atozee

The Most Unlikely Designer Muse at #NYFW

Who is your style icon? The inquiry is perhaps the most clichéd and over-asked question of every fashion person during interviews and sometimes the answers can be just as expected as the question itself. And while I didn’t poll anyone (merely personal observation here), the most often name-dropped muses are Kate Moss, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Catherine Deneuve (only from Belle Du Jour of course), Grace Jones, and Marilyn Monroe. To jazz things up and throw in a pop culture reference, well, then, it’s Beyonce, Rihanna, or Madonna. 

But according to the runways this week, Spring 2015 will have a different (although still the same) response. Instead, the new designer muse is … Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz? A unique choice, I know, but what do you think? Here to stay or will it blow away? 

PS: For the record, my own personal style icons are Kurt Cobain and John Kennedy Jr. Who are yours? Tweet at me with the hashtag #StyleIcon


1 / 5
Oscar de la Renta. Photo Courtesy ImaxTree


2 / 5
Diane von Furstenberg. Photo Courtesy ImaxTree


3 / 5
Michael Kors. Photo Courtesy Getty Images


4 / 5
Altuzzara. Photo Courtesy of designer


5 / 5
Dorothy from Wizard of Oz. Photo Courtesy Everett Collection
Justin Bieber & Naomi Campbell Spent Valentine’s Day Together

Instead of wining and dining on Valentine’s Day, a handful of famous faces ditched their nearest and dearest for charity—and Naomi Campbell. The supermodel hosted Fashion For Relief, an atypical runway show for Lincoln Center’s main stage. Actual models (and famous ones like Sports Illustrated swim issue star Rose Bertram, Chantelle Brown-Young, and Jessica Hart to name a few), plus celebs like Kelly Osbourne, Cassie, Mary J. Blige, and Michelle Rodriguez wore looks donated by Diane Von Furstenburg, Proenza Schouler, Marc Jacobs, and more. And not one person seemed anything less than incredibly happy to donate their time to supporting the Ebola Survival Fund on the most romantic day of the year.

Unlike many of the A-listers in attendance who ditched their significant others for the night, Tyson Beckford, who walked in the show wearing a “sleek Calvin Klein suit,” got to hit the catwalk with his girlfriend, Shanina Shaik. While the Victoria’s Secret stunner has a full schedule at New York Fashion Week, Beckford didn’t want to do too many shows this season because he’s focusing on acting. “Addicted is like 50 Shades of Greybut better,” he very boldly said of his new film. Unlike 50 Shades, which Beckford heard was not so good and laughable, he insists this movie is seriously sexy and contains some crazy sex scenes. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan could have taken tips from Beckford who has “a lot of sex scenes” and doesn’t find them weird at all. “You get to know the person first, obviously, then you just go into it and they say action,” he said of his technique. “My co-star was hot so I had no problem kissing her.” As for Shaik, who was on set, Beckford says she used it as a learning experience instead of a chance to be jealous. And if the roles were reversed? “I’d be like, ‘You go girl, but you need to do this and you need to that.’ I’d give her pointers.”

Campbell, the supermodel of all supermodels, was kind enough to dish out advice pre-show. Kelly Osbourne said the supermodel gave her some tips and from the looks of things, she seriously took them to heart. Wearing a Thom Browne feather dress with matching jacket, she was escorted by Brad Goreski, also wearing Thom Browne. The co-stars requested to wear the most fashion-y, ridiculous, non-sexy items and Osbourne was “honored to be one of the first fat people to ever wear Thom Browne on the runway.” Considering she critiques the fashion world, she said it was important to turn the tables. But with a well-received collection and a post on The Fashion Police, she might not be giving herself enough credit. “It’s like in acting, you should never stop training, never stop learning, researching, and practicing what it is you find to be your art,” she said. “I love fashion and my mission in life with my line has been to make fashion care and to be a part of something like this which is bringing a charitable aspect to the fashion world, which is know to be quite snooty, and to be honest, quite cunty, so I’m really honored to be a part of it.”

