Best Dressed: White House Correspondents’ Dinner 2016

Backtracking a bit: on Tuesday, we discussed the best dressed of the Met Gala, AKA Fashion Prom. But let’s not forget that Saturday was the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, AKA Nerd Prom, full of almost as many wonderful outfits. (Note: it’s also my annual check on whether I can still spell the word ‘correspondents,’ which got me booted from a spelling bee in the fourth grade.) Let’s see how those nerds (read: fabulous and powerful Hollywood and political elite) cleaned up! In no particular order…

Emma Watson in Osman

I definitely went through a time with Emma Watson where I was like “girl, not sure about all of these looks but you are 100% doing you.” And now I’m just like “narrow pants? Jacobean embroidered poppies slit to the waist? A paper plate looking ruffle? WTF somehow it all works and you look amazing.” 10 points to Gryffindor.

Emily Ratajkowski in Monique Lhuillier

Between the color, the beading, the simple hair, and the unfussy silhouette (which really helps the floral look non-crazy), this is just fun enough to be young and just serious enough to be Washington-appropriate.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Lela Rose

Gugu has been on the “totally going to be a big thing soon” list for a while now, and every time I see her I think she just needs ONE high-profile awards season and she’ll be a fashion favorite. I love the oversized violet and indigo pattern. This has to be one of the least cheezy uses of a sheer panel I’ve seen in a while, too.

Michelle Dockery in Cushnie et Ochs

There wasn’t a ton of color at Nerd Prom, which makes this look extra sunny and delightful. Shades of yellow and orange can be really hard for a lot of people to pull off, skin-tone wise, but this deeper, more citrusy shade isn’t bringing out any sallow undertones.The cap sleeve has had a few years off and I think maybe it can come back.

Priyanka Chopra in Zuhair Murad

Once I verified that this was a taupe under-layer and not just strategically-placed sheer stripes, I absolutely loved this. Favorite part: the floating beads every few stripes.

Jared Leto

Okay, maybe the last time saw a light pink bow tie was at an early 90s wedding, but it looks good on Jared Leto… as does everything. There aren’t many people who can pull off a ruffled pocket square, but Jared Leto is definitely one of them. Also I feel like maybe he’s growing his hair back out, which is a good thing for all society.

Karlie Kloss in Derek Lam

This one started on my “meh” list and migrated over to my best list for a few reasons – first, it wasn’t black… and there was a lot of black that night. Second, it wasn’t too safe and boring, but it also wasn’t disrespectful too frivolous. And honestly, the contrasting colors and textures just grew on me the more I looked at it. Is texture blocking the new color blocking?

Helen Mirren in Dolce & Gabbana

What. A. Dame. Helen Mirren, always the perfect combo of “class” (ugh, but you know what I mean) and fun, paid tribute to Prince with this purple gown and a Prince symbol drawn on her collarbone. I don’t know if she’s ever looked bad a day in her life.

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Tony Awards 2015: Best Dressed

If you love both theater and fashion, the Tony Awards are just about the snazziest night of the year. Unless you’re me, reading tweets about the event while on flight delay at O’Hare, eating a $6 pile of kale – during 30 minutes of free wifi. 30 MINUTES. As though you can accomplish anything on the internet in the duration of an episode of Step By Step (with commercials). But while I’m basically in the developing world (in that there’s scant wifi and it cost 1/3 of my paycheck to buy two cups of vegetables), the stars are shining on the broad way. Here were the best dressed of the night. But be forewarned: due to cruddy bandwidth, the first time I saw these outfits they were on people so pixelated they looked like they were made of Lego.

Dame Helen Mirren in Badgley Mischka

Well, look who’s making sure you don’t forget the “dame” in front of her name. I love that Mirren never tries to dress too young, but she also doesn’t wear stuffy “lady of a certain age” outfits – nor should she. If you told me “dramatic lace sleeves” I would have told you “absolutely not,” but this actually looks great.

Jennifer Lopez in Valentino

I don’t know why 3/4 of the people on this red carpet are on it (Kendall Jenner: book for Finding Neverland? Costume design for Curious Incident ? No, she’s just there). J.Lo is at least taking this seriously, and this gold and midnight blue number is so event-appropriate. I also like that it’s not that one kind of dress she usually wears. You know the one.

Vanessa Hudgens in Naeem Khan

The musical Vanessa’s from is High School, but she looks Broadway-ready. I tend to think there are different levels of conventionality required for the different awards shows. You can take bigger risks at the Grammys than at the Oscars, for instance. I’d say the Tony’s are traditional, but not so much that a print seems out of place. Even Anna Wintour’s daughter wore one. Besides, a large print is one of those youthful looks that you may as well wear while you can. Great place to wear a less-known designer, too! 

Kelli O’Hara in Oscar de la Renta

I don’t know if Kelli KNEW that this was the year she’d break away from being a Broadway Susan Lucci, but she sure is dressed like she is. So on one hand, this gold and black dress is formal enough for the event. It actually reminds me of damascena jewelry. But on the other, the shorter length makes it look a lot fresher than a longer gown situation.

Sydney Lucas in Erin Featherstone

I haven’t seen Fun Home, but just from listening to the great soundtrack you can tell that Sydney Lucas isn’t just some kiddo belting Tomorrow (I know, some great actresses have played Annie, it’s just not a role with a lot of levels, you know? She’s more at a Daisy Eagan in Secret Garden-level). I’m so happy everyone got to see that when she performed at the Tonys! Plus, it’s adorable that she’s obviously a young lady who cares about her fashion. One of my favorite parts of the Tonys is seeing all of these actresses that you’ve only seen in costume getting to really shine, and this girl absolutely looks like a Broadway star.
 

Judith Light

I’m going to go ahead and use the passive voice to describe some of the fashion at last night’s awards, so I don’t put anyone in particular on blast. Risks were taken, and sometimes mistakes were made. This white suit was a risk worth taking, and reminds me that Judith Light is an honest-to-goodness, Tony-winning star (sometime in the past year, my top Judith Light association became that golden retriever from Broad City).

 Elisabeth Moss in Oscar de La Renta

When I first saw this white gown with floral accents, I felt like it was like a livelier, more fun update on that iconic Halle Berry Golden Globes gown from 2000 – remember, the one with the red flowers? The color scheme on this one could have looked a little Delia’s but it comes across as young and summery, instead.

Kristen Chenoweth in Zac Posen

It can be hard to have a lot of presence when you’re as small as Kristen Chenoweth. It can also be hard to look anything other than adorable. This dress pretty much does the trick though, right?