Naomie Harris in Valentino at the “Mandela” New York Premiere

Posted on November 15, 2013

We give Miss Naomie all the credit in the world for wearing something interesting and different and colorful.

Oooh, that sounds like a backhanded bitchslap of an opening. But really, we don’t hate this:

Naomie Harris attends the “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom” in New York City in a Valentino dress paired with Christian Louboutin pumps, a Jimmy Choo clutch, and Kwiat jewelry.

Valentino Spring 2014 Collection

But to be accurate, we respect it more than like it.

We could keep the skirt as-is, but the bands across the top half aren’t very flattering, nor do we think fishnet-covered torso and arms work unless you’re going for a much harder edge than this. A much edgier or more dramatic hairstyle was definitely called for here. You can’t pair the “Little House on the Prairie” hair with a dress like this.





[Photo Credit:  Ilya S. Savenok/Getty ImagesIMAXtree]

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  • Lesley

    oo i don’t like it. it looks very messy and poorly constructed i can’t believe this is valentino…

    • DTLAFamilies

      I’m with you on poorly constructed. I liked it at first, but now that I’m looking at it more closely it really does look budget.

  • Well, someone must have slipped a happy pill into my coffee, because I find myself delighted at this.

    I don’t know if I want to see more of her torso, or if having it mostly covered is part of what I like. The soft hair works becuase if this were a solid material, it would be a Little House on the Prairie dress, I like the playfullness there. This is sexy without being overt, fashiony without being try hard. Well done!

    • In_Stitches

      I’m with you, on the happy pill, the run down, the over all effect. I’ve been otherwise crabby this morning, so I just might actually like it, sans pill.

    • Constant Reader

      Me too.

    • Tatiana Luján

      I like the dress too. The colors work great.

    • murt

      Ya the whole outfit has a ’70s victorian feel that I really like.

  • HomeOfficeGirl

    The bold color trumps the odd shape for me…if it was an In or Out vote, I’d be In

  • Emily Smith

    Oh no this was a case where I liked the shorter version better! There was a series of starlets hacking the length of off nice dresses into unfortunate short ones for a bit, now we’ve gone the other way.

    • Frank_821

      Yes I much prefer the runway version. making it into a gown makes it feel off-almost costumey

      the short version has a daring edge to it

      • Emily Smith

        Agreed I think costumey is a good description of the full length version.

      • sojourneryouth

        Agreed. Because the dress has a lot going on, the shorter version had a lightness and flirtiness that gets overwhelmed by the length. Also, the horizontal panels look more flattering on the model, though I’m pretty sure they are proportionally in the same locations, but it just looks less restrictive, for some reason.

      • Rhonda Shore

        and the hair style the model wears is perfect w/the shorter version.

    • Me too! I looked at it, thought “that’s too long” and scrolled down to see the runway version and thought “just right.” And I agree with TLo about the hair.

      • demidaemon

        I totally disagree on the length issue. I prefer the longer version, but I think they should have turned it into a single piece.

  • bizarro

    I love it, even with the little house hair. It is an interesting dress and the colors are perfect for her. The shorter version is beautiful but I also like this somewhat demure version.

  • formerlyAnon

    It strikes me, oddly, as simple? meaning not-quite unsophisticated, but veering hard in that direction? It’s . . . fussy and yet direct, somehow.

    All that said, I don’t love it but it’s cheerful and inoffensive. It draws the eye without doing anything much for her, but also without detracting.

    • Tatiana Luján

      “It draws the eye without doing anything much for her, but also without detracting.” agree 100%.

  • MoHub

    Fishnet must die!

    • formerlyAnon


      Never. It’s a perennial.

      • DTLAFamilies

        And now I have a Yakety Sax earworm.

        • formerlyAnon

          A few minutes on youtube can clear that right up.

          (Careful the cure isn’t worse than the disease . . .)

  • 3boysful

    The hair coupled with the high neck and lines of the dress teleport me back to the 1970s. Not good. A casual updo might’ve saved this.

    • formerlyAnon

      I did think of ’70s home-sewn dresses trying to pick up on the feel of the trend for bands of native-costume-reminiscent embroidery. But the fishnet pushed that thought away.

    • SugarSnap108

      I agree. Against all reason, I kinda like the dress on her. But not with that hairstyle.

  • JasmineAM

    With these dresses worn lately, someone is trying to get Mr. Elba to pay attention to them. Don’t blame her at all!

  • MilaXX

    Who is dressing her? More importantly why are they dressing her super sexy during the pole dance for a Neson Mandela biopic? Imma need them to stop it now.

  • shopgirl716

    Don’t like it at all. Way too busy and it makes my eyes itch. Don’t like her hair either.

  • Danielle

    I like that she lengthened the skirt!

  • I sort of love this. I just think she could’ve used a stronger lip.

    • marlie

      I agree with the lip, just because I generally hate the nude lip trend. BUT, it’s less noticeable to me in this instance because she’s not ALSO wearing an all-neutral dress.

