Best Dressed And Not-So-Favorites: Met Gala 2015

We were nervous about this year’s Met Gala theme. Nervous because the theme was China: Through The Looking Glass, which seemed like an open invite for questionable or racist or racistly questionable outfits. Fortunately, most attendees stayed on the right side of homage versus appropriation. That’s why our best dressed list contains only attendees who followed our handy guide for how not to be a racist idiot at the Met Gala. Now on to the fashions – with not a single geisha costume or hair chopstick in the mix!

Fan Bingbing in Christopher Bu

American audiences might only be familiar with Fan Bingbing from the X-Men series, but she’s been performing in China for close to two decades, and with a recent deal with 20th Century Fox we may be about to see a lot more of her. This gold gown with elaborate emerald-green cape is my top look of the night – a modern, formal, lavish take on Chinese design. I want that cape framed and hung on my wall, because it is absolute art.

Beyonce in Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci

The best way to avoid offending anyone at a gala with a theme that’s practically asking you to make it racial: wear something that has little, if anything, to do with the theme. Also, be Beyonce. It always helps to be Beyonce. Bey wore a Givenchy gown… or, I guess, some Givenchy clusters of strategically placed sequins. Daily Mail said that the jewels were “protecting her modesty,” because the Daily Mail is the fussy English grandmother I never had. Beyonce followed our rule of “interpret the exhibit” by choosing a broad, flat shoulder and fitted cut (um, very fitted?) that is slightly reminiscent of some modern takes on the cheongsam. Which means she also followed our rule “know your Chinese influences” by not showing up in some sort of weird kimono.

Rihanna in Guo Pei

Oh my goodness, yes. The Met Gala dress code not only requires attendees to wear full evening dress but, as a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum Of Art’s Costume Institute, it allows the guests to play dress up. Stars can wear more creative ensembles than at major awards shows, but their creativity has to be tempered by better taste than at, say, the MTV awards. In other words, if you cannot wear a fur-trimmed yellow cape and bejeweled headpiece at the Met, there is simply nowhere you can wear it. Rihanna followed our suggestion of celebrating a Chinese designer Guo Pei. You can read more about her here. And yes, this dress has already spawned 1,000 memes. Good job, internet.

Anne Hathaway in Ralph Lauren

Now for something completely different. It sort of looked like Anne Hathaway was taking Star Wars Day (May the 4th, obviously) to heart – but in the best way possible. Sure, this Ralph Lauren gown is more restrained than Rihanna and Beyonce’s looks, but you still don’t get much of a chance to wear a hood on the red carpet. Could “it has a hood!” become the new “it has pockets?”

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in Vintage John Galliano

The Olsen twins took a broad interpretation of the theme, dressing as the ghosts of two old Chinese widows from the past. But seriously, I don’t think I’ve seen MK&A in matching outfits since the early 2000s, and I love that when they finally do it they both wear these giant black numbers. From what I can tell Mary-Kate paid tribute to the theme by wearing silk brocade, typical in traditional Chinese dress. Ashley looks sort of like Stevie Nicks in Victorian mourning dress, and I’m not making fun of her when I say that. I swoon over designs from The Row just about every fashion week and I love the 180 the Olsens have taken since their days in matching denim sunflower hats.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Atelier Versace

So, what’s Chinese about this dress? That’s not a rhetorical question, I’m really wondering what’s Chinese about this dress. Grandma Daily Mail says that she “stuck to [the theme] and ran with” it. I suppose the swooping lines and minimalism is a bit reminiscent of modern Chinese design – I’m thinking of streamlined yet flowing interior design, more than anything. I don’t know. It’s pretty, though.

Amal Clooney in John Galliano

There was a lot of red last night. I assume it was a tribute to the Chinese flag, the importance of red as a lucky color in China, and those stunning Chinese wedding dresses. That’s why this tiered gown didn’t feel TOO off-theme, even if it wasn’t explicity Chinese. The skirt is really blowing my mind here, even if the structured, studded bodice isn’t necessarily my favorite.

Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan Atelier

Janis Ian, killing it. The drape of this is just perfect, and the embroidered silk pays tribute to the theme without going into costume mode. A lot of folks missed a real opportunity to play with the theme in their accessories last night, but these tassel earrings are amazing. I really wish I owned this dress and also had someplace to wear it (Met tickets are only like $25,000, I’m sure I could come up with it??).

