Kerry Washington vs. Lupita Nyong’o: who looked cuter at the Essence luncheon?


Here are some photos from yesterday’s 2014 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. Essence got a really, really good turn-out this year. I mean, I’m not saying that like “usually this event sucks” but usually this event doesn’t have several A-list guests and tons of great photos. So I’m really happy for Essence that they put together such a great luncheon this year. Yay!

So, let’s talk fashion. Lupita Nyong’o is obviously our queen, but how do you feel about our Queen in baring her midriff in this Giambattista Valli? I have mixed feelings. My default is to dislike all crop tops as they are almost always dated and tacky. But… Lupita is young, she has a great, toned body, so this look isn’t aggressively bad or anything. Just FYI: Valli is Jessica Biel’s designer of choice. As in, Biel thinks of herself as Valli’s muse. That should tell you a lot about the label. Note: I’m going to be covering Lupita’s speech a bit later, it deserves its own post.


Meanwhile, I kind of have to give this Lupita-versus-Kerry Washington showdown to Kerry. Kerry’s maternity style has sucked. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but there you go. She has been poorly dressed for months. I feel like this drape-y toga-chic Calvin Klein number is a return to form. Now I’m getting excited to see what she wears to the Oscars too!



Angela Basset looks hot, right? God, she looks GREAT.


Naomie Harris looks fantastic too. I’m not wild about the dress, but everything from the neck up is incredibly gorgeous.


I’m not sure what Alfre Woodard is wearing, but she looks good too. I love that she’s wearing flats.




Photos courtesy of WENN.

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72 Responses to “Kerry Washington vs. Lupita Nyong’o: who looked cuter at the Essence luncheon?”

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  1. Lily says:

    Kerry is the best dressed hands down. They all look good but luptia’s outfit is my least favorite. Crop tops shouldn’t be worn to anything somewhat formal.. Ever.

    • Kaylah says:

      Lupita’s outfit is okay. Not great just there.

      Kerry Washington finally looks marginally good and it looks like she finally gave in and got a darker shade of foundation. Praise Jesus. The crop top, tent dress + satin bedsheets she’s been rocking have been unequivocal disasters. This is a step in a better direction.

      I burst out laughing seeing Alfre Woodard in flats. I love her so much.

    • Helena says:

      I’m not on board with the crop top either Lupitia’s matchy and seems too cute almost childish

    • SonjaMarmeladova says:

      I love lupita’s look, but for the love of God, stop matching your eyeshadow to the dress.
      Kerry looks amazing and I love her hair.

      • M.A.F. says:

        To me it has seem that she is matching it to her shoes. But yes, whatever she is matching it to, she needs to stop. I also I’m not a fan of the head-band.

      • AG-UK says:

        Always same matching shoes. I think she is beautiful but actually am going to be happy when mid March approaches and I don’t have to see her everywhere. Also not a fan of people with short hair and headbands (actually headbands period) and this includes people who put them on babies with no hair to signify it’s a girl.

      • L says:

        THIS. They all look great separate, but when the eyeshadow matches the dress matches the shoes every time it’s way to much.

    • Audrey says:

      Burn all the crop tops!

      Kerry is stunning and glowing here. Can’t imagine many women competing with her.

      • j.eyre says:

        I am going to have to throw my support behind the crop top bonfire. I have yet to see a version that knocks it out of the park.

        Kerry look virtually perfect here – just lovely. Angela’s hair looks really good. And Chaka Khan is marvelous.

  2. Lark says:

    They all look amazing…Damn, Lupita can pull anything off. Kerry’s outfit is my least favorite, but she still manages to look good…Her hair is on point, too.

  3. Tulip Garden says:

    Kerry Washington looks a dream!
    Love Alfre regardless of what she wears and she does look good rockin’ flats.
    Lastly, can the fashion industry move on from half shirt and sheer clothing. It just doesn’t look very good to me on anybody. It’s got a high “if only it were attached together” factor for me!

    • LadySlippers says:

      Agreed. I don’t mind using sheers & crops very sporadically (and creatively) but as a trend it sucks.

