I've been a long time follower of the annual Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I think it all started that year my sister and I blatantly charged a full-service trip to the Big Apple just to go to the Institute's Haute Couture exhibit. Boy, did it take me years to pay off that debt...but it was well worth it. It was my introduction to Vionnet, Worth and the beginnings of exquisitely designed frocks.
The Gala is kind of like the Oscars times ten, on steroids, and with a couple of rounds of Red Bull and Vodka. Unlike the Oscars, where every second or third person is worth a pan-out, every Gala attendant is trying to thrill onlookers. Or scare them, I'm not really sure which because this year it looks like they chased that Red Bull and Vodka with a magnum of broken glass...that was covered in acid...set on fire and mixed with fruit punch.
This year's event was entitled "Model as Muse," a throwback to the famous faces gracing millions of covers over several decades. And you know I'm all about a good supermodel. Mix that with the overall struggle to live up to the Costume Institute's catalog and you get one dangerous cocktail. Behold...
note: not sure what's going on with some of the pictures but i've been writing this forfreakinever so i'm not fixing it...just click for larger views, girls!
Far be it for me to say anything negative about the hierarchy of global fashion, but Anna Wintour needs to a) eat a burger and b) stop borrowing upholestry from her interior decorator. I know it's Chanel but even Chanel, on a stick insect, can't save her. Paulina Porizkova, "legendary supermodel" who now judges America's Next Top Model (in the most annoying of ways, I might add) looks like a push-up and a lemondrop had a baby and threw up Gossamer. I just do not get this color combination. And Hilary Swank? Do you remember when Carol Burnette used to parade around the stage with tennis balls in her top and her shoulders slumped? Yes, so do I. And you are a dead ringer for her in this gown. Michael Kors < fail.
What in the name of Knots Landing is this? I mean seriously, my expectations of all three of these gorgeous women are so much higher. Brooke dates herself about ten years in this teal column with very '80's hair and makeup; Cindy, while the dress fits her supremely, looks a bit like the Cookie Monster in satin with head to toe blue; and Molly Sims looks like Jiffy Pop deluxe got hit with a bedazzler. Frightening girls, just frightening. And note the shoes...the whole short dress/clunky shoe combo was everywhere and I am not a fan. NOT a fan.
Now these three scare me all for very different reasons, they're just inconsequently short. I love Anne's Marc Jacobs dress...I think...the color is regal, the design is flawless. But the hair, the shoes and the make-up smack of Joan Collins and that's just not ok. Give me about three more inches on that hem, a really good push-up bra and softer locks and we would be good to go. Now Diane Kruger's Chanel dress is adorable and I love the black accents. Again, just wish the hem had a little more...substance? Same for Kate. The best thing about her ensemble is what she has on her arm, and while the designer is responsible for her look, I can't help but really not love this Marc Jacobs. She looks like my Grandma in the early 70's; she's just had her hair "did," and nothings been laundered except the outfit she wore to that costume party about the music she didn't understand. Awesome.
I hate to pick on newly engaged and glowing Clare Danes in her Armani Prive. It's not that she doesn't look lovely...the color is good for her, it's elegant, her skin is amazing. But this is a good lesson in proportion. The line of the top looks entirely too low for her thin neck and rather defined clavicles making her, well, bosom look much smaller; therefore the space between her girls and her waist looks a lot shorter than it actually is giving her waist little definition and drawing more attention to the width of her thighs. And Clare Danes doesn't really have "thighs." So...yeah, sorry for the long drawn out but this is something I see a lot in thin girls who have some curves down south but not much up north. You have to be careful of that waist line! (Wow...I sound like an old seamstress named Hazel who is like 55 years old and wears the same thing every day).
Anyscare, let's move on to the goth in between. Karen Elson, simply, looks like Coppola's Lucy from Dracula (not that that's necessarily a bad thing, depending on the day and my mood) but the fact that Jack is looking ever so jaundiced as usual, coupled with the Stoker feel of her overall schtick, really is overkill. But I would like to give him a nod for his shoes. I just want to cut his hair, straighten his spine and get him some sun. Didn't he read V.C. Andrews? Too little sun can lead to an enlarged nog. Geez.
