Emmys Unfug or Fab: Lena Dunham


This is a decent example of how far a smile can get you.

This was the first photo I saw of this, and I was like, “Oh, Girls, NO.” She’s all Michael Stipe with her eye makeup, and the dress seems overwhelming and makes her head looks tiny, and basically I just feel like it turns her into the Titanic of ottomans.

And then I saw a picture of her when she herself seemed more cheery:

And then I thought, “Aw, she looks happy, maybe it’s not THAT bad.” The smile really does wonders, and perhaps so does this angle. Something about Lena looks like she just kinda stood there and let someone plop a dress on her, though, and I’d like to see her truly own one instead. She is not particularly owning this. What is it, Fug Nation? Does it need to be cocktail-length? Does it need a differently shaped bodice so she could hoist up the girls? Did she need to go crazy with her hair and spike it up, or something, so that it had a little volume to combat the size of the skirt?

Or does it maybe need more going on, so that it’s an ACTUAL pattern and not a random sprinkling of roses that’s evocative of that last scene in Ice Castles where everyone is throwing the flowers on the ice and she can’t SEE IT because she’s BLIND but they don’t KNOW she’s blind and then they find OUT she’s blind and then Robby Benson is there and it’s a VICTORY FOR THE HUMAN SPIRIT which is the reason that when I was a kid I thought being Secret Blind would be romantic and fun? Y’all, I love a victory for the human spirit, but it doesn’t usually work in dress form.

Give me your fug or your fab:

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[Photos: Getty]

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Comments (175):

  1. Talley Lach

    She may not have a traditional starlet figure, but she’s not a tank. That dress makes her look like a tank. I do think it could have been cuter, but as is, it’s a total fug. Hoisting the girls would be a start. More of a waist? Less skirt? I don’t know, but this ain’t doing it, whatever it is.

    • julyol1972

      I think the top needed thicker straps to give more volume to the top – right now with spaghetti straps, it’s too spare. The skirt needed to be more mermaid silhouette, not tight or too fitted, just the illusion.

      As it is right now, she looks like one of those toilet-dolls in the bathroom with the wide “dress” dropped onto it.

      However, how cute was she and Claire Danes on the RC? Nice to see genuine friendship amongst the women for a change. And Ryan with nothing to do for three minutes, as they took over interviewing themselves. Now maybe if they’d done that to Guiliana, we would be in business!

      • Sophia Loren

        My thoughts exactly on the straps! I’d wear this and look pretty fine in it if it had wider straps, belt, etc in black.

    •  LibrarianLizy

      I agree, it definitely needs something to hoist up the girls and something to define her waist. I actually really like her shape because she looks like to she likes to kick back with some pizza and beer on Friday night and be okay with it, but this dress is super unflattering. I think the skirt is a little too full. Girls with fuller hips (I know I’m one of them) do well with A line skirts and dresses but have to be super careful and not go too big.

    •  emerald_bunny

      You know, when I first saw this, those were my exact thoughts. Upon seeing it again, I’m thinking…eh, you know what? We so often wear clothes just because it’ll make us look slimmer, and while I agree flattering your body shape is important when choosing our outfits, sometimes you just want to wear a dress because it’s pretty and you like it, and sod the Hollywood standards.

      It’s a lovely dress, the color suits her nicely, and she looks happy in it (well in the second photo anyway). I’m giving this a fab, regardless of making her look a teensy bit wider than she is.

      • Cristina

        Yes. I often bristle at the idea that “flattering” so often equals “slimming” for people.

        • annabanana

          I appreciate this comment! Why must looking as thin as possible always be the endgame?

          • Sara

            Because its true..

            • AlbertaStone

              I agree that slimming does not need to be the goal. Symmetry …balance..are the ideals. Wider straps and bigger hair would create more harmonious cohesion.
              Otherwise, it just confuses the eye too much.

      • Jen S. 2.0

        I would buy this argument IF this dress were pretty.

        (For me, getting rid of the flowers and making it solid turquoise with black trim would raise it from a D- to a C. But very little can be done to this ensemble to raise it above a C.)

  2. Halley

    the smile really does help! I love love love Lena Dunham, but she is bad at clothing. When I first saw this dress last night, I said “NO” outloud to no one. Get rid of the roses, do something with a little more support up top, hem the skirt so it is the correct length, and do something, I’m not sure what, but something, with the Dorothy Hamil hair. Did I mention I love Lena? Because I do, and I am rooting for her, but she makes it hard.

  3. Pink Coat

    I think it’s lovely! Unconventional cut, flattering color and it fits her well!

  4. kate

    i like her make up! her brown eyes jump out of the blue shadow..and her new hair is kinda gamine…she has lovely skin, too…the color of the dress is great on her..but i think that is where it all ends…she is kind of pudgy and soft and fair and i would not put her in a flouncy or pouffy or amorphous dress..if i were dressing her i would want to wrangle her into something a bit more structured…or maybe something empire and tea length..

  5. Stefanie

    I apologetically love the fabric (Im a firm believer in patterns on the red carpet) but I think that whole thing needed to be streamlined – It’s eating her alive. Less volume in the skirt, thicker straps, thicker straps and more support for her unsupported chest.

    •  Billie

      My thoughts exactly! The proportions of the top and bottom do not match. Lose a hell of a lot of volume in the skirt, thicken up the straps, tailor it properly to her body and it would be a winner.

    • Minutiae

      That’s how I feel about it… the fabric is great, but the dress is swallowing her. The top is unflattering and the whole thing looks like it was cut for a woman with a much different shape. It doesn’t do her justice at all.

    • Maria L.

      I love the fabric and the color also. But you’ve all hit the nail on the head, it’s the volume that’s off. She looks like she could hide the entire cast under there.

