May 5, 2014

The Met Gala

I am going to go all Tom & Lorenzo here and comment on some of the looks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala Benefit, aka the Met Gala. The invitations read white tie and tails, which conveys a certain air of gravitas for both the men and women. image

White tie for gentlemen consists of a black dress coat commonly known as an evening tailcoat, white bow tie, white waistcoat and starched wing collar shirt, while women wear a suitable dress for the occasion, such as a ball gown. Dresses with lengths above the ankle (such as cocktail or tea-length dresses) are frowned upon and considered inappropriate. Depending on the formality of the event, bare shoulders may or may not be acceptable.

Unfortunately, many of the guests chose not to adhere to the requested dress code and wore what they wanted. There were some good looks, and some ghastly ones.

He got it right, she didn’t. They don’t even look like they’re going to the same event.
Tom Guinness and Rachel Chandler Guinness

They got it right in theory, but someone’s trying too hard.
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtkaimage

Completely and totally wrong. From the length to the leather vest top and the wrapped belt…
Rosamund Pikeimage

Wrong. If her skirt was floor length, she could have gotten away with this, but the bare shoulders, short skirt and tattoos don’t work.
Leah Dunhamimage

Right! Even though he’s a frightening shade of orange, he’s got it right.

Not formal enough.
Michelle Williamsimage

Of course, he got it right. The man knows how to dress.
Benedict Cumberbatchimage

I must admit, I am not a fan of the sheer overskirt.
Naomi Wattsimage

Hell NO! This is way too casual. The shoes look like boat shoes, the trousers look like white skinny jeans and the halter top is just wrong.
Cara Delevingneimage

Not wild about the fabric, but she’s got the right idea.
Ivanka Trumpimage

 She looks like she’s wearing a bathrobe.
Dree Hemingwayimage

Don’t know who this is, but she’s got it right. Ball gown, white elbow-length gloves, serious jewelry. image

Even when you have most of the right elements, it doesn’t always work.
Kate Uptonimage

She looked so lovely at the Oscars, but this is awful! It’s got to weigh a ton, and I am sure it makes a racket when she walks. And the headband doesn’t help things at all. Lupita Nyong'oimage

Elegant, understated, classic. But when Ralph Lauren’s your father-in-law, you should look fabulous.
Lauren Bush Laurenimage

I don’t really like this much. The illusion netting is odd.
Anna Wintourimage

The pattern on her dress is a little informal, but otherwise the got it right.
Hannah Bagshawe and Eddie Redmayne image

Like Sarah Jessica Parker’s dress from the front. Hate the hair. Andy Cohen looks terrific.image

I just hate that the dress is “signed” on the train. image

Which do you like and which do you dislike?


  1. Lupita looks like a dreamcatcher, Ivanka looks like she reused some curtains, Kate Upton looked like a bunch of stacked doilies. I liked the anonymous people and Benedict's outfit the best.

    1. The anon in green is Eliza Reed, whose step-father is Oscar de la Renta. And I agree that Benedict looks fabulous.

  2. Anon lady in green gown is Eliza Reed, Oscar de la Renta's stepdaughter ..

  3. This proves once more that you can't buy good taste! Imagine having as much money and fame as some of these folks do and looking like that. Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne are elegant. Agree about SJP's billboard back. I think some of the print gowns might look less garish in person--but maybe not.

    1. Prints are hard. Remember Kimye's dress from last year's Gala?

  4. I thought the SJP signature was very Cabbage Patch Kid. Which is too bad because I love the dress from the front. My absolute favorite was Karolina Kurkova. I am not usually a big Marchesa fan but I thought she looked gorgeous - and very Charles James-appropriate.

    1. I agree about Karolina! She's got the height to pull it off.

  5. Poor ole Leah Dunham got it wrong on soooo many levels. I would have liked to see someone wearing a Carolina Herrera as she is one of the most elegant designers. Agreed on SJP's dress which was ruined with the awful signature. I saw a picture of Charlize Theron who looked great and kept the theme in mind.

    1. Charlize did look great. I had to stop someplace, and she didn't make the cut. ;-(

  6. I actually like Lupita if only she wasn't wearing the headband - everyone else looks horrid I'm sad to say. Lauren Lauren who may be the best here needs some jewelry or gloves or something.... I hope the girl in jeans wasn't admitted because she strayed too far from the dress code -that would be news! LOVE T&L

    1. Lupita's headband was too big for her. It didn't fit right and should have been thinner.

  7. Cumberbatch my favorite gent. When di Oscar de la Renta start feeling the need to advertise on his gowns? Really?! And why did Jessica choose it?

    The Arts by Karena

    1. I think it was a real mis-step on de la Renta's part.

  8. I agree with you on almost every point, so you must be right! Neal Patrick Harris and David Burtka just look silly. I also avoid any piece of clothing or accessory that shouts the designer's name. It's me who is wearing it. Why should I shout their names? Great design doesn't have to do that to be known. I definitely appreciate edgy design and not being bound by fear of tradition, but when we consider who is wearing most of the gagging outrageousness--Hollywood--then it's easier to understand. I did appreciate the simplicity of Ms. Lauren's dress but thought maybe it was a bit less formal than the "white tie" occasion demands.

    1. In looking at the pictures, the actresses were the most outlandish and the Europeans were (mostly) the most well-dressed.

  9. After reviewing your critique (agree with all your comments) and looking at the NY Times photos, I was so disappointed to see just how few attendees got it right. A lot more spanx needed under the gowns, and if you are going to wear a short dress, please don't leave the hose at home. Who started that bare leg trend anyway?

    1. There were a couple of "slips", so underwear and good coverage are essential. And side-boobs, too. That bare leg trend was from Angelina Jolie. It's over.

  10. There was surely compensation involved in SJP's wearing the dress, whether it was cash (most likely) and/or clothes. The intent was that the dress made all the papers and it worked.

    I am a bit surprised, however, that so many failed to grasp the significance of the "white tie" invitation. The Old Guard who used to support such events are probably dead now, so perhaps there were few disapproving glances or bosom-clutching reactions.

  11. What I don't understand is that few people know the meaning of "White Tie" (and tails). It is the most formal of the dress categories. It means that the lady wears a ball gown, or a gown fit for the opera. Often the category White Tie includes tiaras, if you are authorized to wear one. So why wouldn't the celebrities or their handlers take the opportunity to dress themselves to the fullest extent? Hopefully those that didn't follow the guidelines will not be invited again. Another example of modern day manners falling apart. A pity.

  12. Most of these people pay a stylist for their "expertise". With all the absolutely gorgeous/appropriate clothes available it begs the question - are these people asleep at the wheel - so uninformed??!!! The comment above - money can't buy good taste - this is so true. I wonder about the training of some of these so-called "stylist" - do they know proper etiquette, let alone the basics of design, fabrics, body shapes. My mom is 76 years old and she always "dresses" - even for a trip to the Dr.'s office - she looks great. She is always appalled at the way people dress now - and my mom has never had a mountain of money - just great taste and proper etiquette. Society today is very lacking in these areas - sad to say.

  13. I believe Benedict steals the show!


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