Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Costume Institute Gala: Met Ball 2012

Oh how I love the Met Ball! It's always appealed to me even more than the Oscar's actually (coincidentally it's often nicknamed 'Fashions Oscars') because celebs go all-out rather than play it safe. It's do or die. Go hard or go get the idea. With designers accompanying and directly dressing their celebrity pal, they often choose their most extravagant, daring piece to really make an impact and showcase their label. This means there's often controversial outfits which raise the question 'is it hideous or beautiful?' I hadn't realised quite how many outfits there were and how long it would take me to write this, so there's tonnes more that I didn't cover (but I was losing the will to live by then). I understand if you want to read it in parts, it's that long!    I would like to think you know me well enough to know this article is more than a little tongue in cheek (that's just my style, but you'd be surprised at what people complain about) but it is my opinion (which I'm entitled to of course) and a little bit of fun. If you find it offensive to critique an outfit then this post won't be for you, you've been warned.
The biggest trend seemed to be peplums, they were freakin' everywhere. I've put all the peplum/hip detailed ladies together. To be honest they were all a little 'meh' for me.  From top left to right:
January Jones-in yellow Versace, it's nice but not amazing.  Like the turquoise necklace.
Sofia Vergara-up close there's some beautiful details in this Marchesa gown, but it's not appealing to me.
Jessica Stam-in John Galliano for Christian Dior Haute Couture.  It definitely has that decadent detailing I'd expect of Dior HC, but again it's not amazing me.
Linda Evangelista-she's a little waitress-like in this Prada ensemble.  Albeit a high-end waitress!
Eva Mendes- it could just be her posture but the skirt seems too long and I'm not keen on these centre-front splits (another trend of the evening).  The orange Prada looks great against her skin, but the whole thing swamps her curves.
Emma Roberts-in Escada.  Not got much to say on this one, it's pretty enough but quite plain.
Elizabeth Banks-in Mary Katrantzou.  I love this down to the clutch, but beyond that it gets a bit lost and messy for me.  It's a little out there, the clashing prints work, just a shame about the bottom.
Solange Knowles-I secretly love me some Solange.  Sadly this outfit is not 'wow' enough for me.  I thought she had more guts than this.
Lea Michele-yeah we get it, you've got a killer bod now, you want to 'grow-up', leave the Glee image behind, show off your new look, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. The Diane Von Furstenberg dress is a beautiful shimmering blue shade but not my favourite cut and maybe even a  little dated.  Verdict: Not her finest song...sorry dress.
Rihanna-I'm a bit on the fence with this one. The textured crocodile leather and gothic feel patter to Rihanna's fierce taste but the Tom Ford gown just leaves me a little underwhelmed. Those nails though could do some serious damage, meow!  Verdict: It's Rihanna but I expected more than I got.
Jessica Alba-again I'm feeling underwhelmed. The burnished gold Michael Kors gown is something I've seen a million times before. The fabric nor shape are nothing ground-breaking. Verdict: I think it would be difficult for Jess to look bad, but this didn't do anything for me, boring.
Cameron Diaz-Hmmm, it's not really anything to write home about is it? The Stella McCartney gown looks like it weighs a ton, it's sparkly...not really got any more to say on it. Verdict: Seen it before, sure I've seen that hairstyle too...oh that's right 'There's Something About Mary'!
Emma Stone-I want to like this Lanvin dress and possibly do, just not for this event. The short length just makes it feel less formal and less fancy.  Verdict:  How did she sit down in it?
Dakota Fanning-in lilac Louis Vuitton which apparently took over 250 hours to make (random fact for you there).  I like the detailing on the skirt (even if we have seen it before), but the outdated bodice and especially the neckline/sleeves ruin it for me.  Verdict:  Nobody wants to look like an 80's bridesmaid do they?
Leighton Meester-Someone overdid the bronzer! Or perhaps she's just back from her hols in Ayia Napa(!). Anyhoo, the dress screams Marchesa, it's not hideous, but it needs something. Not sure what. Maybe some definition around the waist, a little skinny belt perhaps? Verdict: Not perfect but improving.