      And Girlfriend needs a lesson in POSTURE!!!!! Stand up straight and hold those shoulders back and you will be winning half the battle.

      • Emma G-C

        Posture – YES! What is it with kids these days? Stand up straight, honey! That will help a LOT. But it also needs to fit more closely, the girls need a lift, and there should be less skirt. A smile and a straight back would have helped a whole lot.

    • Sarah

      What Stefanie said. It could be fabulous but as it is that dress is wearing her. A bold lip or better styled hair would also help her to own it.

  6. Katie

    DO I have the answers? I’m not sure I do. I think for a start, though, I would tone down the eye make-up. The dress is so cheery and the eye make-up is so heavy. I think they are at odds with each other.

    I think I would also do a different bodice. Maybe strapless? Or more substantial straps. I know those are basically opposites but it needs more than the lack-of-support thin black straps and that deep, droopy V.

    I like the length but I would tone the volume down just a tad. I would also make the hair a bit crazier, probably sort of spiky and messy. I think Lena and I have the same kind of hair -fine and thin, prone to being lifeless. Ya gotta tease the hell out of it and use a lot of product to keep it from just hanging there.

    But I love the print and the color. It’s so strange -Lena comes across as so very comfortable in her own skin but yet she always looks like the clothes are wearing her, instead of the other way around.

  7. BookcaseHat

    That skirt is just too much. Either less volume or a shorter length would have helped considerably.

    • Maryrose Mielczarek

      Yes. my exact thought was “there is too much dress on her”

  8.  Chasmosaur


    1) That teal is a lovely color on her…
    2) I don’t know why I numbered, because that’s about it.


    1) The top doesn’t fit and is not flattering to her Girls. At all.
    2) Too. Much. Skirt. She is not a slender Girl, and this type of silhouette works well on someone slender. For example, when Sandra Oh wore the fashion-y version of a hanbok, you may not have liked the concept, but it did look nice on her. http://gofugyourself.com/sag-awards-fug-carpet-sandra-o-01-2008
    3) Lena – I am also short and high waisted. You need to wear things that hang from the shoulder and skim your body. You give the illusion of a lower waist that way and it’s more forgiving. Why do you not know this? You’ve been dressing yourself for a while now.

    So I would have liked to have seen this fabric on her, completely recut. Cocktail length, maybe some cap sleeves and a bateau neckline. Great shoes. And softer makeup. And hair that looks like she washed it sometime this week.

    I’m not her biggest fan, but I love that she’s out there with her non-twiglet figure, great smile and really pretty eyes. She could look so polished, and yet she never gets it together.

    • Rachael

      Seconded, to all this. I actually love the dress and think it would work on a different body type. And I love the fabric and think it would work for Dunham, just not in this cut. You find clothes that work for your body, you don’t try to jam your body into whatever clothes. It’s the clothes’ fault if they doesn’t work, not your body’s — but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t look terrible.

    • Tessa

      I agree – the fabric is lovely, but the shape and size of the skirt are so wrong. She looks like she’s wearing a fancy tea cosy.

    • BR

      Nothing wrong with a high waist. High waist = long legs. Skimming your body from the shoulder means no waist at all! You can work your waist wherever it is!

      •  Chasmosaur

        I meant more that sometimes in a dress like this – with a very definitive waist line – it can do bad things to you. I wear nothing belted or with a definitive color or pattern change at the midriff – I wear solid colors or continuous patterns.

        I have very long legs, but I tend to wear dresses that are more loosely shaped, but well structured. Or if I’m wearing skirts or pants, I wear a blazer. It lengthens the line along my torso and gives me a curvy shape, without emphasizing they aren’t quite where you expect them to be.

        Empire waists are good, or just getting dresses that are better fitted. She can afford the tailoring. The muslin for my god-awful expensive wedding dress (my Mom wanted me to have and it could afford it) went through two fittings. Because even though it was a deceptively simple dress, they had to take 5 inches of length out of the bodice to make it work. High and short waisted is a dressing challenge.

  9. Jenny

    I don’t love this, but it looks like a lot of things she wears, so either she loves this type of style or her body IS hard to fit.

    I say take 50% of the volume out of the skirt. Make the bodice have thicker straps and less of a V-neck. Maybe more of a A-line type of dress….which probably would look more casual than the Emmy’s allow, but would make her look better.

  10. LLCoolMe

    I saw the second picture first and it’s still a big NO for me.

    If we *have* to try to fix it, I’m gonna say

    1. tease that hair up to give her some kinda volume,
    2. lose the inverted pleats on the dress as they’re making her already-ample hips look bigger,
    3. widen the straps to allow for better boobage support,
    4. make the skirt a generous A-line — do away with all the ballgown volume, and
    5. raise that hem by 1/2 and inch.

    But that’s only if we *have* to attempt to try to fix this look.

  11. Brenna

    I love that she had a pattern, but this has the odd shape her Emmy dress from last year did – it’s a dress trying to be a fit and flare, but there’s no “fit” to it. Pretty color though and I like that she’s bold enough to wear a pattern.

    I’m a little sad she’s growing out her hair – I thought the pixie looked so cute on her.

  12. Olivia

    I like the color and pattern. But I agree that it just looks plopped on her. A better fit in the chest, and maybe a little less volume, and we’d be in better business. I also love the funky eye makeup, but her hair needs a little something to give it as much edge as the eye makeup is going for.

    •  Annie E

      Yes, I think if there were going to be one change, it should be the hair. It needs a fauxhawk or something.

  13. Clementine

    It’s simply dreadful overall. The fabric of that dress looks like it comes from curtains in my grandmother’s back room. The black piping looks cheap. Her make up is terrible. Do these people not own mirrors?

