Fug/Fab Face-Off: Mena Suvari vs. Florence Welch

At Fashion Week, we spotlighted this dress from Tadashi Shoji and said we liked it, cautiously — that we were afraid whoever tried to wear it first would do something terrible with it, before anybody else could do it right. Let’s see if Mena here did it justice:

Well, the pink lipstick is all wrong with this. It’s as if head and body were not considered together, when in fact — last I checked — they are attached and should therefore try to be complementary. The bob is cute, but the model’s sleeker hair and simple red lip would’ve been clever to echo. As for the dress, Mena has shortened it somewhat from where the model’s hits her — which was a good decision, because the runway length is hard to pull off unless you are that exact size, walking around on those exact legs. She also scrapped the tights and went with heavier shoes. I’m neutral on that change. The dress can carry dark tights, but it certainly doesn’t need them. All in all, though, I’m pretty pleased with this deployment — seriously, I was terrified someone would throw in a needless belt, or Mia Wasikowska would wear it with thick white shoes that look like she fished them out of Aunt Edna’s attic. That did not happen. Hooray for small miracles. (Note to Mia: You could still wear this. You could do it with the right makeup, and NOT wear Aunt Edna’s shoes, and it could look really good. Please consider.)

Florence Welch went with a long-form version in green:

I quite like this, too. Well, except for her frosty demeanor, ┬ábut whatever, maybe she was just thirsty. Her makeup ALSO seems all wrong, considering how this should be ringing all my very gleeful Redhead in Green alarms, and instead I’m feeling only mild pleasure. However, before we vote on these, let’s all raise our glasses to a break from her constant stream of mullet and/or semi-see-through dresses. I think it’s effective. Or maybe I just wanted to raise my glass, because what goes up, must come down… my gullet.

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[Photos: Getty]


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Comments (40):

  1. Emily

    I think Florence’s version is better overall, but why do her eyes always looks so dead in photos? It concerns me.

  2. Kristen from MA

    This may be the first time I’ve seen Florence Welch NOT looking all washed out. But her makeup could’ve been better.

  3. Eliza Bennett

    I love Florence’s! I think I’d like Mena’s, too, with different shoes. The clophoppers make me sad. Are those 90s penny loafer platforms?

    • Alle C. Hall

      F’s is a great color, but it lacks the opaque quality that is so intriguing in the red. And the long length sends it into granny territory, or Southern mother. Or vampire wife. Something matronly without any sex appeal. Cant say that about the red!

      It is hard to compare Mena in the dress to the model b/c the dress was made for that woman – the red against her skin, the shape, her thin thin legs in the sheer black tights. And of course, the lipstick. Necessary! Mena’s white legs and uni-tone face definitely don’t work as well.

      She looks pretty, and not smug or “I am sexy” pouty as many of the last Am Pie photos have been. Hair and makeup is nice, et. al., – but there is something about here these days that seems to be trying for Reese Witherspoon or a blonde Katie Cruise.

      She was so herself in American Beauty.

  4. Kara

    Definitely Florence’s but damn, why does she look so mad? Her facial expression is pure “WTF do you want now?”

  5. Emily

    I actually like Mena’s hair and makeup. She didn’t go with an orange, plum or bright pink lip so nothing clashed. She just kept everything simple and let the great dress shine. Which I think had the overall effect of making it seem less dramatic/costumey. By keeping it simple she wore the dress. The dress didn’t wear her.

  6. Adu

    Mena just needs different shoes, I think the simple hair and makeup compliment the intricacy of the dress. Pretty sure Florence could fix everything with a smile. And possibly some twirling.

  7. Improbable Joe

    So close…

    I wanna see Christina Hendricks wear it next!!!

    • gladly

      Such a great dress for her! I’d love to see her in either one, but she’d be especially gorgeous in the green.

      • Teleute

        I think the green is a better color for her, but the length might be a bit awkward given her curves – that stacked column look seems to work best on ladies with less hippage. The shorter style in the green color, though… hot damn!

    • Alle C. Hall


  8. Lynne

    Florence’s hair makes me sad. Why bother wearing a ridiculously over-priced dress if you’re just going to wander around with gym hair? Mena looks great! I might swap out the clunky shoes but that’s kind of a nitpick.

    • Billie

      And gym makeup. It looks like she got off the treadmill and didn’t mind that her makeup is running.

  9. Neil

    I must be alone here…..I think Mena looks sensational.

    • zah

      i agree…love her hair, i don’t think the lip is too pink – i think it just looks natural.. I’m not a Mena fan, but i really like this.

  10. Sandra

    I really hate the shoes and don’t care for the eye-patch hairstyle, but sort those and Mena looks fab. Florence needs to stop letting Suri Cruise do her hair and make-up That green looks AMAZING on her. In a good way. I like the 3/4 sleeves as well.