Allison Williams in Giambattista Valli Couture

Allison Williams: Met Gala 2015

Here it is again. Red and cheongsam-style sleeves – just enough tribute to Chinese design without straight-up appropriating traditional dress. I know Allison Williams does the princess dress thing a lot, and sometimes it can seem like a larger version of something a very fancy nine-year-old can wear, but I think that the demure and sweet look works for Allison and she knows it.

Hey, You Tried Something

As I said, the Met Gala is a time to wear outlandish, elaborate looks that just wouldn’t fit in most scenarios. While I wasn’t particularly feeling any of the looks below, at least they really went for it, I guess?

Kim Kardashian in Peter Dundas for Roberto Cavalli

Is it just because I’m not a huge fan of Kim K? Not sure, but something about this wasn’t working for me.

Sarah Jessica Parker in H&M

I know I said it’s a good time to go over-the-top. And I know that SJP is usually the belle of the Met Ball. And I love that this collection uses sustainable fabrics! The look as a whole isn’t my favorite, but she looks like she’s having a blast which makes it that much more fun for the rest of us.

Lady Gaga in Alexander Wang

It IS Lady Gaga. And Alexander Wang is an American of Taiwanese descent. And the sleeves are maybe a modern take on a hanfu (but it kind of reminds me of a Japanese haori??). So I have every reason to like this, I just don’t. It’s me, not the dress, probably.

 Kerry Washington in Prada

We LOVE Kerry Washington. And when she nails an outfit, she NAILS it. I’m just over this high-low thing and this particular shade of pink isn’t my favorite. Hair and face, though? Flawless as ever.

Katy Perry in Moschino

I almost feel like she bought this for the punk-themed Met gala in 2013. Even if I were into the dress, the spraypaint can clutch takes it from costume in a fun, classy, celebratory way to costume in a “My Mom Found A Costume For Graffiti In American Girl Magazine” way. I don’t know if it’s new, but short hair suits her.

Solange Knowles in Giles Deacon

On one hand, I love Solange’s style even more than Beyonce’s usually. And I think this is supposed to be the dress inspired by a Chinese fan, which is really fun. But on the other hand, I don’t enjoy looking at it.

Chloe Sevigny

Chloe reminds me of Mary Kate Olsen. Do they look disheveled, or is the way they dress so high-concept that I’m too simple to get it (probably)? But that doesn’t change that this looks like two Chinese robes from a public market vendor sewn together – in a way that doesn’t fit.

Justin Bieber

I don’t like you and I don’t like how you look, which is like Zach Morris’s long-lost torero cousin.

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Golden Globes 2015 – Best and Worst Dressed

With the Golden Globes last night, we’re officially in awards season mode. Queens Tina and Amy made their third and final appearance as hosts, our love for Amal ‘The dress is Dior Couture by the gloves are my own’ Clooney grew even more, and for some reason, the tears were flowing so much that you’d think we had watched the last 8 hours of Titanic during the show.

That being said, the Globes came and went as fast as Leo DiCaprio’s model girlfriends, and with the 2015 ceremony behind us, we’re picking our hits and misses on the red carpet. Are your faves on the list?

Best Dressed

Molly’s Picks

Amal Clooney in Dior

The dress was vintage Dior. The gloves were her own. She accessorized with a Je Suis Charlie pin. You win the night, Amal. I appreciate an understated look with one fashion risk tossed in, erring on the side of classy risk (gloves) not tacky (crotch-high slits).

 

Kate Beckinsale in Elie Saab

So, I’ve never thought to myself “Kate Beckinsale: fashion icon” – more like “Kate Beckinsale: which one is she?” because I always have to think about who she is vs. Kate Bosworth. But Beckinsale keeps nailing it on the red carpet, so I have a feeling I’ll be a lot better at remembering which one she is in the future. This is the rare gown that – if you click through to the source – actually looks better on her than it did on the runway, with the neckline altered to be slightly less plunging. I love the dark nails, clean makeup, and after several years of tousled waves on the red carpet, even the tidy updo is refreshing.

Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen

I was about to write this off as too bridal at first. But honestly, brides WISH they could look this good. This is how a fairly simple design concept can look amazing: perfect tailoring, an interesting brocade fabric, and accessories – it wouldn’t work without that belt. If I could change anything, I’d ditch the bridal-white clutch and swap the dainty silver bangle for a thinner, more solid bracelet.

Julianne Moore in Givenchy

Usually sequins and feathers would get a big “no, not really” from me. But leave it to the preferred designer of Audrey Hepburn to nail it with a minimalist neckline and bodice and silvery ombre.