  14.  maevej

    The skirt is overwhelming her. It’s making her look short and dumpy. Perhaps if I were a column skirt, it could work. It would be a better proportion on her.

  15. Erin

    A better fitting bodice that would have supported the girls would make this a win for me. I applaud that she doesn’t want to adhere to traditional Hollywood beauty standards, but a bra can do WONDERS. I would have liked to see some volume in the hair, too, but let’s start with underpinnings and then we can move upward.

  16. Nanny

    I love the dress, it’s bold yes, but it’s fun and bright. It probably would look better on a slighter frame, but the thing that kills this whole look for me is her Moe Howard haircut.

  17. qwertygirl

    I’m afraid this is a no for me too.

  18. Amber

    I agree about better foundation garments, to hoist up the girls a bit. (I have a very similar build as Dunham, and I almost always pick things that highlight my chest, and consider it to be a bonus to being “heavy.”) I think if the black piping were asymmetrical – like a faux wrap? And if her hair were styled a bit and she were standing up straight.

  19. Eli

    The second picture is better (but not good) because it hides her ugly arm tattoo, which is super busy and competes with her dress’s pattern.

  20. Cassie

    The waistline needs to move either up or down an inch or so – Empire or just above the hip swell, please – and be more defined. A thick belt? I’d have been a fan with this.

    I second (third?) better foundation, because I think they would look lovely if the Girls (ha-HA!) were up a little more. The way it fits her now makes her look frumpy.

    Also, yeah. Do something with the hair – she NAB. And a necklace. And earrings. Or something! Lipstick, some sparkly bits, and a nice purse and we’d be set.

    OMG, guys. I figured out the problem here, I think. It looks like she tried it on at a fitting and then looked at the clock and was like “Aw, snap, I need to be there now!” and ran out. She looks like the look didn’t get finished.

  21. nicolegrr

    Ya know, I like the color and I like the flowers, and I even kind of like the black piping, and I’m not sorry. Agree with de-volumizing the skirt – maybe a slightly shorter length? I don’t want to stumpify her with a tea length, but I think that would be better than drowning her as it is now.

    Also, the long, thin black straps + deep V-neck make it look like the top is peeling apart starting at her neck. So I would kep the thin straps, but raise the bodice up much higher, to a boatneck or ballet-type neckline, so the straps were not so prominent. That would also give her more coverage for some better foundation garments… And ditch the center piping altogether. Clearly I have given this way too much thought, but the fabric is so cheery I can’t just fug it and forget it.

  22. AnnieB

    Oh Lord all of this is a wrong. Her makeup looks like a 3 year old painted garish green on her lids and between her eyes to look like a cross-eyed racoon. Nothing ever fits her ever!. This dress is not made for her body type what-so ever. She could choose to look better but obvioulsly she relishes the attention she gets from going out of the way to look bad.
    Really she’s not that big but she only chooses things to make it look like she has battleship hips and ham hock arms. The tatoos also fail to charm. Just an all out no.

  23. Kirst

    Keep the fabric, keep the black piping, change the makeup, change the bodice to something supportive and flattering, lose the pleats in the skirt and then lose 1/3 of the skirt volume.

  24. Tina

    I tried & tried to find something redeeming about this, but failed. It’s a heinous, heavy, unflattering load of fug.

  25. Sarah O

    I like it., except for the makeup, hair, and tattoos.

  26. Dani

    The whole head is just… off. Tone down the eye makeup a scoch and do a bit more with the hair to give it some volume. Make the bodice a little bit tighter and raise the neckline just a teeny bit, get good foundation garments, and tone down the volume of the skirt from an 11 to an 8. It needs a lot of work, but I can’t just “fug” it because I love the pattern and the color on her. Just not in this incarnation. :(

  27. JillC

    There is nothing that could save this mess.

  28. jean

    I like her hair for being clean and simple. Make-up seemed fine for television/stage. I just wanted her bodice fitted. I love the skirt but if you all think less volume then okay. She was fairly charming with Claire Danes. Charm helps too.

    • Stefanie

      Lena was as likable as I’ve ever seen her while chatting with Claire.

  29. Anne

    Instead of all that eye makeup, just mascara and a bold poppy colored lip would have looked great here. I also think the bodice is wonderful, along with the whimsical pattern of the dress; the a-line just needs to be slimmer –cut out the pleats/extra volume bc it swallows her.

  30. Heather S.

    I like the dress, it just looks like she’s wearing her mom’s dress for play up. Make it tea length, fit the top better. Some lipstick that matches the red in the pattern would do wonders. Though really, and this is one of my issues with Lena Dunham, she has terrible posture which makes the clothes she wears look even more shapeless and sad then they would look otherwise. Good posture hides a multitude of sins.

  31. julie

    looks like my grandma’s shower curtain ate Lena Dunham

  32. Nate

    I actually love both the colour, the pattern (it doesn’t need more roses) and the volume of the skirt.


    1) Too much eye makeup. With that dress – and that hair – you’ll never fool anyone into believing you’re Taylor Momsen. So why try. She needs a light and perky makeup to combat the slight…uh, sadness of her natural eye shape.

    2) The hair needs volume – but NOT spikes or anything even remotely punky. Sure, it can work, but not here. A more retro look would be better.

    3) The shirt should be hemmed, either just slightly or more substantially with a full retro vibe.

    4) The bodice: The thin black lines need to go. I think it would work a lot better if the fabric just continued up until it ended in a thick black strip right across, extending out as an off-shoulder thing. Maybe with an overlap, “folded down” kind of effect.

    5) And to match that thick black strip, a massive, simple, black and shiny patent letter clutch. Oh, and some delicate, orangey lip gloss.

    Yeah. That’s my 5 cents. Or in this case, more like 5 dollars.

