Thursday, May 8, 2008

Costume Party

The annual Costume Institute gala brings out every movie star, fashion designer and model at the top of his/her game that year. The 2008 gala this past weekend was no different. Julia Roberts, Anna Wintour, Amber Valletta, and company took a turn on the red carpet before checking out the Costume Institute at the Met's Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy. considers the Costume Institute gala the Oscars of the East. This is somewhat true, but whereas most Oscar attendees play it safe with classic gowns, those that attend the gala take more chances when it comes to their look for the evening.

Below are my biased opinions on the evenings best and worst dressed.

Badly Done:

Victoria Beckham's Giorgio Armani gown looks dated on her Barbi-figure body type. Elettra Rossellini's Chris Benz dress just doesn't work - the color blocks look awkward on a flowing gown. I like how the designer dressed himself in something a little off-kilter, but those shoulder pads!

I know it's sacrilegious in the fashion world to say anything bad about Mr. Lagerfeld, but I just don't get his genius. Why are his pants all bunched awkwardly? John Mayer should have chosen a less shiny tie and the converse-with-suit look is overdone. No good.

Of course I had to include Anna Wintour's Chanel Haute Couture gown. Apparently she's going for the superhero theme with a futuristic look, but those embellishments just look like giant silver slugs to me. Usually Katie Holmes looks great in Armani, but her red dress paired with a long gold chain and blue shoes just ruins it.

Well done:

Naomi Watts did a great job playing up the theme of the evening without being too literal. Andre Benjamin wore his signature look - he can do no wrong fashion-wise in my book. I love Piper Perabo's graphic black and white dress with her 1940s-ish hairdo.

The high waist and drape of these dresses makes the wearer look elegant but not stuffy. L to R: Liv Tyler in Calvin Klein Collection, Christy Turlington Burns in Escada, Kristin Davis in Michael Kors, and Kate Moss in Stella McCartney.

Sophia Coppola in Marc Jacobs with Marc Jacobs. I'm not crazy about Rachel Bilson's Calvin Klein Collection dress, but I love the overall look with her fringe and wavy hair.

I like the combination of Kate Bosworth's vintage Chanel Haute Couture dress and Pierre Hardy shoes. Michelle Trachtenberg's stylist did a great job with her vintage skirt and tassle belt combo.


Annelise took the superhero/fantasy theme too seriously with a bow and arrow, but I love her Alberta Ferretti dress. I admire the Olsen twins for trying out different looks, but they both missed the mark at this year's gala. Ashley's black DVF dress and straight hair comes off as trite and Mary-Kate's messy hair and minimal make-up don't work with her gold DVF dress. I always like Charlotte Gainsbourg in Balenciaga, but I don't understand her shoe choice - they don't work well with the dress.

Check out all the looks at



Stephanie said...

I'll never understand Karl Lagerfeld, especially those gloves that he kept putting on Lindsey Lohan.

Unknown said...

yeah i was kinda disappointed with the outfits this year.
but then the theme wasnt exactly "high fashion"

ellastica said...

karl himself isn't accessible but his distinctive sensibilities for his various design houses are, which i admire. his creativity boggles my mind.
i'm really loving caroline trentini's vintage alaia gown. it resembles a stealthy stingray.
for once i didn't vomit at the site of VB. she could have done a lot worse. another wearer could have done that gown more justice though.
kate's gown has a really fun,flashy vintage Versace feel. she pulled it off with aplomb.

Anonymous said...

I've never thought Lagerfield was untouchable but I definitely find him amusing.

I though Katie Holmes dress was just the entirely wrong shape for her body--perhaps it's the shine that gives that impression. I want to give her points for at least trying to adhere to the theme but it just comes off as all wrong.

L.I.N said...

love liv tyler.

p/s: are you a mind reader? i've been searching for slap bracelets and you posted about it! the other time it was about the straw hat. man you're psychic :D

Romany said...

Posh Spice looked terrible - I agree.
I loved Naomi Watts' look! She looked Marylin Monroe and Wonder Woman at the same time...
Kristin Davis did a great job too, so did Kate, Christy, Liv...
And what the HELL was up with Mary-Kate? She looked beyond awful, so unusual for her...

Great post! :)

Wendy said...

Rachel Bilson and both Kates looked great.

Andrew Fleischman said...

You know I know next to nothing about fashion, but you are getting to be more and more readable. You really have a knack for writing.

AsianCajuns said...

Stephanie, I'm glad someone agrees!

Jenny h, you're right. Maybe it's the theme that's to blame.

Well put Ellastica! It's true that Karl's eponymous line doesn't just look like a watered down version of Chanel. I agree with the VB statement. Not horrible, but definitely not great.

Ambika, you're right. The dress just doesn't work for her shape, which is odd since she usually wears great dresses for her body type.

Eleh, you totally found us out! We're mind readers ;) !

Romany, I have no idea what's going on with Mary Kate. Usually I like her boldness, but this time it just isn't styled cleverly.

Wendy, Lauren and I discussed Rachel Bilson. She didn't like her outfit at all, but I though she looked great!

Andrew, you mean I wasn't readable before? Ha! Since your my boyfriend and despise fashion, i'll take your comment as a compliment!