Lucy Liu in Vivienne Westwood

Posted on May 14, 2013

No one can claim we don’t pay Miss Lucy the proper deference for being fierce as shit, but we’re sad to report we’re not feeling this one.


Lucy Liu attends the American Ballet Theatre opening night Spring Gala at Lincoln Center in New York City in a Vivienne Westwood ruched gown paired with a J. Mendel capelet.

Sure, LL in a Westwood/Mendel pairing at the opening of the ballet sounds like a no-brainer, but this comes off a little … we don’t know… stuffy. We like both those pieces but we don’t think they do much for each other. And the competing whites are giving us eye-twitches. Plus, the capelet manages to camouflage or cover up all the interest in that dress. The hair, makeup and jewelry are all gorgeous. Even the two pieces are gorgeous. But pairing them was a mistake, we’re thinking.



[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • Paulina Carey

    The sweater reads a bit ‘Winter Wonderland’ for me, which would be fine if it wasn’t May. If she got rid of that, I would have no problem.

  • teensmom99

    Yup, you’re right. I was just thinking about what to wear over an elegant dress in this weather when it could still be quite cool in the evening. so I see the problem LL was dealing with.

  • Wearing a jacket with a dress that has detail flounces like that dress has makes the dress look badly fitted therefore throwing the whole look off.

    • Right. It’s that asymmetric scoop with a very squared off, geometric jacket that’s killing this.

  • I agree. Both pieces are gorgeous, but there’s a missing step between them that doesn’t quite add up. It’s a good start to 2 fantastic outfits.

  • If she’d done the dress in a rich jewel tone, I would have CTRL-P’ed all over this post.

  • Kathleen B

    agreed. I adore that capelet. the look could’ve been so much better.

  • Sobaika

    I like it. There’s something very “White Witch of Narnia” happening here.

    • misstressofsylar

      now I’m thinking WWSD or what would Swinton do to this! she’s still downright fabulous and I dig her as Joan Watson!

      • fursa_saida

        I actually was initially thinking that maybe part of the problem was that Lucy Liu’s pretty damn short, and so there’s no room for her waist to chill after the jacket stops. One reason this ensemble might be better on SWINTON is simply that she’s taller.

  • These pieces combined remind me of Betty Francis (from Mad Men) in her more aging Republican wife drag. Lucy Liu’s too fierce for that. I think she should have ditched the capelet. From what I can discern, that vanilla-white colored dress beneath looks marvelous on her skintone (and it appears to be magnificently framing her shape), but the capelet makes it look dingy.

  • VioletFem

    This has a very “rich bitch” vibe to it, which in principle should look pretty cool but it’s not pulling together for the reasons TLo stated it.

  • AndresB

    A ‘capelet’ is an abdomination strictly meant for pre-teens, unlucky winter wedding bridesmaids, and Dowager Queens, but certainly not for LL.
    The dress could be interesting in itself but unfortunately we’ll never know.

  • MilaXX

    I don’t mind the jacket, but the furry bit is distracting. Not an awful look, but a bit off.

  • lobsterlen

    The full length photo she is stunning. I feel a big problem is the background is very white even the ground. If she was on a red carpet I feel it would look a lot better.

  • MilaXX

    We’re in the middle of a weird cold(ish) snap here on the East coast. I understand the need for the caplet.

    • Paulina Carey

      Oh I know, I guess I personally just don’t like the style of that one.

    • JasmineAM

      It was 45 degrees the other day. In May. In Alabama. The weather is trolling us.

      • lovelyivy

        But there’s no such thing as climate change folks! Nope, ignore the evidence of… well everything.

  • I suspect the capelet/sweater may have been added to avoid a roar of “too bridal!” commentary.

    • Unsuccessfully though – it makes it look winter bride instead of summer bride!

      I think she looks great except for the competing whites and I have a teensy suspicion that the VW bodice does her no favours so she insisted on covering it up.

  • fringebenefit

    Ouch. The clashing whites are painful to behold.

  • It was in the 40s last night.

  • BrooklynBomber

    J.Mendel may call it a capelet, but it has sleeves. I think a sweater like that used to be called a chubby.

  • MasterandServant

    I was going to say, the wintertime bolero seems like a last minute addition- it has been quite chilly here as of late!

    • filmcricket

      Even still though – stars go out in way colder weather in way less. Think back to all the purple-veined Les Mis ladies back in January. Not that I think LL should be required to give herself hypothermia, just that I don’t really buy that as an excuse. It’s too bad, because that dress looks stunning, and the jacket’s just pulling down the whole look.

  • I hear you about the competing whites. I am so sure that simply taking off the jacket would have made for a stunning outfit, I was shocked that there was no photo that way!

  • atelier482 .

    I think a less puffier outerwear. A Chanel jacket maybe? And I always have a problem with (almost) every V.Westwood dresses. If the bodice doesn’t sit nicely, then it becomes a wrinkled mess.

  • RebeccaKW

    I quite like both pieces, but they don’t work together well. She doesn’t look terrible, but oh, what might have been! I understand the need for a sleeve due to the weather, but I think something that coordinated better could have been found.

  • nannypoo

    Her face and hair are perfect as usual but I hate everything she’s wearing. I just glanced at the photobomber as I scrolled down and I thought it was a person in a frumpy orange skirt. I hope no one ever mistakes my clothes for a door.