  33. Melissa

    Ugh, tired of feeling like I’m *supposed* to like her and give her a pass on everything she wears because she’s average looking and average sized. I don’t care. You can be average and not look like a hot average mess. And imo, she always does. Like she’s trying hard to look like she doesn’t care and that’s where it fails every time.

    • Audrey Fredericks

      You read my thoughts about this. Also, I almost have the impression that the cast of Girls is not acting, they are just like their characters – imature, sloopy, kind of lost. Which I don’t actually find funny, that show is just soooo drepressive it almost makes me happy I’m past my 40′s

    • greatwhitenorthchick

      What you said.

      I get the whole embrace-your-body thing, but ….sleeves, please.

  34. Nate


  35. kittenmittens

    I like the fabric. I think a more structured top, strapless or a sweetheart with wider straps. I think if the bottom were cocktail or tea length it would be less overwhelming.

    She does seem to be one of those people who never look right in formal wear. Some people always look like kids trying on their parents clothing when they dress up,

  36. Lorraine E

    She is so smart and awesome and body-positive generally – I think she gets pushed around by the same stylist-types that Christina Hendricks has been victim to in the past. When faced with a body that’s not straight up and down, they don’t know what to do and either cover it all up or leave it all out and hanging.

    She would have been way, way better off bringing this fabric to eShakti and asking them to customize the fit of one of their bridesmaids dresses. (I do not work for eShakti, but I LOVE THEM)

  37. Chicklet

    Total fug, and largely self-inflicted.

    The dress is too voluminous, too shapeless for her. She needs something with more substance and structure.

    Her hair is hideous. The cut is vile. Those bangs look like a hyperactive kindergartner put a bowl on her head and started cutting. You don’t do wash-n-wear with Prada.

    Her face looks like she got bored, started drinking, played with the eye makeup, and then stopped before doing anything else because she had to go meet the limo.

  38. Brooke M

    I can envision THE most perfect chair upholstered in that fabric.
    As a dress? Well, it definitely doesn’t work as that dress. Maybe a different shape would work.
    She really favors bodices like that on dresses, and they don’t work well on her.

  39. linda

    I was going to say that Lena Dunham never gets it right, but looking back, she does look good in strapless.

    • AnnieB

      Strapless? Can not see it. But perhaps a 3/4 sleeve with a ballet neckline and a steel rod fused to her spine would help.

  40. Kris

    Half of Lena Dunham’s wardrobe problems would be fixed if she’d just STAND UP STRAIGHT. If she’d put her shoulders back, pull her head up, and walk tall, she’d look like a star instead of like Droopy. The same goes for Zosia Mamet. If you look at celebrities of all body types, from Melissa McCarthy all the way to SWINTON, they look like stars no matter how fugly their outfit is, and that’s because they carry themselves with pride.

    •  snarkbot

      i agree big time. Lena talks a very loud talk about being proud of her body but it never translates to the red carpet. If she brought a little oomph and voom to the table it would make a hell of a difference.

    • Meg

      YES. I am 5’0″ and most people think I’m at least 5’2″ because I always, always, always have made a point to stand up straight. I don’t wear heels (I mean, my boots have an inch or two at most, but I don’t wear shoes with heels) and it is entirely possible to look significantly better with proper posture.

      And what is up with this aversion to a bra for formal events? So many women who really should be wearing one aren’t (obviously aren’t, not just a non-visible one) and I honestly can’t imagine walking around without support because OWW.

  41. Audrey Fredericks

    I might be the lonely crazy one wondering tis could actually look amazing if properly nip&tucked to fit Sophia Vergara. I must be the only crazy one tired from Sophia’s usual busty-mermaid fashion statement (and nothing else new to the table)

    •  Robyn

      Had the same thought last night about Sophia. Did she look fabulous? Yes! However she looks like she always looks. I am not sure I have seen her in anything but a mermaid fit and flare that showcases her boobs. Try something different!

  42.  snarkbot

    I can see what she is going for, but no. That dress is freakin’ bipolar. Her stylist is trying to play up her petite chest, as that body type often looks gorgeous in a deep v, but because she is not rail thin (no hate, she’s much smaller than me) it just doesn’t work.

    I also have a short neck, broad shoulders, and soft pale arms (complete with old, ugly tat!) and girl would do much better to lose those dreadful noodle straps altogether for a slightly-off the shoulder cut, which will elongate the neck and slim the shoulders and arms a tad. Very structured underthings (a bit of padding in the bra wouldn’t hurt, just for balance’s sake).

    And then rip off all that extra weight in the skirt (and raise an inch or two), which actually offends me in it’s bulk. It’s classic hide-the-fat-girl (ultimately making her look much bigger than she actually is), which makes it extra cray matched with that skimpy top. Remove the waist piping (or make it much larger, like a belt/sash) as it is clearly intended for “definition” but just cuts her in half and makes the bodice even frumpier.

    Honestly Lena should also wear the sort of structured things we wish C. Hendricks would wear, other than the chest difference, it’s the same sort of body type.

    As for hair/makeup? I have nothing kind to say. Nothing at all.

  43. tygerstripes

    Poor Lena. The fabric would be completely appropriate for a sofa in Bloomsbury circa 1920. And what’s with the *massive* pleats right on top of her hips? Even without the terrible color/print fabric choice, the design and cut of this disaster wouldn’t flatter *anyone*.

  44. TonyG

    I don’t see this as a fug. The fit in the bodice could be a bit more snug, and definitely the volume of the dress needs to be reduced. Perhaps a less heavy fabric would have worked better. I absolutely love the color and the contrast of the roses on that color.

