Met Gala 2014 Best Dressed

Yesterday was the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute exhibition. This year the show is a retrospective of Charles James’ work. I can’t wait to see it!

red carpet for the Met Gala, photo from @metmuseum’s Instagram

And last night was the Met Gala. I could dissect all the fashion on the red carpet, but, honestly, let’s just skip to the best. No point in wasting time on the ensembles that were ill fitting, revealed too much skin, or just didn’t fit with the theme.

James is called the Architect of Fashion, and his gowns lived up to that name based on complicated understructures that supported them. Only a lady with a strong presence could pull one off properly. So it’s only fitting that the best from last night made their wearers look like ladies and had pronounced architectural elements.

First honorable mentions go to Dita von Teese and Karen Elson in Zac Posen, Tabitha Simmons in Dolce and Gabbana, and Bee Shaffer in Alexander McQueen.

Zac Posen and Dita von Teese, photo by Josh Haner/The New York Times

Karen Elson in Zac Posen, photo by Josh Haner/The New York Times

Tabith Simmons in Dolce and Gabbana, photo by Josh Haner/The New York Times

Bee Shaffer in Alexander McQueen, photo by Josh Haner/The New York Times

And here are my top three gowns.

Taylor Swift in Oscar de la Renta, photo by Josh Haner/The New York Times

Taylor Swift looked so pretty in this Oscar de la Renta gown. I love the bustle that cascades into a sweeping train. It has just the right amount of embroidery, and the color complements her tone too.

Taylor Swift at the Met Gala, photo from @annstreetstudio’s Instagram

Lui Wen in Zac Posen, photo by Josh Haner/The New York Times

I follow Zac Posen’s Instagram feed, and have been anticipating his dominance on this red carpet for months based on the behind-the-scenes photos he posts. I mean, come on! Liu Wen looks like a proper lady in this stunner that is clearly inspired by Charles James. This gown requires a “presence” in order to carry it off, and its construction certainly rivals James’ gowns.

Karolína Kurková in Marchesa, photo by Josh Haner/The New York Times

But my top choice goes to Karolína Kurková in Marchesa. Marchesa! Who knew?! This gown has some serious architecture and a little edge. The floral design pops right off of the fabric into three dimensional form. Superb!

Lui Wen and Karolína Kurková on the Met Gala red carpet, photo from @annstreetstudio’s Instagram

EDIT: When I woke up this morning, I finally saw Hamish Bowles on his Instagram feed. He was certainly the best dressed gent last night and belatedly deserves to be on my list!

Friday File

I’ve got good news to report — my strep throat is gone! And it’s the weekend, and I’m looking forward to celebrating my birthday (belatedly) with friends. Hope everyone has a great weekend too.

And now some links:

I feel strongly about overhead lights (ask my husband how much I dislike them). It delights me that David Sedaris feels the same. Seriously, this short story is lovely. I love how he describes his mother in candle light. Also, if you’ve heard Sedaris’ voice, is it possible to read a Sedaris piece in any other voice than Sedaris’? I think not.

In The Business of Fashion, Mark C. Oflaherty wonders if camera phones are killing fashion. I have to say, I agree with him mostly. I hate the crappy shots of fashion shows that appeared in my Instagram feed throughout the past month. Sure, every once in a while there’s a good image. But for the most part, the editors who attend them need a HUGE lesson in editing. Don’t post everything! And stop posting so many pictures of yourself. Seriously. It’s not just the fashion hanger-ons. Editors at major publications are just as guilty of terrible camera phone images and narcissistic selfies.

Robin Givhan examines how McQueen and Valentino have evolved since their founders left both fashion houses.

Oscar red-carpet fashion has a big economic impact on the brands who appear (or don’t appear) on celebrities. Vanessa Friedman and Elizabeth Paton break down who “won” Sunday evening. P.S. You need a subscription to read the article, but it’s free and totally worth it. Friedman is a really great critic, and I always love her analysis.

I never knew that arm knitting was a thing, but I totally want one of these “arm cowls.” They look so cozy, and who knows if winter will ever end in Chicago.

Oscar’s Red Carpet

The cold I was fighting off at the end of last week hit me hard this weekend, and it was confirmed that I have strep throat. So my lovely weekend plans with my parents were scrapped, and we spent most of it at home.