  11. Katharine

    I’m all for Florence’s. This is 100% “her style” without looking like it smells of mothballs and Nag Champa and has a mended rip near the hem. Agreed, though, on the hair and that horrible lipstick, which isn’t bold enough for the dress in the first place, and in the second place, looks strange on her skin.

    Mena looks… fine, but unlike Florence, this seems like a bit more dress than she can, or even wants to, carry off.

  12. ginger

    The neck on Florence looks like it’s choking her, it makes me itchy just to look at it. It also makes her neck look short. Maybe it’s the color, but I’m not getting the same feeling from Mena’s.

  13. Claire

    Much prefer Florence’s. I agree w/ all above that Mena’s hair and makeup are fine, but think the look needs an extra inch or two in length and sleeker shoes to make it all-out fab.

  14. Noire

    Is it just me or does it look like Florence Welch and Chloe Sevigny could seriously be cousins?

  15. ceecee

    The shorter version is ever-so-slightly square-dance costume reminiscent. Cuter shoes might have helped make it less do-si-do.

  16. Adriele

    Mena looks like a matador in this outfit, especially in front of the words “el reencuentro.”

    Anyone else get that?

  17. Mel

    both need a few adjustments: the color is great on Florence and all I thought was “finally, maybe she found a dress that was her style without being a caftan or an overpriced grandma nightgown. I think for her we’ll go one step at a time and the hair and make-up will eventually get better. For Mena my first thought was for the shoes: they are not exactly hideous but…no wait, they are. And the dress is too busy to wear with equally busy shoes. Regular black or actually nude pumps would go better. I’m not going to comment on the hair though because that would require looking at it too long. She pulls it off and I couldn’t and I often get bob envy before remembering that a bob and I would meet a tragic end, dare I say as tragic as Romeo and Juliet. The kind that would make you say “if only she had pushed the dentist’s door that day instead of the salon’s…”

  18. Jilly

    Mena looks totally cute and charming. Florence looks like Lady Stark of Winterfell.

    • Amalia

      Surely that’s a compliment to Florence?! Lady Stark was one hot babe, remember. I think Ms. Machine looks here better than she ever has in any public occasion since… oh yeah, ever.

  19. vandalfan

    Both are the best use of such busy, busy fabric, like the curtains from an elaborate theater. Unfortunately, it is deployed in horizontal tiers. They are not so obvious in the red, but poor Florence has a vague air of crayfish or lobster about her. These ladies should be commended by wearing the heck out of the dress, instead of letting the dress wear them.

  20. Gigi

    When I first saw that photo of Mena, I thought “oh, Kirsty Alley has lost another 60 pounds and chopped off all her hair!” Is that a good thing?

    • KatKenSea

      YES YES YES! I love Fug Nation. Whenever I have a thought I’m like, “I’m not even going to post my thought yet because I’m certain someone will have had the same thought first & commented on it & I can just reply.” Kirstie Alley + Kristen Johnson – 60 lbs – hair – height = Mena Suvari here. And I don’t like math, so that equates to my preferring Florence here, although yes, some better styling was needed.

  21. maryse

    mena’s looks like a fancy party dress. florence’s not so much.

  22. Spider

    The dress looks too big for Mena’s small frame. Maybe it’s the high poofy neckline, but it looks like it’s swimming around her shoulders. Florence fills out the dress better.

  23. Shiitake

    Mena looks very pretty.

    Florence shouldn’t have bothered.

  24. Cassie

    What decided me in favor of Mena’s: I looked at Florence, and thought “Oh, but it would be so much cuter if the hem were up . . . chop off one – no, two – wait, three of those ruffles and it’s . . . the same length as Mena’s.”

    Seriously, Florence, it won’t hurt anyone if you wear something you won’t trip on. In fact, it might even STOP someone getting hurt; namely, yourself. And that expression . . . it didn’t help the dress any, either.

  25. Sajorina

    I like Mena’s outfit, but the hair & makeup are wrong for it! However, I love Florence’s… It is a beautiful emerald green, the hair & makeup work, she carries it off beautifully and I love that it’s such a departure for her! I just wish she had worn earrings! I say FAB to both, but I voted for Flo!

  26. Softwear

    Hate Mena’s hair and the length of the dress stumpifies her. Since this is the best Florence has ever looked, I gave her my vote. Yes she has a sour look and tired make-up, but the dress itself suits her down to the ground (pun intended).

  27. gryt

    I agree with Mena’s dress looking a tad sqaure dancing-esque. Not chic.

  28. Marvelous A

    I’m the odd (wo)man out but but I hate, hate, hate Mena’s hair. It looks like a Katie Couric wig. Or maybe I just loathe her and I’m letting that influence my impression.

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