Viola Davis in Helmut Lang at the Disney & ABC Television Group’s TCA Summer Press Tour 2014

Posted on July 16, 2014

Not only are we over the proliferation of B&W on the red carpets of Summer ’14, but we’re also over the off-season deployment of leather in July – especially when it has that “blacksmith’s apron” quality to it – and the overuse of the random unflattering cutout. Miss Viola managed to hit the trifecta.

This is not, however, the worst offender we’ve seen all summer, mainly because she looks pretty good:


Viola-Davis-Disney-TCA-Summer-Press-Tour-2014-Tom-LOrenzo-Site-TLO (1)Viola Davis attends the Disney & ABC Television Group’s TCA Summer Press Tour 2014 in Beverly Hills, California in Helmut Lang.

Viola-Davis-Disney-TCA-Summer-Press-Tour-2014-Tom-LOrenzo-Site-TLO (2)

Viola-Davis-Disney-TCA-Summer-Press-Tour-2014-Tom-LOrenzo-Site-TLO-(4)Helmut Lang Cut-Out Cocktail Mini with Leather Top

Viola-Davis-Disney-TCA-Summer-Press-Tour-2014-Tom-LOrenzo-Site-TLO (3)

Sort of good. Okay, maybe just occasionally good in certain spots, like her head and the skirt area. She can keep both of those. While we appreciate the little strip of python to give the top more interest, it still looks heavy and armor-like. And those weird little cutouts at the side waist are just dumb. Also: ugly shoes.

Viola, we love you, which is why we’re telling you your face deserved a better ensemble than this.





[Photo Credit: Mark Davis/Getty Images,]

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  • RussellH88

    I’d need the side cutouts as air vents, because I would be sweating like Whitney Houston at a BBQ.

    I don’t understand going out in these outfits, they look like they’d be uncomfortable in the heat. As someone who keeps my car AC on full blast and my apartment at 60 degrees (so I can curl up under blankets), it baffles me.

    • mjude

      i don’t get it either. i am so with you on the a/c & temps. god bless ya 🙂

      • smayper

        She is managing to make that outfit look really good, and I am not a fan of any of the elements. Completely gratuitous cutouts. It’s as if all the designers got a memo saying they would get extra credit for every cutout they added to a dress on the RC. She is just radiant.

    • judybrowni

      The TCA is held in a hotel in Pasadena with uniformly cold AC blasting, so there’s that.

    • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

      Thank you. As a mother, entertainer and Texan, I don’t care how much my electric bill is, if my a/c isn’t too cold then it’s not cold enough. It’s been rainy and not 100 this week, so I actually had to turn the a/c off a couple of times! My thermostat said 57 last night!

      As for blankies, IKEA makes my favorite comforter. It’s high thread count sateen cotton, and it’s got the poly fiberfill in it, so it’s machine washable. 95% of IKEA is shit, but this is in the 5% that is good quality. It’s actually two comforters with plastic snaps around the edge. So you can have one very thin comforter for summer, and one thick comforter for cooler weather, and then snap the two together for a very thick and warm comforter if you lived in Siberia or something.

      So what I do is, unsnap the top snaps and sleep inside it like a cave, with my pillows in it and all that.

      My lease is up soon and even though Texas is my home (and even though I’ll probably stay), I’ve thought of moving somewhere further north.

      Viola’s lipstick is a fabulous color.

      • RussellH88

        I live in Southern Ohio which has absolutely horrible summers, since we’re along the Ohio River. Our summers are always sticky and gross, where the minute you step outside you instantly become damp.

        • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

          The word “suede” is one of my triggers.

          • altermyego

            Does that include “Suede” from Project Runway a few seasons ago?

    • It’s just never humid here in LA, which makes all the difference.

  • Alyssa_T_Robot

    i agree that a leather top should NOT be worn in july, that’s a akin to begging for boob sweat. HOWEVAH, i think she looks very good in it. and as a sometimes vain lady myself, if i look really good in something, i don’t care how uncomfortable it is i’m going to make it werq.

    • carrie

      Agree – I think she looks fabulous. Shoes not great though.

  • decormaven

    Not loving the top- looks like a python cami under a sleeveless leather top. Also, the shoes are out of season. Her face looks great, though- her stylist needs to work harder to choose better clothes and accessories.