Scarlett Johansson-this looks very Marchesa to me, but it's actually Dolce & Gabbana. Again it's not a total disaster, I'm just not keen on this style of straight, drop waist bodice with full fishtail. It looks likes she's recycled an old nude couture gown by popping a Lipsy mini-dress over the top. Ok, so I'll agree that the bodice is beautifully embellished up-close and in theory it's the dress dreams are made of. However, Scarlett is the sister of curves, but it's not evident here and wouldn't you keep yanking those straps back up? Verdict: Like the fabrics, not the shape. Plus it seems I hate gold gowns.
Carey Mulligan-so she wants to be a mermaid when she grows up, good for her! Did I need to see evidence of it at the Met Ball? Not really. She was apparently "blown away" by the sketches Prada sent, but I'm finding it just so-so and all too fishy. The full-on metallic shine is just too garish and I'm altogether not keen on halternecks of that shape, they always scream 'too sporty' for me. Verdict: I've seen better looking mermaids.
Ginnifer Goodwin-I have to admit that I'm not keen on orange, but I'll try and remain impartial on that. I quite like the details and shape of the Monique Lhuillier gown, I just wish there was something to break up the block of colour. If that (leather?) waist detail had been another colour it could've looked great. I'm not sure why she went for ice-blue satin shoes with it though? For me that's not contrast enough nor neutral, they just look out of place. Verdict: Ditch the pastel shoes and break up the vast orange.
Gwyneth Paltrow-Normally I only have love for Prada (and none for Gwyneth btw) but this dress is just not right. The colour is pretty, as are the embroidered/sequin bits, but they seem mis-placed to me. I love dip hems, but this one is too short (perhaps just on Gwyneth), while the inverted pleats at the back make it look like the dress was too big and they clipped it in place for the evening. The halterneck bodice shape is bordering on Carey's but is even more cut-away to reveal Ms Paltrow's side-boob and thus making it look like an apron. Verdict: She's bra-less, let's hope with that high-low hem she's not knicker-less too! Nice gem-heeled shoes though.
Florence Welch-I laughed out loud at this. I can't help it, it's so ridiculous and to think she's a grown woman who went out in public to be photographed in it! Joking aside, on paper this Alexander McQueen dress should appeal to me, it's frou-frou, flirty, girly, the whimsical fabric and full layers are all things I'd look for in a dream dress. It's too much though with the sleeves and two ruffles and the shorter hem and cut-out sheer panel. From the back when she's twirling around though, the cape actually looks pretty cool. That's the only redeeming factor. Verdict: Hee, hee, ha, ha, ha, sorry!
Marc Jocobs-I'm pretty sure I don't need to say it. Horrendous! I'm not being narrow-minded about a man wearing a dress and I actually applaud that he wanted to do something different from a standard tux, but this certainly isn't it. The white boxers with black lace is one of the worst crimes against fashion I have ever witnessed. Not to mention the lace looks more seedy sex shop than couture. The shoes and socks don't go with the outfit either. My worst look of the night and possibly my whole life. Had a woman worn this she'd have never lived it down and I would completely question this guys fashion credentials after this. Verdict: Two phonecalls; Right Said Fred wants his lace shirt back and Puss wants his boots!
Kristen Stewart-it would be wrong to laugh wouldn't it? Especially as it looks like she might hurt me if I do! I'm the only person on the planet that hasn't seen or read Twilight, so I'm not exactly charmed by R-Patz and co. but I think K-Stew gets a lot of stick for being a little mean and moody in real life. I doubt she is, it's just hard being super smiley and happy-happy when some idiot has a lens in your face straight out of the gym or 20 morons are thumping on your car as you try not to run over their feet! I'd like to stick up for her here, but she's made it so darn hard with this get-up! Positives are....the bodice isn't too bad actually, the skirt panels and colours (and pvc versus matte) are hideous though. Verdict: Would you like me to start on the shoes? I thought not!
Liv Tyler-in what seems to be man-of-the-night Givenchy Couture by Riccardo Tisci.  I'm a little bored by this. It's a bit too sporty and just not doing anything for her great figure and damn those centre-splits!  Verdict: Should try harder.
