work marvelously for Miss Amy.

    I wasn’t thinking sister-wife so much as Little Disney Princess On the Prairie…

  • Business in the front, party in the back, like a passive aggressive sister wife.

  • MilaXX

    She’d have to change the hair and lose those shoes to move past sister wife  territory for me.

  • Is she the wife of the cowboy in a western movie or what?

  • Tatiana Luján

    I wish the hem hit just below the knee, I wish she had worn a belt, and that she had used shoes that didn’t have platform and had some color.

  • charlotte

    Sister wife in the front, party in the back? Doesn’t work for me.

  • Kathy_Marlow

    The only thing that came to mind was “Spinster Aunt trying too hard”, even though she is really pretty

    • Mary229

      Amy tends to dress like the character she is playing. Shes up for The Master where she played a terrifying wife of a cult leader. I think she’s dressed in an homage to that.

      She tends to do that. Channel her character through what she chooses to wear.

      • Kathy_Marlow

         You know, thinking back on it, you’re totally right.  Someone needs to get her out of that habit and develop her own sense of style.

  • Judy_S

    I would give anyone a pass on shoe choice for an event which I gather involves a lot of schmoozing (inching from one group of adulators to another) so comfort would be a factor, but those do not look comfortable. The only thing I can think is that she wanted the extra height.
    Otherwise, I think she looks lovely, and I approve of the dress because I have a version (long-sleeve chiffon print, w/o the sexy back) in my closet, and I shall think of her when I wear it.

  • Wendi126

    Aurora Greenway realness

  • lrober03

    I think you can do a bold print, or you can do a dress with several design elements….but you can’t really do both together.  There’s so much going on that the pockets and seams are distracting and also hard to see properly.  Also the seams make her boobs look like they’re caged off from the rest of her torso. 

    • ballerinawithagun

      Exactly! My first thought was why bother with all of these graphic design elements when you are already working with a gorgeous print??? Love the color on Amy. 

  • Love. But I’ll agree to a lighter shoe.

  • Mary229

    First off, there are tons of pics out there and video of her having a blast at this event. It’s like you guys find the most serious pictures possible and ignore all the ones where she is totally relaxed and joyful. Second, it’s sad to me that a woman choosing to be modest bc that is how she is comfortable is now worthy of being criticized? Are we seriously criticizing this classy woman for not wanting to show tons of skin? And implying she’s not “loose” bc of it? Huh???

    • First: We pick the photos just to piss you, Mary229, off.

      Second: “Are we seriously criticizing this classy woman for not wanting to show tons of skin? And implying she’s not “loose” bc of it?”

      No, we are not. Are you seriously going to try to wring something sexual out of our style commentary?

      • Mary229

        You criticized her for being covered up and then said you wish she would loosen up.

        I’m not trying to make it sexual at all but I am bothered that a woman being modest is worthy of the implication that she needs to loosen up.

        I don’t love the dress but the commentary on this woman is consistently bothersome.

        • You’re not trying to make it sexual at all but you’re making it sexual. “Loosen up” doesn’t mean “dress slutty.” It means we think that she should not dress so seriously and maturely all the time.

    • filmcricket

      Are you her publicist? You seem to get extra defensive whenever Ms. Adams is up for review on this site.

      Also, you do realize that T Lo aren’t stealing these pictures, and have to go with the ones their subscription service provides? This isn’t Tumblr, they can’t just re-post stolen photos and expect to pay no consequences; this is a business. And their job isn’t to make sure the person under review looks like she’s having a good time, it’s to choose from the available photos that allow them to show the garment off from as many angles as possible.

      • Mary229

        I’m no one’s publicist I’m just a fan and I’m defensive because I often think people are overly harsh to a really fine actress and a classy woman.

        She’s not the only one I think people are overly harsh with either.

        • We can only imagine how you’d feel if we DIDN’T say she looked pretty here and that she rarely looks anything but pretty when she goes out.

          • Mary229

            You’re totally right.  You did.  And I’m sincerely sorry if I wasn’t clear in my comment.  That’s what I get for typing quickly.  It’s more that I’m just thinking about how I think it’s tough in Hollywood for women who are a bit more naturally reserved and modest to find great fashion.  I see people saying she’s “too covered” and then I think…hmm…but what if she is one of those women (and I know several like this) who just feel more comfortable that way?

          • “but what if she is one of those women (and I know several like this) who just feel more comfortable that way?”

            She’s worn strapless gowns before, and shorter dresses than this. Even this dress has an open back. We don’t see this as a modesty issue. Otherwise, she’d always dress this way.

    • MilaXX

       No she’s being criticized  for frumping up a pretty dress. No one asked for more skin, just a change of hair and shoes.

      • Mary229

        You know, I think it’s more that it makes me think and I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear on this:

        I think it can be hard in our current climate to dress in fashion if your natural comfort zone is more modest and less flashy.