The Empire guest star’s guidance made its way to Mary J. Blige as well. The singer said that Campbell told her just to do her “Mary walk, whatever that is!” She has walked in one show before—“I walked in one for Catharine Malandrino, but it was with her; I held her hand”—and says that while she won’t turn into a runway model anytime soon, she’s definitely open to having this experience more often (are you listening designers?!). Blige’s strut served as the grand finale; she was accompanied by the night’s host as well as Bryshere Y. Gray who plays Hakeem, the jailbait boy Campbell romances on Empire. Gray is well aware that he inspires jealousy in men (and women) around the world for getting to make out with Campbell, which he calls awesome. “I love that they hate,” he said.

But before the power trio (should we nickname them Brasherebell?) closed out the night, Yahoo Style’s very own Joe Zee made his runway debut with June Ambrose on his arm, and Kelly Rutherford, Nene Leakes, Paris Hilton, and Rosario Dawson walked as well. The audience brought out their friends including Estelle, Jeannnie Mai, Christina Millian, and Tamron Hall, but the biggest star in the stands was Justin Bieber. While the “Baby” singer was tight-lipped, he was very willing to take selfies with the adoring fans who rushed him the second the show ended. In the midst of a personality makeover — he apologized for his months of inappropriate behavior on the Ellen Degeneres Show, has been giving his time and money to charitable organizations, and even paid the bill for some NYPD cops that were sitting next to him at a diner the other day — taking in the one show of New York Fashion Week that gives back is yet another good deed on the singer’s part. Valentine’s Day has never been so generous — or fashionable for that matter.

More from Yahoo Style:
Exclusive! Kendall Jenner Prays Before Shows & Gigi Hadid Loves Her Man
3 Editors—& the Kardashian/Wests—on Alexander Wang’s FW Collection
Sarah Jessica Parker Lets Her Kids Play in Her Closet—& More From Fendi’s NYFW Party!

#StyleHack: A Simple Fix So You Can Eat More This Thanskgiving

I have never been shy about loving to eat, which I understand can be an oxymoron for a fashion person. But when it comes to the holiday season, I turn eating into a true participant sport.

When your mother’s feast resembles something along the lines of cruise ship buffet, you’ll not only feel like you have to – but will also want to – try everything put in front of you. So while you’re tapping out your calorie count into gastronomic numbers, you’ll need to know that there’s a clothing lifesaver within grasp, when THAT moment comes. Oh, you know what moment I’m talking about. THAT exact instance when you stop eating, take a deep breath, lean back in your chair, stretch, and then glare at that pumpkin pie in front of you and think, “How am I going to do this?”

The answer lies with your sister or wife sitting next to you or it may even just be within your pocket. It’s what I call the “loop-to-eat”.

I learned this technique a few years ago from my boyfriend and his grandmother, whom his family all affectionately call Tiny, a petit woman who after the hefty meal, would whip off her hair tie and do the loopy-dee-loop so she can continue eating.

Here’s how it’s done:

1) Unbutton your pants.

2) Take a hair tie (or elastic band) and thread it through the buttonhole and then loop it through the hair tie/elastic band again, so it stays in place

3) Hook the free end of the band onto button.

4) Sit back and stretch and feel that extra bit of room in your pants.

5) Go back for seconds.

#StyleHack: A Simple Fix So You Can Eat More This Thanksgiving

Illustration Alessandra Olanow

I have never been shy about loving to eat, which I understand can be an oxymoron for a fashion person. But when it comes to the holiday season, I turn eating into a true participant sport.

 When your mother’s feast resembles a cruise ship buffet, you’ll not only feel obligated, but you’ll want to try everything in front of you. So while you’re tapping out your calorie count into gastronomic numbers, you’ll be relieved to know that there’s a clothing lifesaver within reach, when THAT moment comes. Oh, you know what moment I’m talking about. THAT exact instance when you stop eating, take a deep breath, lean back in your chair, and stare at that pumpkin pie in front of you and think, “How am I going to do this?”