      The matchy-match of Lupita is really getting old. Especially in the shoe department… Girl — change it up a bit!

      And almost everyone here looks good, some aren’t too my taste (no biggie), but no real ‘UGH what were you thinking’ fashion disasters. Nice.

      • HHazel says:

        “The matchy-match of Lupita is really getting old. Especially in the shoe department… Girl — change it up a bit!” I agree!

        Her shoes and clutch should have been another color and it would’ve been sooo much better. Her matchy matchy styling keeps bringing her looks down.

    • whipmyhair says:

      I have no idea who she is but the fact that Alfre Woodard is wearing flats makes me love her. Even if I think those kind of flats are as comfortable as walking on wood (I am all about the orthopedic sensible shoe. I’m going to be the best old lady EVER.)

      Although I think heels can be beautiful and make our legs look all pretty; my fashion is 80% comfort, 20% pretty.

      If I could go through life wearing jeans and a nerdy t-shirt of some kind I would be happy.

      • SonjaMarmeladova says:

        Alfre Woodard is amazing. I love her so so much.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I adore flats and love her for wearing them, too. I think heels are pretty , really pretty, except the ones that are just stupidly high, but I feel like the balls of my feet are on fire when I wear them. I just can’t do it. I love your attitude and am going to adopt it – I’m going to make a fabulous old lady!

      • vangroovey says:

        Your confession about not knowing who Alfre Woodard is did two things for me:

        1) Think of ‘Episodes’ (“Ya know, Bill Bixby! [Who?] Bill Bixby. Bill Bixby, Bill Bixby.”)

        2) Nailed another “oh snap, I’m actually one of the old people now!” nail in my coffin.


      • whipmyhair says:

        @goodnames, don’t forget to take up a craft of some sort. Knitting, crochet, cross stitch. You need to be able to make “nanna hats/jumpers/blankets”!

        @vangroovey, I don’t think your old! We can blame my Australian-ness to never watching any “Episodes”.

        I didn’t know that “black” movies/tv shows were a thing until last year. (Although I did love a bit of Fresh Prince after coming home from school. )

        To be honest, Australia has a very low African population. Most non-European immigrants come from Asia, South Asia and the middle east.

        The U.S seems to have a black people are cool white are dorks. We down under have more of a Wogs are cool (Italy, Greece, Lebanon etc) and white people are dorks.)

        I find it very interesting to read about African American culture here, but I usually don’t comment. I don’t want my ignorance to be perceived as racism.

      • AG-UK says:

        She has a small part in 12YAS. She has been around for ages. I use to work in a store in NY and she use to come in with her husband. Funny and down to earth.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Omg, I’m taking knitting lessons RIGHT NOW. It’s over, isn’t it?

      • Zadie says:

        ” We down under have more of a Wogs are cool (Italy, Greece, Lebanon etc) and white people are dorks.)”

        People from those parts are white. Jeesh.

      • K says:

        Hearts for mentioning Episodes, Bill Bixby, loving Alfre, and being old.

    • FLORC says:

      Kerry is usually a miss for me, but she nailed it.

      It’s getting harder to tell if people are turning against Lupita on these posts because of too much coverage or her style is going down hill. I’m leaning towards both.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Me, too, leaning towards both. She has been everywhere, I mean everywhere for what feels like a really long time, but has probably only been about two weeks. I think she’s lovely, but I can tell people are getting tired of her and all the praise she’s getting. Did you see the comments on the links post last night? Really nasty. I’m sad for her.

      • Renee28 says:

        It’s both. There’s a post pretty much everyday about what she wore and it’s overkill considering her clothes aren’t that great.

      • dizzylucy says:

        I think her style is going downhill at the moment. I’m hoping she wears something killer to the Oscars though.
        Not a fan of crop tops, ever. Kerry’s dress is great. Overall a lovely group of women.

      • FLORC says:

        I did see those Goodnames. It’s getting bad. Still, the amount of praise seems undeserved at this point. I’m still waiting for her to give us more films. 12yas was good, but it’s far from cracking my top films ever.
        Not to mention the academy has a strong history of shunning any except caucasian actors. They always go overboard with praise and nominations on films highlighting the fight from slavery to freedom.
        Then when they did give the awards to Halle and Denzel there were complaints the actors were awarded for playing negative stereotypes.
        Went off topic for that rant.

