Emmy Awards 2017: Best Dressed

The 69th Annual Emmy Awards were last night, bringing the best of what TV in the past year had to offer to the red carpet. And while some of our faves didn’t go home with the gold, at least they looked fly losing. Here are some of our faves from last night’s Emmys.

Traci’s Picks

Jessica Biel in Ralph & Russo Couture

Jessica Biel already has a goddess-like face, so this ethereal metallic and sheer gown only accented her statuesque and Grecian look. Not to mention, her hair (and extensions?) only added to the feminine yet sexy look.

Gina Rodriguez in Naeem Khan

First of all, Gina is constantly under appreciated by the Television Academy. Second, do y’all follow Gina on Instagram? Because you should. Particularly for her Insta Stories. Homegirl has been exercising her butt off, and not only is it inspiring to see her work so hard, but all the boxing and pull ups have certainly paid off in this svelte new frame. I love the deep V paired with the long sleeves on this, as well as the beading and slicked back hairdo. Get it girl.

Tessa Thompson in Rosie Assoulin

Is this a polarizing dress? Probably. Do I care? Not really. I saw Tessa twirling on the red carpet (because duh wouldn’t you) and audibly gasped. It’s daring and the cut itself is so interesting. That is a party dress right there.

Emmy Rossum in Zac Posen

This is one of those dresses that probably looks amazing up close. Sure it’s a simple strapless gown, but the shimmering beading all the way down makes it. Paired with the green jewels and old Hollywood hair, it’s classy AF.

Donald Glover in Gucci

It was a huge night for DG. Our boy not only made Emmy history as the first black person to win as a Director of a Comedy Series, but he revealed his baby mama/partner’s name (MICHELLE!) and that she is expecting another son (!!!). With his big wins and big announcement, he wore the perfect purple Gucci suit that follow suit (heh) from his crushed brown velvet number at the Globes earlier this year – where he also won for Best Actor. Bonus of Donald in the E! Glambot, bc he looks so freakin fly. 

Molly’s Picks

Yara Shahidi In Prada

Yara Shahidi has been one of our red carpet favorites for a few years now, and it’s easy to see why. She always perfectly balances looking her age with looking sophisticated, demure princess vibes with something a little more funky and fun. I can almost see a young starlet wearing this in the late 1930s. Yara got herself her own show and she looks the part.

Caleb McLaughlin

The purple brocade is luxe and cheerful at the same time (and you already know how we feel about floral menswear). The fit is incredible. Even the velvet loafers are perfection. Caleb McLaughlin is here to stay. Adults: your move.

Nicole Kidman in Calvin Klein By Appointment

I have seen Nicole Kidman look perfectly tasteful on so many red carpets that sometimes I want her to break out a bit. But then, why fix what isn’t broken? The ’50s silhouette is perfect and the silver halter neckline adds a bit of flash. Calvin Klein usually strikes me as one of the most easily-recognizable designers: doesn’t this look totally Calvin Klein? Besides, Nicole did go a BIT crazy – take a gander at the coordinating-but-not-matching shoes, one with studding on the ankle strap and one on the toe.

Zoe Kravitz in Dior

As Traci mentioned, we love us a polarizing look. One person’s “pastel rainbow with feathers?!” is another person’s “pastel rainbow with feathers!!” I think these tones blend beautifully – take a gander at the lower edge of the yellow and you’ll see how it blends into the melon-y orange rather than strict stripes of color.

Shailene Woodley in Ralph Lauren

If only Shailene chose her words as well as her dress. Despite Shai’s red carpet faux pas (dismissing TV on TV’s big night), I – grudgingly – have to hand it to her on this look. Velvet only looks truly RIGHT in a few colors, and deep green is one of them. Hope she packs this one in her bag.

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Shows You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Big Little Lies

A first grade class that’s almost like if Lululemon, Whole Foods, Real Simple and Dwell collaborated on an elementary school. Upmarket Monterey moms with a lot of mystery, intrigue and in-fighting. The return of David E. Kelley at his best. And somebody dead — murdered at a tony school fundraiser, quite possibly by another parent. HBO’s Big Little Lies (produced by Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, a Nashville dream team if ever there was one) is only four episodes in but I’m already knee-deep in theories and questions. I don’t want to give away too many plot points, so I’ve devised a handy equation to explain the show instead:

Twin Peaks + Desperate Housewives + (1/2 x Stepford Wives) + ( Mean Girls x The Alison Hendrix Parts Of Orphan Black) = Big Little Lies

We have the piece-by-pieces investigation of an unsolved murder of Twin Peaks, the dark, suburban dealings of Desperate Housewives, the surprising satire of upper-class femininity of The Stepford Wives, the social machinations and stratifications of Mean Girls and the tightly-wound perfection of Alison Hendrix’s fast-unraveling life. It’s a quick watch, and a show you’ll want to catch up on.

