The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala‘s annual opening event is one of the biggest fashion moments of the year. Not only does it honor someone doing incredible in fashion, but it also draws the top models, biggest designers, and most famous celebs, sometimes arm-in-arm with each other to highlight the fact that the celeb or model’s super deluxe gown or tux was created by that designer.
The 2012 Costume Institute Gala at the Met is called Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations. The exhibition, on display from May 10 to August 19 focuses on the similarities between these two Italian designers from different eras. While a real conversation is downplayed, of course, (there’s no way it could happen), the exhibit of their clothes and accessories proves just how life-changing they both have been for the fashion world.
While I’m eager to see the exhibit with my very own eyes, the Costume Institute Gala to welcome the opening of the exhibit is what I had my eyes on last night as guests like Scarlett Johansson, Kate Bosworth, Karolina Kurkova, Karlie Kloss, Emma Stone, and Marc Jacobs made breathtaking appearances.
The event was livestreamed for the first time ever, which worked, but the event producers still have a lot to learn. Photographers were in a frenzy and their voices were heard throughout the presentation, making us all realize how intense that red carpet really is. Still, Vogue’s William Norwich and socialite/model Elettra Wiedemann did an incredible job interviewing for the Vogue.com, Amazon.com, and MetMuseum.org-aired event.
And yes, in case you missed it, Marc Jacobs wore a lace dress! Never one to shy away from deviating from the norm, when asked why he chose that getup, MJ said that Prada is unconventional so he had to be unconventional, too.
We all waited with bated breath to see exactly what everyone was wearing (even as we got the scoop on the designers dressing their models and celebs before the event, thanks to Twitter), and they didn’t disappoint! Some made us applaud in approval and some made us gasp. So without further ado, let’s check out the best looks of the night.
Best of The Night
(Also known as the most jaw-dropping, statement-making, showstopping gowns and cocktail dresses of the event.)
While Christina Ricci certainly doesn’t disappoint in the fashion department, I wasn’t expecting her to have one of the best looks of the night! This Thakoon gown had just about everything from an intricate bodice to a slight showing of skin at the midriff and finally that out of this world neckline with a bow in the back. And somehow the entire look seemed to work perfectly for her, where it may not have for someone else.
Alexander McQueen was soooo last year, right? The 2011 Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala was dedicated to him, in fact. But that didn’t stop celebs like Florence Welch and Cate Blanchett from paying homage to the gone-too-soon deceased designer who’s talent truly made an impact on the fashion world. Florence Welch looked outstanding in an organza tiered dress with dandelion embroidery. It’s far out, but seems to be just right on her.
The face of the Donna Karan is a true Grecian goddess this evening. While many of the celebs tried to outdo themselves in the statement-making department, Ashley Greene may have played it safe, but she looked ever so much the Old Hollywood screen siren she has become. The look was custom-beaded especially for her. Donna Karan seems to be made for this actress!
January Jones wasn’t the only one to wear canary yellow this evening (hello Solange!) but she certainly outdid herself in this sculpted Versace number which was worn on model Lindsey Wixson at the Spring 2012 haute couture presentation but elongated especially for January at this event. Jones has the perfect body to wear a tight-fitting Versace getup and this look proves it!
Other Looks That Wowed Us
Taking a page out of your Hunger Games character, are we Elizabeth Banks?
Sofia Vergara always talks about not having a model’s figure and how dresses have to be specially tailored to her curvy frame. Well that curvy frame is quite envious here in Marchesa, and I’m guessing most models are wanting a bit of that!
When Heidi Klum announced she was wearing see-through Escada, I expected something a little more provocative. But this gown is lovely and the color is gorgeous on her.
Lily Collins stood out to me this evening. Something about her long-sleeved Victorian style gown by Valentino just made me think Pride and Prejudice all over again. She and Sarah Jessica Parker were two of very few celebs who wore long sleeves this evening.
Unique and gorgeous but she’s too young to be wearing this look!
Quite possibly the best we’ve ever seen Kristen Wiig!!
When Coco Rocha modeled this stunning creation at the end of the Zac Posen Fall 2012 collection at New York Fashion Week, I was just waiting to spot it on some statement-making celeb. Didn’t expect that celeb to be actress/model Leslie Bibb, who isn’t really a household name. She looks stunning nonetheless.
The Disco Effect
Whether it was sparkly sequins, gorgeous metallics, or a turban (ahem Karolina!) these stars were sparkly from head to toe reminiscent of Studio 54 in a modern era and totally taking our breath away at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala.
Two stunning girls wearing Donna Karan Atelier, two completely different looks. While Ashley Greene went for royal princess, Nina Dobrev went for slick metallics in this black and gold number with a train. WOW!
Model Karolina Kurkova looks like a shiny disco ball in this Rachel Zoe getup and that turban does the trick! The long sleeve rose gold sequin gown has an open back and truly makes me catch my breath. Kurkova certainly sold it for the models that evening. Other models who looked stunning include Karlie Kloss in Jason Wu, Chanel Iman in Tom Ford, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Burberry.
One model who didn’t look so great was the typically lovely Coco Rocha. OK, we get it, Coco. This is vintage Givenchy. It’s canary yellow. It’s different. It has pink for the theme of the evening. It was Elizabeth Taylor’s. And it has a wine stain that you decided not to get rid of…for effect! But that still doesn’t mean it look appropriate for this evening. Definitely a step in the wrong direction…or the disco era!
There were a couple of magical disco dresses this evening and some of them even had a psychedelic print, like this gorgeous gown on Shailene Woodley from Christopher Kane.
Chloe Sevigny in Miu Miu also looks positively disco an those silver clogs are to die for! We’re not surprised Chloe went for this unique getup, but we were are pretty impressed by how fashion forward, yet beautiful she looks!
I was planning to include this in the Prada section, but Carey Mulligan‘s gorgeous dress is more disco than anything else. As a high fashion connoisseur and host of the evening’s event, Carey Mulligan had to look breathtaking or else! Well, that she did but in a Prada look that we didn’t expect from the girl who is always Old Hollywood glamour at its best. This decidedly more graphic/modern two tone gold and silver pailette look speaks volumes though, and it’s growing on us. Also the fact that Ms. Mulligan (who just got married!) looks good in everything!
Perhaps you can fault Kirsten Stewart for never smiling for the cameras, but you can’t fault her for always choosing something that gets us thinking. I’m a fan of this Balenciaga look which is short, but unique with elements of color block and leopard print. Am I the only one who likes the shoes, too? Totally disco once again!
Other disco looks…
This dress is waterproof and has on it 3000 plastic flowers. But we can decide who we love more–Emma or her date Alber Elbaz!
We thought we might get a little Angelina Jolie leg action, but luckily we were spared! Lea Michele looks stunning and finally, not too over-the-top. Notice how both Chloe Sevigny and Donatella Versace photobombed this picture and she still looks fabulous!
Other Dresses That Caught Our Attention, For Better or Worse!
Photos: People.com, Stylelist
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Tags: Alexander McQueen, Ashley Greene, Christina Ricci, Donna Karan Atelier, Elizabeth Banks, Emma Stone, escada, Florence Welch, Heidi Klum, January Jones, Karlie Kloss, Karolina Kurkova, Kate Bosworth, Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Bibb, Lily Collins, Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Mary Katrantzou, Met Ball 2012, Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala Best-Dressed 2012, Rodarte, Sarah Jessica Parker, Scarlett Johansson, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, Sofia Vergara, Stella McCartney, Thakoon, The 2012 Costume Institute Gala, Valentino, Versace, Zac Posen