  4. bns says:

    They all look great. Angela Bassett has all my love.

    I wish Lupita’s stylist would fix her shoe game, though.

  5. notpretentious says:

    Chaka Khan is almost 61! Angela Bassett, please tell ME how to look like that when I’m in MY 50’s!

  6. blue marie says:

    In terms of dress I like Kerry best, Lupita is a bit too cutesy for me.
    As for best looking I gotta go with Angela, that lady looks damn good. She was one of my favorite parts of Coven.

  7. V4real says:

    Kerry wins hand down, now that’s a beautiful woman. Lupita fashion sense is getting worse. Angela Bassett looks amazing

  8. Tx says:

    Kerry for the win. Crop tops are for tacky Kardashians, not award winning actresses.

  9. Mystified says:

    Always like Lupita’s natural look. Don’t care for Kerry’s upper lip (Is it real?). Angela looks enviably gorgeous.

    • whipmyhair says:

      I never really understood the Lupita love on this site. When I go to the movies I prefer Kids and blockbuster types. I prefer to watch the more serious ones at home. So I haven’t seem 12 years a slave.

      But seeing her in these photos; I think I get it. Girl looks like she has been carved from marble or something. And also looks like she isn’t trying makeup wise. (which is my favorite type) The “oh-i’m-not-wearing-makeup-i’m-just-this-naturally-gorgeous” look.

    • V4Real says:

      Those are Kerry’s lips; she’s always had full lips. She was born that way,she can’t help it.

  10. Amelia says:

    Lupita’s posture looks painful. The arch in her back is making me want to put a hot water bottle on mine!
    LOVE Naomi’s look! She’s owning the red carpet lately.

    • whipmyhair says:

      I think it’s a combination of a shapely behind (I don’t want to mention her name, but this is what a natural behind looks like) and her queenly posture. For us peasants in the fields all day, this looks painful, but once your body is used to it, it doesn’t bother you. (If i can remember back to my ballet/ good posture days)

    • Sunlily says:

      What arch? I think her posture looks great. Maybe it’s because of the loose fit paired with her wonderful ass that gives the illusion that her posture is weird, I dunno.

    • Amelia says:

      Hmm, maybe it’s just my skewed perception. At my martial arts class we’ve been using techniques to flatten our lower back and improve our alignment within our core and it’s really effing difficult, but feels so much better.

    • cloud&feather says:

      It’s called a sway back. I have the same thing. Good posture kind of comes with the territory when you have one. If she were to curve herself forward, to have her torso appear straight (from the side), it would feel unnatural and painful.

  11. nico says:

    I hate the headband on Lupita.

    Chaka Khan for the win.

  12. vangroovey says:

    CHAKA 4 Eternity!!

    Dayum does that woman look good! And those earrings are doing everything for me!

  13. Hannah says:

    I really like Giambattista Valli, it’s classy. Although, I think the last few collections have been a bit samey.

    There are letters all over Lupita’s outfit, right? Do they spell out anything?

  14. Nibbi says:

    I agree that something is up with Kerry’s lips and I hope it’s just some kinda weird pregnancy bloat and not any injection anything, cuz there are no other women who can hold their own looks-wise against Angelina as she did in Mr. And Mrs. Smith- woman is stunning. Please please please nooooon don’t go jacking that up, arghhg

    And Lupita does pull off the crop top.

    • vangroovey says:

      I genuinely think they’re natural lips. I just did a Google image search, and it looks like she’s had those gorgeous lips forever. Sometimes it looks smaller because of how she does her lip-liner…but I’m nearly certain those are hers.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        Plus some people’s lips just blow up during pregnancy–Angelina Jolie’s lips were MASSIVE when she was pregnant, as was KimmieK’s…

      • FLORC says:

        I can only imagine that’s so painful. I have naturally big lips and if they swell due to an allergy it hurts and feels like my skin is splitting.