But I did stay up and watch the Oscars last night, because that kind of thing is up my alley. Unfortunately, I thought the red carpet was a bit dull this year. Nothing stood out as particularly stunning, but there were a few I enjoyed.

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada, photo by Jordan Stauss/Invision/AP

Lupita Nyong’o looked light and youthful in her pretty Prada gown. I thought Sandra Bullock was alluring in a very figure-flattering McQueen. I liked the way Cate Blanchett’s Giorgio Armani gown glittered as she moved. And Emma Watson looked smashing in her understated Vera Wang.

Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen, photo by Jordan Stauss/Invision/AP

Cate Blanchett in Giorgio Armani, photo by Jordan Stauss/Invision/AP

Emma Watson in Vera Wang, photo by Jordan Stauss/Invision/AP

Who were your favorites last night? I’m curious if you also thought things were pretty tame, and if there was anything good I missed. There sure are a lot of celebrities, so I’m sure I didn’t see everything.

Kevin Spacey in Burberry, photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Update: Also, I would be remiss not to point out the great Burberry suit Kevin Spacey wore last night. I love the black peaked lapel contrasting the navy blue of his suit. This was a great look for him.

Met Gala Recap

Did you watch the Met Gala red carpet live stream on Monday? I did, and provided a running commentary to my husband, who thought the whole thing was a little insane, and on twitter.

There has been plenty of coverage of who wore what. I thought The Cut‘s was the best roundup of all the looks. Although Daily Mail‘s piece presented the trends well at a quick glance.

But I want to make a few quick observations of my own.

Emma Stone in Lanvin, photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images from The Cut

First, my hands down best dressed of the night was Emma Stone in Lanvin. Probably didn’t hurt that she arrived with the adorable designer Alber Elbaz. I thought the dress’s silhouette and color were fun and flirty. The embellishment was interesting and makes me crave a closer look. And the length was perfect for maneuvering the Met’s steep staircase.

(If you watched the live stream, you saw woman after woman stumbling and getting stuck on the staircase because of their long and leg binding dresses.)

Karlie Kloss in Jason Wu with Jason Wu | Christina Ricci in Thakoon, photos by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images from The Cut

Runner up had to go to Karlie Kloss on the arm of Jason Wu. I’m not a huge fan of the color combo hot pink and black generally, but something about the asymmetrical drape of the pink and delicateness of the lace worked in this dress by Wu. I also really like Christina Ricci’s black and nude Thakoon dress in an exaggerated silhouette. The back had a giant bow. I mean, if you are going to rock a nontraditional red carpet gown, this is the venue to do so.

Lena Dunham in Wes Gordon with Hamish Bowles in Dolce & Gabbana | Jonathan Tisch and Lizzie Tisch in Mary Katrantzou, photos by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images from The Cut

Lena Dunham looked fab in Wes Gordon escorted by Hamish Bowles in Dolce & Gabbana. This was an unexpected pair to turn up together, but I thought it was cool that the Girls star is friends with this fashion wizard. And I’m giving big nods to Lizzie Tisch for donning a surrealist digital print on a Mary Katrantzou dress.

Beyonce in Givenchy haute couture, photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images from The Cut

Now for my least favorite. Beyonce was on many best dressed lists, but I cannot stomach what she was wearing. It’s all a little too I’m-going-to-wear-the-craziest-combo-of-design-options-because-this-is-the-Met-Gala. I said before that this was the place to take risks, but this Givenchy haute couture dress was not a risk. It was a bit of a disaster in my opinion. A little too much all in one. Also, I was not a fan of the super, super fashionably late arrival. It’s one thing to want to be the last on the carpet. It’s another to arrive after the red carpet live stream ends.

One last thing to point out — there was definitely a long, sheer skirt trend going on. Not only did Beyonce do it, but also Rooney Mara in Givenchy haute couture, Marion Cotillard in Dior, Heidi Klum in Escada, and Caroline Sieber in Christopher Kane were seen in a similar look.

Rooney Mara in Givenchy haute couture | Marion Cotillard in Dior, photos by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images from The Cut

Heidi Klum in Escada | Caroline Sieber in Christopher Kane, photos by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images from The Cut

I would love to know what you thought. Anything particular stand out to you?