Dianna Agron-wowee what a beautiful, beautiful colour! She looks glamorous yet understated in this Carolina Herrera gown. Love the hair, makeup and sparkly clutch and the belt keeps the dress 'young' and playful. Verdict: Gleeful! Rachel Berry who?
Victoria Justice-I have to admit I have no idea who she is (clearly not 'down with the kids'!), she looks like a Disney/Nick type girl though? Anyway I'm not sure how I feel about this McQ by Alexander McQueen floral number. It's really fussy but by picturing it full-length I think it would have been stunning. She's a young girl though, so the shorter length is probably more appropriate. It just doesn't quite work for me altogether though. The shoes are cute too! Verdict: I'm torn with that hem length...something just isn't right here.
Rachel Zoe-oh good Lord where do I start? To be frank, I doubt I would ever think she looks good in anything because her emaciated and unnatural looking frame puts me off (I know people can be skinny, but she's gone beyond that and I'd rather we we were worried about her than pretend it's ok to be the size of a 5 year old). The dress from her own collection is probably supposed to be a fun and flirty 20's fringed number. It fails because it fits so badly, it drowns her and it's definitely hanging too low at the bust (dangerously low!). I like that she's added a statement necklace but again feel it's maybe too big for her and/or doesn't actually look right with the dress. Verdict: People pay this woman to dress them? Spend your money elsewhere ladies!
Karolina Kurkova-which leads me onto KK in a Rachel Zoe design. I'm sure some will hate the sparkly head-I actually don't. Did it float my boat though? Not really. It's still not any more exciting or bland than Cameron Diaz and a little bit 'Oscar-statuette' (hence why I don't think all-over gold toned dresses work). Verdict: Quite pretty, quite stunning but not enough for me to love or even like it.
Leslie Bibb-this is quite an unusual choice I think. The dress is Zac Posen and I think I quite like it, although it could border on a little old-fashioned. The fabric adds drama and decadence in a subtle way but also adds to the 'dated' look. Verdict: Not too bad.
Lana Del Ray-this outfit would've looked fantastic at the Met Ball a few years ago when it was a Superheroes theme. The Joseph Altuzarra outfit is slightly mysterious, slightly classic and slightly glam. A little bit of everything but not much of one thing. Verdict: I don't dislike it, I don't love it, I just quite like it.
Kristen Wiig-wow, what a lovely Stella McCartney dress and it's orange and I still like it! While it's totally beautiful, I'm not sure it's 'wow' enough for this event. Then she ruined it with the Stella shoes that the designer herself wore plus M.I.A. and anyone else that was forced wanted to! Verdict: Gorgeous but not glam enough for this event and ditch the footwear.
Kirsten Dunst-so Kiki decided to totally ditch the ballgown, the evening gown, the prom dress, the cocktail dress or any sort of dress and go for a 40's style Rodarte skirt suit. I sort of love the vintage feel, it's classic and stylish but do I think it's right for the red-carpet or the Met Ball? Not sure I do. She looks a little uncomfortable and dare I say, frumpy? Verdict: Bold choice but it fell short.
Kate Bosworth-Kate is usually super-crazy at the CIG, so this Prada dress is pretty tame for her. I like the matching lips and shoes, I don't totally hate the dress it's just not my thing. I think it's possibly one of the happiest images I've ever seen of her though. Verdict: Funky and fun, maybe not glam enough for the Met but hey she seems to love it!
Milla Jovovich-oh pleeeease don't make me say it. Miuccia Prada was being honoured at this event and I've disliked every one of the Prada gowns on the red-carpet. It makes me sad : ( I love Milla too, so I'm doubly sad. The dress isn't atrocious I suppose, I'm just not mad-keen on the shredding which really spoils it for me. Overall it's not really figure-flattering either. Verdict: The colour is quite nice on Milla I suppose.
Stella McCartney-I'm not big on Stella or her Dad or the Beatles. I did used to enjoy her Mum's veggie sausages though. Oh yeah the outfit, well naturally it's her own label and naturally she doesn't want to come across as too girly or even remotely girly because we all know you are so much more cool if you act like an uninterested boy who didn't try at all with this outfit or even brush your hair or put on makeup. Ok that's a tad mean. The outfit is well-made, I can appreciate that. It's not my thing though and the shoes are pretty gross and the trousers don't sit well over them. Verdict: Yum sausages...
