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.

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2014: Things That Made Me Say WTF

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole year since I was made, let’s be honest, entirely perplexed and 100% jealous by the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. But here we are again, with another night of impossibly attractive people, whimsical angel wings, bizarre segment concepts, and Taylor Swift. If the VS folks just aired the same show every year, how long do you think it would even take us to notice? Still, I managed to find a whole new set of things to make me say WTF this year.

Segment 1 : Screensavers

I don’t know, I think the theme is fancy screensavers. Or seizures. They’re just projecting flashy patterns on an LCD scrim.

As of three minutes in, I can’t be sure how many ladies have walked because they all look identical. Is this some sort of VS Fashion Show/ Orphan Black crossover? Because that, I would watch.

There’s one with brown hair, and they make her wear wings that are actually enormous puffed sleeves, like she’s the Anne Shirley of this joint.

All of these ladies have serious Leonardo DiCaprio’s Girlfriend hair.

Behind The Scenes #1

Models look pretty on airplanes. That’s the Truth I Didn’t Want To Face of the day.

Models on a plane.

Me on a plane.

Segment 2: Dreamgirls with Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is performing in a nightgown from an Anne Rice story. It’s Blank Space, that song about lonely Starbucks lovers.
A model walks down the runway wearing wings made of trees from the Lorax. Or models of amoebas.
T.Swizzle serenades each one of the Walking Girls, like the emcee of this children’s beauty pageant in a documentary I once saw. And like the pageant children, the walking girls pretend to like it.

Karlie gets what appears to be rattan fly wings instead of angel wings. They make the girls who don’t get wings wear filmy capes. Do NOT piss off the guy who hands out the wings.

Behind the Scenes #2

I missed a minute and came in for a lady (some sort of layman?) calling the models “curvy and voluptuous”. Those words are as cringe-y as “moist” and “nosh.”

We learn about the “fantasy bra,” which is basically like if Rose Dewitt Bukater had a bra.

Segment 3: Exotic Traveler featuring Ed Sheeran

Sheeran isn’t singing that one song about the cold prostitute. But he is dressed like Ron Weasley at a Christmas Ball.

“Exotic traveler” means they’re dressed like porny Madame Alexander dolls. We have a gal in a Native American headdress, a chilly bullfighter, then a lot of neon shit that’s supposed to be … Brazil maybe?

One broad (Kelly Gale?) has a plastic printed skirt that looks like she’s representing whatever part of the world Delia*s (RIP) is from.

Does Ed Sheeran have a tattoo of sunglasses on his forearm?

I think one model (Daniela Braga) is representing Fraggle Rock.

Behind the Scenes #3

A model (Candice? Behati?) compares reaching the end of the runway to scoring a touchdown. Fitting, because I compare watching the VS Fashion Show to the Superbowl. You’re watching genetically gifted people do what they’re made for, but you still sit back and armchair quarterback it anyway.

Ariana Grande wants to “spank a booty;” I continue to not get it about booties.

I missed about a minute of commercial time when I could have been brushing my teeth and letting my dog out, because I didn’t realize that this hour-long commercial had gone to commercial.

Segment 4: University Of Pink featuring Ariana Grande

“Bigger fan to de-arm this… and if your rhythm is needy ga ha harm me holla holla holla baby”: What I hear in Ariana Grande’s lyrics. Girl, ENUNCIATE.

Putting her next to 6-foot models really highlights that Ariana Grande is awfully Ariana Pequeña.

Ariana Grande is wearing a Lisa Frank skirt.

My B.A. isn’t from the University of Pink, but at my college there were a lot more hoodies and uggs.

Oh. There are backup dancers dressed like an early 2000s Missy Elliot. Which works, because everything Grande sings sounds like the lyrics that came after “put that thing down, flip it and reverse it.”

Behind The Scenes #4

Doutzen tells us that it takes a year to make the wings. Damn. Monica Something, the layman who was talking before, talks up the wings as well.

Segment 5: Fairy Tale featuring Hozier

I love Hozier but this is a weird combo, right? The setup is very Hansel and Gretel, Black Forest-y. Hozier is just kind of there, singing soulfully, and the models walk past him without making eye contact like he’s a busker and their train is coming.

Monica Whatever was right, though. These wings are gorgeous.

Behind The Scenes # 5

Russell James is an Australian photographer who is “like a monkey on the set” and “likes to push us a little bit,” but in a pranky George Clooney way, not in a skummy Terry Richardson way.

He has photographed an entire book of the angels – titled Angels – which would make the perfect Christmas gift for the lady in your life who really needs her self-esteem knocked down a peg or two.

Behind The Scenes #6

Karlie Kloss discusses her love of ballet, because in case you forgot, she’s lovelier than you. She dances (beautifully, of course) with a guy in a Puffy Shirt.

