I haven't done a fashion industry event round up in a long time but since this post was requested, and I happened to have a lot of opinions bubbling up inside me with no means of release, here is a round up from last nights Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala.
Last year the theme was “PUNK: Chaos to Couture”, and this turned out to be a hard act to follow for 2014, with the aesthetic of the Met’s new exhibit on couturier Charles James seemingly confused and/or ignored left, right and centre.
The result last night should have been a sea of elegant ballgowns, and yes there were a few of these, but instead some celebrities ran amok with crop tops, plunging necklines and thigh high slits. Nothing took my breath away with that 'wow' factor you look for in a met ball dress, but the were a few 'wtf's' thrown about over the Daily Mail this morning.
Case in point: Katie Holmes in Marchesa. Girl looks like a souffle gone wrong. Also, I'm starting a collection now so we can all club together and buy her an iron for her next red carpet appearance. There is no redeeming feature to this mustard monstrosity.
Alexa Chung 'style guru' also failed to hot the right notes in her Nina Ricci dress. I immediately think bad 80's prom dress but on closer inspection it actually reminds me of one of those barbies with the adjustable dresses "just rewind the button at the small of her back to change the length". The Alexa doll comes with her own accessories, but tragically no hairbrush.
However when discussing dresses today one kept standing out as the worst of the worst. My colleague called this look "a hot tranny mess express". Harsh but true. Rita Ora wore a gown by Donna Karan Atelier with Casadei gladiator boots. It was the flashing of the boot that signed the death knell of her relationship with Wintour and Vogue I'm sure. That and the bizarre mummy hand bandage wrap-thingy. I feel Rita has rare shining moments of brilliance (where I imagine a stylist has been employed) followed by epic fails into said hot mess territory.
Givenchy - another label that strikes fear into the hearts of Met ball attendees, because remember THAT floral dress Kim Kardashian wore last year? Yeah that was Givenchy. Now I love Naomi Watts so it pains me to say this is not doing anything for her. I hate the scales and I hate the way they turn at that awkward crotch / mid thigh point into the sheer shower curtain fabric. I feel like maybe Rooney Mara (where the hell is that girl?) could totally pull this off if given an extreme haircut and dark lip. Watts looks uncomfortable and dare I say it, too mumsy to wear this. Givenchy also dressed Beyonce in a Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci creation. I really liked the little hair net and that's about it. It reminded me of the brown dress that she wore in 2012 which I was also not a fan of. There's also a lot of but hugging going on in this dress from the back. Maybe Givenchy and the red carpet should part ways. Just Sayin.
I don't think I can speak about Maggie Gyllenhaal in Valentino. If she could erase that dress from our minds and eyeballs everywhere I bet she would. With the cape it was like she was wearing a shower curtain over more curtain. I like to think someone (probably Bradley Cooper) threw it to the floor after dinner and they all played twister on it. That would have been an awesome selfie.
Lastly I want to talk about Stella-Gate. Cara Delevingne, Rihanna, Stella McCartney, Kate Bosworth and Reese Witherspoon all posed together, all wearing Stella McCartney. I’m pretty sure Stella never googled “Charles James” before selecting the outfits and for that reason I felt let down. This is not met dress attire, it's entirely too much midriff to be considered chic. Rhi Rhi probably pulled it off best, Cara I felt left a lot to be desired after her Burberry ensemble was such a hit last year, Kate Bosworth is 100% skinnier than any other human being and could someone please feed her. Meanwhile, Reese is holding all this shit together despite looking a bit uncomfortable in hot pink in her usual classy way...until someone gets her drunk and then its game over!
I think the conclusion we are coming to here is don't let brands you don't normally work with dress you for the biggest event on the fashion calendar. I really could harp on about my hatred for certain looks all day (Kate Upton as a D&G Italian Widow in black lace for example) but lets get to the good stuff.
Blake Lively wore a custom-made Gucci Première gown and looked like a goddess. This is an excellent example of a brand and a long-time brand ambassador working together to create a memorable dress for all the right reasons and works for both of them.
Emma Stone wore a custom-made top and skirt by Thakoon which I feel I shouldn't have liked because again with the MIDRIFF. However having said that the whole thing looked beautifully styled right down to the hair and make-up.
Controversially I rather liked Diane Kruger's BOSS creation even if it did ere on the side of caution and was not as experimental as her usual looks. The pale lilac look was classy and elegant, just what the occasion called for. My weakness for Kruger is well known, especially when Joshua Jackson is stood next to her, because hey he makes everything look better right. What do you think? Do you love this or am I just blinded by my love?
Kirsten Dunst in Rodarte is another look I feel I should hate in so many ways but I actually love it. She's been a "Rodarte til I die" devotee for so many years now that I don't think the brand would consider letting anyone else wear any of the Star Wars dresses from that collection first. Also, wearing the Death Star the day after May The Fourth Be With You? I so hope she did this ironically. She's having fun wear it and that is EVERYTHING to me.
One of my favourite looks of the night was Sarah Jessica Parker in custom Oscar De La Renta. Yes the hair was all rather beehive-ish and yes there was far too much make up on those peepers, but the dress itself? rather divine. Especially the back. What did ruin it for me was the styling - maybe just let the dress speak for itself, do you really need those flowers in your hair or those bangles on your arm Bradshaw.
Young actresses really impressed me this year and did a much better job representing than some of their older counterparts who should know better. Though Rooney Mara's presence was missed, sister Kate did an upstanding job or keeping the family fashion flag flying wearing a Valentino Couture spring/summer 2014 gown. Hailee Steinfeld wore a gown by Prabal Gurung which was a fantastic shape for her and similar in style worn by Charlize Theron. Chloe Moretz’s Chanel dress was from the fashion house’s pre-autumn/winter 2014 Paris-Dallas collection and was the cutest thing I've ever seen at the Met Gala. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Olsen wore top-to-toe Miu Miu, the colour of which I loved, I just wish this had been longer. The mini dress would have been perfect for her upcoming Godzilla press tour, not so much for a white tie event.
Anyone else feel like a trap door at the end of the red carpet would be a marvellous addition to the Met Ball? Anna Wintour controls the lever and decides whether you get to come in or not. I'd so pay the $25,000 ticket fee to see that.