Laura Carmichael in Erdem at the 2014 BAFTA Awards

Posted on February 17, 2014

This is not the direction we would have gone in, Miss Laura.


“Downton Abbey” star Laura Carmichael attends the 2014 BAFTA Awards in arriving at The Royal Opera House in London in an Erdem beaded strapless dress from the Pre-Fall 2014 collection.

Erdem Pre-Fall 2014 Collection

It’s a really pretty dress, but the overall look comes off too casual for the BAFTAs. It’s not that a gown was required (although that’s what we would have recommended if asked, because she should be giving the impression that she belongs on the red carpet, right next to international movie stars). But if you’re going to wear a strapless cocktail dress to an event where other ladies are wearing couture, at least get your hair did and borrow some diamonds to wear. And also some not-awkward shoes, please. She could keep the dress, if she’s so in love with it, but she needs to fix the head and feet. Gold pointy-toed pumps, to make the look appear more formal, several showy pieces of jewelry, to make it look more luxe, and a fully done up face and hair do, to make her look like a star.

Your turn, darlings. Play with your Laura Carmichael paper doll and fix this look.





[Photo Credit: Si/PacificCoastNews, Zak Hussein/,]

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  • If you have to use gaffer tape to hold your shoes on, you should get some different shoes. Or at least a dress that goes all the way down to hide those horrible things. Needs a bracelet and better hair. Poor Edith.

    • Trent

      WORD. Those hiddy shoes need to be thrown on the trash pile and burned. And the dress doesn’t even read as “cocktail”, to me, but as a luncheon dress in late Spring with girlfriends — not the BAFTAs. Some stylist gave her really horrible advice…

      • Aurumgirl

        I thought “garden party/barbecue”, myself. Then you could wear a sandal with it that doesn’t feature duct tape as a design element. It’s what the hair style suggests, as well.

    • lamamu

      It’s like God doesn’t want her to be happy.

  • Sarah

    Duct-tape is only for feet when you are a punk kid with disintegrating shoes. I like the dress, but I kinda want those to be little bees, which I don’t think they are…

    • It’d be so much better if they were little bees!

      • Sarah

        The mister goes by “B” so we have a lot of bees on things. (Skin, furnishings, clothes, jewelry, etc.) I look for bees everywhere, hence my desire to see them here, I guess.

        • Alyssa

          Now that you’ve mentioned bees, I really wish they were. I like the dress as is, but I love beaded insects for some reason!

  • schadenfreudelicious

    Lady Edith, you know your Grandmother would not approve!

  • Aidan B

    Aww, such a shame. It’s a really cute dress and it looks good on her. I’d even be willing to forgive the hair if she had a killer necklace on, and some strappy shoes. So close, lady Edith.

  • Janet B

    Every single bit of styling is wrong, wrong, wrong. Why bother showing up if you aren’t going to put some effort into your appearance?

    I’d start with pretty shoes and major jewelry.

  • Danielle

    I understand going low-key but at least employ a dramatic lip, honey!

  • MilaXX

    Those shoes – take them out back, burn them and bury them. They are offensively ugly. I totally agree with TLo’s recommendations. She needs better hair/makeup and better shoes. The dress can stay.

    • Danielle

      The shoes hurt my eyes.

    • demidaemon

      I thought you were going to say they should be taken out back and shot, which would be an entirely appropriate but alternative response.

  • Ann VerWiebe

    It’s an outfit for a date to an outdoor symphony concert. Not BAFTA material at all.

    • Lisa_Co

      Am I wrong or are the BAFTAs much more casual than the Oscars?

      • Ann VerWiebe

        Maybe, but this dress just seems very standard – like she’s going to the Press Club of Cleveland Awards.

  • AnnaleighBelle

    Gods, her skin is gorgeous. Pale but peachy and warm.

    She looks a little uncomfortable.

    • Janet B

      She just saw Lupita and realizes her stylist has failed her.

      • AnnaleighBelle

        I think so. Too bad, because she looks really pretty if she were in another venue.