  45. remi

    I think the bodice is to busy. Looking at the fabric of the skirt part and how the roses are spread on there, it must have been possible to make a bodice that was less busy and cut through less of the roses. Currently it looks a bit haphardly put together, maybe a bodice in one color would also have worked better.
    The bodice is by far the worst part anyway, it just doesn’t fit well. Also is it me or does the waistline of this dress make it look like she has a very tiny abdomen/torso? This might be her bodyshape, I am no expert, but it seems to stumpify her alot and make her look like she is sagged in (there are probably better words to convey the idea, but she looks like she is taller and somehow collapsed into herself).

  46. Sara B.

    The fabric is gorgeous and the colors flatter her. BUT. Her posture is killing the whole look — stop slouching, woman! — and her hair needed a little volume to balance that huge skirt.

  47. Eirwen

    Way too much dress for a short lady. The chest area is weird too. Why didn’t she wear a nice fitted A line knee length dress to suit her figure? You need to be very tall and very skinny to pull this off.

  48. M-A

    This is not a bad dress, it just looks like she wasn’t available for the fitting and sent someone a lot taller to stand in for her. Make it a 50s-style ankle length maybe, with a great-looking shoe?

    Like others have said, please give better support to your girls, you’ll thank us when you reach a more advanced age! Also, she needs a great clutch to keep her hands from hanging there. And stand up straight! Everything looks better if you stand straighter. And give her some out-there jewelry, make this a daring and punky look instead of relying just on the eye makeup for edge.

  49. Ellie

    I actually love Lena but she seems to have some sort of allergy to structured clothes that actually fit and flatter her figure, it’s a huge shame.

  50. Lizzy

    Straight skirt. Or a less full simple A line skirt. Too much skirt for that style of bodice and for the woman wearing it. Add a better bra and you have something fab. It’s a GORGEOUS fabric and a beautiful color on her.

    Make-up is too literal and basically dumb, but she’s young and likes to think she’s thumbing her nose at fashion, so whatever.

  51. Lauren E.

    a) She needs to pull her shoulders back and stand up straight.
    b) Her hair needs some serious volume.
    c) The eye shadow matches the teal of the dress… yikes.
    d) The top needs to be taken in! This dress does not fit her on top. I saw her sitting down and it was gap city.

  52. Maggie Gottlieb

    I think if the skirt were much much smaller, maybe an A-Line, I don’t know, but it just makes her look so much wider than it is

  53.  maggie

    It does rather look as if it has been air-dropped onto her! And yet at the heart of this dress is something inspired; it’s bold and playful, which suits her persona….I think it’s too delicately structured up top and (far,far) too heavy on the bottom. A straight line across the chest–someone suggested a thick black band, and I like that idea–might lend some simplicity and architecture to the bodice. Reduce the volume and the length of the bottom. Cocktail length? Add lipstick, for heaven’s sake, and perk up the hair somehow!

  54. filmcricket

    Bring the bodice in and up, lower the waist, take about half the volume out of the skirt, lift the hem, zuszh the hair, and we might be somewhere. Unlike most, I’m not a fan of the fabric at all, but a better shape to the dress would certainly be an improvement.

  55. Julia

    Her makeup looks as if she’s put her eyes in the wrong sockets, and it makes me queasy to look at here.

    Also, that orange ruins everything- it meeds to be less browm or more pastel and then we can talk. Although it’s possible that then the turquoise will look precisely wrong and I’d need to see more blue, more green, more greyed or paler to decide what was just right.

  56. Jessica

    I’m obsessed with this dress, but not on her here. My biggest issues are with the fit- the length and the bodice. Fix that up (maybe actually wear some strategic undergarments? without a proper foundation obviously it’s never going to look great, unless you’re like Heidi Klum, but not even Heidi Klum is Heidi Klum anymore), and she’s grand.

    Minus the horendous eye makeup, OBVI.

  57. soojasaurus

    I feel like if the top changed shape like if it were a more sweetheart like shape or if the weird triangly parts were smaller and they didn’t go all the way to her shoulders? I don’t know I think that and maybe a wider black belt would have helped. It just looks so ill fitting at the top…

  58. Dazie

    That skirt is straight out of The Nutcracker. I expect tiny exuberant dancing children to pop out at any moment.

    Lop about 3/4 of the skirt off, make it more “pencil” skirt, hoist up the girls and make the bodice fit. Add some to-die-for shoes and we have a winner.

  59. Rose

    It’s an improvement over what she usually wears. It’s still rather horrendous, but it’s an actual color and we now have proof that she is capable of smiling… let’s go with the positives here, mkay?

  60. SharonCville

    Everyone has already nailed the fixes that need to be made: Keep the fabric, but make a different dress out of it, essentially, with a LOT less volume and something to support the girls. Does she have a stylist? I get that she’s very much into being “I am what I am,” but as many red carpet failures as she has had, I think she could use a few sessions with a style coach to help her figure out what works on her, and just someone to stop her from leaving the house looking like this.

  61.  Thit

    I really do like this dress, but she is not owning it at all!
    If she started by standing up straight and pulling back her shoulders, it would make a HUGE difference. As a bonus, it would make her waist seem smaller.

  62. KK

    I think thicker straps and a thicker waist band would have made this dress more proportioned and fit her body a little bit better.

  63. Emma

    If the dress was knee length, it would be a cute summer dress for a picnic. But that pattern and overall sloppy fit for the Emmys? Yeesh. Also, my two year old seems to have that same bowl cut. Nothing wrong with sprucing up a little for a big event, sugar.

  64. Rachel Harris-Huffman

    Raise the neckline about 4″-6″, stick a better bra in there, add a big black ruched belt, and make it tea-length instead of a full ball gown. Voila.

  65. Tanuki1066

    This whole ensemble looks like Rachel Dratch sending her up on SNL. I apologize to Rachel in advance…..

