Salma Hayek Cannes Film Festival © Joe Alvarez
0 5 mins 8 yrs

A lot has been said about dressing appropriately for various engagements and occasions; even more – about dressing appropriately to work. Articles that try to make the ‘art’ or wearing grey two-piece look like an accomplishment worth a discussion – oh, please!

But, as important as it may be, there is little guidance out there for those who are trying to make it in the showbiz world. It is true that some do know the secrets of getting –and staying- in the spotlight. But according to ‘The’ celebrity photographer and Editor In Chief of Ikon London Magazine Joe Alvarez, there is a myriad of those who get it wrong.

Whether you are at the top of the Showbiz Olympus or are just trying to get there, the way you dress is the key for being seen, discussed and, if you are lucky enough, praised by printed and online publications. 

What is wrong with LBD?

Loved by many celebrities and A-listers, the LBD is a safe option to go for… if you are going to your little cousin’s school prom, or you’re insecure about your girth.

“Black dresses are preferred by many celebs with little insight in the red carpet lore. Celebs in bright outfits on the red carpet will always outsell those in black, grey, or mumsy outfits. No matter WHO it is,” claims Joe Alvarez, who has well over a decade of experience in media and showbiz of every kind.

It has been a long time since LBD by Coco Chanel has won hearts of many critics and designers in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’, a black and white masterpiece of cinematography. The times have changed and TV is not black and white anymore, nor are glossy and online publications. 

Joe reiterates: “Bottom line is that newspapers want glamorous colourful outfits to help sell papers. Colourful outfits simply jump out of newsstands. A safe LBD won’t cut the mustard, and it will disappear amongst the rest of the ads and print. Every time celebs call me as to what to wear, I tell them the same thing.”

Jessica Jane Clement _Gemma Atkins jaaa 25514Jessica Jane Clement

Jessica Jane Clement and Gemma Atkinson never made the papers, covered up like in Siberia. Jessica Jane Clement red hot but no red carper sense.


“When media attend the event, our main goal is to sell the story and pictures. The readers need something to discuss. We need well-fitted dresses in bright colours, whether you like them or not. And if you have ample assets like a good rack, we want to see the cleavage big time. This guarantees exposure in all media.

Small example Liz Hurley who was a talentless nobody when she attended a premiere with Hugh Grant and wore her Versace –albeit black- but showing her assets. The pictures went global and she carved out a career on the back of that dress. I’ve seen women with fantastic bodies with shapeless frocks up to their necks hiding their assets as useful as a Ferrari with a roof rack.” summarises Joe Alvarez, rightly named as a ‘Cleavage Expert’ by the BBC.

He continued: “It will always be a personal choice for everyone – whether to modestly cover all your curves and washboard abs –or be in the papers or not. But the golden rule remains the same – you have to make pictures sell. If you don’t want to make the papers, then stay in your farm in Wales.” 

Wardrobe malfunction

Wardrobe malfunctions also work, especially if combined with the aforementioned two. “Easier said than done, but it is best if your wardrobe malfunctions make a statement and are well-planned. Remember, no one wants to see your missing button or open zipper, least of all, your ‘Always Ultra’ panty liners dragging at the end of your frock, not even if you are a Kate Moss.”


Gemma Atkinson great bod but again subdued on the red carpet, maybe she had a coldsalma-hayek-wallpaper-beach-448087500

Salma Hayek gets it right every time. Ample assets are appropriately shown on the correct scenarios


Kimberly Garner always gets it right. Uber glam, great bod and yet stylish – Photography by Joe Alvarez

Editor in Chief | Website | + posts

Editor in Chief of Ikon London Magazine, journalist, film producer and founder of The DAFTA Film Awards (The DAFTAs).