Here is the first of two red carpet posts for this event. There are so many pictures that there was no way for me to get them all done for today, but I wanted to put some up for you anyway.
This red carpet is a little bit different than an award show red carpet. Award show red carpets tend to be isolated to a particular industry like movies or music or television so the styles of dress on the red carpet are fairly similar. Most award shows are also held in Los Angeles.
This event was the gala opening for New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute exhibition called Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty which is by all accounts a huge success. The annual gala attracts people from all industries; it's like the red carpet melting pot. There are designers, models, actors, singers, and socialites that attended this event. While the dress code is formal, "formal" means different things to different people: people in the music industry tend to be a bit more flashy and people who don't often appear on the red carpet tend to be a bit more subtle.
Stella McCartney was one of the co-chairs of the event (Colin Firth was the other) so many people were wearing one of her designs. Since the event was opening an Alexander McQueen exhibition, many other people wore his designs.
There was a lot of gold, allover sequins, white, and black on this red carpet. There was also a lot of texture with lace and feathers and quite a few 30s-inspired looks. Sadly, the mullet dress (short in front and long in the back) made a strong appearance here. I think this means that we're going to start seeing mullet dresses on the street and for other special events which isn't a look that I'm looking forward to seeing.
There are a LOT of pictures after the jump. I don't know who some of these people are but that's not going to stop me from critiquing their look. Shall we get started?
Fabiola Beracasa in Givenchy
Apparently she's some kind of socialite, which surprises me because I didn't think that this was the way socialites dressed for such an occasion. I like the zippers and everything but this isn't exactly a formal look, is it? She looks like she was heading to a friend's house and then stumbled onto this red carpet.
Lauren Bush in Ralph Lauren Collection
Amy Poehler in J. Mendel
The dress is lovely in a 1930s-inspired sort of way, but the shoulders look a bit too big on her. The necklace is much too big for the dress and draws attention to her clown-face makeup.
Lauren Hutton in Giorgio Armani
While I love the colour for me, it's a little too severe for her and kind of overwhelms her and makes her look kind of droopy. You barely even notice the orange flower in her hair (or is that a bright orange hearing miniature gramophone?) for the outfit.
Rumer Willis in Badgley Mischka
This dress is gorgeous. It fits her like a glove, it's the right length, it doesn't overwhelm her. I love the allover lace pattern and the feathery shoulder strap. Her hair is gorgeous, too.
Maggie Grace in Topshop
Topshop is a UK clothing store that isn't what anyone would consider high-end. There have been people who are saying that it's strange and borderline inappropriate for anyone to wear something made by Topshop to an event of this caliber. I disagree with that because there's no reason why people can't wear what they want as long as they're comfortable and within the dress code. This dress would be fine if it was the right length: it's too short to be long and too long to be knee-length.
Crystal Renn in Zac Posen
Squee! I love this outfit - everything from the hair to the cape to the skirt is engineered for maximum drama and I like it. Trust a model to pose in such a way to emphasize the inherent drama in the outfit.
Raquel Zimmerman in Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen
This is definitely dramatic and I love the texture but it doesn't quite work on her. If she'd done something interesting with her hair (see Crystal Renn, above) she could have pulled it off but that hair doesn't go with this dress.
Cara Delvingne in Burberry (with Douglas Booth)
Here's another model who knows how to look amazing. I don't normally like high waists or that kind of open bodice but it works on her. There's something about the texture of the bodice along with the sleeve length that balances out the skirt. That necklace is perfectly placed and her hair and makeup look amazing. (ps - he's a model, too)
Kate Winslet in Stella McCartney
Lovely if just a half-inch too long. I love the lace on the hem and bodice. The lace you see on the raglan sleeves and waist inset actually covers the back, too. Well done.
Coco Rocha in Alexander McQueen
I want to love this because she's a famous Canadian model but there's something about it that just doesn't work. It isn't the feather peplum, although I'm not a fan of it. I think the problem is from the neck up. Her conehead hair makes her head look disproportionately long and the eye makeup makes her look cross-eyed.
Patricia Clarkson in Michael Kors
I wonder who she's smiling at? Maybe it's whoever sold or gave her this dress, because they did her a favour. She looks smoking hot in this dress. It's got sequins over it but isn't too sparkly or over the top and the silhouette is perfect for her. Her hair, makeup, and accessories finish off her look. This dress should be a keeper for her.
Sofia Coppola in Marc Jacobs
From the waist-up, she looks fine and I actually love those straps. The belt is too bulky, that skirt is too full and too short, and her shoes are simultaneously too strappy and too heavy. She looks both bottom-heavy and like she had to shop in the petite section for her skirt.
