Met Gala 2014 exhibition titled ‘Charles James: Beyond Fashion’ had the classic theme of ‘white tie and decorations’. Since women usually do tend to make an effort by incorporating the designer’s style into their wardrobe, it was men who were thrown in a toss to get ready for the big night. The classic theme had its fair share of rebels and those who went all out at the theme whole heartedly. Many designers pushed envelopes in their own styles while being inspired by the construction master in whose honor the whole exhibition was taking place. Others went very off key but its fun to see how the themes are interpreted. My picks this year (in random order):
The diva DITA VON TEESE chose the designer who has always been inspired by Charles James and known for his impeccably constructed gowns. Zac Posen had Dita Von Teese as his muse in a blush mermaid petal gown with red details merging into the red carpet. The detail being similar to that of James, Zac Posen paid homage to the construction master in his own way. Accenting it off with red details, including the red Roger Vivier clutch, and those waves, the burlesque dancer was quite the bewitching sight on the red carpet. Glamorous, thematic, experimetal, she ticked all the boxes.
Charlize Theron‘s successful run continued at the red carpet of MET. The woman has been consistently delivering one after the other good looks that are chic and MET night was no different. The Dior gown with criss cross black and white details on the side fit her like a glove. The modern take on ‘American’ elite eveningwear, the gown was perfect for the occassion while referencing James. The master stroke was the tuxedo jacket that brings in the unexpected element of the male theme into womenswear. It was hip, chic and she styled her in-between length brilliantly showing off her Fred Leighton jewels. She finished it off with jimmy choo sandals.
As a designer pushing the boundaries, in an aesthetic manner, is as important. That is precisely what Alexander Wang did representing Balenciaga on the red carpet with muse Kristen Wigg (woohhooo!! wat an unexpected… i almost expected Carey Mulligan). The ensemble that felt more Wang than Balenciaga, was a high-low hem black top with black pants. What was fun was Wang through his minimally chic n uber modern constructional sensibilities paid respect to Charles james in his own way. The top was immaculately constructed and while witholding the shape, it felt like someone had sliced through a ball gown. The slick back hair and smoky eyes gave miss wigg a polished and edgy look, far removed from her comic demeanor.. Love
Blowing everyone out of water was model Karolina Kurkova in a blue Marchesa gown. The impeccably constructed gown followed the theme to a T with classic American 50’s flair with a modern twist to it. Featuring painted flowers with some of them going 3d, the layered gown with its petal shapes took floral inspiration from James.. It could have easily drowned miss Kurkova, but the supermodel shows you why she is one of the best in the business. Accessorizing with just the neck piece, this was poetic construction.
Bringing high street to high fashion was Anne Hathaway in Calvin Klein. The crop top has made quite the appearance in the high street circles and bring that trend with her A game without any doubts was Miss Hathaway in a two piece column ensemble in red at the MET gala. The crop top bared just enough midriff without it being too much. She played up tonal color block with ruby red shoes and a hexagon ruby red clutch. She finished off with her dark pixie hair side swept and dangling earrings perfectly framing her face. Delicate and fierce at the same time.
Olsen twins, one in vintage Chanel, other in military inspired vintage Ferre, cut quite the modern picture on the red carpet. Androgynous in their approach of gowns, both the sisters had pulled back their hair for some serious fashion to the red carpet. In their gowns they looked smart, chic, no nonsense young women. The young entrepreneurs each one accessorized it minimally but differently. While one had a neckpiece with her wide collar pinstripe Chanel gown, other one had just pearl earrings with her gown.
Hailee Steinfeld literally grew this night and how!! In a Prabal Gurung black and white gown, the young starlet looked all grown up woman from the last time I saw her in Marchesa at Oscars. Prabal Gurung with his gown spun a young modern take on the gown, while paying homage to the designer in exhibition. The racer back top part combined with the whole skirt with high low hem tease to show off her shoes was a brilliant move. Choosing black and white, his muse worked that gown hitting the ball out the park every minute. With her hair, middle parted and in a chignon she finished the look with Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery. It was young, hip, sporty and classic all at the same time.
Zac Posen was quite the popular designer apart from Oscar dela Renta on the Red Carpet, possibly because of his constructions hitting quite close to Charles James. Maggie Q was no different opting for the gown from the young designer. What made Maggie Q stand out was the choice of her gown, along with the way she carried it lending a certain aristocratic air to the whole look. The black gown that featured extensions around hip, that extended downward, was styled minimally with a severe parted hair bun, smoky eyes and minimal jewels. Full points to nailing the look.
