Fashion Desk: 2012 Academy of Country Music Awards

She Said 2012 ACM Awards

I love country music! I am a huge fan of Reba, Dolly, Taylor, Carrie, Martina, The Band Perry and more.  There are really only a couple of problems with country music award shows. I don’t really always like the performances and because I’m such a passionate fan (and have a sharp critical eye) I can’t just zone out and watch Toby Keith (I don’t care for his music one little bit). The other big problem with country music award shows is sadly the red carpet. I love some of these women, I even love some of their personal style but something about the choices that most ladies of country music make on award show nights are usually a little off. This years 2012 Academy of Country Music Awards red carpet was filled with some really bad dresses. But, I did find a find few pretty things, so let’s start with them!

Best Dresses

Hillary Scott from 2012 ACM awards

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Hillary Scott in Emilio Pucci

I love this dress! I have always loved Pucci’s wonderful bright colors and prints that I had no idea the basic black Pucci could be so great. This dress had a great fit and is very flattering. It’s a bit low in the neckline for a wrap dress for my taste.  I do love the buckle on the best part of the dress. I haven’t been a fan of much that Hillary has worn on the red carpet this season but this look is great!

Taylor Swift from 2012 ACM awards

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Taylor Swift in J. Mendel

Taylor is one of my newest red carpet all stars. I love her style! This dress is very elegant and I love the nod to the mod era with the metallic trim and cutouts. It can be really hard to make cutouts look tasteful but these are very well placed. I love the matte white with the almost black gold trim. Her hair and makeup also give a nod to the 60s but aren’t too overpowering.

Nicole Kidman from 2012 ACM awards

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Nicole Kidman in L’Wren Scott

I remember when Nicole Kidman first married Keith Urban I thought “oh no, the country music ladies had better be ready to step up their game.” It’s almost not fair that someone who is so widely considered an international beacon of elegance will be competing with the mini dresses and poorly constructed gowns typical of country music award shows. I love this dress! I would buy it and wear it all the time. I adore the shape of the dress. It’s very slimming and is constructed perfectly. I love the illusion/Peter Pan combination collar.  I think it’s so cool that Nicole managed to select such an elegant dress that felt appropriate to the occasion and didn’t scream, “look at me”  (which is a really big faux pas when you aren’t a nominee). This is my best dress of the night!  (And the strappy red shoes are super cute too!)

Dress Messes

Laura Bell Bundy 2012 ACM awards

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Laura Bell Bundy

I like the silver and I like the idea of this dress. However this is one of the most ill fitting dresses I have ever seen. The high-neck one-sleeve combination is very unflattering. The extra fabric at the waist adds rumples and bumps to the front of the dress. It’s really a disaster. It’s such a shame because I love her low messy side bun and her makeup. I think the silver is a great choice for her coloring but I can’t stand how badly this dress makes her look.

Jennifer Nettles 2012 ACM awards

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Jennifer Nettles in Max Azria

I am not liking this coral trend at all. There was entirely too much coral on the red carpet this weekend. I know that this shade is a slightly more pink color and it does make it slightly better. I think my big problem with this dress is the yellow belt. Why is she wearing this belt? This dress has a very detailed bodice so why cover it up? I do think that some of the detail is too much though because there’s a lot going on: straps, ruffled cap sleeve, ruching, chevron, lace, a center placket, and illusion.  It’s a busy dress and it really suffers from the addition of this belt.

miranda lambert 2012 ACM awrds

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Miranda Lambert in Randi Rahm

I love that Miranda Lambert has a real shape. I just wish that she picked dresses that were more flattering. This heavy gold fabric adds a lot of weight to her lower section and makes her look wider than she usually does. I also think the train looks hastily added. The whole dress really feels like a Las Vegas dress and I know that’s where the show took place but it doesn’t mean that someone who is a top nominee didn’t deserve to look more elegant.  I also think her hair looks really overworked.

Martina Mcbride 2012 ACM awards

Martina McBride in Georges Chakra Couture

The shape of this dress is great. I love the boat neck and the simplicity of the silhouette.  What I don’t like are those giant coral beads! When I first saw this dress I thought they were Easter eggs.  I think if this dress just had the sparkly white and silver beading and no coral eggs I would have had it in my best dresses section. I hope that we won’t be seeing a lot of giant coral beads on dresses in the future.

sara evans 2012 acm awards

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Sara Evans

It’s more watermelon/coral again! However the color is just one reason I don’t like this dress.  The fabric is so heavy and there is so much of it! One thing that you can’t tell from this picture is how high the slit of the dress is. It was ridiculous. As much as I didn’t like Angelina Jolie’s dress that re-sparked the mile high slit trend I dislike this one more. The slit feels very contrived here. And I think it’s almost impossible to have a flattering one long sleeve evening gown. This dress was really plagued by several construction problems.

beth behrs acm 2012

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Beth Behrs

This dress is a beautiful shade of blush. But, what is up with that bow?!  The bow is so distracting I can’t focus on anything else. Not only is it a large bow but also it’s sticking straight up in the air!  This dress feels like it’s from an early couture construction technique class by a fashion student. I think giant bows can be well handled but this is off balance and really takes away from the rest of the dress.