Although it can be fun to see a well-known actor cast totally against type, there is something incredibly satisfying about the on-the-nose typecasting going on in Big Little Lies. Reese Witherspoon plays Madeline Martha Mackenzie, the high-strung, type-A scheming mom to first grader Chloe and teenage Abigail. Imagine Tracy Flick mixed with Regina George, but somehow less devious: Madeline is one of those perfectionists who has to carefully arrange her whole personal and social world just-so or it might all fall down around her. Madeline is the spoke of the Monterey mom circle, both in that she’s the center of everything and in that if she’s spun too hard, you get the impression that pieces will go flying about in all directions. Madeline is married to Ed (Adam Scott), who while not quite Ben Wyatt nevertheless can seem like the quintessential Decent American Man.

Madeline’s circle also includes Celeste Wright. Once again the role is cast to perfection: Nicole Kidman as a pristine, wealthy, slightly icy former lawyer — and half of a couple that’s so well-manicured that you just know something’s way off behind the scenes. Perry (Alexander Skarsgard) is her husband, free of surface flaws but bubbling with some kind of rage under the surface.

At the beginning of the series, a very non-Monterey mom enters the picture. Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley) is easily 10 years younger than the other moms, decidedly moderate-income, and the single mother to little Ziggy (Iain Armitage AKA Iain Loves Theatre – don’t sleep on this kid). It’s a deliciously Shailene Woodley-esque role. Jane is a little crunchy, a little new-agey, and kind of lovably kooky. Still, you’ll have as many questions about her as you will about anyone else, some of which will be answered over the course of the first 4 episodes (there was a little glimpse of something in the first episode that suddenly made sense in the third, that kind of thing).

All of these characters have children in the same first-grade class, and the rest of the core circle revolves around the same classroom. Nathan Carson (James Tupper) is Madeline’s ex-husband, married to younger Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz, in a role I could have EASILY seen Lisa Bonet in a decade or so ago. Or maybe still? Woman hasn’t aged). Renata Klein (the fantastic Laura Dern) is the mother to Amabella, set at odds against Madeline’s clique when Amabella accuses Ziggy of hurting her during first grade orientation.

Unlike another little lies show you may know – Pretty Little Liars – this whodunnit (and to-whom-dunnit) won’t be dragged out for season upon season. Four episodes have aired, and there are three more to go. It’s a limited series, and director Jean-Marc Vallee has promised that “you will know everything.” Until then, I’m enjoying all of the questions.

Life Lessons From The Fault in Our Stars: C+S Book Club

Hey C+S Book Club-ers! Last time we visited Harriet the Spy, and since we’re ladies in our *late 20s*, our next choice is obviously a little more mature than a kid spy. This time it’s about teenagers.

By now, most of you have heard about or read John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, a young adult novel about two teens, Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters who meet and fall in love. Oh and they both have cancer. I remember reading this for back when it first came out and appropriately crying harder than I have ever cried before. Legit had to stop reading it for a few days because it made me that sad. Now that the movie is coming out today, I can only imagine how that feeling will be magnified thousands of times more once I see it with my eyes. But essentially, TFiOS isn’t supposed to be a sad story, it’s supposed to be a celebration of life, no matter how long or short it is. So with that, here are just a few of the life lessons I gleaned from reading this book – **spoilers ahead** (but you should really read this book and see the movie anyways).

You can’t escape the hurdles

“I wondered if hurdlers ever thought, ‘This would go faster if we just got rid of the hurdles.'”

Hazel & Augustus initially meet in a cancer support group for teens, so a lot of the folks we encounter in the book (save for the parents and hospital staff) have been dealt a rather bad card of hands when it comes to overcoming difficulties in life. But it’s there in front of them, and the only thing to do is try to clear it and get to the next problem. We may face hardships in our life, but we can’t just give up. What would become of us if we didn’t have hardships or hurdles to get over and improve our lives (hopefully) for the better? The things that try to bring us down in the past only make us stronger. And then we can look back and see just what we’ve gone through.