Matt Bomer in Ralph Lauren Black Label

Okay, boys. THIS is how you do non-black Black Tie. In a decade’s time, these ’50s-influenced, slim-cut tuxedos are going to look so 2010s. I don’t even care. I’m so over those schlumpy, baggy tuxedo pants that look like they could be concealing a diaper.

Honorable Mention: Quvenzhane Wallis in Armani – that little munchkin is dressed exactly how an 11-year-old nominated for her performance in Annie should be. And Tina Fey’s tuxedo, because good Lord, that wasn’t even fair.

Traci’s Picks

Diane Kruger in Emilia Wickstead

Golden Globe Awards? More like SILVER Globe Awards, amirite?? Diane was just one of the many stars wearing a shimmery silver last night, including Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez, Dakota Johnson, etc. etc. But I think Diane wore it best – it’s not too outlandish like JLo’s, but it’s also not as simple as Reese’s. There’s more too it than just a gown. It has depth and lines – but let’s be real, if anyone else wore this, it wouldn’t look as good.

 

Emily Blunt in Michael Kors

She may not have walked away with an award last night, but Emily is certainly on the top of a lot of best dressed lists today. She looks like a goddess (said in my head with a British accent like ‘god-DESS’) in this flowing white gown. She paired it perfectly with the pop of color with her bracelet and earrings and a perfect braid atop her head. Flawless.

 

Chrissy Teigen in Zuhair Murad

Being a model, Chrissy has a penchant for hitting her red carpet look out of the park, and this was no exception. I feel like in person, this baby pink lace dress is even more impressive, and that makes me love it even more. And although John Legend won last night, Chrissy of course made her mark by getting caught making this face, and within minutes she was an internet meme. God bless.

 

Taylor Schilling in Ralph Lauren

As I’m typing this I just realized I also chose Taylor for one of my Best Dressed at the Emmys last year, so I guess she’s killing it on the red carpet as of late? Any type of gown that flares out like that reminds me of a classing Hollywood style, which is perfect for this event. It’s simple yet sexy, and if only she had changed her makeup a little, this would’ve been the perfect look.

 

Emma Stone in Lanvin

Boy, do I enjoy a good pantsuit. I love when ladies say ‘screw traditional women’s fashion – i’m gonna wear pants!’. (BTW best dressed not on my list includes Tina Fey in that tux that made me question my sexuality for a second). Anyways, Emma is the type of gal who can make this look classy yet fun, and that sash – THAT SASH is the perfect accessory. Also, pockets. What girl doesn’t love pockets?!

 

Worst Dressed

Molly’s Picks

Katie Holmes in Marchesa

This shape and color is perfect for the erstwhile Josephine Potter. So what’s the problem? Easy: that it’s one of those fabrics that creases in a not-so-attractive way when you wear it. I really feel for Katie Holmes here – how many of us have been there with something that looks awesome when you try it on, and becomes a wrinkly mess after 10 minutes of sitting and moving around?

Keira Knightley in Chanel

This is a dress worth breaking our usual taboo over having too much overlap on our lists. It’s like part Delia*s, part prom dress from The Virgin Suicides, part Wendy Darling’s nightgown. Hey, at least she tried something?

Conchita Wurst

Conchita Wurst’s fame hasn’t really reached U.S. shores yet, but I’m feeling pretty “you do you” about the beard. The internet might have room for fashion police, but not gender binary police. I just don’t like how the dress reminds me of a Halloween costume for Hot Rose Dewitt Bukater. There’s also some poor timing going on – it reminds me of that much-maligned green dress that took Twitter by storm last week.

Kristin Dos Santos in Walter Mendez

This cut makes her look weirdly bottom-heavy.  If you erase everything from a few inches above the knee on down the dress looks great, so there’s something screwy about how the mermaid effect was tailored.

Alan Cumming in Calvin Klein

What even is this?

Traci’s Picks

Lana Del Rey in Travilla

Looks like Lana’s living out of the waters, probably gonna go spend a day warm on the sand. Thingamabobs? She’s got twenty.

 

Jemima Kirk in Rosie Assoulin

I’m all for a cape but Jemima, who has always been known for her eccentric fashion style, looks like she was dressing up to be Queen Elsa for her kids and found some fabric leftover from 1989 to throw on as a top. Also, she looks exactly like Selina Meyers’ daughter Katherine in Veep, no?

 

Jill Soloway in this suit

Props to Transparent creator Jill for rockin this suit, but I feel like I’ve zoomed into a Magic Eye book.

 

Katie Cassidy in Black Canary couture 

I think Katie Cassidy thought she was going to prom last night… but prom in like 2002.

