Best Of The Met Gala 2017

And tonight, once again, we witness Kardashian & Kompany turn out of for fashion’s most garish, most opulent night- Anna Wintour’s annual Met Gala.

Of course, we always hope to see more than just Kendall and Kylie competing for highest slit in a sequined gown, but in recent years that’s sort of what’s happened to this event.  The themes continue to remain quite highfalutin, but the guests and what they choose to wear and try to accomplish have seemed to wane in sophistication as of late.  The Met Gala used to appeal to me as the very height of fashion on parade, the epitome of bougie-ness and unattainable class.  Now it’s got more of a who’s-who-of-Snapchat flavor.  But that’s what makes a celebrity these days I guess, and the times have undeniably changed.

The theme of this year’s Met exhibit is “Rei Kawakubo/Commes des Garçons: Art of the In-Between”.  To make it clear, the exhibit is honoring revolutionary female Japanese designer and founder of Commes des Garçons, Rei Kawakubo.  Her designs are known for being high concept, visually stunning, architecturally forward, and typically weird.  And I mean really weird.  Her craft is the definition of avant-garde.  Kawakubo’s work has never seemed to be about making a flattering dress or celebrating the woman’s body as it is with some designers.  It has seemed her work is more about her.  “Pretty” isn’t what she goes for. Or at least, your definition of pretty.  Give her a rule, and she’ll break it.  The woman does what she wants, and so she has forged for herself a formidable career.  To read more about her exhibit and see more of her work (and trust me- you want to), check out this Harper’s Bazaar article.

So what can we expect with tonight’s looks?  Well, based on the theme, we can expect weird.  And that’s good!  Although, I wouldn’t have pulled a Solange Knowles and shown up in a puffer coat.  But we’ll get to see what many celebrities define as “weird” or at least a little off the wall.   A ball honoring Rei Kawakubo demands something far beyond the boundaries of a column gown.  As always, my same rules apply when choosing favorites: dress/outfit, hair, makeup, and accessories must all work beautifully in tandem.

Most This-Is-What-I-Would-Do – Rose Byrne in Ralph Lauren 

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I talk a big talk when it comes to the Met Ball, but I know I probably wouldn’t be brave enough to actually wear one of Rei Kawakubo’s designs.  Because they’re Charlie Sheen levels of crazy.  However, this I can do.  I like the wild hairdo.  I love the architectural neckline of this dress in this bright shade of true red.  I like the artsy jewelry.  And the makeup is beautiful.  This, I can do.

Most Not-On-Theme-But-Still-Fabulous – Jennifer Lopez in Valentinojennifer-lopez-met-gala-2017-ftr-1

Paging Betty Draper!  Or Meghan Draper.  Or Joan!  Or all of them at once!  Anything that makes me think of Mad Men is more than fine with me.  The powder shade of blue, the chiffon, the cape, the high neckline, the incredible jewelry, and obviously the hair and makeup made this a stunner look straight out of the sixties.  And thank you, J.Lo, for abstaining from a naked dress!

Best Model That Didn’t Try To Just Look Like A Model – Lily Aldridge in Ralph Lauren Custom Collection

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Even though none of my favorites have worn Commes des Garçons (yet…), I still appreciate models like Lily for taking a risk and clearly pushing boundaries with the intent of paying homage to the design house’s outlandish creations.  It’s interesting to see a lot of Ralph Lauren at this event; that’s a designer I would’ve guessed as too safe for the Met Gala.  But the accessories and styling of this white gown have kept it from just looking like another skin-baring dress on a model.  I love Lily’s crazy red boots (Balenciaga) and her fuchsia blush netting that she’s wearing across her face.  Her makeup is also spectacular.  I saw a lot of incredible makeup this evening regardless of what folks were wearing, with this being a particular favorite …

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Now that is eyeshadow fit for the gods.  Alright, now for my last pick …

Best Fantasy Moment – Zendaya in Dolce & Gabbana

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This woman is such a chameleon.  She wears anything she wants, and she does anything with her hair that she wants.  It’s so evident that she loves fashion, and I love watching that.  Her hair and makeup are gorgeous, and I already such a huge affinity for parrots- this is the dress of my dreams.