Pain demands to be felt

“That’s the thing about pain – it demands to be felt”

Pain wouldn’t be pain if we didn’t at least feel something when we get hurt. You can’t go on avoiding something that you know is going to hurt you because you don’t want to feel it. If you do, it’s going to get worse and worse, so it’s better to just let it all out. In TFiOS, Augustus’ BFF Isaac has eye cancer, and subsequently has to undergo surgery which leaves him blind. During this time, his girlfriend breaks up with him, and he has so much rage that he just needs to let it all out. Augustus lets Isaac demolish his old basketball trophies in his basement, as if it’s no big deal. Why? Because Isaac needed to let it out. There’s no use of keeping that anger and frustration in. And while it might be gut-wrenching as it happens, that pain needs to be felt – or it will never go away.

Time isn’t good to anyone

“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”

I can’t tell you how many times over the past few days I’ve said, “HOW IS IT JUNE ALREADY?!?” When we want time to speed up, it seems to slow down. When we want it to slow down, it’s like it’s gone in seconds. Luckily, everyone is a victim of time’s bitter kiss. Both Hazel and Augustus know they don’t have very good chances of staying alive forever, so it’s even more frustrating that they fall in love knowing this devastating fact. But the most they – and we – can do is make the most of our time, and not waste it on things we will regret doing.

Dare to be fearless

“Our fearlessness shall be our secret weapon.”

It’s easier said than done, but a problem I think a lot of people have is not being afraid to jump in and do something out of your comfort zone, no matter the outcome. We worry too much about what’s going to happen next that we don’t think about how great it could be if we even try. For the longest time, Hazel put her feelings about Augustus to the side, and refused to let their friendship turn romantic, as she called herself a “grenade”, ready to explode at any second. She finally put that fear aside and let her guard down, only to experience one of the greatest loves of her life.

Your true self is revealed in the darkest of times

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”

Like 9/11 or the Boston Marathon, there were the people who ran away from the explosions, then there were the first responders who initial reaction was to run towards the problem to see who they could help. That first gut reaction of how you respond to something tragic and life-changing tells a lot about you as a person. You can either give up, not face the “hurdles”, or you can be strong, live a life – live a better life knowing that whatever caused you grief in the first place has since given you reason to become a better person. When Hazel and Augustus visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, Hazel takes note that Anne’s father, Otto, was the only one out of their family to survive the Holocaust. She says, “I thought about Otto Frank not being a father anymore, left with a diary instead of a wife and two daughters.” Otto eventually decided to publish that diary, and of course it went on to become on of the most revered and studied books from the war. Otto didn’t give up when he was left alone – he preserved their legacy.

You can’t always get what you want

“The world is not a wish granting factory.”

“Cancer perks” are what Hazel and Augustus call the things they’ve received in sympathy for their struggles with cancer, you know the Make-a-Wish type things. Throughout the book, they make it clear that their sickness is not what defines them, it’s just something they have to live with, therefore the cancer perks, while usually cool, ultimately doesn’t give them what they really want. If you do want something, you have to work for it, and if you don’t get it – you don’t get it. Not everything is going to work out in your favor, but the most we can do is try.

A life is still important, no matter how long or how short

“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”

Probably one of the most quoted excerpts from the book, this line really sums up the entire story of Hazel and Augustus. Towards the end of the book (again, spoiler alert, I’ve warned you twice!) Augustus dies, another teenager succumbing to that bitch called cancer. While his life may have been short compared to you know, people who live to be 100, he still lived a significant life. The point of the book isn’t to feel sorry for Hazel and Gus, it’s to remind us that a life, no matter how long, or how short, can still make a profound impact on those around you, but it’s our choice  as to how we decide to live it.

What’s In Shailene Woodley’s Bag?

According to Shailene Woodley, Shailene Woodley is a clay-eating, toothpaste-making, showtune-in-the-morning singing not-feminist who talks about “Gaia” and gathers spring water from a mountain brook. She’s also slightly homeless. Does this surprise anyone?

Woodley’s not homeless in the “not having a home” sense: she owns one, but her grandma lives there (because, if it doesn’t come through enough here: Shailene Woodley seems really, really nice). She’s more homeless in the “sleeping on my friends’ sofas, clogging the sink drain with lumps of clay, encouraging them to use those salt crystal sticks that, no, do NOT work just as well as deodorant, thank you very much” sense. (While we’re at it, I feel bad that regular deodorant is going to give me Alzheimers/cancer and if anyone could point me to a natural alternative that doesn’t make me smell, it’s probably Shailene).