Do you even recognize Rachel Weisz, that seering magical British beauty everyone adores, in the third photo? Because I didn't. It would appear that Mistress Wang got a hold of my lovely girl and tulled her to death. Even she looks confused. From the knees to the top of the dress, I love it...I mean what girl doesn't get a little doe-eyed over ballet pink and tulle? From the knees down it looks a bit like the fairy skirt I stapled to a ribbon for my nieces third Halloween. But I actually used colors that went together. And speaking of things that don't go together...Tyra's hair doesn't go with anything. Ever. At all. Period. Is it a hat? Is it a weave? Is it a backwards chignon? I don't know but apparently she's starving her do the same way she's starving her body. One can only assume that she followed Goop's detox diet since the highlight of this Gala would be on models of her decade...and lord knows child did not want to look like she'd had too many date nights with Ben & Jerry when she's wearing Badgley (&) Mischka.
I know two girls whose stylists are out of a job today.
What on earth has happened to Selma Blair? And who told her that hand bag was ok with her black Marc Jacobs? And why is Winona Ryder still relevant? And what in the name of the Good Lord is she wearing?
Now this is just the creme de la creme of fashion no-no's. And it's the creme de la creme of fashionistas; the Godmother of all things cool and trendsetting. Now I get that the Costume Institute Gala allows people to push the envelope a bit and teeter on that fine line between clothing and costuming but really? What in the hell? The actual concept of the "dress" (and I use that term very loosely) is interesting (it is, afterall, Louis Vuitton) but if you close your eyes real tight (you know, after the gag reflex of seeing Madge this way) you can almost envision this dress with a few more tiers and hitting the floor...think saloon if you will. But the thing in the hair just looks like she had some sort of horrid and rancid breakdown in the process of getting ready for this shindig. Like maybe she had a very Scarlett moment and got ahold of her curtains. I don't know...I just know it's bad. Real bad. Bai Ling bad...no, maybe even worse.
However, I get now why Jesus is named Jesus, because JESUS...look at that man.
I only stuck Leighton Meester next to Madge because this, too, is Louis Vuitton. Now, honestly, I don't hate this. The structure is fantastically interesting and the color is great. And she looks edible. But that four inches between her shin and her ankle? Yeah not so much. Just say no to Xanadu, people, say no.
Ok...phew. So this is how NOT to do it, so let's go on to how TO do it:
Agyness Deyn in Burberry; Emma Roberts in Atelier Versace (this is how to do short dresses with clunky shoes!); Ivanka Trump in Brian Reyes; and Marion Cotillard in Galliano with the designer.
Zac Posen and Helena Christensen in his design (doesn't he look incredible!); Mary-Kate Olsen in Christian Lacroix (thank G-d someone wore Christian Lacroix last night); Heidi Klum and her adorable pregnant self in J Mendel with the designer, Gilles Mendel; Victoria Beckham (signature pose?) in Marc Jacobs.
Kate Hudson, Stella McCartney, Liv Tyler and Kate Bosworth all in Stella McCartney.
These are the girls we love! Kristen McMenamy in Givenchy Couture; Amber Valleta in vintage James Galanos; Shalom Harlow; Stella Tennant in vintage Helmut Lang; Natalia Vodianova in vintage Fortuny; Nadja Auermann in Lanvin; and Eva Herzigova in vintage Dolce & Gabbana.
And the five best go to...Elizabeth Hurley in Elie Saab; Jessica Biel in Versace (her stylist should get a huge raise for this one); Oluchi Onweagba in Oscar de la Renta; and Shalom Harlow...and number five...
Veronica Lake or Kate Bosworth? She really embodies the history and glamour that is housed behind the glass installation at the Costume Institute. It's classic and current at the same time. Stella McCartney's design is flawless on her. And if you have any question of that, just take a gander at Bruce Willis' face.