 Just turn to your sister or your aunt sitting next to you. You may even have one in your hair. It’s what I call the “loop-to-eat”. I learned the technique a few years ago from my boyfriend and his grandmother, whom his family all affectionately call Tiny, a petite woman, who after the hefty meal, would whip off her hair tie and do the loopy-dee-loop so she can continue eating.

 Here’s how it’s done:
 
1)   Unbutton your pants.
2)   Take a hair tie (or elastic band) and thread it through the buttonhole and then loop it through the hair tie/elastic band again, so it stays in place
3)   Hook the free end of the band onto button.
4)   Sit back and stretch and feel that extra bit of room in your pants.
5)   Go back for seconds.

Rihanna’s Look for the Holidays Is No Makeup Grunge

Rihanna and her new look. Photo: Getty Images

Just two days before Christmas, there is still no slowing down for Rihanna, who emerged late last night from Pier 59 Studios in Chelsea Manhattan, where she has reportedly been filming a video. Though having shot there myself on many occasions for many years, I will venture to guess that she was actually shooting her album art instead. But either way, we caught a glimpse into the new look that will potentially debut with her eighth studio album (#R8), rumored to be debuting early next year.

Related: ‘Rihanna Womanism” Is Now a College Course Topic

And that look is a throwback to Nineties beauty with none to minimal makeup, slicked back hair and just one major beauty statement – the strong brow. In true badgalriri fashion, Rihanna even teased us with a serious of “bored” (these are her words) portraits in the makeup chair at her shoot posted on her Instagram. We’ve seen that strong brow creeping up in fashion lately, especially on pals of Ri’s like Cara Delavigne and Kendall Jenner, but of course, on RiRi, she pulls it off with so much more bravado. And to top it all off, she kills it with her take on menswear when leaving the studio: soiled dungarees, combat boots and an oversized Chanel metallic coat, which I’ve determined is a discard from the show Karl Lagerfeld showed for Chanel less than two weeks earlier in Salzburg. A discard, in the world of fashion shows, are items that are designed and made and considered for the show but doesn’t quite make the cut, but it clearly makes it onto the backs of stylish celebs. (see pics after the jump)

photos: Instagram/badgalriri

Related: Chanel Stages a Feminist Protest in the Name of Fashion

The previous night, Kanye West, fresh off the press of his new intimate Balmain ad campaign with his wife, was also seen leaving a recording a studio with RiRi trailing shortly after him. Either they were both discussing their modeling gigs for Balmain or we are in for some serious new beats in the coming months. 

Whatever it is, we are ready. Come on badgalriri, we’re waiting. #R8

Rihanna doing menswear in her oversized Chanel coat, men’s jeans and combat boots. Photos: Getty Images

Chanel Pre-Fall 2015 show with a coat that’s similar to the one Rihanna is sporting. 

Urban Outfitters Ordered to Remove Outrageous Thigh Gap Picture on Their UK Website

THE BEFORE PICTURE: The original image that ran on the Urban Outfitters UK website selling the polka dot mesh briefs. Photo: UrbanOutfitters.com

Meghan Trainor approves of it. Beyoncé has been accused of retouching it. But now, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a regulation organization that oversees media in the United Kingdom, is banning it. The touchy thigh gap strikes controversy (and conversation) once again. 

Urban Outfitters, the retail chain that has been accused of manifesting continuous contention intentionally, has been ordered by the ASA to remove a “harmful” image on their UK website of a woman’s torso with a considerably exaggerated thigh gap. The ASA claims that such an image is not only “irresponsible” with its unnatural proportions but that it could also fuel and promote anorexia. 

The issue started with an anonymous source filing a complaint against the advertisement to the ASA, who has since ruled in favor of that charge, ordering the retailer to immediately remove the image, along with producing more responsible imagery in the future. Failure to comply, the ASA warned, could potentially result in Urban Outfitters being banned from appearing in Internet search results.

