It’s always pretty difficult to determine the “best and the worst” in Met Gala fashion; ridiculousness is expected, and as I said last year, the line between what is good and what is bad is weird and blurry.
This year's Gala theme was "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology." It seemed like a lot of guests took that to mean:
1. "Oh, so I can dress like a robot and that will work fine."
2. "So I can just cover myself in sequins and beading? Cool."
3. "Yeah, I have no idea what this theme means so I'm going to wear a totally plain dress and call it a day."
4. "I can wear something off-theme as long as I mention that technology created my outfit," (*cough cough* SARAH JESSICA PARKER.)
Overall I thought there were a lot of missed opportunities when it came to the theme, but there were still some clear winners that stood out.
The dress was intertwined with fiber-optic threads, and in the darkness of the museum it epitomized a digital-age Cinderella.
Claire Danes in Zac Posen
When I first saw this dress on the carpet, I immediately knew it was a Posen dress but I was also immediately disappointed. "It's just a pretty white ballgown," I thought. "No good at all for this particular theme." But guys. I was wrong. The dress freaking GLOWS.
In partnership with IBM, Marchesa created a gown with LED floral appliques that lit up and changed color as viewers would react to the gown online. I have no words for such genius.
Karolina Kurkova in Marchesa
This was another gown that I didn't fully understand or appreciate without some post-Gala research. As I was yelling at my computer thinking that yet another star wore a dress unsuited for the theme, I discovered that her dress also included a light-up factor.
Kate Hudson in Atelier Versace
I'm always just happy to see Kate wear anything that isn't gold or midriff-baring (which, given how many interpreted the theme, she easily could have done,) but instead she arrived in a sculptural dress created primarily with 3D printed materials.
I've enjoyed seeing the use of 3D printing on Project Runway the past few seasons, and I'm looking forward to seeing it used more frequently by designers in the future.
Emma Watson, Margot Robbie, and Luptia Nyong'o
in Calvin Klein Collection
Emma, Margot, and Lupita partnered with Eco-Age for their #GreenCarpetChallenge, which inspired stars to consider eco-friendliness when choosing their red carpet looks.
Emma's 5-piece outfit was woven from plastic bottles, organic cotton, and recycled zippers. Each piece can be separated and worn again.
Lupita's jade sequin gown was travel-emission conscious, created in entirety in Calvin Klein's New York atelier.
Margot's sleek sheath featured recycled zippers as well, and was pure organic silk.
Each look was entirely different, and they each represented how sustainable fashion can suit any style.
Nicole Kidman in Alexander McQueen
Love it or hate it, Nicole has always known how to work the red carpet. I thought the top could have used a little more coverage, but let's be real, when a woman throws on a stunning cape and a crown, you give the queen credit where it's due.
Alexa Chung in Thakoon
I'm always a sucker for a great jumpsuit. This is one of the best red carpet jumpsuits I've ever seen, and it was reflective of the theme in both aesthetics and technicality. The detail is exquisite, and Alexa's styling is perfect. Bravo.
Taylor Swift in Louis Vuitton
I completely understand why this look got a lot of mixed reviews. This is definitely not the Taylor Swift we're used to seeing, and it did skew a little on the costume side.
That said, her overall vibe felt like a gorgeous alien in a Star Wars cantina, and I'm kind of down with that. I'll take a space princess pop star any day.
Kylie Jenner in Balmain
Kylie was one of many who joined the #BalmainArmy at the Met Gala, but I think she rocked it the best. The other Balmain looks were top-heavy and too literal in the armor motif. This one was delicate and deco while still showing strength.
Rachel McAdams in Valentino
Rachel's red carpet looks have been all over the road this season, but she hit this one out of the park.
I don't know what the skirt says, and I don't even care. Give me a dress with words on it and the writer in me geeks out.
Rita Ora in Vera Wang
I was pretty horrified when Tim Gunn said he thought this look was vulgar and inappropriate. For a fashion exhibit that showcased technical details in fashion, how can you not appreciate this?
It was futuristic and feminine all rolled into one, and I wish the carpet had been filled with more dramatic moments like this one.
Kate Bosworth in Dolce & Gabbana
Photographs don't do this dress justice at all. The beaded details in the bodice and the headpiece glittered in the light and Kate looked like a glowing elven queen. It was a perfect couture moment for the Gala.
Beyonce in Givenchy
To say that this look would have been better suited for last year is by no means a criticism. Beyonce looks (to no one's surprise) jaw-droppingly gorgeous. And as far as this year's theme goes, it is a technological feat to create a red carpet gown out of latex...weird as that concept might be.
The flowers just read a little "cherry blossom" to me, and if she had worn this gown to last year's "China: Through the Looking Glass" Gala, no one would have questioned its place.
Mia Wasikowska in Prada and
Blake Lively in Burberry
These gowns were gorgeous, but not only were they they representative of China in color and styling, they didn't fit the bill of "Fashion in the Age of Technology."
Dakota Johnson in Gucci
I think Dakota is finally out of her "Bella Swan at the Prom" phase, but when the theme is about technology, why would you wear a dress that looks like an elementary school craft project?
Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton
This was Tim Gunn's favorite look of the night, and for the life of me I can't understand why. Everything but the kitchen sink is attached to this dress with no cohesiveness. And why is she wearing Avril Lavigne's hiking boots? It's simply ridiculous.
Zoe Kravitz in Valentino
Since when does "Fashion in the Age of Technology" means "Evil Witch Tinkerbell at the Masquerade Prom?" I know it's all up to interpretation, but I don't think the interpreter even knew the language.
Nicki Manaj in Moschino
If you're going to go with a bondage thing, throw on some leather and a corset and carry a whip. Nicki didn't even commit to her bad look. If you're going to go off-theme, at least go all the way.
Madonna in Givenchy
I think Madonna and Nicki thought they were going to the same party. Unbelievably, Madonna looks worse. I mean, come on. Absolutely freaking not.
Grimes in Louis Vuitton
This dress is literally being held together with safety pins. If that's what you call "Fashion in the Age of Technology," then I think you need an upgrade from the DOS system.
Lady Gaga in Atelier Versace
Of all the Met Gala themes, this one gave me extremely high expectations of Lady Gaga. I think we all assumed she would ride in on an LED unicorn and come dressed as a glittering disco ball.
To start, her hair and makeup was atrocious. It aged her tremendously and made the whole look skew 80s punk.
The fishnet tights added to the whole 80s vibe, and I just didn't get it. This look could have been great! I loved the circuit board-styled jacket and the corset, but the rest just fell flat and looked like a standard Gaga stage outfit. If she had shown up with the same top paired with a neon glowing ballgown skirt, I would have been all about it.
All that said, I do give her credit for hiking up the Met staircase in those shoes.
Sarah Jessica Parker in Monse
I have to take a few deep breaths for this one.
Sarah Jessica Parker is usually all about the Met Gala theme. Even if you hate what she's wearing, you can't ever fault her for being off-theme. EVER.
This year, she showed up as Hamilton. Then she got snarky and pissy when people said "Yo, the theme was technology and you're dressed like HAMILTON."
Then, as a defense, she said "perhaps you weren't aware of the technology used in the details and embellishments of the design."
Sorry, honey. I'm very well aware, and it's not an extraordinary feat of technological brilliance. You're off theme and your outfit is basic. Own up to it.