Best Of The Met Gala 2016

And once again, Anna Wintour has thrown me an early birthday party and forgotten to invite me.  It’s really just getting obnoxious at this point.  I guess I’ll have to return her hostess gift- a bottle of two-buck Chuck and a Target candle.  Your loss, Anna.

And in case you, dear reader, need a brief review on what exactly the Met Gala is, here is the quickest definition I can give you- the Met Gala is an annual fundraising gala hosted by Anna Wintour (editor in chief of Vogue, in case that was needed) for my birthday the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.  It celebrates the opening of that year’s Costume Institute exhibit too, which remains open for a couple months, but the main purpose of the Gala is to fund that exhibit.  So, yes, what this whole thing boils down to at the most fundamental level is, more or less, a fundraiser.

But of course, we all know that’s not really what it is in its essence.  The Met Gala is not just a fundraiser.  I don’t think any of us can picture Beyonce showing up to a country club for a dinner of chicken, rice pilaf, and veggie medley, and then merrily writing a check for $100 after a PowerPoint presentation and a bit of pinot noir in a disposable wine glass. No, to call the Met Gala a fundraiser really does not do it justice, even if that’s what it is by definition.  With the highly exclusive invite list overseen by Anna herself, the press coverage second to none, and the accompaniment of some highfalutin theme each year, the Met Gala is sort of what the fashion world recognizes as THEE event.  If you’ve been invited to the Met Gala, that’s one of the most influential authorities in fashion telling you you’ve made it and you’re welcome to now use emojis when texting her.  Or something like that.

Of course, I have become rather cynical toward Vogue over the years as I believe it’s started to warp into a mere celebrity platform with a bit of tabloid flavor.  A bit of that came out in tonight’s red carpet, as well.  Vogue now seems more about staying pop culturally relevant as opposed to remaining the revered fashion authority it has been; more about pimping the names of models with six million or more Instagram followers than celebrating the creativity and innovation of designers and artists around the world.  First came the Kim and Kanye cover of April 2014, then the single special edition devoted entirely to Kendall Jenner, and most recently, a perfectly timed May 2016 Taylor Swift cover that has gone hand in hand with her new “edgy” makeover.  It’s all just in time for the Gala as Swift co-chaired this year, yet I can’t help but feel that the Wintour influence has been unbearably obvious and heavy-handed in her case.  I’m never a fan of a makeover feeling manufactured or manipulated for press or publicity, and I have to say that Taylor Swift’s choice of outfit this year was … well … let’s just say that it looked like a stylist from Charlotte Russe got hold of her as opposed to Nicolas Ghesquiere himself.  I was, admittedly, very disappointed.  I find my feelings toward the Met Gala overall sort of turning in the same direction as my feelings for Vogue- it’s starting to be difficult to take seriously.  However, I don’t want to stop enjoying things I love such as fashion, so I’ll attempt to overlook the Hunger Games Capitol flavor its taken on and just take it for what it is- a fashion show.

So anyhow, the theme of this year’s ball was “Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology”.  Your eyes may have rolled into the back of your head after reading that, but I have to say that very few attendees of this year’s event seemed to stick with the theme or even try to dress to the theme because, after all, how exactly can you dress for a “tech” theme?  Dress like an iPhone?  Accessorize with a fax machine to be ironic?  You could wear a light-up dress as one celebrity did, but even that’s already been done by Katy Perry at a previous year’s Gala.  What we did see were a TON of metallics, a massive trend toward dark and vampy lips, a whole lotta model chicks in Balmain (which I’m super over btw), and just a whole lotta WEIRD in general.  It was perhaps the strangest red carpet I’ve seen in a while.

So here are the looks that I enjoyed the most when considering every element including hair, makeup, and accessories.

Zoe Saldana in Dolce & Gabbana

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Ah yes, there’s my girl Zoe bringing it once again in an insane dress that looks like she’s carrying a jungle with her, complete with birds and palm trees and flowers.  But really, I love this.  This is the kind of statement that I’m looking for.  And I cannot wait for an up-close shot of the skirt so I can see it in full detail.  How it goes with the tech theme I do not know, but like I said earlier, the theme got kind of thrown out this window this year from what I can tell.  With minimal makeup and low-maintenance, Zoe’s look was a win for me.