  • cocohall

    That is one depressing backdrop for the RC. It is summer and they are announcing/promoting new shows and yet it looks like a funeral in February. Aside from that, Miss V is stunning, as always, but it is a weird little dress. It has a sporty vibe (pockets/layered tank top look) mixed with a slinky vibe (leather/snake skin). Is this from the House of Derion? Is Beyonce’s mother still designing? This looks like something she would do. That isn’t a compliment, just to clarify.

    • MilaXX

      Gurl, Tina would have had python trim down the sides and on the hem! Then she would have made matching python shoes!

  • dustinrhodes

    I think Viola Davis is a beautiful, often very stylish woman. However, I think this outfit is atrocious — the hair, too.

  • SewingSiren

    Dislike the leather and the cut out. She would have been better off with a little white dress of a similar cut to this one.

  • crash1212

    Those cutouts could not be deployed in a worse area….unless you’re a glamazon. Designers…get a clue! Her beautiful head deserved better.

  • Anna

    I like the idea of the the top half of this. That neckline is super-flattering on her, hate the stupid cutouts. The waist is also sitting at an awkward spot on her, or maybe it’s the cutouts that are making it look awkward.

    Face and hair are flawless though, I love her hair like that.

    • demidaemon

      The cutouts are weirdly waist obliterating (the shape of the bodice isn’t helping either), which is probably what you are seeing.

      • Anna

        I agree, if they were eliminated completely and the waistline moved up a skosh, it would be so much more flattering.

  • spirit52

    A big NO to the hot leather. YES to her soft hairstyle

  • Grumpy Girl

    I get the sense she felt the cutouts were awkward, too–hence keeping her hands in her pockets to pull things down?

  • Likes: pockets, python, length, b/w combo as a general rule, hair.
    Dislikes: leather, cutouts (another trend that should DIE, PUSSYCAT, DIE), too heavy makeup, shoes.
    So I guess that makes this a wash. Viola is a wonderful actress and a gorgeous woman, she deserves better fashion treatment than this.

    • I agree with you on every point!

  • No. Just…no.

  • In_Stitches

    Those cut outs are so sad. Had they gone up and exposed more of the ribcage, I’d get it, but this? It’s like, here is my love handle!

    Viola clearly has no handles of which to speak, but had she, this would be the dress to show them off to the world with apparently.

  • gayle

    I don’t understand the cutouts at the waist. I am ignoring those shoes and focusing on how wonderful her head looks.

  • marlie

    The shoes are the worst part of the look. Get rid of the cutouts on the side, switch up the shoes, and this would be a great look for the fall.

    • mjude

      you are so right its a “fall” look!

    • Janet B

      It’s usually quite warm in October, in CA, this could be the perfect summer in the fall look – with different shoes of course

  • OffToSeeHim


  • Glam Dixie

    I dislike everything going on below her neck but it’s really bugging me that her boobs look like smushed melons under that heavy leather. Too tight or maybe just too damn thick and heavy, either way, me no likey.

  • Crystal

    That head looks GREAT. WERK THAT WIG, GIRL.

  • Alyssa

    She is lovely and deserves better. Better shoes, a dress without stupid random cutouts. However, yay for her wearing a bracelet!

  • Thomas

    This would we be fab if the top was all python print in some other material and she burned the shoes.

  • SugarSnap108

    I’m guessing that for ladies being carted door-to-door to these events, where the AC is probably set on frigid, comfort is not a big issue? But it leather in July is just wrong in principle. Still, shoes aside, I think she looks good.

  • The cutouts make it look like she tucked a bathing suit with high-cut leg holes into her skirt.

  • Kathy

    I’m having hot flashes just looking at this.

  • Danielle

    Irrational love list, she looks slammin’ to me.

  • MilaXX

    I dislike the cutouts more than the rest of the dress. The shoes are the real offender. They need to be burned.

  • Jessica Freeman

    It doesn’t help its not a very good dress to start with. However, the vagina shoes #no.

  • LibKat

    Her face and hair do look great. But I was really hoping that the success of the Divine Lupita would lead to more celebrities of African descent setting their natural hair free. Miss Viola has looked so beautiful in the few times she has skipped the heavy looking wigs.