Segment 6: Taylor Swift, Redux

Swiftie is sort of like the Mama (Chicago) or Mama Rose (Gypsy) of this segment.

There are like 10 times more models than I saw during the entire show so far.

Too many models. I’m gonna go do squats and crunches for the next forever, bye.

Doutzen Kroes looks like Denise Richards, if Denise Richards were about to cry.

Do the do full face transplants if you aren’t’ technically disfigured? Asking for a friend.

Finale

It honestly looks like this is the most fun these models have all year, since this sort of goofiness isn’t allowed on any other runway, ever.

There are so many balloons, it’s like the telethon episode of Full House.

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2013: Things That Made Me Say WTF

According to my Facebook feed, some girls wait all year for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, but I’ve never been into it – or really even watched it –  until now. It’s not because it offends my high-brow sensibilities (I live-blog Carrie Underwood musicals and reality tv, after all). It’s not because I dislike the brand (though they rarely have sub-A sizes in stock, so it doesn’t work for me). Watching the VS Fashion Show for the first time last night, I realized the reason that I’m not into it is that I just don’t get it. Segment by segment, everything I saw made me say “WTF.”

Poorly Conceived UK Stereotypes Segment (bear with me, I missed the name of this one)

  • The segment opens with those British soldiers who can’t smile when you make fun of them in photos (but f’real, if you’re over age 18, there’s no excuse for that).
  • When the models’ names are given, I can’t help but notice that this whole shebang has been straight outsourced. Whatever happened to American jobs for American workers, am I right?
  • Fall Out Boy is playing, because the VS fashion show was planned by the guy who DJ’ed every basement college party I went to in 2005.
  • Do we know who any of these people in the audience shots are? Because I thought I saw Steve Carrell, bearded.
  • I think the ladies are supposed to be British stock characters. I count a gangster moll, a lady with black wings, an impractically-dressed soccer player, and what I assume to be an equestrienne/dominatrix.

    As I posted this, I thought maybe the pinstripes were supposed to be less mafia and more Sexy MP? And that maybe the VS fashion show is like Halloween, with girls all dressed as the hot version of something-or-other.

Like, this girl is either Hot British Solider or Hot Queen Elizabeth’s Throne.

  • How’d that girl get those eyebrows? Cara Delevingne, I mean. Of all of the reasons to be jealous of the VS models, this is what’s making me green with envy. All the sparse-eyebrowed redheads understand me right now.
  • T Swift has wore a tiny Union Jack hat, which reminds me of the tiny hat sketch from SNL. I also don’t understand what T. Swift has to do with England.
  • A model (an angel? Is that the AP standard for a VS model) is wearing a black and white checked number and I feel like I have vertigo.

    Barbara Fialho, officially probably the best-looking Barbara in the world (no offense to your aunt or grandma).

  • Another model appeared to cross herself like 8 times in a row before going on stage. Jesus take the wheel.
  • A few weeks ago, Jessica Hart said that Taylor Swift didn’t belong on the show, or didn’t fit – even throwing in a “God bless her heart,” the ultimate in mean-nice speak. Really, girl? I can’t think of a place that Taylor Swift belongs more than a Victoria’s Secret fashion show, except for maybe a living Lisa Frank binder.  Pink sparkles and angel wings? All she needs is a famous guy to break up with her here and she’ll be in all her glory.
  • The childhood pics of the models are sort of sweet. I saw Girl Model and a lot of the business seems pretty terrible, and obviously these gals are like the 1%ers of modeling, but seriously, good for them.

Shipwrecked

  • Great Big World is playing. I hope we’re not overstating the Seth Cohen of things lately, but this guy really does remind me of our the love child of our favorite Newport-ian and Ben Folds.
  • A model is wearing wings that look like toilet paper. It looks like nothing so much as that bridal shower game where you have to make a dress out of TP.
  • Someone please tell me who the guy who looks like a bearded Steve Carell is.
  • A very orange-tan lady is walking. Did she get rollered or airbrushed, I wonder? My main frame of reference here is Honey Boo Boo.
  • Evidently, “shipwrecked” means pieces of tangled garbage and dead jellyfish, based on the bedraggled wings. That’s actually super-accurate. The costumes look like they were made of debris that you find in the surf in Hyannisport.
  • Now we get to find out how the models feel about deserted islands – and let me tell you, it’s a mixed bag. My favorite is the girl who says that obviously they would need wifi. But if I have to bet on one of them to survive on a desert isle, it’s the chick with the sensible bob (Karlie Kloss). She knows what’s up.

Commercial Break

  • Oh my god, there are commercials during this giant commercial. This is the most WTF moment of them all.

