Alicia Keys in Stella McCartney at the 2013 ARIA Awards

Posted on December 02, 2013

Kittens, can you get over your near-legendary (in our minds, anyway) hatred of Stella McCartney’s designs? We’re asking because we think this look is pretty crazy-hot.

Alicia Keys attend the 27th Annual ARIA Awards 2013 at the Star in Sydney, Australia in a Stella McCartney yellow sleeveless gown.

Stella McCartney Sleeveless Golden-Belt Gown

The color and the shape look amazing on her, you have to admit. Our only issue with the design is the illusion netting and the shape it gives to the bodice. It makes it look like she’s wearing a bib of sorts. This is the one thing McCartney consistently does that makes her designs look awkward: she does these odd cutouts or insists on making strange shapes out of somewhat standard dress designs. Still, we think there’s way more right than wrong going on here.

As for the styling, the hair looks great, the makeup only so-so, and there’s no way a heavy gold chain necklace should be worn with that belt or that neckline.





[Photo Credit: FAMEFLYNET, Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images,]

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  • OK, yes. This is so nice I would never have guessed it was Stella McCartney. And it’s much more successful than the version Michelle Dockery wore.


      See. I thought the exact opposite – that this was the sluttier version of the dress Michelle Dockery wore. Both ruined it with the jewelry / pin thing.

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        I liked both versions. Maybe Stella’s getting her second wind!

      • It’s definitely sluttier, but I don’t see that as a bad thing.

  • gabbilevy

    Terrible illusion netting is terrible. I’m not loving this as much as you guys are.

    • another_laura

      Hard to call it illusion netting when it’s so freaking obvious.

      • 3boysful

        It is, but it doesn’t bother me so much here. Even tho it’s clearly not her skin shade, I am astounded how not bad it actually is.

  • Carleenml


  • Lily

    She looks gorgeous. I just wish for less illusion netting/slightly different shape to the front panel and it would be perfect. But it wouldn’t be Stella without making something look a little off.

  • leahpapa

    The netting in the penultimate shot looks like when preschoolers dry glue on their hands and then peel it off like molting skin. I also would have loved to see the hips taken out just a 1/2 inch. But the color is stunning on her.

    • zuzu

      Heh. I’m 45, and I still do that whenever I have a bottle of Elmer’s and too much time on my hands.

      • Laura Renee

        I love to dip my fingertips in candle wax, too. It’s all about the texture and manipulating one of your five senses, and it never gets old.

      • Introspective

        i live for elmer’s skin peels. so glad to have a kid now to have an excuse to do it even more! and so glad Im not the only one…

  • snarkykitten

    It does look amazing on her. I don’t see the point of the illusion netting. Cut it out of the dress and I think this might be a WERQ

    • ballerinawithagun

      I was just going to post a similar comment. If the bodice is cut and constructed correctly, the illusion netting would be unnecessary. Of course, this is Stella McCartney and so the chance of her meeting those requirements would be nil.
      Color is fabulous on her and the style definitely shows off her best points. Get rid of the Mr. T starter necklace! Maybe big geometric earrings instead.

      • DuBey2

        Where do I order my Mr. T starter necklace?? LOL

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          Doesn’t the Mr. T collection cry out to be on QVC or HSN? I’m also hearing Isacc Mizrahi burbling,
          “Mr. T. Why are you sooooo fabulous?”

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          Mr. T starter necklace…brilliant!

    • ana170

      The illusion netting is holding the bodice over her boobs. It’s cut like a bib so the dress either requires the netting or straps of some sort hold it to the sides.

  • Danielle

    I love the color on her, but the rest is questionable.

  • Well, for Alicia, this may be a near personal best. There are obvious quibbles, but she is a Senior at the Paula Patton Wretched Dressing Academy, so let’s be generous this holiday season, and call it a win.