Most Perfectly-On-Theme-And-Still-Fabulous – Rihanna in Commes des Garçons

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Ok, finally we have someone that interprets this year’s theme literally and wears Commes des Garçons!  And of course it’s Rihanna.  I love that she’s always such a team player when it comes to the Met Ball themes.  Remember when she wore this insanity for China: Through The Looking Glass?!  That gown was the creation of a legendary Chinese designer and there was no better opportunity to wear it.  That’s what you’re supposed to do at the Met Ball.  So yes, this dress … or outfit, whatever we’re calling it … is perfect for a Met Gala dedicated to Kawakubo.  It’s one of her own creations, it’s a breathtaking-if-not-baffling work of art, it’s weird, and it’s Rihanna, who doesn’t seem to mind weird.  And be sure to search close-up shots of her makeup.  It’s incredible.  Perfect.

There’s lots to still sort through from tonight’s extravaganza, but other honorable mentions go to: Dakota Johnson in some excellent Gucci, Kate Bosworth in Tory Burch that looked dangerously similar to Dakota Johnson’s Gucci, Jennifer Connelly in Louis Vuitton (because DUH I’m obsessed with her), Elle Fanning in some very Cinderella Miu Miu, Doutzen Kroes looking natural and relaxed in Brock Collection, Ruth Negga in a very avant-garde cape thingy, and Lupita Nyong’O in a gorgeous shade of orange.

Let me know what you think, if things got weird enough for you, or if they just couldn’t get weird enough.  Anything goes at this party.  But you know who didn’t go to this party?  Taylor Swift.  xo, MR

Photo credits in order of appearance: Instagram, Rex/Shutterstock, Rex/Shutterstock, Instagram, Getty, Getty/John Shearer

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The Best Dressed at the 2013 Met Gala. And a few words for Gwyneth Paltrow.

Okay, so, the Oscars are a big deal, right?  And the Golden Globes?  The whole awards season, in fact, from about January through the end of February, is when excitement over celebrities in fashion seems to climax in a parade of shows displaying the very best that the fashion world has to offer on some of the arguably best-looking people to wear it (and notice I’m saying “arguably” … because yes, you can certainly argue that Gwyneth Paltrow is the “world’s most beautiful woman”, but just because you argue does NOT mean that I’ll agree).  So it’s a total bummer once the whole parade is over, right?  Awards season is finished, and therefore we have to wait another entire year to see the celebrity fashion mish-mashapalooza extravaganza craziness happen all over again, aside from the various sightings at the Cannes Film Festival.  Right?

WWWRRRROOOOONNNNNGGGG!!!!!!

I don’t know how many people I’ve spoken with this past week who have literally not known what the Met Gala was.  They just straight-up hadn’t heard of it, and I just think that it is a testament to the travesties of our public education system.  Didn’t they teach you about the Met Ball in your freshmen health class?!  It’s definitely in the standards, somewhere, perhaps mixed in with the unit on how drugs affect the brain?  Or reproduction?  The sperm makes it’s way to the egg in the Fallopian tube, merging into one single cell called a zygote and then MET GALAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

So, let’s first take a moment to ensure that we’ve all been properly educated.  What, exactly, is the Met Gala?  Well, let’s start with this: You’ve heard of the Metropolitan Museum in New York City (and if not, you need to start reading From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler as if your life depended on it).  Each year, the Metropolitan Museum (also known as the “Met” for short) opens an annual fashion exhibit, complete with a new theme every time.  This exhibit is held in the particular gallery space of the Met called the Costume Institute.  To celebrate the annual fashion exhibit’s opening, the Met holds a ball called the Costume Institute Gala (or Costume Institute Ball, either works) and basically invites EVERYONE WHO IS ANYONE from the fashion, film, and music industries.  And Kim Kardashian.

The Met Ball is always hosted by Vogue magazine, can cost up to $15,000 for one ticket, and is the one, true opportunity for celebrities and society folk to really push the sartorial envelope without getting too much side-eye from fashion critics.  It’s basically prom for all your favorite people that you read about in magazines.  And Kim Kardashian.