  • decormaven

    A sleeker ‘do, a floorlength version of this dress, gold jewelry, and strappy sandals- that what my Lady Edith paper doll will wear.

  • DaringMiss

    This will sound bad, but girl needs bronzer or hose. Her legs are a different shade (looks like they are turning blue with cold, actually) than her arms and face.

    I think she needed some fabulous coat for this dress. Not a cape — that would look silly for a cocktail dress — but a gorgeous flared coat in black peau de soie!

  • Diego!

    Yeah, she looks like a personal assistant to one of the so many stars on the RC. Had she worn the blue version of the dress, this might have had a differente effect. Those shoes are ok, but not for this dress. Hair is a mess. Make up is so so. Honey, you’re out.

  • Grumpy Girl

    And fingernail polish. I’d rather not see the toes at this time of year, but some polish in a dynamic color would be good and a big showy ring echoing the jewels in the dress. Head and shoes, too, of course.

  • marlie

    If we’re keeping the dress, we should up the makeup gun to 10, and pull the hair back for a sleek up-do. Maybe a chunky gold cuff and/or bold earrings, and some KILLER heels in either black or gold.

  • msdamselfly

    I agree she looks more understated than the others but with her features, I think she is more attractive with a more natuarl look such as this than a more plastic and glammed up style.

  • crash1212

    You said it all. This look could have been a contender, but she failed in accessorizing. It’s all in the accessories darlings.

  • Danielle

    Side note, every time I see “Erdem” I think of Javier Bardem, and get a mental picture of him hunched over a sewing machine, cutting along the bias with his Skyfall character’s hair.

  • sagecreek

    Dress is cute, but those shoes kill it.

  • Phalbe Henriksen

    Her hammertoes need surgery, not pointed-toe shoes.

  • samo_samo

    Gentleman, you said all that needs to be said…fix the head and feet. I would have put some really eye catching accessories on her…something lovely around her neck and/or amazing earring and a piece for her wrist. More effort in the details and this would have been a really fabulous look for her.

    • Gatto Nero

      The shoes are giving me fits.
      And the hair is particularly unflattering for her facial features. She could be going to the gym.
      We know she can do better than this.

  • NMMagpie

    Sorority rush dress.

  • colleenjanel

    With the exception of the shoes, she looks like she’s going to the Homecoming Dance. Where’s her wrist corsage?

  • julnyes

    What is the difference between pre-Fall and Spring?

    My doll would drop that hemline to the floor, throw on some spiky stilettos, make the hair bigger with some loose curls and slap the warpaint on before rolling around in a display case at Harry Winston and heading for the show.

    • marlie

      I love the imagery of her rolling around in a display at Harry Winston.

    • demidaemon

      I believe Pre-Fall is industry code for “Winter.”

      • Lisa_Co

        Pre-Fall is the earliest clothing that comes out in a Fall line. You can generally get it in late July/early August. The rest of Fall clothes arrive in stores a bit later.

        • julnyes

          I actually meant Summer not Spring, but your answer explains it nicely. Thanks!

  • lamamu

    A dramatic smoky eye would kill it with that dress. And simple pointed toe black heels.

  • bravobravp

    She looks dunham-ized.

  • prisma

    Oh, hi. I was on my way to church but I decided to stop by the BAFTA’s so I just took of my Sears cardigan that I’d paired with my strapless dress and, voila, ready to go!

  • lunchcoma

    Nothing about this is sophisticated enough, not even for a premiere. I think the dress would be fine at a less formal event, but her hair makes her look like she’s closer to 12 than 28, and the shoes shouldn’t be anywhere but a clearance rack.

  • AzSportsGirl

    I had this dress AND hair for my 9th grade dance! With some exquisite jewels and a fringed lame purse from Claire’s!

  • jw_ny

    all what TLo said, and some attitude! Girl looks like a wallflower….

  • bouionice

    Oh no, those shoes…she looks like she’s on her way to a picnic.

  • VicD

    GAAAAAH! Shoes, hair, makeup … so much bad here.