    • Imasewsure

      Agreed… they both tend to make awful choices but I still think Paula is the clear frontrunner (hence of course the Academy in her honor). Hopefully 2014 will bode well for both of them (and for us since we have to look at them… and judge)

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        I would also give Paul Patton the edge in wretched/unfortunate fashion choices, and in crazy eyes, too.

    • Fannie Wolston

      so true yet she ends up on VF’s best dressed list for 2013? i don’t get it….

      • PastryGoddess

        say wha…

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        I’m suspicious about the criterion for the VF best dressed list.

        • Fannie Wolston

          a little bit yeah, but AK sparkles with personality and talent just the same…

    • Darren Nesbitt

      This is a Yawn, but giving her a Paula Patton diploma is low lol.

    • DebbieLovesShoes


  • lalahartma

    No. Illusion netting. And yellow.

  • SewingSiren

    THe illusion netting is the wrong shade to give the illusion of nothingness. I do not like the gold belt. Otherwise pretty.

  • ConnieBV

    Hate the RUN DMC chain, would have killed with some big gold earrings and a stronger face. For once I can’t tell that it’s SM, and that is a good thing. She should design more dresses that involve contradicting her impulses.

  • mmebam

    Swap the necklace for a statement cuff or bangle or ring.

  • I don’t hate it, and the color is slammin’ hot on her. I would have carried the bodice around to the back with a strap under the arm, that would’ve also handled the side boobage issue.

    • formerlyAnon

      Because you apparently have not drunk the kool aid declaring visible illusion netting the successor to the visible zipper.

      • It is a rare and frangible thing for me to see illusion netting used in a way that is actually pleasing. And I hate invisible zippers, one because they are a bitch to put in right, and two, because they are structurally fragile, and prone to breaking.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          I came of age when anyone taking sewing in Home Ec had to learn how to properly put in a regular zipper. Sigh.

          BTW-I really like your idea for the back strap in place of the netting for this dress.

        • formerlyAnon

          I cannot tell you how nice (eta: comforting) it is that you consider invisible zippers difficult to put in, since I know your skillz are waay better than mine.

  • DuBey2

    Love it. Even before I read your intro, TLo, I was thinking “Oh no! If I admit I like this then I might break my Stella-hate streak”

  • paginatrix

    That yellow + her curves = sizzling.

  • imspinningaround


    • Kristin McNamara

      I see what you did there.

  • Hugo’sBoss

    Isn’t this pretty much the same dress we saw in blue on Edie Falco at the Emmys and in black on Gwyneth Paltrow at the Grammys in 2012?

    • MilaXX

      Gwen yes, Edie, no.

      • Hugo’sBoss

        I’m not talking about the blue Escada dress Edie wore THIS year, which had a similar bodice but no belt and a slit up the front, but the McCartney one from LAST year.

        • MilaXX

          I don’t remember that one but you may be right.

    • Little_Olive

      I clearly don’t have your good memory but I too have the feeling that I’ve seen this before.

      Not that Alicia doesn’t look great (minus TLO’s caveats).

  • Qitkat

    What a lovely figure she has. This brilliant yellow is very flattering, but the heavy chain necklace needs to go. Either a statement necklace with a lovely stone pendulum, or interesting drop earrings would be much better. I don’t mind the illusion here, it works well without shouting itself, but the hem is too droopy long, something which has become all too common.

  • prettybigkitty

    Illusion netting will never not remind me of figure skating outfits. Stella McCartney is still awful. Not gonna get over it. Sorry.

  • SugarSnap108

    I opt to cling to my hatred. The illusion netting and belt are both tacky as hell — and you’re right that the bodice looks like a bib. The color is striking on her, though.

  • Aidan B

    I didn’t notice the illusion netting until you guys pointed it out; have to agree, she looks pretty fantastic.

  • Jessica Freeman

    The hatred is usually justified towards Stella. This, is deemed acceptable, which is a huge step Stella. I really think it’s the color and Alicia’s attitude that pushes it to acceptable.