Mary-Kate Olsen-well she was never going to play it safe, especially as I regard her as the 'even crazier Granny twin'. Truthfully the majority of the time, the Olsens don't appeal to me, but I know they have a ridiculously huge following who figure they can do no wrong. Wearing her own label 'The Row', it's kinda statement-y without really doing anything. It's certainly not something I would wear myself nor even notice on a hanger. Verdict: She's practically the only one that went all out with the alien eyes, messy hair combo but are you carrying some munchies for later in that stomach-pouch MK?
Jessica Biel-I fear if I slag off another Prada gown the Fashion-Gods will strike me down and confine me to shell-suits and Crocs for the rest of my life. Joking aside I quite like this one. The hem is hideous! Is it supposed to look so undone or was it a last minute shorten-the-hem decision? Whatever the reason it makes it look homemade. The rest of the dress looks quite nice though, rich fabric in an unusual choice of colours and love the matching satin clutch. Her hair looks gorge too, love the fringe even if it would annoy the hell out of me on my own head. I kinda like that she didn't choose matchy shoes too, although these look a little heavy with the dress. Verdict: Nice, shame about the hem.
Diane Kruger-this isn't my type of dress at all, but I'm liking it! It should swamp her, but it doesn't. The colour is rich, the feathers add drama and Diane-can't-put-a-foot-wrong, gets it right again. Oh and it's Prada, woop woop-no Crocs for me! Verdict: You go girl!
Coco Rocha-who invited a clown to fashions big night out? Fess up, c'mon! Oh, it's not a clown, it's Coco Rocha! Erm....well the girl tried, didn't she? Sadly the clash of pinks between her bodice, hair and shoes even manages to detract from the bright yellow. Did a yellow trouser suit ever sound like a good idea? Well it's vintage Givenchy and apparently the jacket was once worn by Elizabeth Taylor. So two fashionable women thought this worked, enough said. Verdict: You get points for the Liz Taylor reference and that's it.
Chloe Sevigny-Chloe tries hard to get us to hate her outfits, I can tell. This time I feel she genuinely thinks she's onto a winner. Sadly not for me. The shoes are ugly and too clumpy with the dress and speaking of, I'm sure I've seen this before on Peter Stringfellow's girlfriend. That's never a good thing. Verdict: It's Miu Miu? Oh darn, one step closer to Croc-ville for me.
Cate Blanchett-it's got the splendour but the all-over black feathers are too hair-like for me. It's reminding me of a horse. It's got quite a nice shape though and it's Alexander McQueen. Verdict: Black Beauty called....!
Anja Rubik-where is Black Beauty now? Someone needs to cover up this Anthony Vaccarello disaster. The colour is bland, the design is just attention-grabbing but in no way beautiful, pure over-indulgence. The bodice slash looks like she's gone a round with the Scream-killer and clearly she never learned anything from the Jolie-leg episode and actually went one step further by letting us all know she wasn't wearing any pants. Verdict: Get thee to Markies for some underwear.
Alicia Keys-here's Stella McCartney, oh no, sorry it's Miss Keys doing her best impression. She's trying to be fashion-forward and buck the gown trend in this Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci trouser suit. Givenchy seem to have stolen the show as designer of the night right? Verdict: It's very Alicia but it's not what I'd like to see at the Gala.
Alexa Chung-another person I'm not a fan of (don't stone me!), perhaps it's because I remember her as a stuttering, slightly obnoxious, not-so-cool-or-good TV presenter. I get that she's 'grown-into' her look and we all have a not-so-fashionable past, but I don't like when people feel the need to conform as a fashion-darling by losing weight (for years she never looked like this, so it's not her 'natural' size, but that aisde), the whole 'I threw this look together and didn't even try' always feels the opposite, total try-hard to me. A school-shirt under an evening dress, one that's made of leather in particular is never going to work. The fabrics don't blend well together (nor contrast enough) neither do the shapes (baggy sleeves versus fitted leather). Plus the shoes (even without the shirt) look a little stupid with this length of hem. Verdict: One of the worst of the night for me but it's Marc 'I wear white boxers under black lace' Jacobs.  Love that bunny bag though!