Natalia Vodianova in Valentino (with Valantino Garavani)
Apparently this dress was designed by Valentino himself before he left the design house even though it isn't strictly vintage. What it is, is gorgeous. The feathered bodice, sequinned bodice, and ruffled things on the skirt all somehow work together to make her look amazing. It helps that her hair and makeup are fairly simple. And that she's a model.
Chloe Sevigny in Alexander McQueen
There's really nothing about this that works, which isn't that surprising as she's not known for putting together great red-carpet looks. Between her barely-combed hair, lack of a neck, wrinkled dress, and monkey arms, this is a mess.
Rosario Dawson in Diane von Furstenberg
It's hard to go wrong with a long, black, sequinned dress. I might have given her more shape at the waist as it's a little baggy there, but she looks lovely here.
Mia Wasikowska in Thakoon
Mullet skirts come in all lengths and sizes. Make no mistake that this anklet-length front skirt with full-length back skirt is of the mullet variety. This front skirt length is tricky to pull off for anyone but it looks especially awful as a mullet... and it's tragically awful when paired with that spectacular bodice.
Thandie Newton in Stella McCartney
It looks like she's wearing an expensive swimsuit cover-up over a grey lace romper. I like the idea but I'm not sure that the finished product is as amazing as I think it could be. I do love her hair and makeup.
Penelope Cruz in Oscar de la Renta
She's so curvy and yet she looks so shapeless in this dress. I think she might be pregnant or she's just had a baby but that's no reason why she should have to look like this. This dress style is what she always wore on the red carpet but her body isn't what it was so the dress doesn't flatter her like it did. Here's a tip: dress the body you have, not the one you used to have.
Christine Teigan (with John Legend)
She's got all the trends in this dress: sheer, lace, and fur or feathers. It sort of looks like the dress was originally a lace negligee that was re-purposed in a Project Runway-style challenge to be... this. This is a bottom-three look if I've ever seen one.
Freida Pinto in Chanel
Except for the hint of mullet skirt in the front and the lack of shape in the waist, I kind of like this. It's an unusual take on the white shirt and black tie. I love her hair and makeup.
Tory Burch in vintage Jean Patou
Who would have thought that a vintage dress would fit so perfectly into today's aesthetic? It shows that truly good design is timeless. Tory Burch is a fine designer and several people attending this event wore her designs, but I'm pleased to see that she chose a vintage dress to wear instead of one of her own designs.
Shalom Harlow in Marchesa
I guess when you pair sheer and lace in a fashion trend you're going to get clothes that look like either negligees or retro-futuristic evening dresses. I love the swirly embellishments because they look like things I've drawn but I don't love this silhouette or the sheer white skirt. This would have been a lot more attractive had the bottom been either pants or a fuller, lined skirt.
Amber Valletta in Stella McCartney
From the neck down, it's pretty if a bit long. From the neck up she looks harsh, tense, and unhappy. Would it have killed her to smile?
I have no idea who this woman is or who she's wearing. I think she might be a socialite and since she was a guest of Valentino's I think she might be wearing Valentino. I included this picture because I love this dress. The geometric lines that look like a plaid, the sheer over nude fabric, and the silhouette are interesting and flattering. This is a dress I'd love to have for myself even though it wouldn't work on me.
Vanessa Traina in Louis Vuitton
Ok, she looks sort of like a skeletor but apparently she's Danielle Steele's daughter and she's wearing something interesting so I had to include her. I love the outfit with the corset thing, sheer fabrics, layers, and tie. I'd have thought she'd do something more attractive with her hair, however, because wearing something interesting doesn't mean that she can slack off in the hair department.
Christina Ricci in Zac Posen
She sort of looks like she's swirled up from the ground in a cloud of black tulle, doesn't she? And she's only got a little bit of hair out of place after that. This is interesting but I think it's a little presumptuous to wear a train that's as tall as you are when you aren't getting married.
Diane von Furstenberg (with Barry Diller)
I assume she's in one of her own designs and I have to say that I love it. I love the sleeves and the fabric pattern; it's such a strong design and it's gorgeous. Those soft sleeves balance the strength of the dress design. The only thing that doesn't quite work are her shoes, which are a little too strappy and delicate against the dress.
Rihanna in Stella McCartney
If a designer came out with a dress that made the wearer look naked I'm pretty sure that Rihanna would wear it on the red carpet because it seems that she can't not show off her skin. I like the dress except for its train which makes it look like the dress is make for someone extremely tall. Those shoes with their straps up the leg make her leg look super-short and don't work at all with that lace.
Beyonce Knowles in Emilio Pucci
Even if designers aren't done with these mermaid skirts, I am. I like the gold embroidery because it's gorgeous and interesting but that's it. The cutout looks odd, as though it's too big (which it probably is because it's trying - and failing - to squish in her ample boobs) and the neck looks strange. The lace on the cutout also makes it look like she's having a wardrobe malfunction. Honestly, she makes buckets of money; can't she find a dress that fits?