Well, let’s let Shailene explain it, actually:

So … is Shailene Woodley magic? (Probably, yeah; wouldn’t be surprised.) Jimmy Kimmel examines her assertion that all of her possessions can fit in one carry-on sized bag, but Shai’s not really helping. Is this a normal bag or is it a mystical bottomless bag, a la Mary Poppins or The Barney Bag? I can only assume that it’s the latter, maybe given to her on a moonlit mountain sojourn by an enchanted forest crone.

Let’s inventory Shailene Woodley’s bag. On Kimmel she lists the following items: (1) computer; (1) hoodie situation; (1) pair jeans; (some) basic tees and tanks; (1) temporary cell phone because the studio got annoyed that she kept disappearing into the wilderness to worship the moon goddess; and (indeterminate) leggings.

Okay, let’s all picture all of those items. They’d totally fit into an airplane-standard carry-on, I think we can all agree. But that can’t be it, right? Based on my research, here are some other things that Shailene Woodley owns:

  • Vibram Five-Finger Shoes: Those glove-shoes that seem like they were invented by the guy who has the patent on those little round blister band-aids, in order to drum up business.

  • Water jugs: Specifically, “5-gallon carboy situations”. Girl. You know this isn’t fitting in a carry-on – wheeled or duffel. Maybe it’s her personal item.

  • Makeup and makeup remover: You can read all about Shailene’s favorite products here. You could make an argument that she doesn’t own the makeup and only wears it for appearances, but at least the remover sort of has to live with her.
  • Just a little bit of shampoo: Because she only shampoos about once a month. See article, above. (I tried this for a while and it worked until it didn’t. Some people swear by it. Probably depends on your hair type.)
  • Some clay: She eats about a teaspoon of clay every day, and makes toothpaste out of it as well. I’d say conservative estimate, you can count on at least two cups of clay so she doesn’t have to keep buying clay all the time. But if you are extra crazy and go to the website of Woodley’s recommended clay vendor, you would see that the smallest size clay-ball is 1 pound. So there you have it. A one-pound bag of clay, chipped away a teaspoon at a time.
  • This horseradish root:

See, she has a sense of humor about her hippie-neo-witch vibe, and that’s why I like her.

  • A mason jar: She carries one everywhere. Says co-star Miles Teller, “she always has a mason jar and 100% of the time it smells like crap.” Well, there’s that, then.

  • Presumably some kind of reusable menstrual product deal:  She follows DivaCup and New Moon pads on Twitter, and I can’t imagine you follow those companies because of all their awesome 140-character jokes, right? Also, this tweet:

I’ve now spent enough time in Woodley’s twitter feed to know that she calls her period “moon time.” New product idea: that one puberty class you had to go to in fifth grade, rewritten by Shailene Woodley to be 100% more earthy. 10/10, would attend.

  • Mushroom tea: I can’t imagine this tasting like anything but diluted, terrible mushroom soup. I’m only including the tea here because I’m pretty sure that the kind of people who host Shailene Woodley on their guest futon also are the type of people who own a tea kettle.
  • Chinese herbal supplements: the better to make her breath smell of dirt and creeks and forests before kissing scenes. Her costar literally used the word “musty.”

HOLY SHIT THAT’S A LOT OF STUFF.

I’m not trying to put bad vibes into the universe towards Shailene Woodley (because you know who puts good vibes into the universe? Probably Shailene Woodley). She seems really earnest and well-intentioned, and people who know her (John Green; George Clooney; etc) all seem to like her a whole lot. She was also Felicity Merriman in an adaptation of the American Girl series, and Marissa Cooper’s little sister in The O.C., so that’s cool.

It’s just that, for those of us who have ever struggled to fit two weeks worth of possessions into a carry-on tote so we don’t have to pay a checked bag fee … this is a lot to take. A lot. I can forgive Shailene for making clay-eating sound like a good idea even though it’s actually a certifiable medical disorder.  I’m not even jealous that she manages to look pretty in that 1997 soccer mom haircut in The Fault In Our Stars. But going on national television, bragging about a magical carry-on bag that could fit all of these possessions, and not even directing us up the woodland path to the kindly mountain witch who peddles them? Not cool.

I hope there’s room for my disappointment in Shailene’s bag, because she carries it with her wherever she goes.