Fashion Desk: 2012 Costume Institute Gala

She Said: Costume Institute Gala

Oscar Night is definitely the biggest night of the year for movies and one of the biggest events in fashion. In fact, since so many people around the world see the Oscars red carpet it should be the most important night of fashion. But, the Costume Institute Gala, which is also referred to as the Met Ball, is truly a bigger night for fashion. Fashion designers, their celebrity clients and fashion journalism influencers the world over flock to New York every year for the opening of the costume Institute (part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art) season Opening. The theme this year was: Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations.  I have long admired both of these designers work. And the fashion elite did not disappoint in celebrating the evening honoring these fashion pioneers. Well, some of the fashion elite really, really disappointed me and some left me bemused.

Best Dresses

anna wintour met gala 2012

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Anna Wintour in “Prada’s homage to Elsa Schiaparelli”

I think it’s only befitting that one of the most important women in the world of fashion wears such a dress. I loved the old Schiaparelli lobster dresses and I’m always thankful for Elsa teaching the world to love shocking pink. This dress is gorgeously beaded and I love the gold lobster. Between the modernity of the cut and the glittery metallic lobster it really is the perfect marriage of Schiaparelli and Prada. (Although, I hate that Anna wears real fur, I don’t like fur so it does ruin the effect of the dress slightly for me.

carey mulligan met gala 2012

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Carey mulligan in Prada

I love the gold and silver combination of this dress. The high neckline and structured short skirt feel so fresh. And I love the pailettes!

solange knowles met gala 2012

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Solange Knowles in Rachel Roy

I love this yellow! The structured silhouette of this dress is great. I love the peplum (oh, the thrill of a well executed peplum) and the train is the perfect length for this gown.

lana del ray met gala 2012

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Lana Del Ray in Joseph Altuzarra

I love the metallic gowns we saw on this evening. I love the simple silver sweetheart topped gown. The cape really makes the whole look. I adore the plain black cape over such a dazzling dress. This whole ensemble has a perfect balance of simplicity and wow factor.

karolina kurkova met gala 2012

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Karolina Kurkova in Rachel Zoe Collection

I love, love, love this dress! I love a high neck dress. I love a gold dress. And this dress has a train, beautiful texture and properly placed belt. As if it weren’t a chic enough ensemble it has a turban! I love a well-done turban. This look is stunning!

emma stone met gala 2012

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Emma Stone in Lanvin

This is the most darling dress! I love that it’s fashion forward and playful all at once. Who knew how charming 3,000 plastic flowers could be?

scarlett johansson met gala 2012

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Scarlett Johansson in Dolce & Gabbana

This dress is lovely. It fits well and the color is a wonderful shade of taupe mingled with gray. The detail on the bodice is beautiful and I love the sleeves.

jessica alba met gala 2012

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Jessica Alba in Michael Kors

This dress is so elegant and totally wearable. I want this dress for myself to go the ballet or some awesome Christmas party in. I love everything about it. The fabric, the one shoulder and the waistline are perfect. I also love seeing a darker take on the gold trend. This look is my winner for best dress!

hilary swank met gala 2012

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Hilary Swank in Michael Kors

Hilary is almost always on my best-dressed list. She’s definitely one of my personal fashion all stars! I love the color of this gown. I love the high neckline and the waist. The train is the perfect level of dramatic!

lily collins met gala 2012

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Lily Collins in Valentino

I thought this was one of the sweetest dresses I’ve ever seen. It’s the loveliest fabric and it looks like the perfect balance between Anne of Green Gables and Karen Carpenter. I love the bow at the waist and the lace is just dreamy.

alicia keys met gala 2012

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Alicia Keys in Givenchy Haute couture by Riccardo Tisci

I’m not usually crazy about pantsuits when there is an event that it can be acceptable to wear 30 yards of tulle at. But, I just love this suit that Alicia Keys wore. I love it because it’s really a woman’s pantsuit with the flattering color and ruffled waist peplum.

Dress Messes

amber heard met gala 2012

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Amber Heard in Zac Posen

I hate mauve. I really hate it. The only thing I can think of that is worse than mauve itself is shiny mauve. I think that this dress is so wrinkled and puckered that it looks like something hastily made by a Project Runway contestant. The bust line and bulbous train really make it an over the top disappointment for me.

rachel zoe met gala 2012

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Rachel Zoe in Rachel Zoe Collection

I understand fringe can be beautiful but I think that she’s just too thin to wear such a slim, flat dress. I feel uncomfortable looking at this picture because it looks very unnatural. I think Rachel Zoe has good style, I just wish she looked healthier. I’ve seen pictures of her when she was younger and still very thin but not this thin and she looked so much better. I think that this dress would be look lovely on someone with a little more shape or perhaps the dress should have been built to give her more shape.

christina ricci met gala 2012

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Christina Ricci in Thakoon

I don’t get this dress. I don’t understand the exposed skin. I don’t get why it looks like a Capri pants jumpsuit.  I feel like this ensemble is trying to be a couture piece without really being one. It seems as if it were thrown together by spinning the couture element wheel. And it looks as if shoulder architecture, contrived lace and exposed skin were the winners.

amber valetta met gala 2012

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Amber Valetta in Prada

The color blocking and fit of this dress are so unflattering. This is another dress that to looks like something that was hastily assembled by a struggling designer on Project Runway. I also am really bothered by the combination of those particular shades of red and burgundy, as they are not attractive when paired together.