        And where do we draw the line between needing to show more skin and what makes someone comfortable.

        • MilaXX

           I’m still confused because I don’t think anyone has posted that she needs to show some skin.

          • Mary229

            The initial review criticized her for being so covered up.  Several of the comments on here have talked specifically about it being too covered up.  On the contrary, I think several people have suggested that she’s too covered. My initial complaint was addressing the validity of why our go-to is to think a woman is “too covered” if that’s what makes her comfortable.

          • MilaXX

            girl bye. we clearly aren’t reading the same thing. I see post about the hem length, the shoes, and the hair. The most scandalous comments suggested the sleeves be removed and T & Lo didn’t mention her being too covered up in a negative way AT ALL.

  • formerlyAnon

    I don’t mind the covered-upness, the overall shape of the dress is pretty and graceful. With a prettier shoe it might have worked, if in an unusually sedate way for the red carpet.

    What I can’t get over is all. the. stuff. going on from the hips up. At a distance all of that seaming and faux piping and the flaps and edging is obscured by the busy, busy print – which on balance, I think, is a good thing. Up close it looks like a demonstration bodice in which the student must include as many elements as possible for extra points.

    If you can ask in sincerity: “Is that front placket coming down *over* a faux belt/band at the waist? Is that a placket at all, or just decorative seaming?’ then there is too much going on.

  • Annabelle Archer

    It’s a shame that demure often reads as dowdy.  She’s a beautiful woman and a talented actress, seemingly not a crazy bitch who lives on scandal, but she consistently misses the mark by just much.  

  • It’s busy, and the print is a bit muddy, but I really like it for some reason. Though the shoes should be burned. 

  • melanie0866

    No.  The front looks like what someone respectable would wear to church in 1985.

    • lizajane1776

       Exactly. I had a very similar dress (at least the front) I wore in 1986, but it came from JCPenney’s so your timeline is probably correct.
      What breaks this for me is the pockets. Patch pockets just sitting there gaping open.
      We shall not mention the foul horror that is the shoes.

    • AmeliaEve

       I was going to say, this dress reminds me of the ’80s fashions that nobody talks about anymore. Besides the bright colors and bold silhouettes that dominated sports clothes, there were some very romantic and feminine trends in dresses. Soft colors and prints, loose gathers in light-weight fabrics, flowing lines with fuller skirts and sleeves — this really harks back to that for me. All the more reason that I’m completely flummoxed by the bare back and the clompy shoes.

  • I think she looks fabulous.  There is a place for modesty in fashion.

  • WhiteOprah

    Other than the fact that it needs to be shortened by a few inches, the shoes need to be burned and the sleeves possibly removed (As other commenters have mentioned) her makeup is really pretty and appropriate for the occasion.  

  • IMNAngryLiberal

    Yup, shorten the hem and throw out those horrid shoes and I think this look would be a winner….this is a rare case where she should have stuck with the runway shoes.

  • Vera L-

    braless semi sheer dress with a series of cutouts in the back is hardly “modest” but the weird drapey front, the pattern and the length is pure church lady. Put a pill box cap on her and call Dana Carvey. 

  • Its so hard to figure out what exactly is going on with the dress. But it is all wrong.  And those shoes should be burned.  Damn Amy…

  • elemspbee

    I’m always impressed at how much you have to say about this actor when you feature her. She just makes anything that hits her body uninteresting and utterly flat. 

  • decormaven

    It’s the coverup approach. The sleeves cover up the arms, the long skirt covers up the legs, and the hair swags cover up those dynamite earrings. The result is a snoozefest, of which no peek-a-boo back and high hooves can snap.

  • filmcricket

    I adore the fabric, it’s such a good colour combo for her, and her make-up is sublime. But the dress is entirely too fussy – all the details get lost, and they’re not great details anyway. 

  • Wow, that is one dress with a personality disorder.  The front is all Judy Bernly working it from nine to five, and the back is JLo at the grammys.  Those, shoes, however are unequivocally and self-assuredly hideous.  It is a shame because those colors and that lightness of fabric indeed do wonders for her and her coloring.

  • FrayedMachine

    This is a really nice dress but it makes me think of something my mom would wear… which I guess is a good thing for my mom, then?

  • Violina23

    I love the colors, but it’s too long and frumpy looking.  And I HATE the platform pumps (I know I’m not the only one…)

  • I feel like I should hate it, but I don’t. I do hate those hoof shoes, though.

  • cocohall

    She was raised Mormon.  I don’t believe she still practices, but I think some of her family members do.  My son dated a Mormon girl for awhile, and there is, hard to believe, a Mormon esthetic, at least in the way the Mormon girls and women around here dress when they are getting dressed up.    And Amy would fit in pretty well.   It is an emphasis on “pretty” but demure.  But for some odd reason, a penchant for high heels.  Amy would not, however, be able to wear the temple undergarments with the dress she has on and in that way, she is busting loose!  