Kate Bosworth in Dolce & Gabbana

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This was the first dress that I really squealed over.  I love just how much detail is in involved in this gown.  How do you even begin to envision something like this?!  That bodice is exquisite!  And I love the jeweled “floral” headpiece.  It’s a modern rendering of an ancient Etruscan goddess, complete with glowing, angelic skin.  And can someone PLEASE find of what lip color that is?!  I’ll be scrolling through Insta all night trying to find out.

Lupita Nyong’o on Calvin Klein Collection

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Might it be the most ambitious hairdo we’ve ever seen on a red carpet?  Perhaps.  But Lupita has taken an avant-garde turn in fashion that sort of allows her to try whatever and pull it off, even if it’s basically haute couture Cindy Lou-Hoo.  And please take a look at this gown.  It is mesmerizing.  Such a lovely, refreshing color with texture that makes her some kind of beautiful cross between a mermaid and the Empire State building!

Jennifer Connelly in Louis Vuitton

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I chose this look because A) it’s representative of the very casual vibe that many folks went for on this year’s Met Gala red carpet but B) this particular casual look seemed to work out better than others.  And C) because it’s Jennifer Connelly and I’m obsessed with her and I all-too-frequently give her a free pass.  This was one of many, many Louis Vuitton outfits seen tonight too, but I much preferred this look as opposed to say, Selena Gomez’s.  Jennifer’s look feels edgy and elegant until you get to the boots (which are freakin’ tight if you ask me), whereas Selena’s just felt much, much too casual from top to bottom.

Beyonce in Givenchy

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Bey’s eyes are only half open.  I’m thinking she’s just a little tired from waterboarding everyone with lemonade these days, and the fact that she’s currently on tour.  Yeah, she has a show in Raleigh, North Carolina in less than 24 hours.  Bey better take a nap or she’s gonna fall asleep on stage!  But her latex Givenchy dress is pretty rad, I must say.  I like a weird texture on a dress, and I miss all the exaggerated shoulders from five years ago.  I also really love Beyonce’s hair when it’s straight with a center part for some reason.  It is just so pretty.  And I never met a smokey eye I didn’t like, or black manicure I didn’t like.

Emma Stone in Prada

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Is this woman starting to look more and more like Margot Robbie by the minute?  They’re morphing into one person and it’s scaring me.  But I digress.  I liked the overall effect of this, especially with Emma’s new, rich hair color.  I’m not sure why I like it so much; it has the feel of a Roman gladiator which, again, is nowhere near the tech vibe that we were supposed to be going for, but oh well.  It flatters Emma beautifully and I cannot wait for makeup closeups.  Rachel Goodwin is forever and always a makeup genius.

Brie Larson in Proenza Schouler

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I love any dress that looks like it may have taken a billion hours to make, and this is no exception.  I would choose to wear something like this if I were attending the Met Gala, though I’d typically prefer something floor length because when do we normal humans ever get to wear anything floor length besides pants?!  I like that this dress is very feminine and sweet in its silhouette, but the severe hair and makeup keep the look from going in a direction too cloying.  Just the right amount of girly-girl married with futurism.

And there you have it.  I almost wish I had done a “roast post” on all of the other absolutely ridiculous looks we saw this evening, but I feel that’s not my brand.  I’ll mention just a couple stray observations:

  • The Kardashians always look like the Kardashians, and always wear Balmain, all the time.  I feel that I’m completely numb to their effects now.  I always seem to know exactly what they’re going to look like these days.  Even Kanye wearing blue contacts feels blasé.  And will someone please convince him to wear something other than denim?!
  • Madonna’s face looks so painfully stretched that my teeth hurt just looking at her.  I’m making a dental appointment.
  •   “Naked” dresses feel so last year, and yet we still saw way too many of them.
  • Katy Perry is Katy Perry.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker has never looked worse!  That broke my heart.  I have no idea what she was thinking.  I get that she’s SJP, mais quelle horreur!
  • Too much white, too many metallics.
  • Where have all the eyebrows gone?
  • I feel like we have seen Amber Heard in the exact same look before, from head to toe.
  • Naomi Watts looked lovely, but I feel like I’ve also seen her in that same exact look before.
  • Olivia Wilde is really into metallic chokers.
  • Blake Lively always looks like Blake Lively.
  • Idris Elba showed up looking like the living, breathing definition of James Bond, but oh yes, he’s too “street” to take over the role apparently. Smh.

