Claire Danes in Valentino at the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize Concert

Posted on December 12, 2013

We’re pretty sure if she wore this on a red carpet we wouldn’t like it nearly as much. It’s not technically stage wear but it definitely benefits from being on a stage.

“Homeland” star Claire Danes attends the 20th annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert at the Oslo Spektrum in Oslo, Norway in a Valentino sleeveless gown accessorized with earrings by EF Collection.

Valentino Resort 2014 Collection

Looking at the model against a white background, this comes off as way too much dress. On stage with an orchestra behind it?  Nailed it. It’s colorful, festive and eye-catching. You can see it from the cheap seats. Plus she seems to have the ability to make this work, because we wouldn’t go so far as to claim just anyone could wear this well so long as she’s on a stage. No, it’s Claire-specific. It’s Claire-on-a-stage specific.

And just to put these out there so all y’all can come up with alternatives in your bitchery: Grandma’s curtains/couch/tablecloth. There. We’ve covered the various iterations of your floral-loving grannies’ home decor. Let’s work on new bitchterms, shall we? “Embroidered shower curtain,” perhaps. “Craft project on steroids.”





[Photo Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images,]

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  • Diego!

    She looks stunning! I love how it looks on her! 😀

  • oklund

    “Frida Kahlo’s wallpaper”. Love it, though

  • kaycem

    i love this, it’s gorgeous on her! i do think it could’ve used a belt, but that’s a quibble.

    • Ginger

      This. A burgundy belt would’ve taken this to another level. As is, it’s still stunning.

  • Karen Belgrad

    Love it… shall call it “Pride Parade Camouflage”

    • Carleenml

      well done!

  • Introspective

    I gay gasped at the sight of this. She looks beautiful! Her hair and makeup are perfection. That blue light behind her plays perfectly to the blues in the dress.

    Love this in spite of my aversion to granny esque florals. Atta girl!

  • SeaKat Stabler

    I like it from far away. Up close?

    Well, I’ll hold my tongue. I hate to be crewel.

    • That’s it! It looks like poorly worked crewel. And I know stitching. It’s pretty enough from far away. But I have a thing about wearing embroidery. Limit the amount of embroidery and make sure it can bear inspection. Unless, of course, it’s a sari from India. then all bets are off and anything goes.

      • Sonali

        Being Indian i immediately thought of Indian wedding clothes – looks like something i’d reject as being too heavily and clumsily embroidered

        • Absolutely! The quality of the embroidery doesn’t really make it for apparel. Well, it doesn’t work for me for anything. I know an 86-year-old crewel artist who does more beautiful stitching than this, and she used to do even better when she was younger.

    • I wish I could like this pun 100 times. (Although, I LOVE this dress.)

    • oh BLESS you.


    • StellaZafella

      Sometimes one MUST be crewel to be kind…

    • tereliz


    • Tom Shea


  • MW

    My eyes are offended by her posture in these pictures, otherwise it’s pretty.

    • ballerinawithagun

      I know, she looks so fabulous and I keep feeling like her mother saying stand up straight, shoulders back, chest out!

  • Laura Renee

    Lol, I love it when you deliberately pre-empt the Bitter Kittens.

    • It’s our “stern schoomarm” act. Forcing our BKs to be excellent. Miss Jean Brodie is our spirit animal. And if you don’t know who she is, well…

      • zenobar

        As a woman in her prime, I commend this reference.

        • conniemd

          “Jean, Jean, you’re young and alive…”

        • Aurumgirl

          I’m stealing your “as a woman in her prime” line. Thanks.

      • StellaZafella

        “We are in the business of putting old heads on young shoulders…”

      • rh33

        “Brrrody gehls…”

  • Adrianna Grężak

    I don’t know how I feel about Claire Danes wearing this, but the pattern makes me feel nostalgic. As a child, I spent my weekends at my Polish grandparents’ apartment in Passiac, NJ, where her Ukrainian landlord made me feel welcome to stop by to play with her cat and browse the apartment. The landlady was much older than my grandma, and I was fasicinated by the stories behind her embroided pillows and blankets.

