Christa B. Allen in Rafael Cennamo

Posted on February 21, 2013

Goodness, we just hate to criticize a lady beaming a smile like that, knowing that her dreams of looking fabulous are about to be crushed.

But we’ll do it anyway.


Christa B. Allen attends the 2013 Costume Designers Guild Awards in a Rafael Cennamo dress paired with Armani sandals.

Rafael Cennamo Fall 2013 Collection

Girl, no. Just… no.

That? Is a Christmas tablecoth. Drapes from a cruise ship dining hall. Scraps from a craft store bin. What we’re trying to say, dear, is your skirt looks like a seashell. And since you are not currently starring in some sort of under the sea-themed stage extravaganza, we’re going to have to give your seashell skirt a thumbs down. Yes, we’re sure you felt like the prettiest princess in the world when you put on your big gold skirt, but sweetie? This is not working. At all.


[Photo Credit: Andrew Evans/PR Photos,]

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  • hmariec19

    Hahahaha that is one PISSED OFF model.  What’s with the bedazzled Groucho Marx eyebrows?

    • BrooklynBomber

      Look at those non functional shoe-ish things she’s standing on. They probably had to carry her to her spot and place here there, and now she’s stuck till someone comes and removes her.

      • Thats because you’d have to be 6’5 to make that dress even start to look good. That is ALOT of dress. 

    • aeb1986

       hahaha. dead on about the eyebrows. bad dress made worse by the color

    • butterflysunita

      The model is scaring me.  

  • BuffaloBarbara

    I actually disagree. I think the dress is kind of fabulous.  But it doesn’t go with the way she has her hair.  If you’re going the pretty princess route, no-nonsense urban businesswoman is not the way to go with the hair and makeup.

    • 3boysful

       The bodice is pretty, if not innovative, and the skirt is a cool idea, but together they only serve to make poor Christa look thick.  The gold fabric is also skirting the tacky line.

    • Valdri8

       I am in total agreement with you. I think that if she had been wearing a fabulous up-do and great makeup, the dress would have worked in an over-the-top way. Maybe also a killer bangle of some sort?

  • She is literally being swallowed whole by that dress!  Someone help that poor girl!!

    • That’s just it.  The length is all wrong, it looks like she has no legs.

      •  Plus that extra volume wrapping her waist is erasing her figure.

        • Introspective

          so big, so gold, so unflattering. what a waste of good holiday drapes…

          (and while i know I have the internet to help me understand why we should know who she is, but really, who is this?)

          •  My dear Introspective, I haven’t the faintest notion of who she is or why she deserves to be given borrowed frocks. (albeit incredibly ill considered ones)

          •  She’s on Revenge, plays Charlotte Grayson.

          • poggi

            Well good.  Maybe she can get some ideas for exacting revenge on everyone who had a hand in doing this to her. 

      •  No kidding. Why would you have an amazing short runway version but make the “wearable” version so long only someone 10 feet tall can pull it off? Just ridiculous.

  • Vickiefantastico

    How can a dress look so edgy and interesting on the runway yet so boring and even frumpy on the red carpet? Strange.

    • The way the skirt is draped on the model is completely different than the way it is on Christa.  The folds and creases on the model show a fabric that is a completely different texture than can be seen in the reworking they did for the actress.  It was a more interesting dress before (though the shoes for the model are completely ridiculous) 

      • RebeccaKW

         Plus, the length.  It works as a knee-length skirt.  She also needs to wear her hair up instead of covering up the interest in the neck/shoulders.

    • charlotte

       I think it is because a runway show is orchestrated around the dresses- models, lighting and all. On the red carpet the whole atmosphere is missing, plus the dresses have often undergone unfortunate alterations and/or are not suited for the wearer.

    • Also, this woman is about 5’5. Height is a big factor with such a voluminous skirt. 

    • JaneDC

      Because the model is forty feet tall with a long torso, long legs and no curves. This was a bad pick for a normal person.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Holy crap. Was this guy a designer for Marchesa before going off on his own?  Jeez, that is one disaster of a dress (with Diamond Sparkles!)

    • Kayceed

      My gosh, really?? I don’t often wish failure on a person, but – let’s hope his career takes another path, shall we?

      • BrooklynBomber

        Well, I guess there’s a market for his creations (and he has a wedding line that I thought wasn’t so bad, as wedding collections go), so I guess we can just pinch our noses and turn our eyes away. (Which I should learn to do w/ Marchesa, rather than wishing the line would die an agonizing death.) 

  • lehen

    At least she wore it to the costume designers guild awards?  like, maybe its an homage to all costumes??

