Unfug-or-Fab: Carey Mulligan


So, I thought maybe I’d fallen down and banged my head, because when I saw Carey in this dress at the Film Critics’ Circle awards in London, I knew I’d just seen her in it somewhere else, with different shoes, even though that seemed a bit bizarre and unorthodox. Yet¬†The Daily Mail thoughtfully proved me sane.

Leaving for a moment how¬†endearing it is that she loved anything enough to wear it twice in quick succession — most starlets would die, no? Even our girl Emma Stone probably would never — I did think the black shoes felt a little heavy for a springy Valentine’s Day-ish tulip dress, although I’m not sure if the heavy blue shoes are better or just different. Heavy is heavy, you know? It’s a lot of dress and a lot of shoe without much of a vacation in between. Further, I keep wondering if it would be cuter as a halter without the geometric sleeves. Or with the geometric sleeves, but without the choker. I definitely like it better with the champagne, unless I’m just projecting that I would ALSO like some champagne.

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[Photo: Getty]

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Comments (47):

  1. Eliza Bennett

    HELL NO. Nothing can help except starting over. I can’t even begin.

  2. AMS

    Never mind the halter and the choker and the geometric sleeves, I think it would be cuter if the bodice fit (and the skirt were just a bit shorter). There appear to be weird flaps of fabric on her sides and I think those are what are making this look so heavy. With a properly fitted bodice I think the choker and the sleeves would make sense and the whole look would be as cute as she is. As to the shoes, I don’t love these but I don’t have anything compelling to say about what they should be instead.

    • Small Anne Cordelia

      Bingo!! This is exactly what I was going to say. The fit of this dress is doing Carey absolutely no favors whatsoever.

      I also think the choker needs to be removed completely, and with proper fitting, this is quite cute. This would also solve the problem of the shoes, since the clashing black accent would be gone. I think the actual style of the shoes works just fine with this – it’s January, not June.

  3. that girl

    The dress just sort of hangs there doesn’t it?

    I’m sure it’s very comfortable… I just can’t imagine how this would work. The print and color could be cute as kind of a retro skirt, belted, with a separate top of a different color. But even then it would need a different fabric/cut to give it some more shape, and/or to be shortened up.

    • NYCGirl

      That’s what I was thinking, too– that it would work better as a skirt.

  4. SaraK

    I love it that she’s wearing the same dress again (one of the things I like about the Duchess of Cambridge, too), I just wish it wasn’t THIS dress that she’s so fond of. I’ve seen Carey in so many much prettier and more flattering things. I feel like this shapeless and too long gown is just eating her up.

    • pidget

      Careful – the Daily Mail is NOT a good place to prove sanity.

      Yes, this dress is eating her alive just like SarahK says – too boxy, chops her neck off, and swallows the rest whole. She’s teeny, and needs a bit more shape/the right scale not to get lost. She herself always seems sprightly, witty and rather elfin, so why not dress to accentuate those fun things?

  5. Karen

    I dunno. Maybe this is just a bad photo, because in the passel of photos at the link that proved you sane, you see her moving in it and I think it’s quite cute and retro on her.

    I’m not crazy about the weird black picture-hanger at the neckline but, if it’s going to be there, the black shoes at least pick up that accent better than the blue ones do.

    There IS something weird in the gathers at the side of the bodice which, from the front, make it look like the dress doesn’t quite fit. But I think it (and she) is adorable.

  6. Willow

    The only things I really hate are the sleeves, the neckline and the heaviness of the shoes, it’s like she stood in 2 pots of paint as she was leaving the house.

  7. vandalfan

    I’d remove the shoulder pads to make the line more round up there, and put her back in the black pumps, and she’s be perfect in my book. There are some unusual folds and tucks in the bodice and waistline, but she’s thin enough to make it look interesting. And, it’s midmorning here now- a split of Champagne for everyone!

  8. Alice

    I have to ask, but is there a cape at the back? It looks weirdly baggy at the back there, it’s making me nervous.

  9. MC

    There’s a pic of the dress from the back here: http://www.redcarpet-fashionawards.com/2012/01/12/sidewalk-style-carey-mulligan-in-lanvin-roland-mouret/
    Now that I can see there’s a waist tie, I’m thinking the sides aren’t so weird in person, it’s just the pics are bad. Also those tulips are leather appliques, couldn’t tell that from the pic either!

  10. charlie

    I just want the champagne.

  11. DanerKebab

    The top isn’t something I would have chosen, but I don’t mind it. I would like the dress better at knee-length-ish, and with more delicate shoes.

  12. Andrew S.

    Take in the dress on the sides, remove the sleeves and chocker and a better shoe. Voila

  13. Adriana

    If it is cold, I don’t blame her for wearing pumps.

  14. LG

    I love it, except without those hideous shoes, BUT. I’m not trying to be one of those catty “here have a milkshake” people, so don’t take this as a figure critique, just as a dressing-your-figure critique — she is so VERY thin that all those extra angles just make her look too angular. This dress would look better on someone with a few more curves, and it would look better on her with a softer neck and shoulder.

    So close.

  15. Francesca

    I just had a 1980′s flashback and it wasn’t pretty.

  16. slila22

    Having looked at the pictures in the Daily Mail article and then googled them, I think it fits her better through the bodice than some people are giving it credit for doing. What you can’t see in this picture that makes the choker and fit make more sense is that there’s a black tie at the waist just in the back of the dress. There’s some draping in the middle front of the skirt that coordinates with what’s happening on the sides and in the back. The “choker” isn’t just a choker, it crosses in the back, holding a V-back together. Unfortunately, the only picture I could find that shows the back is a rather unfortunate one of her falling. In all the others she at least seems to be having a lark.