kristen stewart met gala 2012

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Kristen Stewart in Balenciaga

This is more badly done color blocking. I think leather dresses can be lovely when well crafted. This color block leather strapless dress seems more suited to a 80s cover band instead of THE fashion red carpet of the year.

eva mendes met gala 2012

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Eva Mendes in Prada

I like the orange and the pleated peplum. But, I cannot stand the adornments on the bodice. They are just so tacky. I know it’s a very expensive dress but those baubles cheapen the whole effect of the gown for me.

brooklyn deceker met costume gala 2012

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Brooklyn Decker in Tory Burch

Everything from the color to the lace of this gown just screams bad mother of the bride dress. And then it appears that the slit was added as an attempt at making the dress feel younger.

mary kate olsen met gala 2012

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Mary Kate Olsen in The Row

I love a well-done severe black dress but this isn’t very well done. The draping of the gown appears almost cheap and the sleeves look like they are made in two different styles. I also think her hair and makeup ages her in a most unflattering way.

beyone met gala 2012

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Beyonce in Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci

I know most people are talking about her post baby figure but I’m more distracted by the tacky factor of this ensemble. The sheerness, overworked lace and two colors of feathers combine to make something that would be a laughable Vegas performance costume. I feel like the only reason this dress has received positive attention is because of who is wearing it and when she is wearing it. I think it’s one of the tackiest displays I have seen on the red carpet in a long time.

Dress Questions

sarah jessica parker met gala 2012

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Sarah Jessica Parker in Valentino

I love the muted color palette of this dress as well as the demure 70’s style of neck and sleeves. What I don’t love is it’s too much. Its too muted, too floral and too covered up. I also think if she had chosen to wear her hair more up and away this look might have looked a little fresher.

kirsten dunst met gala 2012

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Kirsten Dunst in Rodarte

I think that this could be a stunning dress in a movie as a costume piece- for a vintage secretary or executive. But, I don’t think that this works on the red carpet. If Kirsten had opted for dewier makeup, less retro hair and had ditched the secretary belt/ watch combo then this look would have been more of a success. The dress is too much of a nod to Schiaparelli that it feels like she should be in the exhibit.

emily blunt met gala 2012

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Emily Blunt in Calvin Klein

The cut of this dress is gorgeous.  It’s relatively modest even with the cut out detail. What I don’t like about the dress is the color. I do not like coral because I don’t think it’s a pretty color. But, I also dislike coral because it looks bad on most people. Some orangey or bright corals are pretty but this pink toned coral is just not a good color.

januaary jones met gala 2012

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January Jones in Versace

I think that this yellow coupled with the gold sculptural accents looks a little bit like a superhero costume. Perhaps if the dress were in a non-primary color or at least a more mellow hue it would have looked less comic book.



He Said: Met Gala

Best Dressed

gerard butlet met gala 2012

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Gerard Butler-There’s always room for traditional style done right, and here’s Gerard Butler proving my point.  Fit is flawless, and the tie is the perfect size, and it’s on straight.  That last one seems to be really challenging to men these days.  Kudos, Gerard.

jonas brothers met gala 2012

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Jonas Brothers- They’re showing off style just as good as Gerard here, but with one notable exception.  Joe steps out from the pack in a very shiny suit that might not work other places, but is appropriate here at the Met Gala.  He is the lead singer after all.

bruno mars met gala 2012

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Bruno Mars- Smooth as always Bruno, the color here is a wonderful fit for him, and speaking of fit, it really is superb here.  The sunglasses set him apart from the pack in a very glamorous setting.

swizz beatz met gala 2012

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Swizz Beatz- I’m not tired of his velvet suit yet.  Here, he makes it black, and makes sure the fit is like a second skin.  And he didn’t drop the ball on the bow tie.


Worst Dressed

tom brady met gala 2012

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Tom Brady- Wow is this look bad!  Where do I start?  The bowtie looks like something a clown would wear.  It’s just too big.  The tux also doesn’t fit well.  His hair is the craziest part of this for me.  He used to have fine hair cuts, but ever since he got married, he’s had some really bad looks, and that continues here with a cut that can only be called the coneheaded ceasar.

hugh dancy met gala 2012

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Hugh Dancy- He looks very uncomfortable here.  The top button is too high, so he doesn’t have much shirt exposed, and the bowtie feels too big.



mick jagger costume gala 2012

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Mick Jagger-This outfit is very striking.  So striking that I at first called him the best dressed of the evening.  I was wrong.  There’s too much going on here for it to be the best.  The different colors of shiny fabric, combined with the striped jacket (also shiny) and the lapel button don’t give the eyes any rest.  A very adventurous attempt though, well worthy of the Met Gala

will arnett met gala 2012

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Will Arnett- I like this outfit, but it’s not quite best dressed here.  It’s too safe.  Thanks to the long tie, this suit is not quite formal enough for this event.  It probably would have made best dressed just about anywhere else.

ryan seacrest met gala 2012

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Ryan Seacrest- I really like that he is wearing blue.  It’s not too far outside the box, but Ryan isn’t very adventurous.  It would be a best dressed if not for the bowtie.  It’s too wide, so it’s getting a little floppy.