Related: Urban Outfitters’ Other Insensitive Fashion Statement

Urban Outfitters has since removed the image and replaced it with a more realistic one, though there are still plenty of thigh gaps in their other images — though they do not fall under this protest specifically. The judgment said: “The complainant, who believed that the model in the picture was unhealthily thin, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and harmful.”

THE AFTER PICTURE: After the ruling from the ASA, Urban Outfitters replaced the offending image with this more realistic one. Photo: UrbanOutfitters.com

The ASA also acknowledged that “we understood that Urban Outfitters’ target market was young people and considered that using a noticeably underweight model was likely to impress upon that audience that the image was representative of the people who might wear Urban Outfitters’ clothing, and as being something to aspire to. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible.”

Related: Instagram Calls Out Retouching Fails

Urban Outfitters, however, fired back and told the Daily Mail that their model in that particular picture is “represented by one of the UK’s most successful and well-respected agencies. We do not believe she was underweight.” (While throwing in her waist measurement of 23.5 inches, as a sign of being healthy.)

Related: John Mayer Makes A Statement About Excessive Retouching

European advertising perimeters differ from those in the United States. Just last year, some cosmetic ads came under scrutiny after they were perceived to be deceptive with all its retouching. Advocates even called for unrealistic images such as these to run with a disclaimer. Now, it seems, fashion companies are the next target — and that’s fine for the UK Minister for Women and Equalities, Jo Swinson, who has campaigned on the issue of body confidence. In a statement in response to the ASA’s ruling, she wholeheartedly publicly declared her support for industry’s transformation. “Retailers will benefit from having a diverse range of models and mannequins which is not only a positive way of challenging low body confidence but makes good business sense too,” she said. “Given the worrying rates of eating disorders especially among young people, I applaud the Advertising Standards Authority for encouraging positive body image, and for taking steps to ensure that retailers comply with this.”

OK, US, your turn.

Kim Kardashian West Cuts Her Hair Short—& Gets Naked (Again)

Photo: Instagram/@kimkardashian

When it comes to pop culture news, you can always count on Kim Kardashian West to make a headline, often with a NSFW photo or some other earth shattering reveal, like she’s cleaning out her closet.

Well, late last night, she did it again. She posted a selfie with her newly chopped do, captioned “I cut my hair short today.” Everyone gets haircuts, but when you’re Kim and your hair is your calling card—and you’ve REALLY cut it off—it’s headline-making. So here goes: Kim Has Officially Joined the Lob Club. While Kim might be a bit late in adopting the lob (that longer bob that’s been sweeping the red carpet on everyone from Rosamund Pike to Sofia Coppola), I am betting that Kim will make the look even more mainstream. The digital world and her adoring fans are already speculating about the motivation behind her cut. MTV called the news “BREAKING” while some wondered, “Is this part of her new 2015 look that she teased about this month.” Others just pondered, “What is she trying to say?” But my thought? The girl just wanted a haircut. But people are FREAKING OUT. And if you don’t believe me, in just a few hours Kim’s Instagram pic of her new cut already has double the likes of an earlier picture she posted from her Love magazine fashion shoot showing her lying on a dirty motel bed in all her butt baring glory. I guess Kim naked doesn’t break the internet anymore—but a good haircut sure will.

Related: Kim Kardashian Wears A Furkini Designed by Kanye West

Joe Zee's Tips On How to be a Designer

Photography by Hao Zeng for Yahoo Style
Styling by Christopher Kim
Hair and Makeup by Mary Guthrie
Model: Bibi at Muse NYC

This time last year I added another slash to my resume. After decades of being a Fashion Editor/Stylist, I was now also a designer. In February of 2014 I officially launched my own collection, Styled by Joe Zee on QVC. For most of my career I have sat front row at many designers’ shows in Paris, London, Milan and New York, critiquing and analyzing and mentally taking notes of everything I saw and what I should cover in my magazines. I started to recognize each designer’s nuances, signature style and those tiny details that could make one collection good or make another one great. But the idea of actually conceiving my very own collection was a whole different matter. Sure, a lot of it comes down to what I like and don’t like, but at the end of the day, it was about my ideal woman. It’s that confident, self-assured, stylish woman who wants to look good but doesn’t want to be bogged down with too many options— just great sportswear pieces that can easily be mixed and matched. Basically getting dressed each morning would be the equivalent of being styled by me.