  • Kitten Mittons

    Eliminate the cut outs by moving the waist up an inch or so, and burn the shoes.

    If the proportions were right and those booties died a slow death, I’d really love this, seasonally appropriate or not.

    • FibonacciSequins

      The dress would work much better if the waist were moved up an inch or two.

      • Kitten Mittons

        I like the snake print, and it shows off her shoulders and arms beautifully. It has some redeeming qualities, definitely.

  • Bonnie Blue

    I like her lip color and she has a great smile. Even though the dress is sleevless, the leather looks too heavy. I don’t understand why the celebs in summer lately all seem to be wearing heavy fabrics, dark colors, and suede shoes. In the winter they are wearing flimsy fabrics, sandals, no sleeves, etc. A lot of the fashion has looked very wintry lately to me. If the A/C is cold there are ways to dress without wearing winter clothing (not necessarily her dress, but what we’ve seen from other stars lately).

    • HeisenbergHattie

      There is no way to tell if this is daytime or night time. My guess is —> this outfit was chosen for an evening event and the heavier fabrics work better in that instance. Just my guess.

  • formerlyAnon

    I think she’s too elegant and sophisticated for ‘fun’ little cutouts in a leather top. At least, THAT leather top.

    I don’t think her makeup is photographing well, here. Looks harsh to me. eta: on reflection, it’s just that there seems to me to be too much blush. And it’s closer to her lip color than to a natural flush.

  • Cousin_Rose

    Take out the cutout and i like this look. Looks like she’s been working out and showing off her lovely arms is just the thing to do.

  • alyce1213

    If it weren’t leather and it didn’t have waist cutouts, I’d really like it.
    I love her best with short, natural hair because THAT FACE, but this hairstyle is a very good alternative — looks pretty.

  • HeisenbergHattie

    What strikes me about these photos … one can tell Viola is feeling GREAT about being Viola. *very cool*

  • KT

    This is actually a pretty flattering silhouette, which is rarely the case when it comes to leather dresses, but overall it’s still a miss. The cutouts are totally unnecessary, the python additions look awkward and tacked-on, the shoes are wrong, and the skirt looks incongruent with the top. She’s beautiful, but I agree — she can do better.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    Love Viola’ hair and makeup. The leather top does look heavy for summer, especially in L.A.

  • Jay

    I adore Viola and Helmut Lang, but I’m not wild about this dress on her. Her makeup and hair are great, though I do love her natural hair best.

    Very excited about getting to see her awesome acting on a weekly basis this fall!

  • EEKstl

    All true, but hair and makeup are fabulous and she looks happy, which definitely counts for something.

  • mmebam

    Those cutouts make her look like she’s busting at the seams, which is nowhere near the case…

  • unbornfawn

    She looks pretty good. I am willing to forgive the flaws of this look. However, I am so over random cutouts.

  • frannyprof

    I will never sign off on the vagina shoe.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    Hate the shoes. And I am certainly no fan of the leather top, but somehow, she still looks awesome. You go, Viola, with your clothes-transforming self.

  • demidaemon

    Agreed. Despise the cutouts. They are so nonsensical.

  • I think she looks great, but this dress would look better in say, October, when there was actually a chill in the air

  • Trickytrisha

    Love her, not the dress. Hair and makeup are pretty darned spiffy. Nice to see her in the spotlight again. Let’s hope her new TV show is a hit.

  • Some people just don’t look great in black. I am one of them. It’s fine but it does nothing for her. Doesn’t help that the backdrop is black too. Loving her hair though.

  • Not feeling those cutouts at all, but hair and makeup super cute.

  • StrandedFashionista

    It looks like she’s wearing a flack jacket over a pretty white and python summer dress. Weird and not good. Hair and makeup game is perfect though.

  • Judih1

    If she had better shoes and took her hands out of her pocket, I might like this.

  • maretha2

    Viola might be a magician. I don’t like this dress (side cutouts?? WTF??) and I loathe those shoes — but I still think she looks fantastic. If I just saw a picture of her that wasn’t on a fashion blog site, I’d just say, “Dayum, Girl, I am buying whatever you are selling.”

  • understateddiva

    It’s great shape for her (ridiculous cutouts aside). Speaking of great shape, does she have a new workout routine? One that I can emulate?