Share with me your thoughts, criticisms, and wailings of lament.  And in the words of Miranda Priestley, “That’s all”.  xo, MR

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Magazines: The Good, the Bad, and the (Rarely) Ugly

So, magazines, right?  I mean, some people are way into them, and other people consider nearly every one on the newsstands to be pure garbage.  Let’s cut to the chase- I love them.  Not all of them, and not all of them equally, but for those that I do love, I am fiercely loyal.  And I specifically love print magazines.  None of this newfangled download-it-to-your-iPad nonsense.  No.  No way.  It’s the freshly-pressed pages of a glossy in your hands, or nothing.  Of course, I do blogs, and while I understand that those are frequently referred to as “online magazines”, you’re kept at the nice pace of about one or two new articles a day .  A blog doesn’t bombard you with hundreds of pages per month, complete with ads, with the expectation that you click or scroll through all of them on a screen, in one sitting.  No, that kind of reading commitment is saved for the glossies, as it should be.

So which ones do I read?  Well, a lot.  I’ve only subscribed to a couple in my lifetime because I’ve found subscription services to be somewhat untrustworthy, but boy let me tell you that buying mags off the stands is a real money pit, especially when you buy multiple titles every month like me.  But that’s just the price you pay (literally) for the fun.  And I will say that for about one week each month, I go into a sort of frenzy trying to uncover the coming month’s cover stars, and I then go on a week-long hunt trying to locate each beloved mag as soon as possible (and here’s a pro tip:  Wal-Mart is the first to get the newest issues, usually about two days before they’re scheduled to “hit the stands”).  And once I’ve obtained all my desired issues for the month, I’ll admit that I go through a sort of let-down phase for a couple days where I cope with the reality that there won’t be any new magazines for at least three weeks.  A whole three weeks.  Yes, it’s that bad, and yes, it makes time fly super fast (because think about it, when you’re holding the March issue in your hands on February 13th, YOU’RE BASICALLY LIVING IN THE FUTURE).

So which ones do I read?  Oh wait, that was the question I meant to answer in the last paragraph.  Welp.

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More than just these pictured here.

But let me provide you with a brief (sure, uh huh) discussion of the magazines that I’ve interacted with in my short lifetime.  I haven’t dealt with 100% of the ones you see on newsstands (for instance, hipster mags such as Foam and Vice remain a relatively untouched territory for me … can’t deal with the heavily-filtered pretentiousness … and YES, I judge them as pretentious).

Marie Claire:  This magazine is for the Power Woman.  It encourages and assumes workplace success, frequently discusses the advancements, plights, and contributions of women around the world, and seems most fit for the “independent woman”.  I absolutely adore the publication’s fashion and beauty features, but Marie Claire can also be quite politically charged and favors discussion of hot-button social issues.  When I read magazines, I honestly don’t have much interest in this type of subject matter.  I mean this not in the sense that I prefer to remain ignorant (which my friends and family hardly allow me), but it’s simply not relaxing or entertaining for me personally.  I will also be honest and say that the writers often assume a consistent political point of view, and if you don’t find yourself in the same frame of mind it can feel a bit like the journalist’s equivalent of “You can’t sit with us!“.  But that’s life, and at least the content seeks to be informative and educational.  I can hardly resist the magazine’s beauty sections, anyhow.  I have a strange affinity for beauty product still-life shots, and Marie Claire always seems to have some of the best.  So, sometimes I pick a copy of MC, and sometimes I don’t.  But either way, it’s pretty quality.

Lucky:  You might recall a very old post of mine in which I veritably bashed Lucky magazine a year-and-a-half ago.  I had become extremely frustrated with the publication for its awkward attempts at being relatable, its trend-slave taste (do beware that this magazine is about shopping and really nothing else), and its drone-like tone as it insisted that flash-in-the-pan items like gold lame’ jeans are an “OMG MUST HAVE”.  I’d also been unimpressed with its inability to stay on the cutting edge with its covers, which had become sort of predictable and boring, and lacking in anything that really set them apart.

However, the replacement of Brandon Holley with Eva Chen as the new EIC this past September has brought a sort of uptick in the quality of Lucky.  Chen (with the formidable Anna Wintour right by her side as the Conde Nast creative director) has overseen a new batch of better styled and more luxe-looking covers with photographers like Patrick Demarchelier, a more aspirational price range (read: higher prices means a richer, more desirable feel for the magazine), and a little more substance over just plain salesmanship in content.  I will admit that Kerry Washington’s December cover had to be one of the worst cover shots I’ve ever seen (it seriously does the Scandal beauty absolutely no justice), but I will admit that I’ve seen large improvements in Lucky since Chen has taken the helm.  Lucky is still all about shopping, still draws heavily on a street style aesthetic (so if you do the street fashion thing on Pinterest, it’s totally your gig), and it still sometimes feels like it’s talking a little too much more than showing, but I have to admit that I’ve purchased nearly every issue since this past September.  I give this one a thumbs-up and say it’s now worth a try.