  • Tatiana Luján

    I love how she looks and I love the dress itself, I wouldn’t say no to someone wearing it on a red carpet.

    Maybe it is because I am from a tropical country, but I don’t see a shower curtain or a tablecloth, I see the beautiful embroidery work indigenous cultures do all along Central and South America.

    • conniemd

      Aunt Catherine’s parlor sheer curtains were never embroidered. When we complain about table clothes or curtains or sofas, we are usually remembering cheap and tacky. I don’t have the same automatic “grandma’s _____” that other people do to things that are flowered.

    • SewingSiren

      There is also a strong tradition of embroidery in Norway . I wonder if that is why this dress was selected.

      • Anne At Large

        That was going to be my first guess too. It’s nice and wintry to me too, seems like a nice thematically and seasonally fitting nod. And for me the low-key styling lets it sing.

      • jenno1013

        Exactly. Right off this said “Norwegian rose painting” (rosemaling) to me. (Google it — lots of pictures)

  • Adriana

    Wow, gorgeous dress. And her makeup and hair look flawless!

  • Judy_S

    Embroidered pillow cover, maybe.
    But I agree she looks wonderful and it was a really lovely choice for the event.

  • She does look lovely. Full Stop.

  • YoungSally

    The needlework !!! “Le Sigh”

  • NBG

    I’ll take this over the millionth iteration of the beige-y beaded gowns stars favor.

    This dress has real stage presence. Not a fan of her jewelry picks, though.

    • ballerinawithagun

      Yes, better than beige!

  • Jessica Freeman

    Everything here is gorgeous and tasteful. Nailed it.

  • Mary Elizabeth Poytinger Baume

    Fancy Easter Holiday Apron, Circa 1956.

  • V No Privacy

    Can we recast HER as Maria in SOML? Don’t care if she can sing or not….

    • rottenkitty

      For the singing, cast Kelly Clarkson. Her Christmas special was last night and though at moments cheesy, she went through an amazing series of songs including “My Favorite Things” and just nailed it. (And bonus, they did a jazzy arrangement of it that was great. Yes, she can really sing.) So, let her Marni Nixon that shit.

  • SewingSiren

    Stunning . I love, love, love crewel embroidery. So pleasing on a simple design.

  • Vanessa Reyes

    She looks beautiful but I wish she would stand up straight or at least push her shoulders back a bit.

  • Nancer

    While she looks beautiful, I am wondering if that shape really flatters her. It makes her top half look square. See – I’m not even addressing all of the froufrou hickamajiggers tacked on to that thang!

  • nannypoo

    I love it and her makeup is perfect.

  • flamingoNW

    Love it, love her

  • bellafigura1

    I’ll just go with “dumpy.”

  • Carleenml

    I love her hair color – and her face just shines (in a good way).

  • Janet B

    Grandma’s knitting bag, linen with crewel embroidery.

    Claire looks lovely.

  • Kayceed

    I guess I stand alone on this one. I think the color palette is jarringly ugly and the embroidery unsophisticated for a Valentino gown.

    • I am with you, the purple and pink in particular are garish against the more subdued greens. The burgundy and peachy-cream tones come out of nowhere. and look kind of awful against the cool base fabric.

  • DTLAFamilies

    I’d love it except for the unfortunate placement of the red embroidery on her abdomen. Looks like an map to her fallopian tubes.

  • Hilda Elizabeth Westervelt

    I love her in this dress! Such an improvement over the disastrous look she had at the Emmys. When I saw only the top of the dress, I was immediately reminded of the Givenchy gown that Jacqueline Kennedy wore to Versailles in 1961. That dress had a plain skirt, and I might have preferred this dress to have a plain skirt as well, but that is a minor complaint It is a beautiful dress and really suits her.

  • Sara

    That hair color is perfect on her.

  • Zaftiguana

    Sometimes grandmas make some awesome shit. One of the things I’ve always loved bout Jay McCarroll is that he kind of gave grandmas their due. Yes, not every handcraft-oriented item is beautiful or high fashion, but the two aren’t mutually exclusive, either, and that’s probably one of the big things I really dig about this dress. I like it aesthetically on it’s own merits, but I actually think the crewel work gives it an interesting point of view.