New York Fashion Week begins next week and while I will still be sitting front row at many of the shows, I will also be premiering my new spring collection during a one hour show on QVC. (Monday, February 9 at 10am ET to be exact so tune in!) I’ve learned a lot this past year. I learned exactly what my customer was looking for (versatility with style); I’ve learned how to take the trends I see on the runways and make it wearable for everyday and most importantly, I’ve learned that as a designer, I must always value what the woman wants and needs first and foremost.  While I will never consider myself a Karl or Marc or Tom, I love the fact that after decades of seeing the pros do it firsthand, I can bring that expertise to women of all shapes and sizes and lifestyles across the country. I love the idea that fashion can be democratic in that way. After all, we are all designers.  (See a sampling of my collection in the slideshow above.)


In fact, next month during the South by Southwest festival , I will be hosting and moderating an official panel called “When Fashion Gets Personal” to discuss this very thing. After years of being able to design and customize everything from salads to sneakers to cars, why not our clothes? Maybe that option is much closer than we think. I will be reporting from Austin, Texas during that panel to give you the DL. In the meantime, watch me on Monday on QVC (or check it out on qvc.com or even try your own hand at designing with Print All Over Me right here on Yahoo Style. Either way, it will make you have new respect for the people behind that outfit you have on right now.

Related Links: You can be a Designer sitting on your couch. Here’s How. 

Model Bibi’s vest and skirt combo make for a chic date night look.

Styled by Joe Zee Open Front Vest, $54, qvc.com
Styled by Joe Zee Skirt with Asymmetrical Skirt, $55, qvc.com

Source: Yahoo Style

Bibi keeps it simple and monochromatic with knit and an asymmetrical skirt. Add a jacket for the perfect job interview look.

Styled by Joe Zee Knit Sweater with Cut Out Detail, $49, qvc.com
Styled by Joe Zee Skirt with Asymmetrical Skirt, $55, qvc.com

Source: Yahoo Style

This is the ultimate LA girl look. Colorful pants work great in a sunny locale. Perfect for going out at night with your girlfriends.

Styled by Joe Zee Floral Printed Pull-On Pants, $51, qvc.com

Source: Yahoo Style

This button up boyfriend shirt works on the weekend as well as an evening out with girlfriends. Stiletto heels add glamour to any outfit.

Styled by Joe Zee Button Up Boyfriends Shirt, $54, qvc.com

Source: Yahoo Style

Mint is a color that surprisingly flatters on most skin types. This knit looks good with jeans or a pencil skirt for work.

Styled by Joe Zee Knit Sweater with Cut Out Detail, $49, qvc.com

Source: Yahoo Style

Uh Oh: Kim Kardashian and Rita Ora Wear (Almost) the Same Dress to Madonna's Party

Rita Ora and Kim Kardashian both at the Mert and Marcus party honoring Madonna. Photos: Getty

First, JLo and Robert Duvall’s wife does it. Now it seems that Kim Kardashian and Rita Ora are doing it too. The latest fashion faux pas isn’t clashing plaids or inappropriate shoes or even showing up wearing the same jacket. It’s the dreaded “almost-the-same” syndrome.

As celebs have taken more and more precaution over the years by steering clear of wearing identical looks to the same event, the sad truth, it can - though rarely - still happen. Certainly for big events like the Oscars or the MET Ball, designers are called to design one-of-a-kind looks, that often, resembles nothing like their traditional runway collection so there’s no fear of it looking like something that may have already been borrowed. But sometimes, for smaller events such as parties or junkets or TV appearances, the rules are more relaxed, as only so many things can be custom made.

