Monday night was the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. It is the most exciting red carpet of the year, better than the entire awards season. Unlike the Oscars, which is a formal event celebrating film, this is a gala celebrating fashion. The most extravagant, stunning, avant garde red carpet styles of the year can be found at the Met on this day.
However, this year was a total disappointment and bore. Even the most exciting red carpet fashionistas showed up wearing dresses too drab and forgettable for even a movie premiere. There were a couple of show-stoppers but far too few for an event known for its glamour! The most disappointing thing about the night was that Lady Gaga didn’t grace the red carpet! She had to skip it to prepare for her performances during the gala. I don’t have photos of her performance yet, but I’ll post them if I get my hands on any!
Here are some looks from the Costume Institute Gala:
Mila Kunis in Vera Wang
The actress looked stunning in a Vera Wang confection of tulle. I absolutely love the texture and overlay of colors and how it was balanced by the overall simple silhouette. The dress fits her perfectly and her simple make up and earrings complimented it beautifully. By far my favorite of the night.
Maggie Gyllenhaal in Louis Vuitton
I love the unexpected choice from this actress! From the fall collection, this dress has just the right amount of drama without being over the top. I like that she opted not to accessorize so as not to overwhelm her whole look.
Blake Lively in Marchesa
I love the color, I love the one-shoulder, I love love love this dress. Amazing how much drama you can pack into such a short dress. Blake pulls it off beautifully with simple hair, make up and jewelry, the perfect tan and her long legs. I really don’t know about the shoes though, but it doesn’t distract from the dress.
Nicole Richie in Marc Jacobs
This dress screams Nicole. The liquid silver drapes over her beautifully and she let the dress speak for itself by keeping accessories to a minimum.
Gwen Stefani in L.A.M.B.
The dress is 100% punk-rock glamour and 100% Gwen. The shimmery fabric combined with the soft tulle gives it that wow factor whereas the black bra showing through gives it that rock edge that Gwen is known for.
Camilla Belle in Jason Wu
By far the most beautiful of the night – I could not stop looking at this picture! Although it is not the most interesting piece, it suits and fits her perfectly. The off shoulder sleeve that gives this fairy tale dress an unexpected edge and the red, tinged with pink, compliments her skin tone beautifully.
Melissa George in J. Mendel
Not too many people can pull of this mustard yellow, but she does it beautifully. I like that it’s a modernized Old Hollywood style. The draping is impeccable!
Emma Watson in Burberry
The face of Burberry’s ad campaign glowed in a custom dress by the design house. White ruffles usually translate into something looking like a hybrid between a overzealous bride and a girl pretending to be a fairy tale princess. But the center slit, the stark, solid white fabric and the constrasting black accessories combined with the one shoulder and placement of ruching and ruffles turn this dress into a wonderfully age appropriate and modern look.
Donna Karan in her own design
The draping on this dress is amazing and flatters her figure beautifully. I love the single kimono sleeve. I wish she’d accessorize more interestingly though, perhaps with white diamond earrings and cuff, and a sleek crystal box clutch instead of that slouchy white bag.
Naomi Watts in Stella McCartney
The eye popping color and the burst of fabric at the shoulder adds interesting drama to an otherwise simple, and somewhat dull, dress. She really should not have paired the cranberry color with fire-engine red lips though!
Kerry Washington in Thakoon for Gap
I love the color and asymmetry of this dress but I can’t help feeling there is something missing from this look – some drama perhaps? I think I would have loved this look at a movie premiere but not for the Costume Institute Gala.
Lilly Collins in Chanel Haute Couture
The 21-year old daughter of Phil Collins looked beautifully age-appropriate in this short, forest green dress. The jeweled shoulder is a great substitute for jewelry!
Carey Mulligan in Miu Miu
Did she just throw on a pair of black tights on her way over to the gala from tea with her in-laws? Though the lace and color is pretty, this dress is far too casual for a gala. And what’s up with her school girl loafers? I expected far more from the Best Actress nominee who wowed at the Oscars.
Renee Zellweger in Carolina Herrera
Usually the collaborations between this actress and designer don’t disappoint (remember the beautiful white origami bow dress she wore to the Oscars a few years ago?) But this dress makes her upper body look like an inverted triangle. The bows on the dress tell the story – X to this!
Eva Longoria Parker in Marchesa
Again? I’m all about to sticking to what works but can she please stop wearing strapless column dresses with dramatic trains? And this is one of the lesser fashionable uniforms of hers. The beading is interesting but stops well before the end of the train, making it seem like she’s dragging around a tablecloth behind her. And that hemline is not flattering and not suitable for such a flat train.
Rosario Dawson in Giambattista Valli
I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Her make up, hair and lack of accessories make her look like she just rolled off the beach and threw on this cupcake confection of a dress. The black contrasts far too much with the lavender. The lavender itself needs more in terms of silhouette or texture or drapery to make it interesting. The bodice makes it look like she just got orange halves bolted to her chest and cuts her off at the waist at a strange point. And the little girl bow with the crystals? No… just, no.
Rachel Bilson in Louis Vuitton
She must have accompanied Carey Mulligan to tea with her in-laws. And the color! A huge disappointment from a usually fashion-forward celebrity.
Leighton Meester in Marc Jacobs
The Gossip Girl star looks like she just came from Woodstock – and waded knee-deep in mud to do so. The upwards degradé of sequins could have been interesting on say, a white, gray or black dress, but not on a puke green-yellow, flower-printed dress. The dress ages her and manages to make her amazing bod look shapeless.
Joy Bryant in Marchesa
Why is she wearing mops on her shoulders? Over a printed tunic t-shirt? With another large mop on her legs? I guess she was planning to help the cleaning crew after the gala ends. The dress probably would have somewhat worked as a one shoulder dress with only one shoulder mop or without the leg mop as a short dress paired with fierce heels.
Liv Tyler (center) and Kate Hudson (right) with Stella McCartney, in her designs.
Apparently, quite a few people went to tea with their in-laws/grandparents. Liv Tyler wears a dress far too young for her and far too boring for anything more than a cocktail party. Kate Hudson looks pretty but the color, the cut and the hair is overall boring and drab.
Zoe Saldana and Diane Kruger, both in Calvin Klein with Francisco Costa, creative of Calvin Klein.
Though Zoe looks beautiful, I expected much more drama, excitement, glamour and fashion from the actress that has topped every best dressed list this year. Diane’s dress…. *sigh* boring, boring, boring, unflattering and matronly. Not even a bareback to shock as she turns around! Wearing such a simple dress gives you the opportunity to go bold and crazy with accessories which she didn’t do!
Kristen Stewart in Chanel Haute Couture
The usually grim Twilight starlet has impressed me lately. She surprised me at the Oscars in a dramatic Monique Lhullier and surprises me again here in Chanel Haute Couture. I’m not sure about the slicked back hair and the see-through skirt makes her look even paler, but the asymmetric neckline, the beautiful folds of the dress and the sky high heels shows me her taste is improving.
Katy Perry in CuteCircuit
The night’s most interesting dress was by far Katy Perry’s. The pop singer wore a gown that lit up and changed colors throughout the night. She wanted to add a bit of fun to the red carpet as “fashion can be a bit stuffy,” she explained. It was fun, interesting and unusual indeed. I’m not sure how I feel about the lights, but when you take away the neon, the dress itself is quite pretty.
Photos from Style.com, InStyle.com, and WWD.com