It was the biggest night in fashion this week, and Zayn dressed like a robot and Bey dressed like a high-fashion condom. Still love you boo.
Awards season is over, and this time of year we cut out the middleman: instead of dressing up for the sake of film or music, at the Met Gala celebrities are dressing up to celebrate …. dressing up. The theme of the 2016 Met Gala: Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. Hooray! This theme is far less likely to produce accidentally racist ensembles than China: Through The Looking Glass (2015’s theme). Plus it’s basically asking everyone to wear weird techno cyborg shit, which sounds like an absolute blast if you ask me. The result: one of my favorite nights of Met fashion in the past several years.
Rita Ora in Vera Wang
The rest of the list is in no particular order, but this belongs at the top. I don’t even care about the feather duster comparisons that have shown up online. She looks like a beautiful silver peacock and I’m amazed. If I could make one alteration, I’d lose the cutout panel on the legs, which – believe it or not – is the only thing that might edge this look into “too much” for me.
I’m not in any position to call any of these couture looks “bad,” and on a night when avant garde fashion is celebrated I don’t want to criticize anyone for taking risks. If not now, when? So instead, I’ll say that these were the looks that did not make my personal favorites list:
You know that tumblr meme about being a judge on Chopped and kicking people off because “it has mushrooms?” Which is so brilliant because on one hand it pokes fun at the poster for having arbitrary and “low-brow” tastes and criticisms, while on the other hand pointing out that all criticism is on some level arbitrary and based on personal preferences. Anyway. That’s me with anything bandaid-colored and latex-y. This is technically very good but I’m like “nah, looks like flesh-colored silly putty. Next.” As the internet was quick to point out, this looks like it was made of finest Becky Skins.
Whether the B’s Givenchy dress was made out of Becky Skins or not, the Queen showed up sans Jay for the Met Gala, which was the scene of the infamous elevator fight two years ago. Let’s reminisce, shall we?
I don’t know how to do this.
Before The Fight
Beyonce is separating Solange and Jay-Z, as if to say “if there is not something the size of an adult human person between these two, this situation will devolve quickly.”
Or possibly, “It makes the most sense for me to sit next to both my sister and my husband.” Whatever. Who cares.
But let us apply the Cher Horowitz Body Language Analysis to this, shall we? Remember how Cher knew Miss Geist and Mr. Hall were into each other? Of course you do: “Legs crossed towards each other.” Bey is angled towards Jay-Z, showing where her loyalty lies, whereas Solange is curling away from Bey and Jay like a Fortune Teller Fish from the Oriental Trading Company.
Solalnge’s hand is raised upwards towards her face, saying “who, me, start a fight?” or possibly “look at my hair! I straightened it.” Probably, like, one of those, right?
In this undated image, Jay-Z drapes a proprietorial arm over Solange’s shoulder. This is a gesture that says “I totally COULD have you in a headlock, but you know what, I’m not going to do that.” Solange’s crossed arms show that she is “closing herself off to social influence” (I Googled it), which makes sense, because who is more influential than Jay-Z? (Answer: Beyonce)
But the real question is why is Solange’s outside arm raised up so high? Try it, it’s not a natural position. Some theories:
(1) She’s making a triangle between her arm and Jay-Z’s hand. Coincidence? No. Triangles: the official shape of the Illuminati. Spooooky.
(2) She’s trying to avoid that thing where your bicep squishes against your side, splaying out your arm fat.
(3) There’s some sort of an armrest that we can’t really see.
Solange has a heavy object and a sharp-looking ring in her right hand (colloquially known as your “fighting hand”). She is applauding, but also ready for a fracas.
Jay-Z is relieved that everyone’s applauding really loud because he has had to fart for the past 10 minutes.