Parisian Nights

  • Evidently Parisian Nights means something other than trying to sleep in a hostel when a bunch of high German teenagers come in at 5 am. Victoria’s Secret, you are not reflecting my experience here.
  • Embarrassing: By this point in the show I have pulled up the Angel Line-Up on the VS website so I know who these people are. I already know a lot of the models because, while I’m not a VS fan, I pore over Style.com during the various fashion weeks. There’s a workout on the VS website that looks pretty good, but unless it stretches me out a foot and somehow involves a face transplant, it’s not as though it will make me look like these ladies.
  • Everyone’s lingerie has these weird straps between the bra and underwear. [Note: I’m saying underwear because I’m not saying panties.] Do people do that? Maybe it’s a wing harness?
  •  I think the music note headdress is the best accessory of this segment, so far.
  • No, wait, I like the teal blue gloves that look like something a nurse would wear during some sort of uncomfortable procedure.
  • No, actually, my real favorite thing is the girl in dishwashing gloves.
  •  How come some of the models rate wings and others don’t? I kind of want to stop the wingless girls and tell them, you know, “girlfriend, you ARE beautiful,” but since beautiful is their job description, they probably know, right? That would be like them telling me “Girlfriend, you ARE a lawyer.”
  • I’ve seen my fair share of Toddlers and Tiaras and I was lead to believe there would be more cupcake hands, pretty feet, and “oopsies” faces in runway events.
  • There’s a behind-the-scenes feature about shooting their campaign in Paris, in the cold, in underwear, in the middle of the night. No thanks.

Birds of Paradise

  • According to the other models, Lais is the sweet one who fell, once. She couldn’t do the show. So, here’s my theory: the VS show is, for some ladies, what football is to some men. There’s the gory injuries, the triumph over adversity, knowing all of the major players and picking favorites. You watch people who were probably dealt a way better genetic hand then you, but you still kind of feel like you can armchair quarterback them (or armchair runway walk). So, ladies, if a guy makes fun of you for watching this, just tell him that it’s the same as football and I’m sure he’ll take that analogy really well.
  • Lais gets to open Birds of Paradise because she was injured out last year. The way they talk about “what happened to [her] last year,” you’d think that her family got killed and she got AIDS, but no, it was some ankle thing. (That does suck, though. I actually feel really bad for her?)
  •  “Birds of paradise” means wearing giant feathers, so the angels all look like Hot Big Bird now.
  • My new favorite is the girl wearing a mylar balloon heart instead of wings.
  • The models show us their “natural” and “sexy” face-looks. For me, both of those faces are just a sort of grimace.

Neon Jungle

  • A man in a suit says that the girls are “literally the rock stars of social media,” but wouldn’t that be literally… rock stars? I’m sure there are some on Twitter.
  • The models present a handy PSA about being careful about what you post online. The CEO (?) LOVES how active they are on social media (because it means free publicity, duh).
  • There’s a girl walking for the first time and she looks like a young Sarah Silverman.
  • There’s a skirt with hashtags on it.
  • Neon Jungle’s song, Trouble, is actually really catchy and seems to fit great with the “tone” of the show.
  • A girl is wearing a plush “OMG” around her neck. It’s like this segment was thought up by a group of old guys trying to figure out what teens are into: “they use a lot of acronyms, I think? And hashtag, internet-type stuff? But they also like bright colors and probably smiley faces? And hearts, and balloons?” Result: it looks like the runway version of an early-90s trapper keeper, with some social media stuff thrown in.

Snow Angels

  • Adriana Lima says “to have beauty, you need strength,” which I believe translates to “to keep my job, I have to have abs like a Ken Doll.” She does boxing, which is pretty cool.
  • Taylor Swift is singing Trouble, and I just noticed that she has spray-tanned legs too. Or, who knows, maybe suntan hosiery instead.

    Victoria’s REAL secret.

  • T. Swift is making a lot of diva hands, and is being “fierce,” probably. Not fierce: the reverb sound effect.
  • College Molly Story : one time the neighbor girls told my housemates and I that we should come over for their once-a-week tradition of playing beer pong in their underwear. And we kind of just thought, wouldn’t that be more fun with pants on? I wonder if some of the Angels have that running through the back of their minds, too.
  • Did I just see Beyonce?
  • Does being a model mean people yelling “go go go go go GO” at you all the time? I hate being rushed.
  • That girl is still wearing her dish gloves (was it Lily Aldridge? I can’t remember now), and did I just see Karl Lagerfeld?
  • Curtain call.  I’ve decided that Cara Delevingne is my favorite, IDEK. She seems fun, as does Karlie Kloss. But Behati’s name is so fun to say! And Jourdan Dunn held up her career so well after having a kid (but so did Arizona Muse, why isn’t she here?) See, that’s what this past hour of tv has done to me. I’ve gone from utter apathy to declaring Cara Delivigne my favorite.