  66. Minnie

    More hair, less skirt.

  67. Kitty

    I like most of what this dress is trying to do for/to Lena Dunham. The bodice needs to be more fitted, and she needs a better ahem “foundation garment”.

  68. Anna

    I love the color and the fabric, but I think a sort of black t-shirt top would look a lot cuter, and she could have worn a bra (better bra?) And maybe slightly less full on the skirt.

  69. Susanna

    Tighten up the bodice so it fits her better, cut off the hem around mid-calf.

  70. nmlhats

    The two reasons she looks better in photo B: she is smiling and you can’t see that damn tattoo.

  71. Kristin Cass

    I feel this dress totally could have been saved with a good bra and a different fit on the bottom. If it was right above the knee and body fitting, I think she would have looked hot.

    • Esme

      I don’t know why she thinks feminism involves never wearing a decent bra–she’s too young to look like she has saggy boobs.

  72. Lisa Schweitzer

    I actually like the print, and there’s something daring about a print on the red carpet that i like, but full-length is a problem on this fabric. The fabric strikes me as a bit stiff for a full skirt. and it seems to swallow her whole. I think I would like this a lot of it were a short dress, A-line as Maggie suggests. I also don’t like tiny straps on girls who are slightly larger up top. There’s nothing wrong with her figure, but dressing to suit your figure is about proportions, and there’s something embiggening about those tiny, dark straps up top the broader fabric of the bodice and her alabaster skin–it makes her head look small. I’m thinking something that brings your eye back to her face instead of outward, outward, outward from the base of the bodice.

  73. Lizzy

    Lena – Please contact Octavia Spencer and hire her stylist, stat! This is getting old.

  74. Molly Barth Garber

    More (any) boob support, lose the pleats, very simple necklace to draw the eye upward, simple bracelet, too. And PLEASE lose the matching eye makeup! The dress is a lovely color, but also having that color on the eyes is too much. I would have opted for lighter eye makeup and a coral lip (to go with the flowers) instead.

  75. val.

    She’s not owning it, like you said. She looks uncomfortable and ill at ease, even in the smiley pic. I think if she felt confident, it would make the dress more acceptable.

    I actually like the pattern and the colors, but I do think the fit is just wrong for her.

  76. lynn

    No to this dress as it is, which of course is — ugly. Did she think she looked nice or is this some type of general put down of fashion in general? I am never certain if she is making fun or me, the event, fashion, or herself. Was there nobody to tell her how terrible this fit? Nobody at all?

  77. luvthefuggers

    it could have been wonderful either as is on someone else, or fitted much much better and tailored to her height etc…but I love the dress, I do.

  78. Beth

    She needs to STAND UP STRAIGHT and SELL IT and not just stand there like a goddamn BAG OF CHIPS for a change. Honestly.

  79. Annie

    As a short dress, this would be VERY cute. But as a long dress, she looks like a tank. Not flattering.

  80. Bella

    That’s one ugly dress.

  81. gina

    I love the color! Looks great with her tattoo. Totally would have carried it off with (1) BETTER POSTURE and (2) THE BIG SMILE. Hedging on the heavy eye makeup but you know what? I don’t want everyone to look the same. SHE COULD OWN THIS.

  82. shareen

    I think she looks cute. I love her “I’ll wear what I want and you can all eff off” mentality. But to make it great rather than good she needed to either shorten it up or reduce some skirt volume. That and make the waist hit her actual waist, preferably with a slightly thicker trim which would allow for thicker straps. But my real problem with it? The matchy-matchy makeup. It moves the whole thing into a high school drama class costume.

  83. Sophie

    Shortened to a 50′s length and some black stilettos it would be amazing.

  84. fritanga

    Hey, now. Now you’re just f**king with us, Lena. There’s no way in HELL she walked out of her hotel thinking that this grandma sofa cover of a dress looked good on her. Prada is a either a sadist or Dunham’s conspirator in red carpet japery.

    And I’m sorry, the smile doesn’t help in the least.

  85. pan jinlian

    She looks lovely, that colour is beautiful on her!

  86. Joan

    Burn it

  87. Gina

    1) donate the dress to the Girls Scouts and so they can use it as a tent
    2) find a better fitting, less huge dress
    3) cover the tattoo
    4) actually get the hair and makeup done by a professional that knows you are going to the Emmys


  88. Drew

    Wider thick belt from just below the breast to the waist. Cut it to the knee in fron and slightly longer in back exposing black tulle.

  89. Samantha

    I have the utmost sympathy for anyone in those in-between stages of growing out a short haircut. But she was so cute with the pixie, and her make-up would have worked without the semi-shag.
    Cocktail length would have gone a long way to fix this, as would better posture.
    Lena Dunham always looks so close to wow, and it’s endlessly frustrating. I’d love to see someone with her body type become a fashion girl.

  90. Sandra

    It’s way too much look for somebody whose body language suggests she doesn’t want (or maybe doesn’t know how) to OWN IT. The smile helps enormously, but her posture still says she is uncomfortable. Also, it doesn’t fit properly.

  91. may

    The pictures were looking really weird to me and I think I finally figured it out. It looks like someone photoshopped it so her body is 5x the size of her head. The proportions are totally off. Otherwise, it would have looked okay.

  92. blatanville

    Christmas tree. Raccoon eyes.

  93. Elle

    Hitch the skirt up an inch so her shoes are peeking out, and put make-up over the unfortunate floral tattoo on her upper arm.