    • demidaemon

      Well said. Well said indeed.

  • annabelle archer

    I work where senior citizens live, it’s not my fault that I could go upstairs and see this bedspread in any number of apartments.

  • Tuneful54

    No, no, no. It’s too summery and it doesn’t work with her pale coloring.

  • decormaven

    She looks beautiful! As for the fabric on the gown, it’s on a wingback chair with mahogany legs in some fine old Virginia home.

  • LuisaNL

    love this!

  • Betsy

    “Her gays” missed one thing. In the first close-up, it’s obvious that the clear plastic loop thingy that keeps the dress on the hanger is WAY visible. Her left arm. Luckily it’s clear, so I doubt much (any?) of the audience noticed. But . . . doesn’t anyone do a head-to-toe check before pushing these lady-stars out onto the stage? Are there no mirrors backstage?
    I also agree about a narrow belt. In the long shots, there’s a gap in the embroidery, both at the bottom of the bodice and the top of the skirt, that creates a white strip around her waist. A narrow maroon or blue belt would help that.
    Otherwise, no “granny-esque” comments at all. It’s floral embroidery modernized, and on a modern young woman. Now if I (plump, graying and 56 years old) wore it, or anything similar, you’d have cause for those complaints.

    • kimmeister

      Is that really a hanger loop? Doesn’t seem like those would be included in Valentino garments, and this one in particular doesn’t seem like it would need them. But it seems unlikely that it would be a clear bra strap either so I’m uncertain . . .

      • Betsy

        Too loose for bra strap. And I can’t think of anything *other* than a hangar loop that it could be. And it’s ridiculous how many garments have those — way more than necessary for neckline width or whatever. I mean, unless someone has slick glass hangers!

        • housefulofboys

          Too true – I actually have a nightshirt (!) with hanger loops. Not high-end at all, either. Never could figure out why.

  • ashtangajunkie

    It kind of reminds me of an Ikea pillowcase, but I like it. She looks pretty.

  • Clueless_Jock

    Lily Pulitzer on poppers.

  • marlie

    This dress is really gorgeous. I don’t know if I’d like it as much on someone else, but Claire looks really beautiful in it.

    And it’s crafty crewel work. All the cool needlepointers (an oxymoron?) are doing it.

  • bertkeeter

    I adore the designers at Valentino..but PLEASE lets move on. This ingenue look from the last several seasons has run it’s course! Dying for a glam collection with some “tasteful” sexy dramatic looks!

  • Suzanne Moore

    She looks fabulous. The dress is stunning on her.

  • algaechick

    All I can think is “there’s a Nobel Peace prize concert?!” Once I get past that, I’ll judge the fashion.

    • kimmeister

      I keep wondering if Claire Danes sang!

  • ThesisMonkey

    love it

  • kimmeister

    It looks a bit like the doily that my Mexican mother-in-law gave us to use for keeping tortillas warm.

    • Tracy_Flick

      YES! I was thinking of the tortilla baskets my parents bought at a tourist market in Peurto Vallarta in the late 70s. Also a similarly embroidered peasant blouse my mom had around that time.

      Having said that, I do like this dress for the occasion.

  • Lilak

    Like it for the event and at this venue/on stage — fine enough on Miss Danes.

    Though from a distance, that white space at the waist looks peculiarly like giant rick-rack.

  • SissyLou

    I like it, she looks beautiful, but there’s some clear plastic hanging out of the dress on her left arm.

  • E. D.

    I like it.

  • frannyprof

    I love it!!!!

  • webslice33

    looks really good on her, quite happy she didnt show her sleepy tits..

  • minnye

    The embroidery is beautiful, but the crew neck & sleeveless shoulders bring the look down, imo. I would love this with a more elegant neckline, a bateau maybe? This reminds me of an Eddie Bauer tank top.

  • Is she singing?! Does she sing?

    • Erica_Vuitton

      I had to Google because I thought the same! No singing – but she did host so this must be an action shot.

