Photo: Rob Latour/REX USA.
Let's play pretend, okay? Close your eyes (actually don't, because you'll need them to read this), and imagine a dress that's the same teal-blue velvet as that hand-me-down couch you shared with three roommates your junior year of college. Think of a strapless bodice that sits really high on the armpits, peaks to two sharp corners just under the collarbone, and cuts deep to form a cleavage-baring "V." Its skirt has a super high slit on one side with a sarong-style twist made of that same Madonna Inn couch fabric. Got something in mind? Does it look exactly like what your sister wore to prom in 1984?
You're wrong. And, it turns out Lea Michele and her stylist have better imaginations than all of us, because the Cushnie et Ochs frock she wore to the American Horror Story: Freak Show series premiere was stunningly elegant (and not in the way your sister described her aforementioned dress back in the day). While each design element is slightly off-kilter, the combination is utterly harmonious — with the perfect proportions of skimpy to demure, form-fitting to frowsy, and classic to wacky (not to mention, those silver sandals and VC Signature glass clutch perfectly complement it, too). It's a dress that many women may skip over for something less weird, but we're glad to see that Michele was fearless enough to step up to the challenge. Sorry sis, but this one deserves the crown.