Dress Questions

kimberly perry 2012 acm awards

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Kimberly Perry in Cengiz Abazoglu

I love Kimberly Perry so it makes me sad to have her on my questionable list. I think the color of this dress is very pretty and suits her nicely. I like the shape of the dress but it’s another dress that has a terrible fit. The bust line is too tight; the waist looks rumpled and like it’s buckling. I don’t know if it needed to be steamed or if there is too much fabric in the lining of the dress but it looks very wrinkled.  Also the back of the skirt looks liked it had been wadded up in the limo and wasn’t shaken out afterward.  Her hair is as always gorgeous!

carrie underwood 2012 acm awards

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Carrie Underwood in Abed Mahfouz

I love the creamy yellow color of this dress. I like the beading, too. Illusion can be a wonderful detail on an evening gown because of the contrast it can offer a dress while still giving the wearer some modesty. My biggest complaint about this dress is that the base part of the dress is much too short. I don’t like it when the under dress is so short, it’s not really modest to have a sheer piece of a fabric over a mile high slit. I also think the train looks hastily thrown together because of the heavy way it’s pooling at her feet. The dress feels like it’s too small. It doesn’t really look like it fits because of the place the bust is sitting and the asymmetrical short under dress almost appears to be riding up. I think it could be a pretty dress there just wasn’t enough intent on was it supposed to be a bare dress or an illusion dress. I have seen several photos of this dress and depending on the picture it appears barer or somewhat shrouded.

He Said: ACM Fashion

The Good

Blake Shelton 2012 ACM awards

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Blake Shelton- I love a good vest, and Blake certain knows how to wear them.  That’s what makes this outfit special.  Other attendees had vests that matched their jackets, but Blake sets off the colors with the striped vest.  He also does well to keep the pants, shirt and tie all the same color, otherwise it would be too much.

steve martin 2012 acm awards

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Steve Martin- This man knows who he is and owns it.  He looks like he just stepped off of the Lawrence Welk show, but modernized some with the tie.  That sounds harsh, but it’s actually a compliment.  At this point Steve Martin is an accomplished comedian, and also banjo player who grew up in the 60’s.  This makes sense.  The color works great on him, and the tie brings the whole outfit to now.

LLCoolJ 2012 ACM awards

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LL Cool J- Hats can work on any red carpet.  LL proves that again and again.  He’s really well put together again.  The suit fits well, and the colors all coordinate nicely.  I like the different shades of the same light purple through the shirt and tie (and matching pocket square) another favorite of the night contender.

craig campbell 2012 acm awards

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Craig Campbell- Here’s classy cowboy done right!  Possibly my favorite of the night, Craig shows that you can keep the cowboy hat, and still be formal.  He even works in a pop of color to keep with one of this year’s biggest trends.

The Bad

darius rucker 2012 acm awards

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Darius Rucker- This suit looks like something a grandfather would wear.  It’s too much grey.  I don’t know who talked him into that tie clip either, because that really finishes it off.  A tie clip can work in a business setting, but not at an award show.

kip moore 2012 acm awards

Kip Moore- Seriously?  Really?  This isn’t some red carpet stand-in because he had to go to the bathroom?  T-shirt and jeans, and baseball cap?  Where would that be considered a good idea for an award show?  It doesn’t even fit well.

scott mccreery 2012 acm awards

Scotty McCreery-This tux looks really good on it’s own.  It’s a little bit of a modern, less severe Johnny Cash.  But it’s still too severe for Scotty, and looks too old for him.  I’ve never had to say that before, and I’m really surprised I’m saying that twice for one award show!

thomas rhett 2012 acm awards

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Thomas Rhett- This looks like he didn’t even try.  Nothing looks like you’re going to an award show.  The shirt looks too casual, and then he left an extra button open, compounding the problem.  The pants are jeans, and the belt looks used.  The lapels on the jacket are too small to have that different texture.  It’s just a mess.

big and rich 2012 acm awards

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Big and Rich-This isn’t much different for them, but it’s starting to seem dated, and missing the mark.  John Rich’s jacket is too tight, and the design over the pink color is too much.  The handkerchief clashes and is pretty weird to begin with.  The design on his shoes also makes no sense.  Big Kenny is showing a little bit of bare stomach, and also has a weird handkerchief, but this one doesn’t clash with his jacket at least.

The Questionable

lady antebellum 2012 acm awards

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Charles Kelly and David Haywood of Lady Antebellum- Oh Lady A, you make such good music, but just can’t all be fashionable at the same time.  These looks are both close to working for them.  David probably just needs to undo his suit button so that it doesn’t look to tight on him.  His look is simple, but classy.  Charles on the other hand, looks like he just stepped out of the worst part of the seventies.  The color is a weird shade of blue.  His pants are too tight.  It’s also too casual to show off your chest.  If he’d buttoned one more button, I might not have put them in this category.

keith urban 2012 acm awards

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Keith Urban-I like the use of solids, and he coordinates wonderfully with his wife.  It’s too dark though.  I have no problem with the tie matching the jacket, but when it does you really need the shirt to pop, like Craig Campbell did.  Different color shirt and/or tie and this would have been a winner.