How Not To Blend In With The Carpet: A Lesson In Two Dresses

Photo: David Fisher/ REX USA
The Cannes Film Festival's red carpet was set aflame yesterday when Lupita Nyong'o stepped out in that Gucci dress you've probably already seen if you have an Internet connection (if only we had a dollar for every "#slayed" and "game over" Tweet). And, indeed, that look was pure, Paris Is Burning-level opulence. But, the reason why Lupita's gown sent the Internet into a tizzy became perfectly clear when another A-lister, Natalie Portman, took to the carpet.
Photo: David Fisher/ REX USA

As beautiful as Portman looks here in her Dior Couture gown, the fact that her dress almost perfectly matches the red carpet is the reason why this look was, comparatively, sad trombones. Meanwhile, Lupita chose a gown the exact opposite of red on the color wheel — assuring that her dress contrasted vibrantly with her setting, therefore making her stand out like no one else. Add to that her Gone With the Wind fabulous twirling talents, and it's a wrap.

The takeaway? Although we can't say we struggle with red-carpet dressing dilemmas like celebs do, the lesson here is: When in doubt, go for contrast. Whether that means wearing all white to a nighttime event or picking a color that sets off your skin tone just so, contrast is the key to drawing the eye...and preventing yourself from looking like a floating head and shoulders on a red carpet (sorry, Natalie!).

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