The co-chair herself,Sarah Jessica Parker graced the occasion in an Oscar dela Renta gown, complete with gloves and an updo for the night. The designer took a leaf from Charles James book and recreated the whole look, however addeded in a checkered back panel with his signature, lending a contemporary light hearted take on the look. The petal gown in ivory and black was as classy evening wear as it would go. I love how Miss Parker goes all the way into the theme every year and comes out trumps without taking herself too seriously. The double beehive with flowers completed the whole look.
Was literally torn between Zoe Saldana and Anna Kendrick for this last spot, but then again, who’s gonna kill me for including both.. no one. Marc Jacob’s date Zoe Saldana made a statement with a black and white halter with a plunging neckline. The lower part of the gown flared into a controlled bubble which could have gone either way but thanks to the designer it doesn’t. Credit to Ms Saldana for keeping the makeup contemporary without needing a pop of color. The berry lips and bronzed makeup were minimally perfect. Anna Kendrick on the other hand in J. Mendel cut the pretty constructed picture in a black and white gown with a cut out. Not as dramatic as others, but the gown with its slick construction of bustier with a peek a boo of the mid riff was just enough for her to score major points going the modern classic way. Accessorizing with just diamond studs and side parted hair, this woman definitely turned heads that night.
Usually at MET the women tend to follow the theme set by the exhibition but this time around we did see some rebels. However the theme for the red carpet set by Anna Wintour set many men out there in a tizzy with WHITE TIE & DECORATIONS. Stepping up their game, the men did not disappoint.
Wearing Tom Ford to the gala, Bradley Cooper followed the theme literally to the T. He had the Tailed coat, the white tie and vest, tailored pants… and women couldn’t get enough of him. He’s forgiven for the onyx, but would have preferred a much more polished look but its maybe his next movie’s look. Finished it off with white pocket square.
Even though his partner did not go the route, Jim Parsons went the whole way in his tux by Brooke Brothers. The white on white bowtie with shirt and vest and the tailcoat was complete in sync with the theme. What was fun was the floral lapel pin that both sported. Cute and quirtky.
Let’s just not even… Hawtness in a shot. Tom Ford in tom ford and Benedict Cumberbatch in Ralph Lauren.
*All images belong to their respective owners
While pretty Oscar’s have everyone gushing bout them, its the MET gala or the FASHION OSCARS as they are popularly known as, are much more a sight to see in terms of Red Carpet looks. The celebrities are willing to take on more risks and have much more fun with fashion. The theme this time around PUNK: Chaos to Couture had all the celebrities running around New York in deciding what to wear to the unusual theme for a Red Carpet event. While men were asked to appear in tux (not fair for such themes since it hardly gave one an oppurtunity to experiment) , the ladies went all out to embrace it, some succeeding more than others.
Cara Delevingne rocked the red carpet in the spike studded Burberry. Taking the plunge (pun intended), the brit model looked every inch glam, that she is, in the black gown. The severe side swept hair and smoky eyes complimented the look perfectly. Accessorizing the look with Dominic Jones earrings and multiple Lei Van Kash necklaces rounded off her look.
Hilary Rhoda sported a sheer Wes Gordon high-low hemline (a trend that I saw a lot of on the red carpet). The model cut a pretty picture in the Black and Dull Gold medallion lace draped top with floor length sweep and black Lambskin skinny pants. A relatively new name on the red carpet, Wes Gordon came out all trumps with this ensemble for her with a mix of glam and punk. Her hair tied back in a pony tail, a Kotur clutch, and a Jennifer Fisher ring completed her look.
The eclectic singer and always the one to take risks on the red carpet (remember Mcqueen’s exaggerated flapper frou frou dress last Gala or going green,literally, at the grammys), Florence Welch went for one of my recent favourite collections from Givenchy. Sporting the fringe ensemble by Ricardo Tisci, Welch went all out with this number. What complimented the dress was her deep ginger locks that sealed the deal for me. Had it been anyone else, would have been overwhelmed but Miss Welch just rocks it hands down.
Paloma Faith in Michael Cinco was a perfect blend of punk and drama on the red carpet, on the night of MET GALA. The Ombre blood red and black embellished gown with a sheer cutout back, displaying her tattoos, was perfect for the night. Embracing the theme whole heartedly, she went out all hog with the inbuilt gloves and all but the highlight was the dramatic spiked architectural headpiece by, the go-to guy-for-headpieces, Philip Treacy and that innovative bouffant that drew major attention. LOVED it. Finishing off her look with blood red lips and dramatic cat-eyes, Miss Faith just hit the ball right out the park.
