Back to black
A classic LBD teamed with red lipstick makes pale skin glow, says Anna Coogan. No wonder, then, that black is a fashion staple on the red carpets
SEXY in black on the red carpet has long been a winning look for the stars -- even if every so often celebrities-of-the-day inject a little colour into proceedings. In recent months we've seen lots of glamorous golds and radiant reds at awards ceremonies.
Yet sexy black always comes back, and just last week it was the choice of catwalk stunner Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who looked a knockout in a dramatic, black halter dress which was slit up to the thigh at the Golden Globes.
Another beauty who recently favoured black was Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson, who wore tapered black trousers and a fitted black top to the opening of her new play, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.
Meanwhile, bride-to-be Rosanna Davison looked striking in a black lace over cream dress at last weekend's movie premier for Lincoln.
Indeed, ever since Coco Chanel made the little black dress a staple for the fashion-conscious back in the 1920s, dramatic black has been become a classic colour for showcasing feminine beauty and sex appeal.
Its popularity has been attributed to being able to dress it up or down, depending on whatever mood you find yourself in.
Yet there's nothing safe or reliable about a glamorous black dress.
Fashion stylist Ingrid Hoey agrees: "Black isn't the safe option. A woman wearing black isn't looking to fade into the background.
"The right black dress on a woman can be sensational."
How much to accessorise or not accessorise a black dress is often the question.
"Cameron Diaz does it beautifully, and accessorises a black dress simply by wearing turquoise jewellery or diamonds," says fashion stylist Melissa O'Connor Regan.
Scarlett Johansson opted for turquoise earrings, red lips and red nails.
Rosanna Davison went with red lips along with her exquisite new engagement ring.
"If you want to put some colour with black, I would apply the less is more rule," says Melissa.
Choosing to wear black can also be a flattering choice for pale-skinned Irish women.
"It's possible that stars wore bright colours on the red carpet and then looked back on the photos and thought their dresses actually clashed with the carpet," says Melissa. "Bright colours don't always look so good on pale skin, so the obvious choice is black."