Marion Cotillard-another difficult one for me. I just like it rather than love it. Something is missing from the Dior creation, it's maybe too plain at the top (maybe some ruffled straps) or the skirt isn't full enough. I do like the sheer, sparkles and 'cage' like effect to the tulle but the whole thing falls a little flat. Verdict: Both Dior and Marion have done better.
Christina Ricci-in the words of Kylie, "wow, wow, wow, wow"! This Thakoon creation is fabulous. The back view with out-of-this-world-oversized bow is the dogs bollocks for me (to put it bluntly) although I know some will hate it. Perhaps it's because I have fond memories of my similar (but marginally smaller) oversized bow on the ballgown I made for my school-ball. We're harking back 14 years to 1998, so I like to think I was fashion forward (actually it was purely my love of girly bows)! The front view of this dress is just as pretty though and I'm surprised that the large folds and bow don't swamp Ricci's small frame (she's beyond tiny). I love the black over the nude-peach too, it's so chic. Verdict: Ridiculously fabulous and possibly my fave of the night! As a sidenote: please say Pan Am is coming back for a second series (I realise I was practically the only person that watched it, but it was darn good).
Rooney Mara-I love her gothic style. This Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci dress has that in spades with oodles of black lace and leather and I love that sheer skirt. I'm not big on the asymmetric neckline and one sleeve though, it needs two or none at all and I'm leaning towards the former. Verdict: It's delicate but tough, freaky but fabulous. Shame about the sleeve or it could've been my favourite.
Sarah Jessica Parker-ooh I rather like this. It's very much made from Granny's curtains or bed-spread and extremely modest but somehow it's working for me. It could be because it's Valentino and I could eat that little man up, he's just so cute or it could be SJP putting her usual sparkle into the mix. The gold cuff duo almost succeed in breaking up an extremely flirty, girly look, in a Wonder-Woman kinda way. Verdict: Good Lord is she wearing matching floral shoes too? Lovely.  Actually after seeing the pointed toe, skinny t-bar shoes in another pic, they were quite ugly.
Lily Collins-Gosh I love this girl! Even although I'm probably old enough to be her Mother, she's my latest style crush. It took me a while to cotton onto the fact that she's the daughter of that bloke who used to shuffle about the stage with his hands in his pockets that my Dad always listened to. Anyway, this floral Valentino gown with chiffon-dot and lace overlay is whimsical and Granny-chic at it's best. I love the ruffle neckline, waist bow and delicate sleeves that whisper "I just walked off the set of Dr Quinn". I don't think it ages her although in theory it should, my only gripe is although the clutch is pretty I'm feeling it's a little harsh against this dress. Verdict: You d'man Valentino (double Granny whammy); don't ever let me down Lils, A+
Beyonce Knowles-In Givenchy Couture; I was surprised to hear she made it onto some 'worst dressed' lists. Personally I think she's rockin' this, it's totally Met-Ball-fabulous. I like that it's slightly sheer, but not too revealing, the feathers and embroidered lace detail are wowzers, definitely on a couture level. Beyonce herself looks curvalicious in it, plus props to her for dialling back the makeup/hair, good call.  Verdict: Another winner and glad to see some purple as a flash of colour.

So there you have it, most of the outfits from the Met. Which is your fave and what didn't do it for you? Well done if you read this far!

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  1. I think I like maybe 4 dresses, you showed. And I'll probably get stoned for this but I really don't like beyonce's dress. I like the bottom but just not the top. le sign. I hoped for better

  2. I think I like maybe 4 dresses, you showed. And I'll probably get stoned for this but I really don't like beyonce's dress. I like the bottom but just not the top. le sign. I hoped for better

  3. great post - not that many great dresses! I watched Pan Am too - i hope it comes back!!

  4. Oh I love this post, thanks for making me laugh (I sniggered lots!), I have to say, Hideous, hideous, hideous dresses except for Lily Collins, the orange midi dress and the colour of the turquoise one! Love your comments!


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