  • MilaXX

    I think it’s working in this situation although I think I want a skinny belt with it.

  • melanie0866

    My mother did a huge (6′ x 6′) piece of crewel embroidery on burlap in 1970. It used to hang in our dining room. This reminds me of it.

    That being said, I LOVE this and love it on Claire. She is so pretty.

  • I don’t quite agree, I think this is a brunette’s dress. Dark, dark brunette. Maybe raven-tressed. Hayleys Atwell, Steinfeld, or Lily Collins. That is not Claire’s color palette. That dingy off-white background really drags it down. It seems like it was supposed to be a little more translucent and ethereal against the heavy embroidery.

  • Sam Smith

    Love the idea of this, but think I would prefer cocktail or knee length and I think her hair is very matronly.

  • JDreesen

    cross-stitched ovarian charts?

    i mean, come ON. those two things are just STARING US DOWN FROM UP THERE.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    I think it’s lovely. I like seeing a floral every now and again and this one works like a dream in that setting.

  • MrsDanvers

    Isn’t this the dress Maria Von Trapp made out of curtains?

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    I like the idea of this dress better than the dress itself. I wish all that embroidery were more delicate and less garish. But, she does look lovely here.

  • I think it’s working for her. But even though I’m at a loss to suggest alternatives, the hair and makeup bring the look down.

  • ConnieBV

    “Queen Cersei’s tapestry”. Love it.

  • mixedupfiles

    I like this innovation — the peremptory blocking of terms that will likely just bore everyone. Could be a fun idea!

  • CatherineRhodes

    Hate the hair. With so much dress, she’s coming off as a pinhead.

    • Gatto Nero

      I like that the hair is simple and swept back, given all the busyness in the fabric.

  • mila_8

    My first thought on the print was original background graphics for Pitfall. Or Baltimora video. It’s giving me life…. Jungle life.

  • quiltrx

    Definitely a dress best viewed at a distance–so on-stage is perfect.

  • sunflower

    I was just looking at this dress the other day and wondering who would wear it (I like to browse department store websites for dresses I can’t afford in my spare time) and she never even crossed my mind. I think it’s too much dress for her. The fist person who came to mind was Nicole Kidman and then the second was Lupita Nyong’o. She’s been trying out so many different styles during her 12 Years awards poledance and I think the colors would look gorgeous on her

  • guest2visits

    If not Claire Danes then who…? Maybe Dakota Fanning. Agree it’s an odd dress that Claire is working very nicely.

  • kittenwithaquip

    On behalf of my Grandma Georgia, thank you for addressing the ubiquitous “Grandma’s curtains/couch/tablecloth” comments. Mammy (yep, we called her Mammy, not sure why, but my idiot brother was involved) would never have anything that wasn’t stylish…at the time she bought it, anyway. Yeah, she had brocades and cut velvets, and everything coordinated, but she did it with panache. She’s 83 now, addled from dementia, but I consider her one of my style icons. She owned a restaurant and had to do everything from plumbing to suggesting wines to sharing dirty jokes with the tipsy Catholic priests, and she did it wearing lipstick, in 3″ (at least) heels and with her hair in a chignon. My love for all of those crazy florals and damasks comes from her, along with a love for big costume jewelry. If I say “it looks my grandma’s” anything, it’s usually a compliment. Well, except shapewear. Mammy had some seriously heavy-duty girdles, but I guess holding all of that fabulosity together with no panty lines was serious business.

    Sorry for the detour down memory lane. I felt the need to testify for all of the stylish grandmas out there.

  • Gatto Nero

    It’s quite a sweet dress, in this setting. And she is thin enough to carry all that color and pattern.

  • H2olovngrl

    How about: it looks like a Christmas decoration we had in the seventies of an embroidered partridge in a pear tree. Of course, this actually makes me love it and deem it as seasonally appropriate.

  • tiger18lily

    She looks fantastic! I’d normally hate this dress, and if it was on the red carpet I’d probably say something like “technocolor 70s flocked wallpaper”, but somehow it works here. Brava for a risk well rewarded!