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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Best Of The 2017 Academy Awards

And here we are, once again!

This is technically the fifth Academy Awards that I’ve blogged and it’s my favorite post each year.  I’ve had a lot going on this evening work-wise so this post has been a process of constantly refreshing my phone before and after in attempts to get some quick peeks at attendees as they’ve arrived on the red carpet.  Not ideal, but I’m making it work.

A couple notes- Firstly, I’ve seen more impressive red carpets.  We were doing really, really good during this awards season but we seem to have pumped the brakes a bit.  I had hoped to see more bold color and risk-taking tonight.  We saw mostly gold and other soft metallics, and Janelle Monae was probably our only kooky-crazy gown.  I only noted a bit of red and perhaps just Scarlett Johannson’s pretty purple.  Secondly, Natalie Portman did not attend tonight’s ceremony because she’s in her third trimester of pregnancy.  I mean, whatever, okay, FINE.  But in all seriousness, I was bummed because I know she would’ve shown up looking glorious but I guess third trimester pregnancy merits some rest and a break from uncomfortable shoes and everyone staring at you.  OKAY, NATALIE.

And finally, I can’t seem to find Amy Adams!  Has anyone seen her?!  I looked all over social media and I did the Google, and she appears to be nowhere.  I do concur, by the way, that it was wrong of the Academy to nominate Meryl Streep over Amy this year, but I’d thought she’d surely attend tonight to support Arrival!  I also missed seeing Cate Blanchett. She wasn’t involved in much this year, but she always wears the best stuff.

And so with that, on to my favorites!  And again, a reminder- It might be a great dress but if the styling doesn’t appeal to me, it doesn’t make my list!  And it might be a cooky/ugly dress but if the styling streamlines the look and makes sense of it all, it might make my list!

Best This-Person-Would-Look-Good-In-A-Burlap-Sack – Charlize Theron in Dior

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Charlize is the one woman who has made my Best Dressed list every year she’s attended the Academy Awards.  I get that it’s hard to make someone of her features look bad, but despite how we may feel we all know that it can be done.  I think that’s one of the reasons why I’m continuously so impressed with her- she always knocks it out of the park and keep things classic and beautifully flattering, and doesn’t rely on her physical beauty to carry a look.  She still makes the right choices.  Her styling is always glamorous but simple, and her contract with Dior has probably been the most successful partnership I’ve seen between a celebrity and fashion house.  This particular gown looks like liquid gold and those earrings are bonkers!

Best Overall Because LOOK AT HER – Taraji P. Henson in Alberta Ferretti

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I mean, okay. OKAY. There is literally nothing wrong with this whole thing.  There is no flaw.  At the SAG Awards, Taraji seemed to have her frothy, feminine fantasy moment.  But she wasn’t having any of that tonight and THIS look is just about as sexy as it gets in my opinion.  No, not in my opinion.  IN ALL REALITY EVER.  This neckline with that slit all in deep blue velvet (scratching my David Lynch itch, Cookie!) with those diamonds and that haircut is just deadly.  Deadly, I say!  Taraji looks like she was just poured into this dress like an expensive glass of the finest champagne.  She has never looked better. I can only pray I come across an occasion where I have to wear something this glamorous in my lifetime.

Most Welcome New Darling Of The Fashion World – Ruth Negga in custom Valentino

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So, I think Ruth Negga likes clothes.  I mean, I think she really likes them.  Most new actresses that arrive on the scene tend to play it rather safe for a couple years before taking a couple risks once they get a high-profile stylist or a new haircut or something like that.  Or they wait for a contract with a fashion house and suddenly every dress seems to be wearing them and not the other way around (paging Jennifer Lawrence …).  Such has not been the case for Ruth Negga (or Lupita Nyong’O, the other exception in this case).  Right out of the gate, Ruth has been a person made for fashion.  She clearly loves the artistry of clothes-making, and she appreciates unique and sometimes quirky pieces.  I loved this Victorian style custom Valentino gown she wore.  It was similar to what Ginnifer Goodwin wore, but Ruth’s seemed to have a more Gothic feel.  Her makeup and hairpiece matched the mood, too.

