I always struggle analyzing and reviewing the Met Costume Gala; it's the ultimate red carpet fashion parade, and there are no real standards of what is or isn't "good" because everything is so over-the-top.
This year's exhibit theme was "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination," which added a level of controversy to the gala. Frustrated Catholics called the fashion parade heretical and claimed the Met was appropriating their culture. This is a hard point to argue, as the Met had support from the Sistine Chapel sacristy and the exhibit was a partnership with The Vatican. The goal of the exhibit was to "examine fashion's ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism," which feels pretty respectful to me.
It also might be mildly hypocritical to complain about a Catholic exhibit being cultural appropriation if you didn't also complain about the "China: Through the Looking Glass" exhibit a few years back.
And it's one thing to be confused or frustrated by the stars attending the gala, but it's another to criticize the exhibit itself, which is STUNNING.
But anyway. You're not here for my analysis of people's objections to the gala, you're here for PRETTY DRESSES. That's what it's all about.
Who Wore it Better?
Evan Rachel Wood in Altuzarra and Katy Perry in Versace
Katy's look is fine for the stage, but at the end of the day she looks like a pop star trying to be cool at the Met. Evan's longtime partnership with Altuzarra really shines, and her wings are far more effortless (can we just picture Katy trying to walk through a door with those cumbersome things?)
Lili Reinhart in H&M and Zendaya in Versace
This is a tie in my book. Zendaya was the perfect Joan of Arc, but Lili's dress portrayed romance and femininity within its strength. Both were styled to perfection and were a unique departure from a sea of gold gowns.
Gold with a Slit
Gabrielle Union in Prabal Gurung and Jasmine Sanders in H&M
Supposedly Gabrielle wore yellow because it's the color of the Vatican flag, but unfortunately she looked like an out-of-place highlighter. Because she added the matchy-matchy shoe and the oddly contrasting silver jewelry, everything about the look was just off. Jasmine's gown, on the other hand, looked like molten metal and the draping was perfection.
Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren and Scarlett Johansson in Marchesa
Scarlett wore Marchesa to stand up for Georgina Chapman in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and to make the point that the sins of a man should not effect the career of a woman. I completely agree, and it's a gorgeous dress...for the Oscars. The Met Gala is all about bold statements, and this gown is so pretty and soft that it falls flat. Priyanka's dress is simple but daring, and the color couldn't be any better for her.
Headpieces and Trains
Sarah Jessica Parker in Dolce & Gabanna and Cardi B in Moschino
Sarah Jessica Parker is the queen of the Met Gala and often takes the theme VERY seriously. This year she went so far as to wear a nativity scene on her head. Even so, because of the shape of her gown, the look wasn't overwhelming and the styling was spot on. Cardi B's look was way too much of a good thing. I like the headpiece, but without the necklace. I like the sleeves, but without the gloves. I like the dress, but without the duvet-cover train. If she was trying to knock off Beyonce's maternity Grammy's look, it just wasn't successful.
Photos Courtesy of EOnline and Fashionista.
This year's Academy Awards was filled with powerful messages of standing up for human rights, celebrating our differences, and supporting marginalized groups. The #TimesUp movement promoted wearing bright colors on the red carpet to display the wide array of people affected by injustice. Symbolism aside, there were also a lot of pretty dresses. And really...that's what this is about.
Who Wore it Better?
Gal Godot in Givenchy vs. Jennifer Lawrence in Dior
Both of these ladies were presenters, but one of them looked like, well, a presenter, and the other looked like she was nominated for every award in the book. Gal's beaded fringe Givenchy was one of the best looks of the night, and her glamazon jewelry is worthy of Daisy Gatsby. JLaw's gown looks like a cheap prom dress in comparison, and her hair and makeup was just wrong for the overall look.
Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton vs. Armie Hammer in Armani
We all know I'm not a fan of non-traditional suits on men during the Oscars, and we all know I am a fan of Emma Stone playing with menswear, but in this case the tables are turned for me. Emma's look is way, way too casual for the Oscars, and she has pulled out more formal pants and jumpsuits in previous years that would have suited the event better. I'm all for breaking the glass ceiling, but there is a certain level of decorum at the Oscars that just demands a gown. Armie's suit is luxe, sharp, and suits the formality of the event.
Black and Gold
Lupita Nyong’o in Atelier Versace vs. Sandra Bullock in Louis Vuitton
Sandra's dress isn't terrible, but her styling killed it; wearing her hair down and piling on the eyeshadow makes her look heavy-handed and dark. Lupita, on the other hand, looks like a light, bright, golden goddess. She's a flawless Wakandan queen, and she can do no wrong on the red carpet.