  15. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    They all look amazing. Including Lupita, though I do wish she’d stop with the matchy matchy already.

  16. The Original G says:

    Please don’t let crop tops become a thing.

    Following the lead of Kim K can only lead to disaster for all of us.

  17. Nrtho Wset says:

    I want the dirt on miss Pope..Why wasnt her husband at her Baby Shower?

    • Kim1 says:

      I reas his mom and his sister,Chisara was there .I have never seen a dad at a baby shower.Are the dads suppose to attend?

  18. taxi says:

    Lupita’s swayback posture isn’t good. If her posture were correct, the croptop wouldn’t be shorter in the front. Looks ike her boobs are going to fall out from underneath. Bare midriffs aren’t appropriate for anything except very casual wear. Think beach, summer days, backyard barbecues.

  19. Musi says:

    The lupita shoe curse!

    Angela is right behind Pharrell with that fountain of youth sipping.

  20. Jess says:

    She’s always had a full top lip but I think maybe her pregnancy is causing it to swell. It did to mine.

  21. AlmondJoy says:

    Lupita looks gorgeous! Not a fan of the headband but like I said before, I love the fact that she isnt scared to try new things with her hair. It’s been slightly different each event, which is very cool.

    Kerry W’s lips have been the same since her very first movie, they’re just naturally full.

    I have loved Alfre Woodard and Angela Bassett since I was young. Such great actresses and they just ooze class and charm. They remind me so much of my mom ♥

    I’m patently waiting for Zadie and Peetalimbs 😉

  22. Maria says:

    Lupita and Naomie for the win,they look glowing in white,also their make up is Flawless.I like Kerry’s new hair,she looks lovely;she’s always had full lips btw.

  23. Abbott says:

    Lupita has got to be exhausted. She had been hustling hard yet still looks effortless and doesn’t complain (*cough*).

    I don’t get why everyone falls over themselves over Kerry Washington. Her style has been s**t the past year.

  24. Janet says:

    Kerry Washington looks a hot mess. I can’t stand dresses or skirts with uneven hemlines.

    Chaka Khan look fabulous.

  25. Virgilia Coriolanus says:

    I HATE crop tops. Even on the people who can actually wear them.

    And is it just me, or does Kerry not even look pregnant in that dress??

  26. Bucky says:

    Lupita, hands down. I’m a little worn out on crop tops, but I don’t mind the look, and I like the retro feel of this one. The fabric and color are good on her, too.

    I love Kerry, but she’s wearing a glorified sheet. That’s not shade – I wear glorified sheets all the time and I’m not even pregnant! I’m just saying if we’re talking style (which I don’t necessarily think has to fully overlap with pretty) points, I’m giving them to Lupita. Kerry does look beautiful, though.

    While I didn’t love the execution of Kerry’s maternity crop top, I LOVED that she tried something different in maternity wear.

  27. Adrien says:

    Angela Basset had a deal with the devil. Alfre Woodard rocks. Kerry is just so beautiful.

  28. kibbles says:

    Naomie Harris looks amazing here. Her face is beautiful. She looks better than Lupita whom I think is now overrated. Lupita’s fashion choices are often a hit or miss. Also, her makeup tends to be bad with the eyeshadow matched to her dress and shoes. Not a good look. Her Valli dress is something I swear I’ve seen Kim Kardashian in before.

  29. MissTrial says:

    Love Chaka!! I wanted to be her when I was growing up. She’s lost a great deal of weight. Beautiful as always!

    Angela Bassett, wow!

    Kerry Washington’s lips bug me.

  30. Jess says:

    They all look great and that’s the best Kerry has looked in ages! I really like her with some curl and fullness in her hair. She’s a beautiful woman but when her hair is really flat or tight back against her head it makes her head look odd (I think she may have a big forehead/high hairline so it makes her face look too long). She should do curly (ooh, especially natural curls) more often.

  31. Naddie says:

    Angela Basset is so damn gorgeous, just like Naomie Harris, so they’re my favorites.

  32. yuko says:

    Lupita elevates this (and any) outfit. We all know this. I logically feel like I shouldn’t be drawn to it and yet…

    But Chaka for the WIN.