Last night in New York City, The Met Gala took place on the eve of the opening of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s spring exhibit, Charles James, Beyond Fashion. Charles James was a British-born fashion designer known as “America’s First Couturier.” He is widely considered a master of cutting and is known for his highly structured aesthetic. Guests of the Gala are given this information as a “theme” for their own attire, although it is hardly required.
The guest list last night ran the gamut from Fashion Royalty (Donna Karan & Calvin Klein) to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (really really not Fashion Royalty). As Red Carpets go, the Met Gala is an opportunity for a silly reality star to gain credibility, and a fashionista to have some fun. It is the perfect, “fashion as art” event, and as someone who throws parties as a means of creating chances to wear some of my favorite clothes, I applaud those in attendance who took fashion risks. It is not, however, an actual costume party. Someone may have wanted to tell this to Kate Upton, who looked absolutely cartoonish in a Dolce & Gabana Saloon Girl get-up complete with corset and hat. I thought the dress alone could have worked, but the hat and the hair made it silly. And Kate Upton is one of those gorgeous in a burlap sack girls, so this was really quite upsetting.
On the other end of the spectrum was Red Carpet Superstar Lupita N’yongo, in a green Prada dress that the general public HATED. “Caught in a fishnet” was what I heard from friends and family, and although I admit that this was a lotta look, I thought it was, in fact, a work of art. She didn’t wear this to the Oscars, she wore it to a Fashion Museum Exhibit Gala. The difference between this and Ms. Upton’s misstep is that Lupita understands and loves high fashion. She is an enthusiast, a patron, and a creative artist in her own right. For that, and for ever-expanding our ideas of what beauty is, I say, Brava.
I was mostly disappointed in Anna Wintour’s Chanel dress. It may be one of those dresses that need to be seen in person, but considering this was also the unveiling of the newly renovated ANNA WINTOUR Costume Institute, I felt she could have gone bigger, bolder, more. She played with a shorter length here, which read casual to me. As did Lena Dunham in a high low dress that perfectly framed her less that framable knees, and Michele Williams in a too simple too seen-it-already mini shift. Others who went short were Elizabeth Olsen in a Stars on Ice type dress that totally missed the mark, Marion Cotillard in a dress more suited for a garden party, and Margot Robbie in a dress more suited for a movie premiere. Ms. Olsen’s famously twin sisters were the Goddesses of Death in their heavy, black long-sleeved ball gowns.
Donna Karan AND Calvin Klein may have been the creepiest of the Red Carpet, in that their faces were so tight and pulled back they were almost unrecognizable. Worse only was bobble head Donatella Versace in her own design. Yikes.
Lots of stars played with volume last night, including Zoe Saldana in Michael Kors (meh), and Kim Kardashian in a blue strapless dress that made her look short and stocky, rather than curvy and vivacious. Skinny girls Lea Michele and Katie Holmes also added folds and volume on parts of their bodies that looked odd and attached, not a part of the garment. Without that waist/hip business, I would have loved Lea’s gold stunner.
Dita Von Teese and Blake Lively won for absolute perfect fit, as well as Kendal Jenner (in Topshop!), Fitted, mermaid, satin, nude gowns are pretty. I thought they all looked beautiful. Experimenting with true ball gowns were Karolina Kurkova in Marchesa (amazing, full, sculptural art piece) and Sarah Jessica Parker in Oscar de la Renta (classic, elegant, perfection). Rihanna, Anna Kendrick, and Emma Stone all rocked this season’s hottest trend, crop tops. I loved how each one was unique and true to themselves and their own style. Nicely done, ladies.
I was bored by Olivia Munn, Zooey Deschanel, and Taylor Swift all in perfectly lovely gowns — these three beauties missed opportunities to experiment and push boundaries, im my opinion. Naomi Watts stunned in an ombre Givenchy dress that I just loved.
Most troubling for me, but kudos for trying, go to Rita Ora and Shailene Woodley. I felt both of these dresses didn’t quite have the artisanship that Lupita’s Prada had, and just looked busy and costumey. I did, however adore Beyonce in a very different look for her. I loved the makeup and hair especially, and her black low cut but still conservative gown was a favorite of mine.
Another day, another gala! We’ll be updating the blog later this week after we see the exhibit and many of the gowns these may or may not have been inspired by. Stay tuned.