When Beyonce drops her ring, Jay-Z jokingly places it on her finger. The super-legit body language analysis take-away? “Our wedding vows are a joke.” Note Bey’s hand on her finger, as if to say “this is very cute, but just so we’re all clear, I’m perfectly capable of putting my own ring on (it), thanks.” Her head is tilted back in laughter, as she thinks in song:
The shoes on my feet
I’ve bought it
The clothes I’m wearing
I’ve bought it
The rock I’m rockin’
‘Cause I depend on me
As the blue-blooded half of a royal couple always walks several paces ahead of their spouse (Will before Kate, Elizabeth before Phillip, etc), so does Jay-Z trail Queen Bey. Jay Z walks with both hands in his pockets, like someone who is not so much feeling casual as trying to look casual. Can’t you imagine him whistling Camptown Races like Bugs Bunny in a cartoon? Doo-doo-doo, nothing to see here.
You just KNOW he knows a melee’s a-brewin’.
I’m going to do what I just did yesterday with the ultrasound images of my new niece, and pretend I can tell what’s going on. At least the baby didn’t have the letters TMZ superimposed over her blurry little face, though.
Jay-Z – white jacket, left hand side – has an arm outstretched, the international gesture for “please, stay at least an arm’s length away from me.” Meanwhile, Solange’s right foot (is that a foot?) is positioned forward and her arm is pushing against Jay’s. This is body language for “I’d prefer to get closer than an arm’s length, in order to fight you.” Her free arm is swung backwards, which in Body Language-to-English, translates to “I’m trying to punch you. Hard.”
Solange’s face is downcast, so you’d think she was ashamed, but that’s not the whole story. Look at her arms, pulled to waist height with her hands hanging freely from her wrists. These are the loose arms of someone who looks like she’s practically about to tap dance. Not a care in the world.
I think part of this is her Charleston-y drop waist dress. When did they wear drop-waist dresses? The 1920s. What book was written in the 1920s? Among others? The Great Gatsby. Who helped score the 2013 film adaptation of Gatsby? That’s right – Jay-Z himself. It’s all coming together.
This is a tricky one, but that’s why I get paid the big bucks. See Jay-Z’s hand, pulled to his cheek? That is his body’s way of saying “OW. My face.” Solange still has swingy tap arms.
NOW. Now Jay-Z’s hand is on his abdomen. When a lady rests her hand on her abdomen, it often means “I am pregnant” or possibly “I ate too much.” In this context, though, it probably means “OW. I also got hit in the stomach.” It also may mean “I ate too much,” but is the Met more of a finger foods event?
Solange’s tap dance hands are now pointed outward, a subtle shrug that says “yeah. I did it. What?”
New dance form. Beyonce’s hitched up skirt says “flamenco” and flamenco says “in-your-face triumph.” She has the placid smile of a 16th century Madonna. She continues to walk a few paces ahead of Jay-Z, as is her right.
Jay-Z’s hands are on his hips, body language for “how rude!” However, most of his energy is pulled into his face, with every muscle tensed towards the center. His eyes are not on Beyonce, but rather cast into middle distance, as if thinking to himself “WHAT THE HELL I just got beat up by my wife’s little sister.” This, truly, is the hour of lead that Emily Dickinson wrote about – first chill, then stupor, then the letting go. Based on his face, Hova is still trapped in the “stupor” stage.
In the alternative, Jay-Z is feeling his back pockets and has a face of dismay and realization. This is body language shorthand for “dammit, I left my wallet in there!”
After The Fight
In a total turnaround, Beyonce’s legs are now crossed AWAY from Jay Z, and the arm closest to him is pulled to her opposite side. Jay Z’s leg position says “I am the guy who you don’t want to sit next to you on a subway or bus.” [Really, gents. You do not need to sit with your legs three feet apart.] His shoulders are slumped – defeat! – and his hands are triangled – illuminati! His face is still a bit shell-shocked, like he can’t believe it’s really real. Bey remains impassive. Whatever this situation is, like all situations, Beyonce is in control of it. Or possibly behind it. All hail.