  • E2_Remote

    Always have had a bit of a girl crush on AK, but even before I scrolled down to TLo’s comments, I thought the same thing, “what is that a bib?” Not liking this all that much. She’s got a touch of side boob, the dress is way too long, and that necklace is a tragic mis-step. Probably should have gone with more interesting earings instead. But I like her hair and makeup.

  • marlie

    I love this, unreservedly. I’m shocked that it’s a Stella McCartney that I love, and I’m shocked that I love a dress with illusion netting. But this just works for Alicia. The color is amazing and it does incredible things for her figure. And I don’t even have a problem with the necklace. It all just works for her.

  • Nika E

    Ithis would be near perfection if she didn’t have on the stupid necklace if her makeup was better and if that illusion netting were a bit more of an illusion.

  • David Calder

    She looks gorge, it’s true. But, illusion netting, so ’til the end of time I’m telling you there ain’t no one… no one, no WAH AH AH AHUN, can get in the way of what I’m feeling toward Stella McCartney. Namely hatred.

  • pookiesmom


  • Imasewsure

    This is hugely right for Alicia who tends (in my opinion) to opt for awful RC looks…I’m ok with the necklace (again because it’s such a huge step up overall).

  • KinoEye

    Fantastique, but the kittens need to rise up and raid all design houses for illusion netting. We could have a nice holiday bonfire, complete with gallons of hot coffee/cocoa with Peppermint Schnapps/Bailey’s. We’d have a grand ol’ time.

  • PastryGoddess

    Ok fine, THIS dress is good. But I fully reserve the right to snark on the NEXT Stella McCartney presented for judgement

  • Sarah

    I think she looks great in the dress, and I’m not even that mad at the illusion netting or the necklace or the fact that it’s too long, but I am a bit bothered by the hair, which is serving me Christopher “Kid” Reid (of Kid n’ Play) realness. Sorry, but it’s too high for me.

    • MilaXX

      Which reminds me. They jammed to some old school stuff on the Soul Train Awards last night. Nearly everyone was surprisingly in good voice. When Slick Rick starting singing The Show, I was in heaven!

      • Sarah

        I am so pissed that my package does not give me the channels that air that biz. I do however get Fuse, which was airing House Party (1,2, and 3!) all weekend, which made me very happy.

      • Rand Ortega

        SQUEEEE! I. DIED!!!!!

        • MilaXX

          I may have busted a move or two in the living room!

          • Rand Ortega

            Gurl…I busted more than that! My old ass damn near broke a hip cabbage patching last night!

          • MilaXX

            Oh I love you for that! The bengay is in the mail.

          • Rand Ortega

            Best Xmas present evah!

    • BrooklynBomber

      Kid n’ Play!!

      • Sarah

        Always happy to dredge up the oldest of old school, whenever possible 😉

  • I’m honestly not feeling this look. Something is off to me. The hair? The way the dress is a wee bit too tight on A. Keys? Lack of a pop of lip colour? The last minute need of a necklace? The cut-out?

    All of the above?

  • Jaeda Laurez

    Well, even a broken clock is right twice a day. So kudos, Stella. And very nice look for Alicia Keys- simple shapes and clean lines serve her well- the yellow is beautiful (yellow is my favorite color, so I’m slightly biased :-D).

    • Introspective

      good descriptor for stella!! a broken clock indeed. most of her shit is dreckitude. so the kudos she gets for rarely getting it right feel excessive.

  • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

    It has issues, but I give it a WERQ.

  • Thank you for the Stella McCartney cautioning. It was needed.

  • boweryboy

    Are you guys messing with my mind on a Monday morning? I think what I wrote in the Marion Cotillard Dior Double Shot post is applicable here, just slightly re-worded:

    “Stella McCartney is doing a disservice to glamorous women around the world. She’s up there with Raf Simons on my ‘Are you fucking kidding me?’ designer hate list. “

    • formerlyAnon

      The title of your designer hate list charms me completely.

      A sentiment so often applicable in life, and so infrequently can one (at least in my life) express it without undesirable consequences.

