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The rules: Less is more

Date

Maggie Alderson

Underwhelmed by overdone starlets, Maggie Alderson is overawed by on-the-money understatement.

Kelly Killoren Bensimon looks effortlessly gorgeous at the <i>Girls</i> premiere in New York.

Kelly Killoren Bensimon looks effortlessly gorgeous at the Girls premiere in New York. Photo: Getty Images

Iwas scrolling through the latest red-carpet photos, looking for something striking enough to share with you, when I realised every shot I was saving was from the same event: the New York launch party for the second season of the TV show Girls.

What a thrillingly cool bunch of people. It wasn't just the clothes - although some of those were ace, too - it was their attitude. They didn't look as though they were working the room, making contacts, being seen, working - they looked as though they were having a good time.

Then I noticed another pattern emerging in my Sunday-morning scrolling: every picture I was pulling a face at was at another event - the CBS People's Choice Awards.

I try not to do nasty here, but it creeped me out that a young woman who was making a fine living out of her three-month love affairs (she's already written at least five songs about Harry Styles, apparently) was wearing a long white gown reminiscent of a wedding dress. Taylor Swift can call her next album ''Miss Havisham Hits Back''.

But personal prejudices aside, everyone at that event seemed to look trashy, overdone or frumpy, and even some of my style crushes looked less fantabulous than usual.

After a while, it dawned on me that it was the photography. Some of the guests were simply appallingly dressed, but the gorgeous ones - such as Naomi Watts in a fabulous sleeveless sheath with a gold bodice and a long, black skirt - looked less gorgeous than usual because the lighting and angle of the shots was so bad. A lot of them were also doing grim beauty-pageant poses, too, with the front foot twisted out. It was all wrong.

Meanwhile, back in Manhattan at the Girls party, the shots were all taken much closer up, and although the concrete floor looked like a multi-storey car park and the dark background necessitated strong flash, they all came out great.

One of the stars of the show, Jemima Kirke, who recently gave birth, had swathed her baby bod in a fabulous full-length 1930s-style velvet gown, no doubt from her mum's New York vintage-y store, Geminola, which is so cool it featured in Sex and the City.

Allison Williams, who also acts in Girls, was a standout in a polished look featuring a cocktail dress with a gold fish-scale strapless bodice and brilliantined hair. Zosia Mamet looked cutely burlesque in huge shoes, a short dress, an up-do and hyper-red lips.

Among the general guests, model Hilary Rhoda had slung a fake fur coat over a minidress with a divine art deco print. The rest of her outfit was all long legs and big earrings. Singer Solange Knowles looked fabulously krazee in a jazz-print suit, her Afro hair gloriously natural. They looked so good, I may feature all these pictures in future weeks. But my favourite was Kelly Killoren Bensimon, shown here.

Model, writer, former magazine editor, mother, star of Real Housewives of New York City - I love that she looks like she hasn't made a massive effort. I think she already had that dress, so she looks completely relaxed in it. She's thrown it on with no fuss, a pair of chic, yet comfortable, shoes, fabulously mussed-up hair, dirty-girl make-up, minimal accessories (is it a watch or a bracelet - either way, it's just enough) and no handbag. What a cool customer.

I also love that the dress isn't clinging to her fabulous figure, just hanging around in the general area and setting off her perfect caramel-coloured shins.

Sometimes, less really is more.

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