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.

The Worst: Olympics Fashion Through the Years

THE OLYMPICS START TOMORROW! THE OLYMPICS START TOMORROW!!!

Here’s a little known fact I don’t think Molly nor I have ever touched upon in this blog: we love the Olympics. Like straight up obsessed. In fact, the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics (read: Apolo Anton Ohno) was one of the bonding experiences we had in high school. Needless to say, we’re excited about the start of the Sochi Olympics on Friday.

So to prep you for the next couple of weeks, here’s a guide on what you will probably notice first whilst watching the Opening Ceremony on Friday: the official outfits.

For example: This is what you have to look forward to from Norway in the coming weeks:

Say hello to the Norwegian curling team. No, this is not a joke. Yes, those are their real uniforms.

Don’t believe me?

This is what the team wore when they won their silver medal in Vancouver in 2010. Like, they went up on the podium like that as they were handed the world’s second best prize in men’s curling.

But this is just the beginning.

Unfortunately, the Norwegians aren’t the only ones who are forced to wear hideous attire as they represent their homelands. And while it may hurt our eyes while we watch the athletes parade around the Olympics, it’s totally worth it to see what kind of getups the folks are wearing these days.

Like this outfit volunteers in Sochi have to wear:

I know Russia can be a little behind the times and all, but this looks straight up from a 1992 TGIF sitcom

And America, doing it big with Ralph Lauren:

So before we get our first glimpse of what ‘hot Olympic fashion trends’ are like during the Opening Ceremony tomorrow, here’s a look back at some of the absolute worst throughout the years.

USA {Rome 1960}

1960: The year we were really into barbershop quartets. Specifically the hats.

 

Canada {Sapporo 1972}

Listen up, Canada. We get that you like to tout the fact that -30 degree weather is like your summer, but put some damn pants on.

 

USA {Sarajevo 1984}

Nothing says America like dressing up the athletes in cowboy outfits that looks like Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain. They wore almost the exact same thing four years earlier in Lake Placid. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO QUIT YOU, SHEEPSKIN JACKETS.

 

Australia {Barcelona 1992}

Yup, that’s 1992 alright.

 

Canada {Barcelona 1992}

Come on Canada, you’re better than this. Bonus for the fanny packs though. ’92’s opening ceremony looks totally rad.

 

Canada {Lillehammer 1994}

Well, apparently Canada is NOT better than this. I think the designer thought they were making uniforms for athletes in communist Russia.

 

Japan {Sydney 2000}

Do Japanese people have pride parades? If so, that’s probably where they got these outfits.

 

Japan {Athens 2004}

I mean, could you BE anymore Asian.

 

France {Beijing 2008}

Uh, can you can be more Asian. What’s up with the sumo belts, Frenchies?

 

Poland {Beijing 2008}

Fun Fact: All of Poland’s athletes from this Olympics were rhythmic gymnasts.
Another Fun Fact: The preceding fact is false.

 

Hungary {Beijing 2008}

To me, these outfits scream, ‘DON’T FORGET US. WE’RE A REAL COUNTRY TOO’. Shhhhh Hungary. Shhhhhhh.

 

Czech Republic {Vancouver 2010}

If you stare at the pants long enough it turns into a Magic Eye illusion

 

Ukraine {London 2012}

Ukrainians: We’re two wild and crazyy guyyssss

 

Great Britain {London 2012}

The Brits secretly stole these from ABBA’s costume museum in Sweden.

 

Czech Republic {London 2012}

What I’ve learned from this is that the Czechs basically need a new designer. Who thinks, ‘You know what would make these better? BLUE PATENT LEATHER BOOTS!’