But that’s when celebrities can run into the problem of committing the “almost-the-same” syndrome. In this latest case, it’s Kim vs Rita.

Last night in London, both fashionistas attended a special party at the exclusive members-only club, Annabel’s, thrown in honor of Madonna and her career by fashion photographers Mert and Marcus, the duo that have been collaborating with Madonna on all her new imagery. While London was still buzzing about Madonna’s unfortunate tumble from the Brit Awards stage the previous night, now they were buzzing about how two very fashion-forward divas could show up at this party squeezed into almost identical rubber dresses.

The latex dresses (50 Shades reference perhaps?) were both designed by Atsuko Kudo, a favorite amongst pop stars including Lady Gaga and retail around $500. Both Kim’s and Rita’s were in a pale peach, skin tone color with Rita’s being a halter style with a self-fastening choker while Kim went a tad more demure, in a turtleneck version. But even at a London party that had onlookers like Madonna and Lindsay Lohan and Mark Ronson, these similar body-hugging latex dresses weren’t hard to miss, which is probably why Mrs. West and hubby left shortly after Rita arrived. And to top it all off, both ladies braved the cold, wearing a textured fur over their rubber. 

Kim Kardashian and Rita Ora chose to top off their almost-identical latex dresses with a cozy fur. Photos: Getty

I can say from experience that as a fashion editor, we use to avoid this “almost-the-same” problem by taking anything that could look remotely similar to whatever we had negotiated as exclusives for the magazine out of the running. We did this by putting dibs on ENTIRE sections of fashion shows. While we would shoot the dress we singled out, we also did not let any competitive publications, shoot anything similar from that same show until our dress had been done. Dressing celebrities for the red carpet, or in this case, a party, don’t necessarily play by those same rules, especially if the item of clothing can also be purchased, which then completely throws all control issues out the window.

But one person that did not have to care about this fashion faux pas was the guest of honor herself, Madge, who showed up in her very first public outing since her epic fall. Already having done her fair share of latex in her career, she arrived, instead, dressed in head to toe black fur, studs and leather and - just to be safe this time I assume - heavy, lugged sole, black platform Alexander Wang boots.

Madonna arriving for the party thrown in her honor in London. Photo: Getty

More from Yahoo Style:
Madonna Goes Topless, While Kim Goes Bottomless

Rita Ora Goes (Almost) Naked at Oscars After Party


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SXSW: Joe Zee & Eva Chen Talk #BambooCeiling, Social Media & What It’s Like to Work in Fashion Now

Lucky magazine’s editor in chief Eva Chen sometimes gets complimented for her amazing wedding dresses, a case of mistaken identity for designer Vera Wang. Yahoo Style’s own Joe Zee has been stopped on the street by those calling him Jason Wu, saying how much they love the dresses of his the First Lady’s worn.  This is just a snippet of the lively and enlightening discussion between two of the top Asians in the publishing industry at their panel at #SXSW last week in Austin, Texas at Yahoo?s Brazos Hall. Watch now for their thoughts on social media, what?s changing in the fashion industry, and so much more!

Watch on jzeeystyle.tumblr.com

What It Was Like Presenting at the Daytime Emmy Awards

For the past few years, most of the time that I?ve spent on the red carpet has been working it and interviewing all the arrivals, but this past weekend I was on the other side, and got to ?werk? instead. I attended the Daytime Emmy Awards, where I walked the step-and-repeat, had people call out my name to strike a pose, hobnobbed with fellow invitees, and even presented two awards onstage with my fellow co-hosts from my upcoming syndicated talk show, FAB Life, which is debuting this fall. 