Allure:  I love Allure.  I love love love love Allure.  I actually subscribed to this magazine in high school, clearly demonstrating the beauty department to be my first love. The entire magazine is dedicated to all things beauty, which is seriously my dream.  Whole articles are dedicated to discussing and illustrating breakthroughs in hair mousse, “romantic makeup”, the latest trends in braids, how to find the really quality stuff at a drugstore, the best Oscar hair-do’s of the past ten years, false lashes, or the newest research in sunscreen and skin protection.  Whole articles for this stuff!  And don’t even get me started on their annual “Best of Beauty” issue … I just gobble that stuff right up.  There are little bits of fashion features sprinkled throughout so you get just enough of that, but give me a four- or five-page feature on eyeliner, and I’m good for life.

The one downside to Allure is its focus on the aspects of the beauty department that are sometimes not as interesting, such as lasers, peels, and the latest procedures beneath the knife.  There’s a lot of plastic surgery and weight loss discussion, and with all the talk about the procedures that can lead us to supposed “perfection”, it can sometimes feel awkward and disingenuous when reading the article on how to play up your own “unique” features on the very next page.  I’ve had no problem just tearing out pages I don’t want to read, though.  Aside from the some of the bodycentric stuff, Allure‘s a keeper.

Vogue:  Let me confess that I’ve purchased maybe three issues of Vogue in my lifetime.  It’s honestly just beyond my realm of living.  Oh sure, there’s fashion aplenty, but its also a lifestyle magazine with the the assumption that you’re part of a privileged crowd with the ways and means of living the life that’s discussed in Vogue.  There’s discussion of high society, politics, the arts, the media, and all kinds of other perfectly good things, but I just don’t feel at home reading Vogue.  And with my budget, I don’t think I’m meant to, either.  And that’s okay!  I’ll read it for the celebrity cover stories and glorious fashion spreads (which can be done in the grocery line), but I tend to leave the rest.  However, it is still maintains its eternal reputation (and in spite of anything I have to say) as “the fashion bible”.  Vogue remains queen, and though I don’t have much interaction with her, I respect her.

Elle:   I occasionally pick up a copy of this magazine depending on how meaty the beauty section looks, but I’ve always sort of felt like Elle was the younger, sexier sister of the older, more sophisticated Vogue (though they’re in competition with one another).  The brand itself is huge globally, with around 40 international editions in over 60 countries and it supposedly being the world’s “biggest” fashion publication (probably meaning it has the most editions around the world compared to any other).  This publication has had some of my favorite cover shots ever, and that alone has at times been enough to convince me to purchase an issue.  Elle is a lifestyle magazine, so it will speak into many areas, like Vogue, including politics, the arts, and entertainment along with a primary focus on fashion.  I like Elle a lot, but I think it’s also just a bit overwhelming for me.  I just find myself sorting through so many other sections until I get to the fashion and beauty that it’s just a sad waste of paper to purchase  more than about three issues a year, personally.

Harper’s Bazaar:  If you’re looking for a quality education in the world of high fashion without all the extra lifestyle features of Vogue or Elle, Harper’s Bazaar should serve you well.  In my opinion, it’s for the die-hards who just want to talk about the clothes and the shows.  Of course, it can feel a bit highbrow, but I feel the publication does such a good job at just showcasing as much clothing and design as possible that I rarely feel overwhelmed or annoyed by any highfalutin discussion of the who’s-who on the Upper East Side.  Harper’s Bazaar has truly been my guide to the trenches of the fashion world.  It’s been my textbook for names, history, superior trend forecasting, and the collections of the season.  If you’re truly passionate about the world of fashion with a desire to understand every cog in the machine, I recommend Bazaar for you.