  • She looks so proud of herself though. It almost makes me feel bad.

  • lobsterlen

    Once again a tragic case of tiny starlet wearing a gown designed for for 6 foot tall model. 

  • call_me_schmeg

    she looks like she’s in constant twirl mode, all while standing still. defying the laws of physics and taste at the same time!

    • I know, my first though was “WOW, look at how that dress moves!!” Then, “oh….”

  • Annabelle Archer

    To the floor or to the knee, but this length is just not working.  Also not working is the mother effing, never gonna die, nude netting disaster of a bodice.  Really, wtf? The hair should be up in a gorgeous twist or an elegant bun, to complete the attempt at princess-y. I don’t know who dresses her, but they fail way more often than not. 

  • imperfectlaura

    The length it is on Christa plus the volume is not a good match.

  • The shit -eating grin is definitely because she knows for sure that she got the part of tree-topper angel this year.

  • nannypoo

    That poor model looks pretty silly too. She has beautiful eyebrows. Christa B., not the model.

  • Deac82

    awww, now I want to go give her a hug and help her pick up the pieces of her shattered ego.

    • mmc2315

      I’ll join you.  I’m having flashbacks of times where I’ve fallen in love with, and worn proudly, outfits that did. not. flatter me.  Poor girl.  I know how it is…

  • Monday1900

    That skirt scares me! 

    This also demonstrates one of my pet peeves, wearing your long hair down in front of the bodice and covering up the most interesting aspect of the dress (see: Cathy Cambridge).  Not that this dress is anything but a train wreck, but on the model you can see that there is some design to the way the lace is done on top which is completely hidden by this chick’s hair. We need anything we can get to distract from that skirt.

  • That is a shit-ton of fabric around her waist.

  • From boobs up, I thought she looked fine, and then I scrolled down and thought “Good god NO – why?” As in, why is she swaddled in fabric like she’s trying to hide shoplifted goods in her loins? Leave the centerpieces, sweetie. 

  • Actually, it could work, but the styling is too casual, and she’s too short.  If the hair was up and the make-up a little more dramatic and with some color, this could go a long way.  But the dress really needs a redhead or a woman of color.

  • Entirely too much skirt, on a petite lady. Just girl, no. It is swallowing you whole. 

  • Allison Harris

    I agree with everyone else that the proportions of this are way off, but that bra panel is beyond distracting! I understand the desire to hide the ta-tas, but at least line the whole bodice. It looks like one of those cheap tape-on bras.

  • Dumpy? Can something this shiny be considered frumpy? Oompa Loompah princess/brood mother? I’m not sure if the runway version would have worked either. No one but a drag queen could pull this look off and even then only just.

  • Susan Crawford

    From the Madame Alexander Crack Princess line.

  • Alyssa

    She looks so pleased with herself, I hope she knows that dress looks crazy bad on her. Not her color, not her dress.

  • Judy_J

    I can just imagine her in her bedroom, twirling around and giggling like a school girl while her big skirt billows out around her.

  • Diego!

    She looks as if her legs had been chopped! :O

  • PastryGoddess

    Too much dress on too little person

    i.e. The Hudgens Effect

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Christmas tablecloths and Elie Saab imitations aside, this dress is just plain unflattering on her. Don’t even get me started on the matchy sandals.

  •  I rather like the dress on the model. Christa is a bit too short for it. I hate the cheap-looking shoes, and her hair should have been in some sort of a more sophisticated ‘do, with a dress like this.

    Put this dress on someone more statuesque like Charlize or Zoe Saldana, and we’ll be in business.

  • margaret meyers

    She skipped the gold eyebrows?  Why?

  • conniemd

    I like the bodice. Up close, it has some very pretty details, but the netting nude bodice needs to be worn by a diva glam star to work. Put it on Halle Berry, Charlize or Beyonce or even JLo. Nothing says pitiful more than a nobody shrieking “look at me.”

  • MilaXX

    Too Big for her both style wise and literally and the color is too brassy for her. Leave it on the runway or leave it for higher level fashionistas.

  • Janet B

    After seeing two dresses from Rafael Cennamo’s collection I am ready to say that the dresses are for amazon woman only.

    Poor Christa, she’s being swallowed up.

  • The length on this dress is just so weird. Also, she should’ve worn her hair up!

  • Dot

    The dress looks absurdly stupid on the model, too.

  • Kate4queen

    ‘That’ wouldn’t work on anyone.

  • Aside from the Disney Princess shape of the dress, that color gold does nothing for her.  Also, she needs to fire whoever did her hair.