    All in all, i think the dress is quite interesting and cute, though this may not be the most flattering picture of her in it. I love blue shoes and it’s winter, but perhaps they could be peep toe? Not too summery and delicate for the season or dress, but just a little less coverage and clunky than these.

  17. Sajorina

    Actually, the only thing I like are the 2 pairs of shoes! That dress should’ve never happened once, let alone twice! FUG!!!

  18. Neffs

    Black and white spectator pumps, and knee length.

    • valeria

      Oooo! That’s a neat idea.

      I didn’t inspect these photos with the exacting detail as some of the others so I’ll accept criticism as to fit and why — WHY! — the stupid black choker/halter thing. On the other hand — yowza !!! — this dress has so much more style and panache that the junk most other young women wear to award celebrations it deserves a standing ovation. AND, who cares if a gal wears a great dress to more than one occasion (unless it’s super important like the Oscars or something?)

  19. Jen from Cincy

    The colors of the dress with those blue shoes just don’t work for me. The ensemble reminds me of a dressy superhero.

  20. Liz

    I’m not a fan of the blue shoes for sure. But I’m not really a fan of the dress either. The shoulders + the choker + the back treatment that makes it cowl off to either side of her boobs = unflattering dress. The color is nice, and I like the pattern, but it makes her look quite oddly shaped.

  21. Hel

    I want to talk about the shoes. When I see them, I think Smurf fur and it’s not good.

  22. AM

    I really don’t get the criticism because I really like it, and I’m proud of her for wearing the same dress more than once (gasp!). I do like the black shoes with it a bit more.

  23. Julia

    The blue shoes are fine, the black shoes are fine, what kills this otherwise shiny look for me is that black noose around her neck.

  24. Zeina

    What it needs is two-toned T-strap heels or mary janes. I think that would play into the vintage-y feel of the dress, which I think is lovely on her.

  25. Jo

    I like the print but nix the choker thing and the shoes.

  26. jenny

    Black shoes, NO choker…that part is too crazy. But the print and shoulders are super cute.

  27. megan

    The red is great but the style of the dress is to overwhealming for her petite frame (I have this problem! Also she need to woek on her photo smile..

  28. dee cee

    She has a I AM mean to me mindset.., takes joy in inflicting pain, dismay or emotional abuse by choosing cheap, tad ugly, badly fitting frump fashion like Kate Winslet, add bad makeup and frowsy hair.. off kilter, horrid accessories.. she’s euphoric.

  29. Kris M

    I would say the opposite of some and that is keep the choker, ditch the SLEEVES.

    And the sourpuss face.

  30. Ann-Marie

    The dress would be very cute if she had had several sandwiches in previous days.

  31. Jules

    I couldn’t get past the huge white tulips pointing to her thigh/crotch area.

  32. Lilibet

    Carey is adorable and can do no wrong in my opinion. Including this. So she wore this dress twice in a fortnight? The Duchess of Cambridge shops at Zara. Doesn’t this mean they are not profligate in these hard times? The Daily Mail will always find fault with them. No surprise there

    • Lila

      I actually read somewhere that she’s part of the Green Carpet Challenge (created by Colin Firth’s wife) to wear eco-friendly or pre-worn gowns during the awards season. There was some mention about an A-List who accepted the challenge and word is it’s Carey. But I could be wrong!

      (okay, “word” is correct – it was Carey: https://twitter.com/#!/liviafirth/status/160488949834448896)

  33. ChaChaHeels

    The black shoes definitely improve the whole look, and if she’s worn the dress twice it means she’s either bought it outright and she owns it or she’s borrowed it and hasn’t been forced to return it yet. It’s not a bad dress, it has a kind of glamorous 40′s vibe to it but it was designed for a taller girl, with a much longer neck. The black “choker” is part of the dress and it would be attention grabbing on someone whose swan-like neck could survive the scrutiny–but on tiny Carey it just makes her look stumpy there.

  34. Flora

    To be fair, this is a really terrible pic. In all the other pics I’ve seen, she looks totally fab and very cute. I love the colour-clashing shoes, and actually, I love this more than any of the frocks at the Golden Globes last week. It makes me happy, and she looked like she was enjoying herself. As you would with Michael Fassbender on one arm and a mini bottle of champagne in the other!

  35. Smartastic

    Wait a sec. This is a fabulous dress and she looks fantastic in it! Seriously, I no holds barred love this look (with the black shoes).

  36. Rubee

    She’s usually praised a fashion icon but for me, becoming so implies more than wearing unexpected, vintage-y stuff others wouldn’t. She’s a very accomplished actress, but I don’t get her as a fashion wonder, same way I think lovely Emma Stone is being exceedingly overrated these days. If you shorten this dress’lenght, remove the shoulder pads and the black choker as other suggested you will end-up with the kind of pretty dress every online shop is selling these days. Nothing worthy of a red carpet event.

  37. Emma

    The black choker-appendage-thing should go, the shoulder-pads should go, and the bodice should be more fitted. I don’t actually even get what’s going on there with the bagginess. Also, black shoes.

  38. Altissima
  39. puffin

    I don’t care what she wears, I just need her to stop making that twee face in every. single. picture. ever.

  40. Mila

    Do those ghastly shoes even fit her? They look too big on her. I usually think she is adorable and can do no wrong, but there’s a first time fort everything because this is just all kinds of wrong.

  41. aishwarya