The fashion world recently held our equivalent of the Oscars Red Carpet – the Met Ball. Co-hosted by Anna Wintour, the event kicked off the Savage Beauty exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute honouring the work of the late Alexander McQueen. Second City Style’s own Lauren Dimet Waters and Joseph Ungoco give you their take on the arrivals.
He Said: With Black Swan so fresh in our memories it’s hard not to draw comparisons to many of the outfits tonight. Some of them worked and some, like this, are a disaster. This is all too pretty pretty! The outfit needed a little of the darkness of McQueen – she should have called up Lady Gaga for her McQueen Armadillo pumps in albino python. Even a spiked collar and some latex fetish boots from her friendly neighborhood tranny hooker would have saved the look.
She Said: Agreed. This is a little too pretty for me. For the Met Gala I want to see drama! I also automatically hate a short skirt with longer, fringe lash, mesh or frill. She looks like Vegas bride. That said, I can't believe she just had a baby. Bitch.
He Said: This dress is a good reminder to me to be a “good boy” this year so I don’t get a lump of coal in my stocking at Christmas. I appreciate the workmanship – not to mention the sheer volume of feathers involved but the whole thing just look heavy – and dowdy – sort of Queen Victoria in mourning by McQueen. This outfit really needs crazy Guy Bourdin hair. She should have taken a cue from the Duchess of Devonshire and piled her hair in masses of curls both high and wide – with even more feathers! You can’t take a dress like this and try to tone it down with hair and makeup – you just have to go for it!
She Said: This dress confuses me. I don't mind the top corseted half, but the back and lower half throw me. She looks deathly thin up top and huge below. Not a great silhouette.
He Said: Now we’re talking! Ordinarily, I’m not a big fan of Marchesa, but this is quite simply perfection. It looks like a fashion illustration come to life – the sort of thing that only a model, not an actress, let alone a real person could carry off. I’m already into horse racing season mode and this just reminds me of one of my favorite movie fashion moments – the Cecil Beaton designed Ascot races scene in My Fair Lady!
She Said: I normally am a fan of Marchesa and while this dress is not one of my favorites of theirs, it works for the task at hand. It certainly has drama! You are correct, only a model could carry this off. The thought of a pre-pregnant Kate Hudson wearing this gave me shivers. The bad kind.
He Said: I LOVE this look. In a season when I’ve been pushing everyone to wear white, I have to admit that I am just loving black-and-white on the red carpet. Normally, I hate the short/long skirt, but the matching leggings make this one of my favorite outfits of the night. Leave it to JPG to make the contrasts work. Again, though, I wish the hair were a little more editorial.
She Said: Hmm. I really hate this. The leggings just don't do it for me, but I do love the dramatic effect. So even though I would abhor this look anywhere else, I am going to have to say for this evening…it works.
He Said: This just made me sad. At first I was excited because I thought it was one of the Valkyrie gowns from the Givenchy Couture that I loved, but then I realized that Naomi would, of course, wear McQueen. Perhaps Sarah Burton was still mourning when she designed this, but I something about it is just, well, sad.
She Said: OMG! This is horrid indeed. And coming off a royal weeding coup this is beyond tragic. The skirt looks like something my son could create with a few rolls of toilet paper. What is sad is that Naomi is losing her relevancy.
He Said: FINALLY – a firebird among the swans! This McQueen gown is perhaps my favorite of the night. Even standing still, it looks like it’s moving. Ordinarily, I would advise against red on the red carpet, but this dress is just ON FIRE! Easily my pick for best dressed of the McQueen girls. Perhaps I’ve been watching too many 19th century period dramas, but I really wanted to see some big hair balance out the volume of the skirt.
She Said: Well this is lame, I totally agree with Joseph. I have nothing to add. Perfection.
He Said: This is exactly why I advise against wearing red of the red carpet! It all just blends away and you wind up with a disembodied bobble head floating along. I know that it’s vintage – and Givenchy Haute Couture – but really??? It looks like a couple of potato sacks strung together and dyed at home in a washing machine.
She Said: Well we are talking about Mary Kate here. I really expected nothing better. However, at the very least, when wearing vintage, have it tailored. This dress is way too big on her. Ill fitting to say the least. And Joseph is correct, it is OK to wear red on the red carpet, just not the exact same shade as the carpet.
He Said: I expected her to wear McQueen and I know that her less than high fashion model height limited her options for borrowing from the runway archives, but I simply do not get this choice. I would have preferred to see her in a short runway look that fell to midi length on her. I mean this fits her perfectly and is a beautiful dress but the color is simply wrong for her. It looks so washed out – and bland! Where are the feathers???