  • capybara_cafe

    I find the print and front of this dress totally incongruous with the back. 

  • pepper76

    That color is beautiful on her.

  • Carrieanno

    I see this as a dress that looks so much better in person – movement changes it from dowdy to ethereal and flowy.

  • mhleta

    I love this dress on her and I’m ok with the length, too. The thing that I really live about it is that when you get up close there’s the slightest whiff of bondage naughtiness to it. There is, I swear. Picture it in black with the piping details in a contrasting color. See? 

  • SewingSiren

    I’m not having a hard time loving , at all. I do love it. Dearly. I also love the hair. And the jewelry. Can’t get on board with the shoes though. They are ugly.

  • schoep

    I kind of like the dress in a “Ma went to the general store and picked out a pretty calico” way, but Amy is not Laura Ingalls.

  • GorgeousThings

    Stevie Nicks at a Parent-Teacher conference.

  • alyce1213

    It is a hard dress to love.  But I do, I this it’s exceptional.

  • CakesOnAPlane

    I’m wishing that the sleeves were capsleeves, the hem were knee length and she had a belt. And looser hair. And different shoes. Other than that I love it!

  • Trisha26

    Totally agree and she does look pretty. I’ve had dresses like this too – where the cuffs turn and the sleeve fabric gets twisted on the arm – annoying. I hate this stripper shoe style (color doesn’t matter), hopefully on its way out.

  • boldprint

    the shoes! my eyes!

  • AzulFashion

    This is a dress that is all about movement.  Too bad she has to pose in it.

  • Kenisha Hill Phillips

    Wrong length. Wrong shoes.

  • minnye

    I feel a little bit bad for real sister wives that their name has been reduced to a sneer. Or maybe I just feel bad for sister wives in general. At any rate, I agree with others that this dress would be stylish with the sleeves & pockets removed, and with a sleek belt & sharp shoes. I like the fabric and the interesting seaming on the bodice.

  • The shoes kill it!

  • Love the dress. HATE the shoes. HATE the shoes. And HATE the shoes.

  • Janet B

    Very pretty print on her, but the skirt is swallowing her up. That fabric in a totally different dress would have been better.

  • nancymae

    Burn those shore and rip the sleeves! My eyes!!

  • Zippypie

    Oy. I love the color but the dress is kind of schizoid.  The pockets don’t go, the sleeves are not right, the length is all wrong.  The print is kind of leaves caught in the wind, which reminds me more of fall than spring.  She does look very pretty, her makeup is great, but she just never is able to pull it off on the carpet completely.

    Don’t get me started on the beige hoof shoes….please go away!  PLEASE!

  • Tamara Hogan

    I’m waiting for the day when female celebrities just start wearing pointe shoes on the RC. Look at that foot/toe position! Looks so awkward and painful. In an emergency, she couldn’t run if she had to.  

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    It’s a lovely dress, but she is swimming in it!!!  Much too big for her small frame.  And again, when will the trend of wearing cloven hooves for shoes finally die?

  • Ew. Close up the back and it looks like the bridesmaid dress my mother wore to an aunt’s wedding in the 1974.

  • DTLAFamilies

    I love old lady dresses on beautiful young women, and this color is fantastic on her, but overworked bodice+bad hair+horrifying shoes are killing the look. Too bad.

  • Maluca

    Maybe without the sleeves?

    Amy is such a beautiful woman but doesn’t dress to showcase it. I think she wants to be “fashion forward” or fashionable, but she’s not an “it” girl that way. She’s classier. I don’t know. I just wish she dressed better. She looks far from her age (38) but dresses as if she were 68.

  • jw_ny

    Amy is an extremely pretty woman and has so much potential, which unfortunately she does not often come anywhere near meeting.  Those shoes are terribly heavy, and I completely agree that the dress needs shortening.  I do like the color and pattern of the dress although it’s overwhelming her.  Her hair is usually an issue with me too…those side wisps, or whateva they’re called, are not working for her.   She needs a hair intervention…cut it!

  • I’m all for pockets on a dress, but *patch pockets*?  In chiffon??  With the weird seaming on the bodice, I seriously thought in the first picture that she was carrying a perfectly matched purse.  I suppose a patch pocket is slightly less horrifying than a matching purse….

  • AceOn6

    No, just no. I’m surprised that the stylists aren’t aware that that length just doesn’t work. Mid calf as shown on the model works.

  • I like it. Very sister wife chic. Not sold on the shoes though.