  • quiltrx

    I’ve got a slightly-dissenting opinion.  I think the skirt part is pretty great, IF it wasn’t in that super-sale-bin-at-Mood heavy fabric (you know, the kind the designers always manage to find and make a mess of).  I can’t with the illusion bodice, though.  I like the swirly things, but they need to be on real fabric.

  • YoungSally

    I scrolled down and my thought was — “What the hell happened to her legs?!?!?”

  • decormaven

    I swear, the fabric on the runway model and this version are totally different, and it’s annoying. I could maybe get behind the fuller skirt if it was similar in fabric weight to the runway model, but this…schmatta of a 50’s upholstery fabric. Gah! Nevermind the proportions are all off for this starlet. 

  • kittenwithaquip

    That’s a Xmas tree skirt for the Kardashians. Or maybe the Trumps.

  • I kinda love the dress. But it’s a horrible color and much too long on Christa.

  • Imasewsure

    She is not enough for that dress…. but the model looks awful too… send it to Gaga as a get well present

  • kimmeister

    Uh . . . her makeup looks nice.  The shoes are pretty terrible too (although you can barely see them!).

  • Qitkat

    From the side, 2 weeks overdue. With triplets.

    • Snailstsichr

       Now I can’t unsee this!

  • CurbGirl

    Rather reminds me of Yul Brynner as the King of Siam….shall we dance???

  • Deedles

    I would love to see this on the right person with the correct styling.

  • ConnieBV

    Someone mail this dress to RuPaul.

  • She’s just way to small for it, no? Plus, not really her color. For some reason I like her in red and black. She should get something from that Vivian Tam collection!

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    I don’t why this song suddenly popped into my head:  “Up, up and away in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon…”

  • MzzPants

    Floor length or knee length, please.  In between just sucks.

  • She looks nuts. Her red carpet face is way too intense – like too much adderall intense…but the dress compounds that by a million. 

  • pop_top

    What is this terrible trend of womens’ dresses being so poorly tailored to their heights?
    You have this, Anne Hathaway’s runaway hem the the other day, everything Amanda Seyfried wears…

  • ankali

    In another, not horrible, color and at the length the model’s wearing, I think I’d quite like this.

  • rtuko

    Ah man, I saw the top half and was like, hey that’s not so bad….then I kept scrolling down.

  • Sara__B

    The runway skirt is more … exuberant?  The gown is just too big, too long. too flat, too much for this young thing.

  • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

    She’s a pretty girl, it’s a pretty gown (yes it is); but they don’t work together. It’s way too much fabric for her. But as I looked at the pics I thought, “You know, Octavia Spencer has the right shape, size and coloring to rock this dress.”

  • TSkot

    Doesn’t even work on the model.

    • RedRaven617

      Just what I was thinking. What an ugly dress.

  • it really messes with her proportions too. she looks like she has no legs! they got eaten by the seashell!!!

  • formerlyAnon

    I think the skirt might have worked with a more severe bodice and sophisticated hair/makeup.

    No I don’t know why I have a sneaking liking for that overdone swag of shiny, stiff gold fabric.  But I find that I do.

    ETA: It also would help if she were taller. But really, I see this as a fabulous skirt on someone who from the waist up is dressed and styled much more like classic Grace Jones.

  • VestigialMe

    Someone desperately wants to be belle. Should’ve had it floor length because seeing her feet just makes this whole look uncomfortable.

  • Zippypie

    Fungus on top, Christmas tree skirt on bottom.  All in a sickly color to match her hair.  Yick!

  • Pterodactyl111

    shoulda worn the mega platforms

  • Trisha26

    Christmas Tree Skirt.

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      More like Christmas Tree Angel Topper.  All she’s missing are wings and a garland halo.

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    It’s a christmas tree skirt.  the gal is such a pretty little thing with a nice face and a lovely smile.  tlo – she needs to PAY A GAY (PAG).  

  • lizlemonglasses


  • Yikes, this is one to leave to the professionals.  Specifically the ones that just stand there for the photo, in shoes that add even more height to their already tall height….

  • Yikes.  A dress that needs to be left to the professionals.  Give it back to the 6ft model in 6″ platforms hun. 

  • libraangel

    The only thing that I can say that looks worse is the model on the runway who really frightens me. BTW, who is this girl? actress?

  • MaryAtRealityTea

    Also, why would you wear such an enormous over-the-top dress with everyday hair and make-up. Um… really? She needs a dose of Daphne Guiness neck up to even THINK about pulling this little girl plays dress up look off. Also the disney princess shoes. Oh, I just can’t bear it! 

  • betorah

    Just so disappointed that she didn’t wear the same eye makeup as the model. That would have really confirmed the cray-cray.