    • l_c_ann

      But I do like the ‘frumpy orange skirt”‘s shoes.

  • bailey debruynkops

    i knew you were gonna say it was making your eyes twitch!

  • TLo – spot on, as usual.

  • Ruth Preston

    Dress is rather frumpulous; cape looks like someone Etsy’d a Turbie Twist. Pretty earrings?

  • snevhead

    And did you see the shoes???…

  • Judy_S

    I dunno. In the full-length shots the jacket thing looks all white, but closer up part of it matches her dress. She probably looks much better in person, maybe even in a mirror, than reflecting flashbulbs.
    I actually think she looks great. You can see enough of the dress to want her to take the jacket off….

  • Those earrings are divine but this is a winter white outfit not a spring white outfit.

  • frannyprof

    I love it, though it is a bit bridal.

  • jetpackdino

    SHE’S 44?? Holy cow. She’s so pretty.

    The competing whites bother me too… She looks like she’s attending some kind of temple ceremony in Athens… But look at that skin. Perfection.

  • They may be mismatched but she still looks gorgeous.

  • I agree – LOVE the little cape/sweater thing, but it competes with the gathering on the front of the dress. It’s an old-lady sweater, but that could be really cool and retro with the right dress. Like a short Dior with a full skirt.

  • sagecreek

    Yeah, that’s dull, and if we’re going to ping MJB for the white’s not matching, we have to do it here as well.

  • PastryGoddess

    That capelet is bad. The dress is fab

  • rloliveira

    Bed jacket +mother’s dressing gown=no.

  • StephanieLovesTLo

    I love this! She’s rocking it as always.

  • She looks beautiful, but considering her level of fashion fierceness, she could have done better. But still, I think this would have been outstanding for a winter event.

  • j_anson

    Turns out non-matching whites are just as annoying as non-matching blacks.

  • The white over ivory mismatch is just too intrusive. A shame because the hair/makeup/jewellery are perfect.

  • jw_ny

    Mismatched whites aren’t bothering me today…for some odd reason. I think Lucy looks gorgeous here, but must agree that the caplet and dress aren’t a good pairing. Keep the caplet, ditch the dress, go for a gown in the slivery grey tone.

  • formerlyAnon

    The whites AGGRESSIVELY do not work together.

  • alyce1213

    I’d love to get a look at the whole dress; the Westwood bodice looks interesting.
    The jacket with something else.
    Her jewels are gorgeous.

  • formerlyAnon

    Wow. If that IS the dress, I’m suddenly very disappointed. (Thanks for the research).

  • I have a feeling the dress was planned for what the weather is usually like around here at this time of year and she had to scramble for something to keep from freezing. Heck I turned the HEAT back on last night…in MAY!!

  • The dress is full of curved lines, covered by a little jacket that is square. She isn’t the first person to wear clashing whites. Maybe the wearer of the garments doesn’t know that the whites don’t match in the outdoor lighting, but the stylist surely should know better than to put these two whites together. Maybe the stylist left several dresses with LL and she combined them.

  • TheAmericaness

    It’s nice to know that Scarlet could make a sweater out of a bathmat, but I still think it looks too much looks like she belongs on the bathroom floor.

  • She likes that 50s silhouette, but the sweater needed a more A-line dress to really make it work.

  • kimiakay

    The dress is good. I like her hair pulled back like this, but it looks a little too greasy or gunky in some shots. But the capelet, what is it made from? Two different fabrics, one of them fur? That is what distracts me the most. Also, maybe if it were a different color, as the ivory and white just don’t go together. But it is interesting, even if it is a little bit fugly.

  • Coco Cornejo

    First Mary Blidge and now this. Ladies please! Take those jackets off and let us see the dress underneath.

  • Qitkat

    I’m very biased, rarely do I find anything to criticize about her. If I were invited to the opening night of the American Ballet Theatre Spring Gala, I would hope to wear something even slightly close to this beautiful. I think I have a soft spot for fur capelets. It’s the princess side of me. Maybe Lucy has one too.

    • minnye

      I hear you! She looks movie star glam.

  • mmc2315

    As it is, the dress looks twisted and out of sorts rather than the draping being covered up.

  • quiltrx

    I love the capelet and it’s somehow very ‘her’ to me. I agree I would like to see more of the dress. Maybe it’s drafty at the Linc?
    And those earrings are breathtaking.

  • hard white and soft white can work together, but it’s not happening here.

  • JauntyJohn

    The competing whites torpedo the whole thing. And somehow the ivory tinge to the dress makes the little jacket (which might be quite cunning in a different ensemble) look really cheap — like a stage costume seen too close.

  • mariaceleste

    I believe TLO is right.

  • decormaven

    The capelet looks like it’s fashioned from those padded bathmats found in the housewares section of the better department stores. However, Miss Lucy is gorgeous, so this gets a pass.

  • MartyBellerMask

    OMG it is dragging all over the concrete. I hope she at least bought the thing. I wouldn’t think she could return it after that.

  • Looks like a fancy bar mitzvah outing to me! Loose the top n it’s a WERQ!

  • Cathy S

    The capelet doesn’t go. Too bad because the gown looks interesting.

  • unbornfawn

    Competing whites two days in a row. Is this becoming a thing? Are we going to see this all summer?

  • drdarke

    The dress on its own would be great on her – you were right, @AndreasB. But that capelet is completely the wrong thing to wear with it…..