      (edit for word choice)

  • decormaven

    Getting a flashback on Morris Day looking at the hairstyle. The dress color is pretty, and minor quibbles on illusion netting aside, this look is working for her.

  • kayleymaybe

    If the illusion netting was the same material as the dress (i.e., yellow), this would remind me of Michael Kors, in a good way. Even though it’s Stella, and even though it has illusion netting, I still think she looks good.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    I will give Stella credit for a simple, classic shape. I’m actually OK with the netting, as I thnk it helps to cage the boobs, which might actually roam free without it.

  • EEKstl

    This is a rocking dress. Didn’t Edie Falco wear this in blue at the Emmys? I’ll need to do some research. Probably the only thing by SM that I truly like and seems universally flattering. (UPDATE: No, I was wrong, it was Escada. Similar bodice, tho).

    • Hugo’sBoss

      Actually, you are correct. Edie wore the Escada dress to the Emmys this year, but she wore this dress in blue to the Emmys in 2012. (And Gwyneth Paltrow wore it in black to the Grammys in 2012 as well.)

  • BrooklynBomber

    As a woman, a wife, and a humanitarian, I don’t like this. And I’m not a Stella McCartney hater; I just don’t like it. But maybe it’s because I always feel about Alicia Keys the way I do about Jennifer Lawrence: I just think she’d look more like herself in jeans.

  • LJCdoc

    Beautiful dress, except for the illusion netting. Stella just wants us all to hate her.

    • conniemd

      Exactly. Why the damn netting? It would have been even prettier with the gorgeous yellow material instead, and the illusion netting in this case was NOT what made the dress sexy.

      Does anyone else wonder what awful things were done to the back.

      • LJCdoc

        I’m scared to think about the back. Either more terrible illusion netting that is not illusional, or a wide ugly stripe of the beautiful yellow fabric down the middle. Or nothing, which I think might be better, but is unlikely.

      • Sarah

        If you click the link that forms the title of the dress, you can see it. It’s just a wide racer back – not too upsetting, really – and keeps the netting to the bare minimum. Phew.

  • formerlyAnon

    Like the hair and color. If the second thing I notice in a full body shot (color was first) of a high-impact dress is the visible illusion netting, there has been a sad inattention to detail.

  • MilaXX

    Love the hair and the dress. Makeup is not as tight as it should be. Necklace is a definite no-no. Haven’t we seen this dress before. Pretty sure Kim from RHOA wore it in green for a reunion episode 2 seasons back. Also pretty sure an actual celeb has worn it before as well.

    • KinoEye

      Isn’t this Michelle Dockery’s dress from the other day, only yellow instead of black?

      • MilaXX

        It’s a variation. Michelle’s didn’t have the illusion netting on the sides.

  • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

    She looks lovely because she is lovely and that color is perfect for her. I forgive Stella for this dress only, even though the top is stupid. A big necklace of jewels other than a chain would have worked better, hair looks fab and makeup is okay. I was staring more at her beautiful arms than the eyeshadow, anyway.

  • ashtangajunkie

    I love this. The colour is so perfect on her that I can forgive the illusion netting. Also, this is the first time in a long time that I don’t hate her hair with a passion. WIN.

  • Akemi

    The bodice is awkward, and the necklace is unnecessary, but she otherwise looks great.

  • Lilithcat

    It would look better without that annoying illusion netting.

  • KT

    I think she looks great. Super flattering silhouette (illusion netting aside), fits her perfectly, and she looks killer in that shade of yellow. Gold necklace isn’t quite right, but it doesn’t affect the overall impact. I honestly don’t understand how anyone could argue that she doesn’t look awesome in this.

  • Rand Ortega

    Statement earrings with yellow accents (Tom Binns’ designs immediately comes to mind) would’ve KILLED this. But the dress makes her bod look extra super hot!

  • Loving her hair, but I’m not convinced that particular shade of yellow is her color, and the mesh cutouts aren’t anyone’s look.

  • Gatto Nero

    No — no, I can’t get over it.