  94. Malin

    That’s SUCH an eyesore. I don’t have anything against the colour per se, but that pattern, and that fit… sorry, I don’t know why I said fit, its not fitted AT ALL. I don’t know, its just a bit too much skirt, a bit, erhm, too loose around the girls (Yes to hoisting them up). But I think its the sort of bland hair and too much make up that clashes the most Give the girl a proper hair style” she has gooorgeous eyes!. Plus, she is just standing there. I think just a bit of straightening up, a bigger smile and just a hint of a pose (hand to the waist? Shift the weight to one foot a bit?) would work wonders.

  95. Betsey

    Um, stand up straight?

  96. mauxxo

    This is a total Leigh Bowery gown

  97. daphne

    Even with the smile, the dress doesn’t seem to match her head! I am a confirmed short-hair kind of girl, but that is the cut you wind up with after you get gum in your hair when you’re 4. It is not a red carpet, party dress cut. And speaking of cutting things off, that dress would be supercute if it was (as we say down south) tea-length.

  98. Alli

    I love a big, dramatic skirt, but this one really does seem to be overwhelming her. The smiling picture looks a thousand percent better than the first one, but it still lands in fug territory for me.

  99. Donna

    I’d lose some of the volume of the skirt — pleats can flatter, but I think the waist of this dress is too big or something… something’s not right. I’d do something different with the straps, because spaghetti straps aren’t right. I think the whole dress is too big on her. If it was fitted, it would look more like it belonged to her. Maybe go down a size and see how that looks. Hem it an inch or two. And then (the secret to my success) weight the hem so it hangs better.

    Also, keep the smile. She looks fantastic when she smiles!

  100. chickadee

    A smile? The best EMT on the planet could not save this.

    • Caro

      Yeah, she can smile until the cows come home, this thing is irretrievably fug. She dresses as though she weighs 300 lbs–you’re not that fat, honey.

  101. Allison Parker

    I am so sad that for someone who currently represents a voice of feminism, she has given up on seeing herself as attractive. That’s what I think when I see this: Here is someone who clearly doesn’t want to try because then she will be judged for doing so. I would like her to represent all the power that she has by making more powerful fashion choices.

    • JoeSchmoe

      There is not playing fashion games and there is complete lack of self-respect. Doesn’t Lena have at least one friend who loves her enough to help her dress herself?

  102. CC

    Not that she has an unusual figure, but let’s be honest, most designers don’t have Lena’s figure in mind when they design. Her clothes at events like this, time and again, are singularly unflattering and though she surely has a hand in it, I blame her designers because even in custom gowns, she looks terrible. This is no exception. I know people love Prada, but with even actresses with amazing figures, Prada has NO IDEA how to make a flattering gown. (Anne Hathaway’s nippletastic pink apron dress at the Oscars 2013, Audrey Tautou’s ill-fitting red and pink apron dress from Cannes 2013, Gwenyth Paltrow’s short ill-fitting silver apron dress from the Met Gala 2012, and I can go on…) Did you see the back of this? It’s another bloody apron! Another ill-fitting, unflattering, poorly designed, poorly executed apron.

    • Chicklet

      After seeing the beautiful fit Christian Soriano did with Christina Hendricks, I’d love to see him do something for Lena Dunham.

      • CC

        Yes! I wholeheartedly agree! And, Chris March made my favorite gowns that Meryl Streep ever wore. Hmm….maybe the challenges of Project Runway better prepare a designer for the real world than those who only work with size 2 models and can do anything they want!

  103. Fiona Payne

    I freaking LOVE this fabric and I don’t hate the volume of the skirt. The waist needs to be dropped just a bit and cinched with a wide belt, and the entire top needs to go (ditto comments about strapless or cap sleeves or a ballet neck or SOMETHING).

    My biggest problem with this is Lena. I don’t watch her show, so pretty much everything I know about her I’ve gotten from GFY. I GET that she doesn’t think she should have to apologize for her body type/shape, and I am 100% behind that. But if you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk. She might have even been able to pull off the top (mostly), if she had OWNED it. The end.

  104. OH

    I want to hem it. I feel it would look less sack-like if it wasn’t too long. It isn’t draping right because it’s sitting on the ground. I like the fit of the bodice and I appreciate that Lena doesn’t make boring fashion choices just because she doesn’t have the typical Hollywood body.

  105. Sue M.

    Lena is really a lovely young woman. I feel she deliberately wears unflattering clothes. If she just wore things that fit she would look fab. It’s like she feels it is wrong to look good!

  106. Kim Usey

    I just couldn’t believe it when I saw that this was a *custom* Prada gown. CUSTOM, y’all, and it looks like this. Lena is not the only one making bad choices here.

    •  purejuice

      someimtes prada is waaaaaaay too frumpy. how did they allow this non tailoring, those bigass hip pleats?

  107. Sarah Williams

    It needs to be shorter, mid calf maybe. And I think a chunky necklace (chunky but not distractingly busy) in one of the flower shades or black would really help also.

  108.  Joss

    I love the fabric. It would work much better if the waist was more fitted.

  109. Fran

    Nice wallpaper!

  110. Beverly

    2 words – Muscle Tone

    That would make everything better.

    • Jessica

      Hey hey hey. Let’s not go there. Even flabby people can and do dress themselves beautifully every day, and I’d prefer if it we didn’t get into the THE PROBLEM IS HER BODY thing.

      A Flabby Person.

  111. Kyasarin

    Cut it off at the knees and turn it into a sundress. I think that’s the only way it can be saved.

    •  HelenBackAgain

      Still wouldn’t fit. She doesn’t seem to get anything tailored, ever.

  112.  Shannon

    No, no, no. What are you all thinking? The cut is unflattering, the fabric is horrendous, her makeup is terrible, and her posture is awful. Re: her hair — I told my brother last night that she looked like a little kid who’d gone to bed with gum in her mouth, it came out and went all over her hair, and her mom had to cut it out. No. Just a giant, huge, festering NO.