The event kicked off in the afternoon with the sun high in the sky?such a treat for this New Yorker, who was only in Los Angeles for less than 48 hours?at the Warner Bros. Studio Backlot. I was dressed to the nines in my tuxedo and flanked by the ladies?Chrissy Teigen, Lauren Makk and Leah Ashley?in their evening finest. And of course, Tyra Banks, who was hosting the show as her usual fierce self, was there, too. 

But the surreal part wasn?t the carpet. For me, it was all about being that kid who would carry his coat to last period class in grade school and run home the second the bell went off, making it to the couch in record time so he could watch Luke and Laura and the rest of the General Hospital escapades with his grandmother. Being at the Daytime Emmys wasn?t just special in terms of my career; it was personal, as well. 

However, as an attendee at an awards show as opposed to a correspondent, I did get to see how these things operate from a totally different perspective?and I even learned a few things.  

1. You can beat the heat easier as an A-lister, because you?re just moving like salmon upstream vs. being crammed behind a barrier.

2. As excited as I get, you have to avoid too many conversations on the carpet because, first of all, the salmon/people are all moving and you don?t want to be THAT guy who bottlenecks them all, and, second, that?s when the photographers take the ?candid? pictures (which are never cute?trust me, I?m a professional). 

3. Dinner isn?t served until the awards are over, but no one is eating, anyway. 

4. You don?t get to sit near Donna Mills or meet Charo in the Green Room if you?re just working the carpet. So many selfie opportunities! 

5. Ripping open the envelope to announce the winner is surreal.

6. Handing the Emmy to the winner (congrats, Steve Harvey!) is even more surreal. And PS: the Emmy award is heavy.

#LoveWins: What Happened When I Took 7 Same Sex Chinese Couples Gay Marriage Shopping in LA

Photos Courtesy of “We Do”

June 26, 2015, marks a momentous moment in history as the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, declaring it legal and equal in all 50 states. This is not a decision that we in the LGBT community take lightly; it’s a turning point in American history.  But for seven LGBT couples from China, where same-sex marriage is neither legal nor recognized, their own history happened a few weeks earlier. After having won a high-profile, online contest back home, they were flown to Los Angeles for an all-expense paid dream wedding.

And I got to be a part of their life changing experience.

Sponsored by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Blued, a gay Chinese dating app, seven couples were picked from more than 2,000 video entries vying for the chance to get married in America in the “We Do” contest. Though their union will be legal here in the States, their marriage won’t be recognized once they return home to China, despite the growing acceptance of same-sex couples there.

“The progress that’s been made in terms of gay rights, for want of a better word, in China has been astronomical,” Geng Le, the CEO of Blued, which has about 15 million members, told the BBC.

Regardless of the victory here in the U.S. today or the ongoing fight for gay rights around the world, I was excited to have the opportunity to help those seven couples prep for their big day. Love, American style as I called it. Of course, their first dilemma was, “What should I wear?”

What you are going to wear on your big day can be the most important fashion question you are ever going to tackle your entire life. One of my best friends is getting married this August, and she enlisted me to help with the dress all the way back in March. But with her, it was just about finding that perfect white dress, sexy enough and timeless enough to look good in photos 50 years from now. Her fiancé will be decked out in a classic white jacket tux. But what if the wedding were two grooms or two brides, what is the fashion choice then? Do you match? Do you deliberately NOT match? Do you keep it all in the same color family? And do two brides both wear dresses? Of course, there are no clear cut fashion rules because there have been no established same sex wedding traditions. Those traditions are just being created right now.


I spent the better part of a day with these couples touring through all the shops of the Beverly Center, a towering shopping plaza with some of the best retailers in the middle of Los Angeles, offering advice on having their stylish fantasy American wedding. Of these seven young couples, six were male and just one female, and getting them dressed for their big day was an important task. I discussed trends with many of them but realized quickly that none of them wanted to be traditional. Despite the fact that some of their English was minimal and I do not speak Mandarin - we mostly communicated through a translator - I could immediately tell, even with out language barrier, that tradition was not on their agenda. At least, not tradition in the way we know it. We were working to establish new traditions.