Best Old Hollywood Throwback – Emma Stone in Givenchy Haute Couture

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As I write this, they’ve only just announced the winner of the Best Supporting Actress (go Viola!) and so we’ve yet to learn if Emma will indeed win in tonight’s Best Actress category. I have a feeling she will, and this is a lovely dress to win in.  I love Emma’s 1920’s style dress paired with very 1940’s hair and makeup.  It really is a very classically beautiful look. I was hoping to see more color on Emma during this awards season, but for what we’ve lacked in color her styling team has made up for in texture.  Fringe, glittering stars, floral appliqués- we’ve seen plenty of gorgeous handicraft in the texture department on Emma this year.  I did like her look when she attended the 2015 Academy Awards for Birdman more than tonight’s look – I loved her updo paired with the chartreuse gown and coral lips – but this is still nothing short of stunning and worthy of a winner. I’m getting some Rita Hayworth vibes with her hair, too.

Best Holy Cleopatra Batman! – Jessica Biel in Kaufmanfranco

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I told you there was a lot of gold this year!  I wasn’t kidding!  But I have to say, this is my personal favorite.  Don’t you dream of wearing dresses like this?  I mean seriously. That necklace is incredible, and the gown reminds me so much of Nefertiri in The Ten Commandments.  Nefertiri was probably the first woman in film that I idolized and wanted to look like and dress like as a child.  Of course, I was supposed to be drawn to the humble shepherd girl played by Yvonne De Carlo, but that would take some Mount Sinai-levels of convincing throughout my adolescence and beyond.

But anyhow, this dress had me.  And the necklace.  And the styling!  I love Jessica’s bold cat-eye made with thick eyeliner (again, Cleopatra!) paired with peachy lips and cheeks.  I also love the sleek updo with the center-part in Jessica’s deep brown-black hue.  I can’t wait to get a view of the back!  And again, if you know me, you know I like it when something’s just a bit off. In this case, it’s hairstylist Adir Abergel’s genius work with this updo- it’s totally off-center on purpose.  It adds characters and just barely tweaks the perfect symmetry of the center-part.  Details like this that play with shape and balance are my favorite; details of color and texture are a close second.

So there you go!  Now tell me your faves!  Anything you hated?  Anything you hoped for but didn’t see?  And don’t forget, there are always the after-parties with plenty of gown changes and extra folks who just weren’t important enough to invite to the awards ceremony.  Have fun!  xo, MR

 

Photo credits in order of appearance:  Getty Images, Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, Noel West for The New York Times, Getty Images

Best Of The 2017 Golden Globes

I’m not sure there could be a better way to kick off a new season of writing after a couple months’ break than the Golden Globes.  After the social media and newsfeed tumult that was 2016, it’s nice to have a bit of fun with good ole’ awards season and a brand new year to go with it.  It’s like hitting the refresh button and everything coming up glitter.

If I had to describe this year’s Golden Globes red carpet in one word it would be finally!  Finally!  I think this is the first red carpet I’ve encountered in years when I saw consistent risk-taking and some truly incredible head-to-toe styling across the board.  Honestly, most everyone looked great in one way or another.  Even the guys were catching my interest!  Donald Glover in that velvet brown suit with the purplish bowtie?!  In the words of Lando Calrissian, hello what have we here.  Of course there were a couple looks that had me wrinkling my nose, but maybe only a handful.  Overall, the stylists and glamsquads killed it this evening!

Before I list my favorites, try to remember once again that I’m not just considering the dresses- I take into account the hair, the makeup, the jewelry, and the accessories as a whole package along with the dress.  Some “weirder” dresses were made perfect to me by the overall styling pulling it together, while other looks were thrown off for me by maybe just one thing like a necklace.

Alright, enough with that.  Here we go!