  113. Sunshine

    I try to respect other people’s opinions, but how can anyone think this is in any way, shape, or form anything but screamingly ugly? This. Is. Hideous. Ick.

  114. strah

    I could be ok with the dress.
    The HAIR is my big problem. A barrette, some curl, volumizing spray, a flower behind the ear, ANYTHING rather than what she has going on.


    She has no neck. Ginormous dress on an already not that small body, plus terrible hair, and no neck equals FUGLY.

  116.  purejuice

    it needs to be short. like mid thigh. those hip pleats are possibly the most unflattering tailoring for lena dunham evar. she def needs boobage and a dress which promotes same. i can’t think of anybody who could pull this dress off. it def has a black-outlined cartoon character which i think she’s trying to be iconoclastic about the red carpet with.

    you can have an iconclastic evening dress, i think, but this isn’t it. and yes, spike the hair.

  117.  purejuice

    so, iconoclastic young lady evening dress that blends with the tats but not with the red carpet…..i’m thinking bronze, to go with her hair, and a great nude lipstick shade, on the bronze side of the road. with a waist and boobs, maybe a retro mid calf 50s full skirted tulle cocktail look with a tight cumberbund? and pretty topaz earrings.

  118. Lala

    The only thing I vaguely like about this, and particularly for her, is that it’s quirky. But it’s also f*cking atrocious. Yes she needs something unusual, perhaps in terms of color or pattern so I get what they were trying to do with the “pattern” here. But holy crap on a cracker, the shape? The proportions?! I think something more cocktaily, and cinched in at the waist and boob support please. Essentially the same material with a bustier, black piping and pencil skirt would look lovely, or even a 1950′s swirly skirt shape. I’m thinking PINUP. The hair needed some pazazz too. The loveable thing about Lena is she always looks so beautifully comfortable in her own skin but whoever did this to her threw that to the dogs. Lover her though, she’s wonderful.

  119. Carmen

    This is a real, true, 100% fug-FUG. There’s no room for a vote in here and I’m surprised you even considered it as anything *but* a fug. (BTW: Are you guys OK? Was the “Girls” hipster hype? The Prada hype? Or what?)

  120. Chris P

    All three and then some. The skirt could probably be toned down a bit because she looks like she’s swimming in that thing, and the bodice…needs work.

    I don’t want to burn the entire thing like I usually do with her clothes, so it’s an unfug for me. But it’s a hell of a lot of work.

  121. Lori

    I think a better-fitting and more uplifting bodice would have done wonders.

    Fun fact: If you say you don’t like this dress on Martha Plimpton’s Twitter feed, she will block you.

  122. Caro

    This is like the scene from Austin Powers: Goldmember when he was walking around in that gigantic sailor’s uniform while standing on MiniMe’s shoulders–does she have her own MiniMe under there? Because there’s plenty of room and then some–hideous and ludicrous.

    •  Sue

      Exactly, I keep waiting for her to pull up the front and a whole carload of clowns to tumble out. It really looks like she stood there and someone just dropped it over her head.

  123. Margrrret

    The print, colors and bodice aren’t my faves, but they’re not TERRIBLE. The skirt IS. The fabric has too much body to be used in that much voluminous skirt, and she is drowning in it.

    If the skirt was below knee-length and narrow, and worn with some black strappy sandals, everything else would work fine as is. But pencil skirts are not really her style.

  124. lacondesainvierno

    I know I am late and probably no one will read this, but… it’s not the dress: it’s the tattoo. As is so often the case those durn ugly arm tats ruin it all. (Why girls, why?) If you actually cover the tattoo with your finger in the first picture it makes a complete difference. I think that’s also one of the reasons the “smile” photo is preferred as well since the tat is minimized by the angle. Then you can see that she is just taking quirky and really going with it. Which I think she should do. She is not going to be a classic beauty. She has a soft midsection. Embrace the quirk. Other actresses have embraced the twee (Zooey D), the modern gypsy (Florence), the architectural (Swinton). Let Lena have the quirk. It’s a lot better on her than her normal just ugly looks.

    • AnnieC

      I agree. I find tattoos to be so unpleasant to look at. You can put a woman in the finest gown, but if she has a tattoo showing, the effect will be ruined each and every time. Lena’s tattoos are particularly hideous.

  125.  hillary l.

    When I think Lena Dunham, I don’t think ballgown. I want her in a one-shoulder print Naaem Khan SO BAD. Or y-neck halter Michael van der Hamm. Creatures of the Wind might suit her two. And I think a cocktail hem is going to be her game – she’s all about bucking convention, and I think floor-length gowns drag her down (HATED that brown Zac Posen gown she wore. I love Zac’s gowns, but there’s a science to their styling).

    But this is a print (and I’ve been beating the print drum for her for a while), so at least that’s progress.

    •  hillary l.

      Circling back – if this dress were short, the skirt a little less full, with a pair of kicky shoes? It’s almost a win.

  126. Nat

    The fabric in itself is not horrible-but the dress looks like a tepee on her. If the top part had been more form fitting-with maybe a sweetheart neckline instead of something that looks like 2 huge napkins-maybe then this would have been quirky instead of bizarre!

  127. lola

    I almost wrote all the things I would do to make this outfit look better on Lena and then I realized Lena probably wouldn’t want to wear it. This girl has her own style and it reminds me of what Beck was doing in his time to some extent. I don’t think she accidentally misses the trend boat- rather she never bought a ticket to sail that way. I think she revels in all the flaws that most of us wish we could take away. I am not saying she is a fetishist or anything… but she isn’t trying to be barbie. she isn’t trying to hide her flaws. She’s strangely wholesome, without any bit of demure or chaste.