 

Kiera Knightley in Chanel 

I’ve never been pregnant, but I imagine picking a dress for a high-profile event like the Golden Globes could be particularly daunting. But Kiera’s always been a fashion forward-type gal, so one would assume her style tastes wouldn’t change once she got preggo. Unfortch, that didn’t happen. She looks like a tablecloth from a grandma’s summer home up in the Adirondacks. And I just noticed the huge butterfly bracelet. Ring? Purse? In the words of Miley, ‘Butterfly fly away’.

 

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How To Talk To Your Mom About George Clooney’s Wedding

This past weekend, George Clooney – world’s most eligible bachelor – became just another married guy. How’s your mom doing with that news?

Seriously, you should call your mother.

There are several defining moments that broke the hearts and dashed the romantic expectations of baby boomer women: the death of JFK – nay, Camelot itself. The Beatles’ shaggy phase. Charles and Diana’s divorce. Now this: the man your mom is probably obsessed with is off the market. Yes, you should call her. But we don’t think you should go into this blind. Here’s all the prep you need.

Understand The Alternatives

$5 to whoever can tell me who this is

$5 to whoever can tell me who this is

Your mother may express dismay that Clooney did not wed one of his past loves. However, Clooney often dated less-famous gals, so you should also be prepared for your mother to mourn George’s failure to end up with single famous ladies who she likes. This is normal. If your mother laments that George should have married “Sandy,” “Jen,” “Meg,” or “Julie,”  just know that she means Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston, Meg Ryan, or Julia Roberts/ Julianna Margulies. Matchmaker to the stars, that mom of yours.

Express Disbelief

The correct emotion to express when talking to your mother is bemusement. Say things like “I never thought he’d get married,” or, if you’re slightly more dramatic, “well, I never thought we’d see the day.”

Defend His Choice

It’s understandable that your mom might be a bit taken aback by this news, because this is not a marriage of peers. No, it is a marriage between a major player on the international stage … and a man from this one doctor show in the 90s.

Your mother will become more comfortable with this development if she grows to accept – or even love – George’s new missus. If, like me, you don’t know much about Amal Alamuddin, here is your cheat sheet. Alamuddin is a British-Lebanese human rights attorney who earned her degree at Oxford and got an L.M.A. from N.Y.U. She clerked for a pre-Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor, and has spent the past few years working with the U.N., most recently on human rights violations in the Israel-Gaza conflict. She is fluent in three languages. So don’t worry, moms, I’m sure George will be provided for in his old age.

Know The Guest List

Why yes, that IS Matt Damon, John Kraskinski, Emily Blunt, and I assume some sort of lesser Clooney. And Damon IS either giving you an air-fist bump or waving wanly.

If your mom begins spiraling into self-pity and despair, dangle a star-studded guest list in front of her to distract her from her feelings. It was like combining the star power of the Oscars with the boozy fun of the Golden Globes with, probably, the irreverence of the Kids Choice Awards. Matt Damon. Bill Murray. Cindy Crawford. Bono (whose gift was probably something that wasn’t on the registry and nobody ever said that they wanted). Anna Wintour (whose gift was probably her stoic, slightly judgmental presence). There’s so much to talk about without even talking about the demise of George Clooney’s bachelorhood! Imagine being the person who had to figure out the table arrangements. It was probably like the dinner party word problems from Highlights For Children, but taken to the extreme. Feel free to speculate about the pals who didn’t make it, like Ben Affleck (IDK I’m sure that gem of a man had a very good reason) and Brad Pitt.

Talk Outfits

I mean…

Is this even real life…

Because this doesn’t seem fair…

It’s like if a Disney Princess also had a job and an education.

Again, if your ma is struggling with what this really means for her, it’s best to shift to a mutually agreeable subject. If the guest list doesn’t work, try outfits! Amal Alamuddin can dress. The best way to get your mother through this trying time is to get her to see Alamuddin as an ally, and that means that your mom has to find her as glam as her favs Sandy, Meg, Jen, and Julie. Fortunately, that won’t be too difficult.

Don’t Let It Get Personal

If you have one of those passive-aggressive moms, she may try to turn this into one of those “why aren’t you married yet” digs. Rise above it: after all, her boy George didn’t get there til he was 53, except for this one failed marriage in the early 90s that nobody talks about. Or, a “why can’t your career be more Amal Alamuddin” convo, because you know what, she didn’t graduate law school in the worst legal job market in the history of the world okay mom jeez. Like when a toddler is misbehaving, the best thing you can do is redirect. I suggest bringing it back to the outfits.