Guest blogger Jay Strut shares his behind-the-scenes red-carpet prep with Toronto actress Shenae Grimes and designer Amanda Lew Kee (pictured above with the fashion blogger – photography by Karim Olen Ash). Here’s what went down hours before the MMVAs on Sunday at Yorkville’s Hazelton Hotel:
When Shenae Grimes stepped on to the red carpet Sunday night, fashion fans watched closely – both live and virtually. The 90210 star is recognized for her effortlessly cool and always trendy sense of style. Canadian designer Amanda Lew Kee dressed Shenae two years ago for her previous MMVA appearance and the leather-and-spike gothic look went viral within minutes, making best-dressed lists around the globe. Amanda Lew kee, Toronto’s hottest rising designer in the fashion world, invited me to share the exclusive fitting with Shenae Grimes and her custom AMANDALEWKEE dress!
Read on to see Shenae’s final MMVA red carpet look!
The Dress Awaiting Shenae! At our 1236 square-foot suite at the Hazelton, which had floor to ceiling mirrors (fit for the occasion!).
It was fitting time and the dress looked amazing on Shenae, hugging her petite figure like a second skin. As she walked down the long hall with confidence and sex appeal, it was silently stated that Amanda and Shenae are the perfect example of a ‘designer-muse’ pairing. From my first look at the dress, I picked up on a modern fusion of Japanese, Egyptian and Grecian goddess qualities. The sheer panels and neckline paved a perfect canvas for a major double-leg moment. As I always say, “If you’re not giving neck, serve leg!” To complement the dress, Shenae rocked some awesome hardware from her favorite accessory designer, Pamela Love, and an edgy statement pair of studded Steve Madden platform pumps.
Q&A with designer-muse duo Amanda Lew Kee and Shenae Grimes
Jay: “What do you like best about coming home?”
Shenae: “I’m excited to be back home! I love the energy and I get to spend time with my family.”
J: “Who are you most excited to see at this years MMVAs?”
S: “Definitely Cassie Steele, we haven’t caught up in a long time!”
J: “What do you like about working with Shenae?”
Amanda: “Shenae and I have complementary taste for style. It’s fitting to dress someone who trusts your designs. We like it black, sheer, and effortlessly sexy.”
J: “Tell me about the dress.”
A: “Shenae wore a floor-length black and sheer dress with two thigh-high slits. It has a solid bodice front and sheer neckline and back. I worked in two panels on the back that hang loose from the hip down. This gave the illusion of a train and mimicked the movement of the front centre panel but I shortened the length to keep it modern.”
J: “The thigh-high slits! Tell me more.”
A: “Slits! A classic style that is very popular this season with reference to Angelina and Marilyn Monroe. I thought, ‘Why not take it further and add sheerness to the sides?’ It turned out beautifully and showed off Shenae’s hot tattoo. To hold the dress in place, I constructed a built-in undergarment that allowed for the high-cut sheer sides while keeping everything in place.”
J: “Where can we get the look?”
A: AMANDALEWKEE Spring/Summer 2013.
J: “What’s next for both of you?”
S: “I’m working on a new film down in New Orleans and interning at What Goes Around Comes Around, the New York vintage mecca.
A: Spring/Summer 2013, ALK basics, cosmetics and simple skin essentials.”
Toronto designer Amanda Lew Kee with L.A.-based actress Shenae Grimes.
When asked about her relationship with Amanda, Shenae made no hesitation in stating that AMANDALEWKEE is without a doubt her go-to MMVA designer. Canadian love!