  • Janet B

    Almost fantastic.
    Better than the similar dress she wore Nov. 2012.

  • Daisy Walker

    Meh. Bad hair, bad makeup, bad jewelry. And that color is not flattering. Dockery version of this dress was MUCH better.

  • Ann VerWiebe

    The netting looks a little like Saran Wrap…

  • Vanja

    No! The colour is doing all of the heavy lifting. The bodice is just ugly.

  • Kent Roby

    This is that extremely-rare case where I’m actually thankful for the netting; I think it’s a safer bet than worrying about full boob exposure. And that belt is just so Wonder Woman awesome.

  • Kate4queen

    It’s all right I suppose. (she says grudgingly)

  • E. D.

    The jewelry is terrible.

  • lobsterlen

    Even a broken clock gets it right twice a day.

  • Trickytrisha

    Alicia’s looking lovely here, best in quite a while. Still not a Stella fan.

  • suzq

    It’s ok. Everyone’s doing cut-outs now. It’s hardly a SMcC hallmark. In fact, aside from awkwardness, what is the SMcC hallmark?
    I can’t praise her outright until I see more consistency.

  • ShaoLinKitten

    Nope. Still hate it. The cut outs with illusion netting are horrible and the skirt is too tight and wrinkling. Thumbs down.

  • amaranth16

    I think the whole thing is pretty underwhelming. The color could be so good if her makeup didn’t make her look so shiny and pale – I think she looks ill. Belt is great but the necklace is all wrong. Too tight in the hips. The cutout shape looks really weird over in the sideboob area, and the bodice just isn’t fitted well, so the illusion netting puckers and pulls in a really conspicuous way. I’m not a big Stella hater, but I do not like this look.

  • Sweetvegan

    No hatred for Stella McCartney! I’ve noticed I’m usually one of the few BKs who like her designs. This looks great, but would look even better if the illusion netting matched her skin color.

  • quiltrx

    I was more fascinated when I thought this was held up by some sort of black magic.
    I don’t care for Stella, and this is just awkward.

  • Jacob Bowen

    LADIES! Do I need to give you the button I got in 5th grade sex-ed that says “No is OK”? SAY NO TO THE ILLUSION NETTING!

  • stacey

    Looks like something Uhura wears on shore leave. Meh

    • Melvis Velour


  • Aaminah Khan

    I don’t have to get over my hatred of Stella McCartney because I’m pretty sure she just took this design from someone else and made it puke yellow with awkward illusion netting.

  • Aurumgirl

    The colour’s great on her. But she is just so much better than this dress. However, I wish she’d gone up a size.

  • I love the color, and Keys is working it, but I can’t with that netting and necklace.

  • Jumpingjacks

    Not sure why everyone is complaining about the illusion netting, compared to many other attempts, it’s barely visible. Yes, you can see a thin line and it wrinkles (gosh it’s fabric), but besides that it probably matches her skintone as much as possible. You can hardly see it in the first picture. Would’ve liked it better if it had straps under the arms instead of the netting though

  • bellafigura1

    The necklace killed the look. What a mistake.

  • Diego!

    Agree 100% on everything. What is that necklace doing there?

  • MM4321

    No, sorry, there’s no getting over my hatred of SM designs.

    And I’m exhausted from watching her pose so hard. Can’t anyone stand like a normal person anymore?!!

  • Nimith

    It was a lone highlight on what was largely a style-free red carpet.

  • She looks *phenomenal*! …But I still think that’s more Alicia than Stella, if you will.

  • lifeisastory

    She looks great. My only beef is the side boob.

  • kerryev

    She looks great but I’ve seen that dress on a lot of ladies.

  • Sadie-Ann

    The way the top is cut and pulling makes it look like it is holding on for dear life. I feel nervous for her boobs. The color is fantastic, the idea of the shape is good, but this needs some adjustments.

    Either way it’s much better than her normal.

  • Danielle West

    In 100% agreement. Still don’t understand the hatred for Stella’s designs.