  • Call me Bee

    I actually love the length of this dress, and really–the open back keeps it from being to chruch-lady.  I like–it’s very appropriate for the event, and the color looks gorgeous with her hair. 
    Two things, though.  Those droopy pockets have GOT to do, as so the clunky shoes  (aren’t we done with the platforms, yet?  I mean, they’re wearing them here in fly-over country, so of course they must have fallen way out of fashion on the coasts by now…)  A more delicate shoe would have been so much better.  

  • Jennifer Coleman

    WHYWHYWHY do the designers give these average height actresses dresses cut for a 6 foot tall model? If she had a proportionally hemmed dress without the devilspawn pumps, this would’ve been a knockout. I love the back.

  • BrooklynBomber

    It looks pretty on the model, very reminiscent of the floaty chiffon floral shirtwaist dresses of the … was it late ’60s? early ’70s?  But the shoes Amy’s wearing are terrible with hit.  However, as I’m always complaining about how she poses, I have to acknowledge how nice it is to see not a single hand on hip picture.

  • Dot

    Ugh…those hideous shoes. When will they be gone?

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    Amy, Betty White called while you were out.  She wants her dress back.

  • stubbornthoughts

    There’s just too much of that dress happening here.

  • I have a picture of my great-grandmother wearing this exact same dress on Easter in 1987. 

  • tallgirl1204

    From the model, I think it walks better than it stands/photographs.  I think the back takes it away from sister-wife.  And the colors are gorgeous. 

  • I love this dress on her! The shoes not so much.

  • alaskahyoung

    The shoes actually give me pain

  • Wow, I hate those shoes with a passion. Wrong dress to wear clodhopper hoof shoes with. Kinda like the dress, though. I’ll be glad when/if more groomed-looking hairstyles come back into fashion. This is slightly more put together than my grocery-store-trip hair.

  • AthenaJ

    If you’re going to wear ugly shoes they should at least be comfortable. These commit the double sin of ugly AND painful to wear. Her feet just look so unnatural in those things. Ugh.

  • i kinda like it for the wrong reasons. :S

  • i love the color and print, but with a busy print those piping details on the bodice are just lost and confused.  also the pockets.  needs editing.  and hemming.  burn those shoes, now.

  • RocknRollmom

    Wow the first thing I thought is I think my Grandma owned this dress until I saw the back.  Grandma loved her purply prints.  Based on the runway pic, it appears to be a dress that looks better on the move.  Completely agree re model’s shoes over Amy’s.  I am not a print person so I would love to see this dress in a solid color chiffon which I think would make better use of the striking back. 

  • Super_Red

    This dress seems like it belongs to Florence Welch and made its way to the wrong redhead. Just not loving it here- it doesn’t seem very “her.” 

  • This look has its issues, but she looks so much better than she usually does. I like the dress on her quite a bit, actually, although either a lower neckline or a few inches off the hem would make a big difference. The hair isn’t great, but it looks much softer and prettier than her usual severe pullbacks. The only thing I can’t defend here are the shoes.

  • This is also one of those dresses that just needs movement to make it come alive.  It’s not a stand and pose dress.

  • subwaycars

    I want to hate this, but somehow I love it.

  • Anniebet

    Those shoes scare me. The dress makes her look 50 years old – dowdy, dowdy, dowdy. Nice color, though. 

  • libraangel

    Little house on the prairie. Nice color on her, but why always those horrible platform shoes that make her feet look size 15?!

  • demidaemon

    I find this a bit overwhelming, both to look at and on her.

  • I think it looks much better on the runaway. This just looks kinda droopy and covered up.

  • margaret meyers

    The runway moodel is an important 4 inches taller than AA.  This makes all the differencee in the proportions.  On the model the diagonal detail comes right under the breasts and visually lifts them, the waist is a little above the natural waist and makes her legs look longer, the horizontal line the pleats fall from is at the hip and gives her body more definition, we see more of her leg which makes her ankles look slim and graceful. 
    On AA, all those thing are happening a couple of inches lower and the proportion is wrong:  the breasts look saggy, the waist looks low, the horizontal is across her thighs and we don’t see enough leg.  This dress needed to be taken up, starting at the shoulders.

  • i think it should’ve had either a higher hem, shorter sleeves or a lower neckline, just to have less of the busy print; i actually like the shoes and the hair. 

  • PeaceBang

    Love the earrings! Everything else can burn in Hell. She’s SO pretty — why, Amy, WHY?

  • BrightsideSusan

    The back makes the dress – agree it needed to be shortened and the shoe is too heavy.

  • kathrineb

    She is working that lovely print and colour. A Shorter hem and or sleeves-length would combat the frump factor.

  • guest2visits

    She looks very pretty; but I think she could have taken it a little younger by using trendier earrings, possibly trendier heels too;
    something less safe. 

  • librarygrrl64

    I agree with everything you said 100%.

  • Alyssa

    I just picture how beautiful this dress would be in motion…as the model picture indicates. Due to that, I love the dress. Definitely needed different hair, and those shoes should be burned.