Now, the theme for the Costume Institute exhibit stands as the theme for the Met Ball too, so the guests of the Ball are always expected and encouraged to dress up somewhat in line with that theme.  Some of the exhibit themes may be a little difficult to grasp if you’re not very familiar with the fashion industry (last year’s theme was Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations … I’ll let you research that one yourself), but this year’s theme was a little more straight-forward – Punk: From Chaos to Couture.  Yep.  We’re looking at punk’s influence on the fashion world.  Sid Vicious would not be proud.  So, no, you’re not going to see something as literal as Kate Beckinsale showing up in a Dead Kennedys t-shirt (though that would be hot), but this theme did seem to encourage lots of black, lots of pompadour hair, and lots of eyeliner.  Remember, we’re looking at folks’ interpretation of punk influence here, not literal punk garb.  Here are my picks for who looked the very best.

#5 Jessica Biel in Giambattista Valli

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This is good.  The hair is slicked back with an ever-so-slight mohawk feel, they’ve contoured thecrap out of her cheeks to give her an edgier, sharper look, she’s wearing a septum ring, and that dress is giving me weird feels.  This is a good thing for a punk-themed Met Ball.  If I had to choose one look to wear myself, from head to toe, I’d pick this one.

#4  Sienna Miller in head-to-toe Burberry

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If there’s anyone who attended the Met Ball this year that actually comes close to sometimes acting/dressing/behaving in line with a truly punk attitude, it’s Sienna Miller.  She’s that cool Brit kid that wears a top hat when she feels like it and probably smokes like a turn-of-the-century-London chimney and cusses like a Guy Ritchie movie.  But this is why the punk theme works for her.  Her nails even have little tiny gold spikes on them, along with  little skulls on her toes.  And that jacket is just a death-hug waiting to happen.  Love it.

#3  Diane Kruger in Chanel Haute Couture

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This picture actually irritates me because it looks like she’s wearing Tom Brady’s black bow-tie in her hair, and she is not.  So put your finger on that bow-tie and go from there.  Diane was actually one of the last to arrive at the Ball from what I could tell, and I was worried that she wasn’t coming at all which would’ve made me QUIT LIFE, I tell you!  But there she was, and the woman never disappoints.  The stars really hooked me with the small details of their looks for this year’s Gala, and in Diane’s case it was her pink ponytail that sealed the deal.  And get that clutch!  There are so many accessories here that could double as weapons!  I was waiting for Dakota Fanning to show up wearing brass knuckles!

#2  Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture

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Now, does this make me think punk?  Not really.  But does that matter?  NOT REALLY.  I’d like to think that this is what would happen if Grace Kelly made a baby with Jack White.  You’d get something more along the lines of a devastatingly beautiful dark glamour as opposed to liberty spikes, and that’s okay.  And again, it’s all in the details- the blush veil, the makeup, and the shoes all add up to something breathtaking.  And Jennifer Lawrence clearly had the most fun out of all the guests there.  When you can make mah boo Marion laugh, you make me happy!

#1  Anne Hathaway in Valentino

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There are multiple reasons why this is the best thing.  THE VERY BEST THING.  Let me break down the glory for you:

Let’s go back to this year’s Academy Awards.  No no, let’s go way back to this, when Anne first showed up to the Oscars red carpet in 2007 wearing Valentino.  And then the next year she showed up again wearing Valentino.  And then she kept wearing Valentino for all sorts of occasions, along with becoming close with the designer himself all along.  And then she wore custom Valentino for her wedding.  So basically, Anne Hathaway has, for a long time, been Valentino’s muse.  She’s been his model, and he’s been her very tan fairy godfather.  So what would you expect Anne to wear to the 2013 Academy Awards, on the night when practically everyone is betting their mother’s fancy china that she will take home the gold for giving everyone the sads in Les Miserables?  Valentino, right?!

WRONG.