Best Newcomer That You’ll Continue To See Forever – Ruth Negga in Louis Vuitton

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Ruth Negga has that gamine kind of look that feels like she’s just stepped out of a chic Parisian nightclub in the 1920s.  Her finger-waved hair and gown that reminds me of the Maschinenmensch in Metropolis are adding quite a bit to that vintage vibe, but this look is giving me Wonder Woman feels too (especially with that cuff she’s wearing).  Considering that Ruth is currently on the cover of Vogue and she’ll probably land an Oscar nomination for Loving, I have a feeling she’s about to experience the kind of meteoric rise to fame like Lupita Nyong’O a couple years ago and we’ll be seeing a lot more of her.  This Louis Vuitton gown is not a bad way to start.

Best Throwback To A Bygone Era – Natalie Portman in Prada

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To say this look is “1960s inspired” would be the understatement of the evening.  This is the 1960s; this whole look could’ve come straight off the set of Mad Men or straight out of Jackie O’s closet.  It’s getting a lot of flack on social media, but I love it.  Natalie’s hair is perfect, and the jewelry and makeup and chrome clutch merely adorn the gown rather than distract from it.  I was pleased to see Natalie wearing Prada as we’re so used to seeing her in Dior.  Prada is a little more playful and colorful, but there’s still something understated and regal about this gown (probably because we know who it pays tribute to).

Best Hard-To-Screw-Up Formula – Brie Larson in Rodarte

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A glamorous shade of red.  Shiny, old Hollywood waves.  An incredible, always-flattering sweetheart neckline.  There’s little to be done wrong with a look like this, and I’m learning to appreciate the whole “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” philosophy when it comes to style.  I knew this gown was Rodarte as soon as I noticed the signature crystals on the bodice, and while it’s not the biggest risk of the evening, who cares?  Brie looks like a Valentine come to life!  This would be a beautiful gown on anyone, but Brie wears it like a dream.

SECOND Best Throwback To A Bygone Era – Drew Barrymore in Monique Lhullier

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I think the history buff in me was going crazy tonight because I felt like so many gowns referred back to various decades in twentieth century America.  Something I love!  Ruth’s touched on the 1920s, Natalie’s embodied the 1960s, and Drew’s gorgeous dress here is a beautiful throwback to the 1930s.  Moreover, any gown that gets me thinking of art deco and architecture in general is a winner in my book.  Check out those sleeves!  There’s also a closeup shot of Drew’s makeup floating around social media and it is glorious.  I might’ve done something different with Drew’s hair; the dress seems to be calling for something that pulls her hair away from her face.  But you know, it looks so healthy and lovely on its own that I don’t care!

Best Weird Dress Completely Redeemed By Perfect Styling – Kerry Washington in Dolce & Gabbana

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Like I’ve said, I like weird dresses that may initially have you going ohhh honey noooooo (or at least scratching your head wondering if you hate it or if it’s magnificent).  However, it’s typically the hair and makeup that rounds out the weirdness of the dress into something I love.  Kerry is good at this- she and her team frequently choose “bad” or “weird” dresses that are then styled into something magical because of a tweak here and there, the right manicure, and an excellent glamsquad.

This is the perfect example.  This Dolce & Gabbana dress is actually floor length on the runway, but the proportions make more sense when the skirt is shortened.  Thanks to strappy sandals and see-through lace, this dress actually elongates Kerry when a floor length dress with capsleeves typically shortens the one wearing it.  The bodice and sleeves are very ornate and complicated, but when you pair it with perfectly smooth, dark hair tossed behind the shoulders, the look seems balanced.  A nude manicure and a complete lack of jewelry aside from a simple pair of earrings allows the elaborately detailed gown to show off without being too much on Kerry.  Top it off with the perfect, purply-brown lip color and she is wearing the dress, not vice versa.  And suddenly, a dress that would normally have me giving the side eye has me ooh-ing and aah-ing.  That’s what stylists do!

Let me know your thoughts!  Any folks you thought looked absolutely stunning?  Any dresses have you dazed and confused?  Do tell, and next stop- the SAG Awards!  xo, MR

 

Photo credits in order of appearance:  Jordan Strauss for Invision via Associated Press, Getty Images, Rex via Shutterstock, Rob Latour for Rex via Shutterstock, Steve Granitz for WireImage