She Said: I was a little surprised by SJP's choice as well. I expect her to bring on the crazy at an event such as this and McQueen is the obvious option. Then again, did you really expect SJP to wear what everyone else was wearing? The color (or lack thereof) of this gown really washes her out and as much as I hate to say it…makes her look old. Ouch. I think that hurt me more than it hurt her.
He Said: Another Black Swan! I’m going out on a limb here to say that I love this dress. It captures all the drama and darkness that a night honoring McQueen should. It’s vaguely “proper” in a Victorian – high neck and long sleeves – way yet totally sexy in a completely modern way. It reminds me a little of Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress in SATC, but this feels so much fresher!
She Said: You're out on that limb alone! I hate this dress! I think the neckline and her hair are just awful. I also feel for someone as small as Christina this gown was a bad choice. Sorry Joseph, I have to disagree with you on this one. On a 6-foot model this Victorian gown might have worked. Not here. The hair just makes me crazy too.
He Said: Easily the worst of the “white swans” of the evening! I mean I get it – I’m still recovering from a serious bout of Royal Wedding fever myself, but you don’t see me running around in a regimental uniform. This is a perfect example of how the best ingredients came come together to make the worst tasting cocktail. The Oscar de la Renta ostrich feathers are simply too bridal for this event. In any other color this could have worked better, although the silhouette is not the best for an – ahem – “athletic” figure. The Philip Treacy hat must be off-the-peg. I can’t imagine that after creating 40 custom hats for the Royal nuptials he would have designed THIS hat for THAT dress.
She Said: I just laughed out loud when I saw this. There is nothing swan-like or feminine about Serena Williams. She should have gone with a dominatrix look. This was the event for that! The hat, the hat…you are correct Joseph. It was not meant to be worn with this gown and is clearly off-the-rack. I think Phillip Treacy needs to take a break for a while. We are all tired of the crazy bat-shit hat look now, aren't we? I love that she tries though. Usually she's a big, fat fail, but I give her credit for always going for it and entertaining us all. She brings that little extra bit of something special to the worst-dressed lists she grazes all too frequently.
He Said: She’s three for three with me on the red carpet. One of my Worst Dressed of the night!!! Someone needs to sit this girl down and give her a good talking to. She always looks like she’s playing dress up in her crazy great aunt’s closet.
She Said: Joseph! Lighten up on the poor girl! She's a teenager and I appreciate she keeps it buttoned up and doesn't try to look like a teenage hooker or next week's fame whore crazy Teen Mom. Again I think she looks age appropriate. I would want her for my daughter. Love the shoes too.
He Said: Cue the crazy aunt! I’ll admit that I am prejudiced here. Daphne Guiness can do no wrong in my eyes. She’s the last great public advocate of high fashion. And I do mean “public” – she got dressed for the event in the windows of Barney’s New York! This lilac McQueen needed to be moving around the ball, not stuck in a display in the exhibit. Brava to Daphne for pulling it off! There was a tradition in Victorian England of “going to purple” – switching to purple from black after a suitable mourning period. This dress heralds the ends of the formal mourning period for McQueen and the beginning of a period celebrating his brilliance!
She Said: I love this! Now THIS is how one pays homage to the late Alexander McQueen! Get dressed in a storefront window and then hit the carpet looking like this! Bravo! Brillz.
He Said: I love the “effect” of this outfit which is lost in the solo shot of her on the red carpet. I think you really need to see her floating in a sea of handsome men in tuxedos to get the full effect. Think of YSL’s groundbreaking Le Smoking. I wouldn’t normally advocate pants at a gala, but this is such a great look straight off the runway. I think her ostrich egg hat would have looked better on Daphne Guinness though. No? Too much?
She Said: Seriously? For the Met Ball? Me thinks not. I love an homage to YSL as much as the next gal or guy, but this was not the place. Pants? No, no, no!
He Said: She has been taking a lot of heat lately for some of her pattern choices but I really love this Chanel. The colors are just great on her. She looks amazing on the red carpet. I think it’s perfection!
She Said: Eh, I have to say Anna's choices bore me lately. You can't see the shoes here, but she wears the same boring 90's style sandals every time and it makes me cringe. I would have loved to see her break form and wear McQueen. Just once!
—Joseph Ungoco and Lauren Dimet Waters
Tags: Alexander McQueen, Anna Dello Russo, Anna Wintour, black-tie, celebrities, Christina Ricci, Daphe Guiness, dress, Fashion Designers, gala, Gisele Bundschen, Hailee Steinfeld, Joseph Ungoco, Karolina Kurkova, Lauren Dimet Waters, Mary-Kate Olsen, Met Ball, Metropolitan Museumâ€™s Costume Institute, Miranda Kerr, models, Naomi Campbell, Raquel Zimmerman, red carpet, Sarah Jessica Parker, Savage Beauty exhibit, Serena Williams, Shalom Harlow, SJP