Anne showed up to the 2013 Academy Awards in THIS.  A funny pink apron dress, looking a little too perky in the nips, brought to you by none other than PRADA.  Prada?!  For WHY?!  Valentino’s 2013 Haute Couture collection, shown just weeks before the Oscars, seriously had Anne Hathaway written all over it.  I had literally made a bet with myself that this would be her dress, or one of the designs similar to it.  But this pink Prada thingy?!  With the nips?!  It made no sense!  And then I started picking up on the rumors.  Apparently, at the eleventh hour, Anne discovered that her Les Mis co-star Amanda Seyfried had plans to wear an Alexander McQueen gown that supposedly looked far too similar to the Valentino gown that Anne had planned on wearing.  She allegedly freaked (and honestly, I could see myself doing this if I was certain that this was going to be my winning night, too) and made a last-minute decision to change her dress.  Here’s a shot of Amanda’s McQueen gown next to the Valentino that Anne had planned on wearing.  Too similar?  You be the judge.  But I’ll be honest- I get it.  I really do.  And I even feel for Amanda Seyfried, who probably felt so awkward and frustrated, too.  It’s just a shame that apparently there were no other Valentino gowns available and that Anne had to go with Prada and not a creation of her fairy tan-father. I sense that there were many, many tears shed during that Oscar weekend by Anne.  Many ugly Fantine tears.

So flash forward to this past week’s Met Gala.  And what is this sassy number that we have here?!  Do I sense a little Valentino on Anne?  From the designer’s 1992 archives?!  Why yes!  Yes I do!  And does she look ridiculously AWESOME?!  WHY YES!  YES SHE DOES!  I’ll admit that I’m one of those people that’s always found Anne a little, I don’t know, annoying?  She’s come across as such a zealous overachiever, like the kid that sucked up to her teachers and always seemed like she was trying too hard.  But you know what I’ve realized?  THAT’S ME.  Aside from the fact that I wish she’d stop showing her bewbs in all her movies these days, Anne bugs me because she can remind me of me.  And I can really bug me sometimes.  So I’ve decided to get over myself, and award Anne the top spot on my list.

Anne’s look is my undeniable favorite from this year’s Met Gala.  It’s got just enough of the punk vibe going on to qualify as having tried to stick with theme, and yet it’s so elegant too.  Those sleeves!  AND THAT HAIR!  I’m usually never in favor of brunettes switching for the blonde team, but this just works.  The whole look is inspiring.  And here she is, at the Ball, with her fairy tan-father himself.  I’d say it looks like Anne’s atoned for her Prada-stained sins, and I’m here to praise her for it.

You know, there was someone else wearing Valentino that night, come to think of it.  The World’s Most Beautiful Woman came to this year’s Met Ball in a hot pink Valentino Haute Couture gown, but apparently Gwynnie didn’t have the greatest time.  What did she have to say about  her Met Ball experience?  “I’m never going again.  It was so un-fun.  It was boiling.  It was too crowded.  I did not enjoy it at all.”  And as for her decidedly un-punk dress choice, “I think we’re all a bit old to dress up punk.  I just went as kind of normal.”

Oh, okay Gwynnie.  I’m guessing you don’t like Disneyland when it’s a little too warm or fuzzy blankets that are too warm or macaroni and cheese (IT’S TOO HOT IT MAKES MY MOUTH SWEAT) or daffodils that are too yellow or snuggling with puppies because they’re too hot and they make you sweaty and they just want to crawl on you and cuddle with you like uggghhhh stop iiiiiiitttttt.  And we don’t dress up for fun here!  IT’S TIME TO GROW UP!  Didn’t you know that parties like the Met Gala are NOT about having FUN?!  They’re about staying cool and dry with the A/C cranked while quietly sipping overpriced white wine and staying at least two feet apart from everyone!  I’m sorry Gwynnie, but you DO NOT diss Anna Wintour’s party like this, even if you do get a little sweaty in the pits.  Your host is the editor in chief of Vogue, you dum dum!  So come back to Earth and get in touch with reality.  Now.  Poor commoners like myself would walk a flaming tightrope for a chance to even come near the Met on the eve of Gala, but Lady Gwyneth is just over it.

So hey, Miss World’s Most Beautiful, the next time you’re just not feeling the fashion event of the year, go ahead and give me your ticket.  I’ll haul my own butt over to the Met from California ON FOOT.  I might show up in nothing but toilet paper, but at least I’ll be bloody grateful to be there.    xo, MR