Gisele Bundchen has to be one of my favourite models of all time. The woman can look glam even in a paper bag. Getting into the punk mode, Gisele went for a chain link mini dress by Anthony Vaccarello. The dangerously high slit and a one shoulder and it looked smashing on her with David Yurman jewellery that she sported. The severe side sweep hair, smoky eyes and nude lips finished off her look. However it was the pair of spiked custom Christian Louboutins that I loved. Chic and minimal.
Striking Gold, literally, The Hunger Games star, Elizabeth Banks, arrived in an Atelier Versace gold chain coat dress. Pairing it up with Brian Atwood Fringe pumps, Miss Banks looks like a million bucks. Styled by Matthew Monzon, the actress went for a downplayed sculpted hair do with a structured ponytail that was clipped onto her nape (more of that in the beauty section, scroll down) giving off enough punk vibe without being overboard. a total BLING it ON moment.
Shocking the daylights out of almost everyone, the Oscar winner, Anne Hathaway, appeared in a blonde crop on the red carpet of MET gala. While she may have ditched her favourite Valentino for her BIG moment, she embraces the theme by sporting the vintage Valentino 1992 (1992 is vintage :O I feel old now). The embellished gown with the cutout mesh detailing, showing off a bit of side boob (a risqué) and feathered cuff, had Mrs. Hathaway go Glam-Punk with that swept crop. Kudos!
How can you have a punk theme and not have a Westwood sighting on the red carpet. While the queen of punk walked in with someone else (who also was totally punk and against the social grain), it was the petite RICCI, styled by one of my fav stylists, Mr. Brad Goreski, that caught my eye. She works the draped plaid number with the vintage styled locks and fierce lip color. The high-low hemline allows her to show off legs and she goes all out in stockings and black heels. Rounding off the looks were her Harry Winston jewels.
The Hollywood princess of subtlety, as I like to call her, played out similar card at the MET gala night. Appearing in a streamlined smart Balenciaga, the actress played on the safety pin obsession (or was it homage to the Versace safety-pin dress donned by Elizabeth Hurley). The angular cutout dress was chic, smart and not in your face with just enough quirk of the oversized safety pin that spoke enough volume. The refined look was accentuated by side parted blond crop and nude lips with smoked eyes. Admist the sea of over the top looks, the understated oh-so-chic vibe of Ms Mulligan stood out for all the right reasons. Call it new-age punk or sophisticated punk, she rocked it.
Vamping it up, Karen Elson, though was more glam but had punk in just the right proportions. The cut-out Julien MacDonald gown could have gone all sorts of wrong, but Ms Elson worked it up. Another one to embrace gold, it went quite nicely with her red hair. The grape stained lip, defined eyes and radiant makeup by Nars director, James Boehmer was the perfect touch of punk-ness accompanying the septum nose ring that she sported. The long dress complemented her lean frame perfectly giving off the vampy feel. A black clutch and heels completed her look.
While sadly the MEN weren’t that adventurous for the night except for one, as from what I heard, it was a tux event, therefore didn’t have much to experiment with. While Sturridge wasn’t too impressive, it was these two gentlemen that just had it going.
Zachary Quinto, was one of the few standout guys on the red carpet, who, in their attire, made a mark. Sporting Vivienne Westwood, head to toe, the shirt, vests, trousers and even the velvet slippers, Quinto’s polished geek vibe worked in his favour. The colored quiff and that too in blue was one of my favourite quirks from the night. He styled it perfectly and with just the right amount of color, blending into his natural locks.
What is it that this guy cannot make work. Wearing Dior Homme, Eddie Redmayne cut a polished perfect picture on the red carpet. The suit worked brilliantly for his frame. Kudos to him for ditching the usual black and going all out in a blue suit with black highlights. Though not punk-y yet well dressed
MAKEUP, HAIR & ACCESSORIES
It goes without saying that these played an important part in Styling the celebs tonite. While top knot with many variations appeared to be a favourite trend that has caught on, some other fun hair styles too caught my fancy. Where Emily blunt and January Jones scored in makeup, Katy Perry and SJP scored in terms of their styling (they were more gothic than punk).
*Images courtesy RCFA and Vogue.com