Tuesday, May 7, 2013

PUNK: The Costume Institute Gala

Once again, readers, it's time to praise the highs and boo the lows in fashion at the annual Costume Institute Gala, which was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last night to celebrate the opening of PUNK: Chaos to Couture, the latest annual exhibition from the Costume Institute. (Clearly, this is another attempt to capitalize on the tremendous success of the Alexander McQueen exhibition, and bring in the 20something--and 50something!?--generation.) Rumor has it tickets to the gala were $25,000 each, and for that guests got dinner and entertainment by Debbie Harry and Kanye West. (I was all ready to go but, seriously, can you see me in safety pins and pink hair?) You'll recall I've been commenting on this annual event for the past three years now (here, here, and here), and why miss out on this one? You can read all the details about the actual gala and the nearly 800 in attendance by reading this article in The New York Times. The one thing that troubles me is that in previewing the slideshows of the red carpet event (such as this one from New York magazine), I don't know who half the people are anymore! Have I gotten that old already that I have no idea who anyone under 25 is? Nah...I'm just too damn busy and important to care.

So...I can't even believe I'm saying this, but BeyoncĂ© gets the top prize for her gown as the highlight of the evening (above). It has a 1990s-Baroque-Versace look with its gold-trimmed train, but it's actually Givenchy, designed by Riccardo Tisci, and it does look rather stunning on her busty, post-baby (yet remarkably svelte) figure. Tisci was one of the co-coordinators of the gala, and many of his fashions were a hit on the red carpet. Madonna--who reportedly bitches every year about how much she hates the party and will never return, only to return each year--was rather punky-and-perky in another Tisci ensemble for Givenchy (left). Anne Hathaway was shockingly blonde and punk in see-through, black Valentino. Maggie Gyllenhaal was a stunning lady in red, although her dress should have had more shoulder coverage. Uma Thurman's form-fitting Zac Posen mermaid dress would have been fabulous in any other color but puke green. And that's the good fashion! Get ready for the disasters, because there were some biggies...

Poor Kristen Stewart was all blood-red wearing her grandmother's lace table-runner. I like Kirsten Dunst, but her outfit reminded me of a Swiffer duster and made me want to clean. Poor Jennifer Lopez (sorry, AA!)...she basically skinned a leopard and squeezed it over those killer hips of hers. Emma Watson fell victim to Lord Voldemort with all the slashes in her dress. Sarah Jessica Parker looked like a peacock in her Treacy hat. And Elle Fanning apparently fell into a 1970s tie-dye vat. Without a doubt, however, the absolute worst dresser of the night was Kim Kardashian, who tried to proudly show off her baby-bump but instead wound up looking like a giant balloon wearing Laura Ashley floral wallpaper (surprisingly, another Tisci for Givenchy outfit). Among the men, Marc Jacobs continued to reveal his insanity by wearing Pierrot polka-dot pajamas. I'm still not sure how I feel about Tyson Beckford's pink camouflage blazer. Fortunately some men know you can never go wrong in a good black tux, and Gerard Butler, Alexander Skarsgard, and Andy Cohen all looked rather delectable. To wrap things up I'll end with this charmingly cute shot of gay actor Zachary Quinto (right), who did well among the men by showing off a combination of high class style with some punk in an ensemble by Vivienne Westwood.

(Image credits: Beyonce and Madonna: Timothy A. Clary; Quinto: Dimitrious Kambouris; all from New York magazine)

UPDATE 5/14/13: In following other fashion reviewers and television reports, the number of people who hated Beyoncé's attire has been surprisingly high. I have to admit, after seeing more pictures of her look, with those ridiculous hip boots, the gown was over-the-top and not nearly as glamorous as it seemed at first. Obviously if one sees these celebrities in their finest on the actual red carpet it probably has a different impact than seeing some of these photos. Katie Holmes was lauded by most as one of the most glamorous of the evening, and while I agree that her Calvin Klein white gown was almost Cinderella-like in its diaphonous waves of fabric, she looked just a little too angelic to me.

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