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SF Fashion Week

Since Madonna and Britney spears shared that fateful kiss on air during the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards a lot has changed. Britney Spears is heavily pregnant, Madonna is bedridden with a broken collarbone and the red carpet has turned white.

This year’s Video Music Awards bash in Miami was a week long star studded celebrity affair leading up to the awards ceremony, recognizing remarkable musical talents for their accomplishments. Masterminded by music mogul and designer Sean P. Diddy Combs, renowned for his ultimate-parties, the festivities brought together the biggest names in the entertainment industry. Walking the white carpet (P. Diddy’s trademark color as in the infamous White Party) in dazzling style, beautiful celebrities competed in the Diddy Fashion Challenge.

Like all other Diddy parties, the 2005 VMAs incorporated the host’s signature soiree style. While there was no strict dress code, and P. Diddy did not expect the celebrities in attendance to show up impeccably dressed, he still awarded $50,000 each to the best-dressed male and female guest, to go to their favorite charity.

"It's not even a thing that I want you to come in gowns and things. That's for the Oscars," said the man of the moment. "I'm talking about be artistic in your fashion style and celebrate. We're celebrating each other that night, it's a celebration. And that's what I'm hosting, I'm not hosting an awards show, I'm hosting a celebration, and a moment in musical history."

As usual the rivalry for the most fabulous outfit was fierce. The modish contenders for the highly coveted honor went all out to beat the completion. In the women’s category, Beyoncé Knowles, sporting a shimmering Dolce & Gabbana gown, was simply gorgeous. On a similar note golden-girl Gwen Stefani was positively eye-catching in a leopard-print dress, accentuating her feminine silhouette. Speaking of getting in touch with the animal spirit within, teen idol Lindsay Lohan, infamous for her newly svelte figure, opted for a similar look, which given her age did not work quite as well. Actress Hilary Duff, on the other hand, was a lovely celebration of youthful glamour. Dressed in a beautiful Blumarine dress adorned with silver pailettes, she looked charming and graceful. Also, pretty in a chiffon top and jean skirt was jazz sensation Joss Stone, who recently replaced Sara Jessica Parker as the GAP spokeswoman.

Among those who played into the ultimate appeal of understated elegance were Kristen Dunst (arriving with her co-star heart-throb Orlando Bloom), Alicia Keys, Shakira, and Jessica Alba. Alicia Keys, who has a long history of opting for awkwardly ostentatious ensembles, turned around her fashion misfortune by wearing a simple Armani dress. The clean lines of Alicia’s outfit allowed the multiple platinum singer’s true beauty to take center stage. Similarly, the Sin City temptress Jessica Alba cast aside her on-screen sexy persona and showed up in an all-black Gucci ensemble. Completing her look with this season’s must have accessory, the oversized belt, Ms. Alba heralded autumn’s fashion mantra, “Black is the new black.” Finally, Shakira, the pint sized girl with the incredible voice, who is enjoying a recent come back with her hit single, La Tortura, wore a simple jade tunic, alluding to her Middle Eastern heritage. Her nude face revealing adorable freckles was yet another sign that fashion is moving towards more natural, minimalist, and bare territories.

Then there were the faces we are accustomed to see plastered on the cover of gossip magazines. The Simpson sisters, clad in curiously odd costumey attires were the center of attention. Likewise, desperate housewife Eva Longoria, dressed in a little silver number with a plunging neckline was hounded by the press.

Last but not the least, media darling Paris Hilton (sans her fiancée Paris) made her grand appearance in an electric Estaban Cortazar creation. This time around, Paris (whose stylistic sensibilities have been at best ‘controversial’) looked surprisingly chic. The designer of Paris’ dress showed his highly publicized debut collection at the tender age of 19 in LA a few years back. Two thumbs up for Paris for supporting West Coast fashion.




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