  • maleyneil

    Serving up junior prom realness.

  • tereliz

    This would be wonderful and appropriate on Chloe Moretz, or Kiernan Shipka, but not Laura. If she wants to keep the shorter length of the gown, she needs to ditch the gym hair and pull it into a sleeker chignon. i do like the idea of gold pointy-toed pumps, but I think patent cordovan pumps would work too without being too focus-pulling or blending into the carpet. Face-wise, a thick black cat-eye leaving the rest of the eye clean, and a deep plummy lip. Then a big, blingy bib necklace and either a chunky, textured gold cuff or a cocktail ring with a sapphire blue or lapis lazuli stone.

    You deserve better than this, Edith. I mean Laura!

  • E. D.

    This whole thing looks like 1992 until you get to the shoes. I don’t know WTF is going on with those.

  • MzzPants

    This gown, full length. Soft French twist or chignon. Dramatic eye makeup with a neutral glossy lip. Not those shoes.

  • Anna

    “I really wanted to just go home to my cat and crash after work, tax auditing is a BITCH, but my company IS being nominated for Best New Firm. Good thing I keep my trusty mules in my bottom desk drawer, aren’t they classic? I’ve had them since 1996.”

    • demidaemon

      That’s it! This look is two decades old!

  • LaSylphide

    Love the dress. With the right styling and better posture and attitude (she’s just not selling it), she could have made every other woman in the room look overdressed.

  • Madam Von Sassypants

    I didn’t think I could yawn as loudly as I just did upon seeing this outfit.

  • formerlyAnon

    I like the dress, as much as it DOES look like a sundress. Hair is the killer. It should have been up, in a very elegant style, not the messy schmatta buns that have been showing up. Add gorgeous earrings, maybe a necklace. If she wanted to skew younger she could have worn very simple single strand pearls with pearl earrings. Shoes needed to be closed and dressy.

    I also think the right kind of wrap might have improved this, but my imagination fails at what would, exactly BE the right kind of wrap.

    • demidaemon


      • formerlyAnon

        I am mortified at how long it took me to get that. I stared at it for at least 30 seconds, completely blank.

        Time for bed. I’ll get up early, write emails when the brain is purportedly fresh.

        • demidaemon

          Hahaha! Same here, actually. Must get up and look over some rough drafts for work. Good night! 🙂

  • alyce1213

    So underdone as to be practically invisible.

  • SugarSnap108

    It’s like she put on the dress then gave up. It could so easily have been saved with decent shoes, some (any!) jewelry, and non-DIY hair and makeup.

  • grapecranberry

    I like my coffee like I like my women: covered in BEEEEES

  • Those shoes actually made me flinch. Burn them.

  • Hair is OMG, NO, NEVER!

  • CPK1

    Put the horrid, horrid ill-fitting shoes in the bin. along with the hairdo I was sporting when I was 11. The dress can stay, I guess.

  • Columbinia

    The clunky shoes ruin the dress. The hair down looks like a teen. It should be redone as ToLo says, sparkly shoes, hair up, bling, nicer makeup. Why is underdressed such a common error for celebrities these days? Do they think it makes them look like Serious People?

  • shaziz

    that dress needs to be hemmed to a shorter length- it’s a weird tea length that isn’t flattering on her ~

  • quiltrx

    This looks like a party dress for someone 17-20. Not a Bafta dress. And it looks like a black bush with bugs all over it, besides.

  • demidaemon

    Those shoes are horrible and she looks like she walked in without seeing any kind of stylist. To be frank, I don’t particularly like the dress, either. It seems too dowdy and inappropriate for this event.

  • Clash D

    Cute dress, bondage heels. Erk, no. And updoing the hair would have elevated this look somewhat.

  • boweryboy

    It’s like she put on the dress and the ugly shoes, looked in the mirror, and said “Nailed it.”

  • suzq

    Hair up, better shoes, hose, (there, I said it) slightly longer skirt or maybe a bit of crinoline for some necessary real estate on the red carpet.