During our shopping spree at the Beverly Center, I offered my fashion expertise. I advised the guys to opt for colorful matching tuxedos or a 3-piece suit a la the Rat Pack, sporty elements and accessories (plaid bowtie, anyone?) to offset anything predictable. For the young ladies, I suggested they go for something that made them feel their absolute best. That turned out to be a romantic lace dress with pearls for one, and a long vest paired with cropped pants and maroon shoes for the other. Dressed and armed with their wedding bands from Tiffany & Co., these seven couples were ready.

They all wed the following day at the West Hollywood Library, which was packed with cameras, in a ceremony officiated by the Mayor of West Hollywood. The location was coincidentally the same place where, two years earlier, gay couples married en masse after same-sex marriage became legal in California. And as of today, legal across our country. #LoveWins

Related: Running of the Interns: The Most Fashionable Part of Supreme Court Decisions

11 Fabulous Products for Pride Week

Gay Marriage, Straight Marriage: As the Institution Changes, So Does the Bling

Joe Zee's Countdown to the Worst Style Moments of 2014

2014 was a year of get-ups, blowups, red eyes and contrasts. For every Amal or Angie as a princess bride, there was also the conscious uncoupling of Gwyneth and Chris or Mariah and Nick. While “Orange is the New Black” was a good look on TV l, it wasn’t so for Bieber or Teresa Guidice, who both worked the look in real life. Also on TV, we saw red eyes, red carpet disasters and cringe-worthy R&B singer biopics that were major fails. But if you want to avert your eyes from such calamities, then follow Shia Labeouf, who accessorized his tux at the Berlin Film Festival with a brown paper bag over his head. But don’t cover up just yet— check out my Top Ten Worst Style Moments of 2014. 

10. Tasteless Halloween Costumes

Everyone thinks this is a holiday that can excuse bad taste. Not so, I say, especially when costumes can be not only poorly thought out, but insensitive as well. (Remember Prince Harry?) This year, I give a very big thumbs down to those dressed as Ebola workers or ISIS terrorists.

9. Ice Bucket Challenge

I love the support for ALS and how much attention this viral challenge brought to the cause, but I don’t need to see everyone in a wet T-shirt with sopping hair. 

Emmy Rossum

8. Conscious Uncoupling

Gywneth Paltrow may chalk up her separation from husband Chris Martin to this new-agey, Goop-style term, but most of us just call it  splitting up. 

Photo: Getty Images

7. Bob Costas’ Red Eye

When an Olympic tradition is derailed by an eye infection, even a stylish pair sunglasses couldn’t help in this case. Good thing Costa recovered in time to announce the gold.

6. Adele Dazeem

I love John Travolta throwing a fun curveball on Oscar night but I doubt Idina Menzel thinks the same. 

Photo: Getty Images

5. Paula Patton vs Robin Thicke

Patton failing epically on the red carpet with her white ruffles and her tiger paws was bad enough, but then Thicke failing epically with his lawsuit was even worse. Looks like even separated the former couple have plenty in common.

Photo: Getty Images

4. Aaliyah on Lifetime

I styled the real R&B Princess shortly before her death and I can say it was a crude retelling of her life, lacking in class— even if she did start the crop top trend that every pop diva is rocking these days.

3. Bieber Blowups and All

His mug shot, his skateboard fall (complete with sweater dress) his platinum blond hair, his shirtless escapades. Here’s hoping that 2015 will be a better year.

Photo: Getty Images

2. Lena Dunham and her fade into the carpet

I love Lena and I love Giambattista Valli but their collaboration for her pink ombre gown at the Oscars had her fading into the red carpet. This look needs to just fade away.

Photo: Getty Images

1.Shia LaBeouf and His Paper Bag 

Forget the actor prancing around town in purple leggings and mint green tank top. LeBeouf hit a sartorial low at the Berlin Film Festival in February when he dressed up his with a bag over his head with the words “I am not famous anymore” written across it. 

Photo: Getty Images