People StyleWatch:  Consider this the junk food of fashion publications, the anti-Vogue, and I mean that in the best way possible.  People StyleWatch is delicious, it serves its purpose quickly, and it doesn’t bother with heavy text.  It’s like fashion training wheels, and it’s for anyone who’s ever cried JUST TELL ME WHAT TO WEAR, WHERE TO BUY IT, AND HOW MUCH IT’LL COST.  This magazine’s concept is seriously that simple.  It’s almost entirely based on celebrity style, and often demonstrates how to replicate a star’s expensive look for a fraction of the cost, down to the very accessories on their hands.  I’ve been a faithful reader of this publication since 2006, and it’s honestly just good clean fun.  I’ll admit that it can inspire quite the frantic shopping spree (and seriously, do be careful if you have spending issues because this magazine lists the price and location of every item featured on its pages, making it very addictive), but there’s no condescending advice, there’s an extremely generous budget range (like, the $50-and-under crowd are highly welcome here), and it showcases nothing but pictures, pictures, pictures.  My passion for clothing came to life with this magazine, and I have it to thank for starting me down a path toward my own, personal style.

Glamour/Cosmopolitan:  Really not a fan.  Like, really not.  Any magazine that focuses so heavy-handedly on “how to tell if he’s really into you” or “100 Sex moves that will send him into the stratosphere” deserves a minuscule amount of attention.  Oh, you say there really isn’t that much sex and relationship content in these magazines as it may appear on the cover?  THEN STOP SPLASHING IT ALL OVER YOUR COVERS  AS THE NUMBER ONE HEADLINE.  I’ll also be honest and say that a lot of the “advice” given in such features can be fairly objectifying of women (which is just so funny considering we’re the ones reading it), ridiculously repetitive, and horribly misleading and inaccurate.  But seriously, no truly insightful advice on such important things as your friendships and relationships is to be gained from one page of a magazine with some photoshopped version of Miley Cyrus on the cover (and yes, I’ll backpedal and state that all magazines are guilty of digitally retouching their covers).  I mean it!  Now, the fashion and beauty features in these publications can be fun, I’m sure.  But why not just pick up a magazine devoted entirely to those things and bypass the “Impress your dude” junk completely?

InStyle:  If I could only recommend one fashion publication to all women of any age, size, or income, this would be it.  InStyle is my favorite magazine.  If you enjoy fawning over the latest gorgeous dress worn by Cate Blanchett, this is for you.  If you want to know the best kinds of shapewear for your own size, this is for you.  If you aren’t sure how to incorporate more exciting color into your wardrobe or in makeup, this is for you.  If you like keeping up on the latest runway shows, this is for you.  There is nothing discussed in the magazine other than fashion, beauty, personal style, and a bit of home decor with a couple recipes thrown in.  I find it to be the most universally appealing publication of any that I’ve mentioned above.  There’s no specific income or social bracket targeted (so you’ll see both budget and luxe pieces featured all over), and InStyle seems to stick to the philosophy that style is something that anyone can have, develop, and enjoy, without trying to hold your hand too much.

This magazine is helpful.  There are so many features dedicated to showing you exactly how to find, wear, or try something new that you find yourself interacting with the issue on top of just reading it.  InStyle has inspired me to take action with my own style countless times, and I can’t name how many different beauty tricks or trends I’ve tried because of it (i.e. orange lips, victory rolls, an at-home blowout, the “wet” look, you name it!).  If you go for just one fashion publication, choose this one.  And I’ll also mention that I’ve been a subscriber for over three years and the service there has been great.

So in conclusion, I write all this not so much with the intent that you’ll like which magazines I like (because that would be stupid), but simply because I like talking about them.  I’ve often said that if I could do my education over again (or for a second time?), I’d get a degree in journalism, intern for a magazine somewhere, and would pursue a career at a fashion publication.  Because yes, I love doing makeup (and fashion, which we refrain from fully discussing here), and I love playing with makeup, but I really love talking about it more than anything.  And that’s what magazines are for, right?  xo, MR

P.S.  A quick word about advertisements: I’ve sometimes heard folks complain about how many advertisements there are in magazines (especially the larger ones, like Elle and Vogue).  Do you know why those ads are there?  It’s not simply page-filler that the editors have chosen to scatter on every other page to annoy you.  Magazines are actually paid by all varieties of companies to have their advertisements placed in them.  This is a large portion of a publication’s  profit (and customer subscriptions and newsstands sales are actually a lesser portion).  So, a thick issue full of advertisements is actually thee sign that a magazine is doing quite well.  When you see all those Chanel, Revlon, H. Stern, and Vince Camuto advertisements and you keep having to flip your way through like a maniac to get to the meat, just know that they are a big reason why the magazine in your hand is circulating in the first place.

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