Sally Hawkins in Armani Privé vs. Laurie Metcalf in Christian Siriano
I have grown up watching these two fantastic actresses on the screen, and I was thrilled to see them both nominated. The Shape of Water may have taken the awards, but Laurie was a clear winner on the carpet. Her Siriano gown fit beautifully and her styling was clean and polished. Sally's gown is frumpy and unflattering on her petite frame, and whoever did her hair should be immediately fired.
Soirse Ronan in Calvin Klein by Appointment vs. Viola Davis in Michael Kors
Viola Davis is hit-or-miss on the carpet, and this was a very, very definite miss. If Barbie was making a doll of Viola, maybe this would be an appropriate look to model, but it was all wrong for the Oscars. The neon color was terribly unflattering, and the cheap jewelry and matchy-matchy bag just made things worse. And her hair. HER HAIR. I'm all for letting your natural hair do what natural hair does, but slicking back the top was a terrible choice. Soirse's look was simple, sweet, and reminded me of Gwynneth Paltrow's infamous 1999 Oscar dress.
Photos courtesy of EOnline, Vogue, and DailyMailCeleb.
Best Party Looks
They Should Have Changed...
Ruth Negga in Valentino and Oscar de la Renta
Red is a tough color to wear on the red carpet because the reds can easily clash, and Ruth's Valentino gown was one of the worst. The mass of red blew out on camera, and the full-coverage of the gown was overwhelming on her small frame. She looked like a Victorian vampire. The Oscar De la Renta, on the other hand, was the perfect note of formal and whimsical. It's a sculptural, unique work of art.
Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton
Dressing Alicia Vikander can be difficult because of how tiny she is - bodice proportions don't always work for her, and the long waist of the weird Spanish flamenco gown she wore on the red carpet just wasn't flattering. I don't really know if that many lace ruffles would look good on anyone, really, and styled with a high bun and a glitzy diamond necklace, the whole look was just wrong. Her after-party look was elegant, mature, and styled to perfection.
Dakota Johnson in Gucci
I understand the concept of wearing two looks by the same designer, but I don't know how anyone could look at Dakota's first gown and be remotely okay with it. I'm not thrilled with the super-shiny satin in either look, but the red carpet gown looks like she pulled her grandmother's yellowed wedding gown out of the attic. The party look, at the very least, has a breath of skin and, well. Looks like it's from this century.
Naomie Harris in Calvin Klein
I can be lenient toward a tea-length gown at the Oscars, but a dress at the knee simply isn't appropriate, and paired with a weirdo miss-matched shoe, the whole look was off. It would have been a better move to wear the gown on the carpet and the short dress at the party.
Leslie Mann in Zac Posen and Carolina Herrera
I have a hard time believing that Zac Posen designed this yellow Beauty and the Beast monstrosity. It's rumpled and crunched and the draping looks like a bad prom dress. The nude Carolina Herrera is so much more elegant and airy.
Photos from EOnline, Harpers Bazaar, CNN, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and PopSugar.
Best in Black and White
Best in Color
All images from eonline.com, The Indian Express, and usmagazine.com.
Best Blues and Yellows
All photos from eonline, popsugar, and vogue.
I'll be honest, the Met Costume Gala was just not on my radar this year, but thanks to my friend, Lydia, who requested a "best and worst dressed" review before I even knew the Gala was happening, I will gladly provide my feedback.
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.
Best Tech Dresses
Best Sustainable Looks
Best Black + Metal
Best Silver and Gold
Best for Last Year's Theme
All photos from Eonline, Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, smashd.co, and Upworthy.
Between #OscarsSoWhite and #AskHerMore, this year's Oscars were full of controversial happy fun times. But Chris Rock made a great point in his monologue. Not everything is about racism or sexism. Sometimes, it's just about a pretty dress.
Best TV Hosts
All photos from eonline.com, popsugar.com, justjared.com, and vogue.com
Best Black and White
All photos from eonline.com
Best Red, White, and Blue
All photos from eonline.com, popsugar.com, and nytimes.com
Okay, friends. I seriously debated whether or not to post about the Met Gala, because the Met Gala is not like other award shows or red carpet events. It's an event for really wealthy people to flaunt fashion at a COSTUME institute. To a certain degree, ridiculousness is absolutely expected. In some cases, it's required...it's high fashion! It's avant-garde! Not everything is supposed to look pretty and neat and glamourous, and because of that, the line between "best and worst dressed" can be weird and blurry.
This year's Gala theme was "China: Through the Looking Glass," and you guys asked for my humble opinions. I'd hate to disappoint, so here we go:
Best in Red
Best in Gold
Best in Black
Best in White
All photos courtesy of Vogue and Mashable.