  • leftcoastpickle

    Ugh, the way the light is sculpting her abs under that lace is disturbing to me. It kinda gives me the illusion she has another second set of mini breasts going on under that waist band thing. Is it just me? On top of that interesting illusion, I actually just hate this dress. Although I love the pattern on the material.

    • Kelly

      I didn’t see the abs thing until you pointed it out, but now it seems obvious (and yeah, not good).

    • kimmeister

      I thought she must be super proud of her rock hard abs and the pronounced “2 liter” crease (rightfully so!), and she found a window with which to show them off.

  • ashtangajunkie

    I feel like she’s letting the dresses do the bulk of the work for her, and it hasn’t been working.

  • valerie747

    Some dresses , like this one, should only be worn by a women of color. She rocks this.

  • jw_ny

    The upper midriff cutout and the blue shoes are the worst part of the look…but I do like the dress on her for the most part. I didn’t pay attention to her hair until reading TLo’s comments; agree that edgier style would be better than her LHOTP do. The clutch is a real snore…too conservative.

    • conniemd

      Agree. Take away the midriff cutout and make the bodice whole and I think the dress would actually look sexy. The revealing strip makes the dress seem chunky and a full bodice would make it more flowing and sleek.

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    Actually, I do like this a lot. It’s different, it fits her, it’s colorful – I don’t have a lot of complaints about it.

  • KinoEye

    This is such an interesting look, I find it hard to quibble. Will say the shoes should be different, though. Love that pattern.

  • marlie

    I think if the sheer section over her midsection wasn’t sheer, this would be pretty awesome. The components of this dress are all lovely. And I really dislike her hairstyle.

    • conniemd

      I said that after reading your post. With the short skirt, the sheer midriff makes more sense. The long skirt demands a more flowing line and the sheer midriff net just chops the dress up. I still like it, despite the flaws.

  • pookiesmom

    I kinda dig this. She’s making it work.

  • Eva_baby

    I don’t hate this. I feel like I should. But I don’t. It is really quite interesting

  • CeeRich

    I love it. Eye catching and unique.

  • Imasewsure

    It looked ok but not great from far away. Up close it’s all awful. I’m starting to doubt that this beauty has any natural fashion chops…. maybe another few pole dances are necessary for her (or her people) to hit the right balance and edge

  • decormaven

    The fishnet isn’t the best with that busy pattern. I do like the colors in the dress, though, and the shoe that references one of the colors. Agreed that a more defined hairdo might have worked better here.

  • another_laura

    I don’t even respect this dress. Sorry. Ugly.

  • Diego!

    She can pair her ‘Little House on the prairie’ hair in a porn movie called “Laura Ingalls gone wild”. I like the colors but this is sooo not working at all!

  • Kelly

    The fishnet bits need to not be fishnet. If it was just plain sheer black, the look would be more dramatic and less busy. I’d even let her keep the midriff-baring band.

  • KT

    Holy proportional hell

  • Miranda

    Oh dear God no.

  • suzq

    I’m sorry….the dress is very pretty, but my eyes are on her ROCK, HARD, ABS. Seriously. She has the abs of an Olympic gymnast….mens team. I bet she could do a perfect L on the rings without shaking. She could beat Michelle Obama in a plank contest.

    I will spend the rest of my day wallowing in my inadequacy.

  • I’d like it better if it didn’t feel like the bodice was sitting way too high.

  • Trickytrisha

    Well crud. I like, even love, this dress on her. She looks pretty danged spiffy, but could definitely use different hair and a manicure.

  • Shawn EH

    Loving this, very flattering colors, sexy with about flashing too much, and those shoes are perfection. Very pretty.

  • Dagney


    Okay, I like it. Risky and dramatic.

  • kimmeister

    Jimmy Choo, that’s your output in the clutch category? Pffft. What a big nothing that clutch is.

  • cocohall

    I’m getting the Eastern European Little House on the Prairie, where Ma, realizing times are hard, has decided to start a little side business with the girls. How did this look end up on Naomi at the Mandela premiere? My head is spinning.

  • guest2visits

    The skirt is interesting but everything above the waist is too much, the fussiness of the hair, the sleeves, the see-thru bodice. But then the clutch goes way too sedate and… All I like are the shoes.

  • quiltrx

    The whole look is just bizarre.

  • SorayaS

    I loveee this dress (especially the long version) but the styling is all wrong. Perhaps she defaulted to the “security blanket” hair thinking the top half would look too bare but that neckline calls for a mandatory updo! I also don’t like the shoes for some reason- normally I’m not against matchiness so I don’t think it is the colour- perhaps the shape? Open toes might have looked better.

  • Tatiana Luján

    I like it, but the hair needs to be away from her face, neck and shoulders.

  • murt

    I love everything about this, including the hair!

  • demidaemon

    I do prefer the longer version, but I think the midriff break, in the long version, doesn’t do much for it. Hair is a big fail.