Michelle Williams in Miu Miu
This is a slight change from the long sheath dresses she usually wears because this one has shape at the waist and a cowl top. If you cover up her head (go ahead and try it), the dress looks amazing. Uncover her head, and somehow the whole look is a bit droopy and sad. I think her hair is the wrong blonde for her skin so that the dress doesn't flatter her face (although the colour is great against her arms). It would also help if she smiled.
Karolina Kurkova in Jean Paul Gaultier
This is a very dramatic mullet dress. This is an unusual silhouette because she's wearing leggings that match the lace lining on the skirt. It's very odd but it's interesting, too. The draping on the skirt is exquisite. Because the dress is a little bottom-heavy, a slightly fuller hairstyle would have balanced out the silhouette better.
Daphne Guiness in Alexander McQueen
This is classic Alexander McQueen and it doesn't matter so much whether or not it's flattering or looks good; what matters is that it makes a statement and has an impact. There are no rules when it comes to something like this dress.
Stella McCartney in her own design
I don't like this look at all, and not just because it reminds me of an uncapped pen. The curves of the bodice and mullet skirt appear over-designed to me and the dropped waist and fuller skirt are unflattering. Those shoes aren't flattering on her because the widest part of her foot is wider than any of the three straps but they look especially bad with this dress because they interrupt the oval lines of the skirt.
Taylor Swift in J. Mendel
Ehh. It's pretty, I guess, even if the charmeuse is the same colour as her skin so she looks like she's got a terrible fungus on her torso.
Diane Kruger in Jason Wu
More nude-coloured fabric (lace, in this case), which makes her look like she has a bad skin condition. Oddly, it would be better if the black bodice underlay didn't extend to the sleeves.
Can we just talk about the shoes for a second? Here she's got this gorgeously long leg that she's showing off and as you look down this long, lean leg... bam! it's cut off at the ankle. An ankle strap, no matter how skinny, cuts off the leg and makes it look shorter - something almost no one wants. I don't want it, she doesn't want it, and you don't want it. Also, when the widest part of your foot is wider than any of the straps like hers is here, your foot looks weird in the shoe. Like hers does here. It doesn't matter how expensive the shoes are - if they look like this, they're not right for your foot and you're better off not buying them.
Sarah Jessica Parker in Alexander McQueen
SJP usually looks put-together and this is no exception. The colour isn't great for her but I love the beading. I still wish that she would stop with the raccoon eye makeup. It really doesn't flatter her.
Naomi Watts in Stella McCartney
Her lady bits and bum must be special because she's sparkled them all up. Maybe they're having a party? There's enough room in the skirt to bring in friends, I guess.
Karen Elson in Alexander McQueen
Trains on dresses look so sad when the wearer is standing still, don't they? if we ignore that sad bit of fabric at the hem, this is an interesting dress. It looks like it's sheer under the gold so the dress is sexy but the sleeves and higher neckline prevent it from being vulgar.
Melania Trump in Reem Acra (with Donald Trump)
Mee-ooww! This is one hot dress. I love it, of course, because I do love shiny, sparkly things. The bodice has short all-in-one sleeves that tend to be flattering on almost everyone and the dress fits her like a glove.
Christina Hendricks in Carolina Herrera
Oh, dear. She is *such* a beautiful woman but she doesn't dress to look her best. If this dress was made of black crepe or faille with chiffon or georgette at the top of the bodice and forming the sleeves, it would be better. This ombre fabric just doesn't flatter her at all. It's stiff and shiny in the wrong places and the lighter sleeves make her look wider in the middle than she is. the worst part of her outfit is that it looks like she left the house without doing her hair. An updo would almost save this look. Almost.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Burberry Prorsum
There's definitely a 70s Studio 54 vibe in this outfit and yet I kind of like it. It's fun, flattering, and sexy, and the pink colour is fantastic against her skin. The white ankle-strap shoes aren't perfect (no straps would always be better) but since the colour is close to her skin colour they're not so bad.
Carolyn Murphy in Tom Ford (with Tom Ford)
This dress is something I could see a brothel worker wearing because it's got that lingerie vibe. And she's wearing a leash around her neck.
Lucy Liu in Vionnet
I wouldn't think that wearing a burlesque feather outfit over a black dress would be all that attractive, and it turns out I'd be right if this dress (or is it a jumpsuit?) is any indication. I think the dog should get to play with this animal.
Ashley Greene in Donna Karan
This picture was snapped as she was rising out of the floor into the dress. Ok, it wasn't really, but she looks like she's rising to her full height of 10 ft tall, doesn't she? It's pretty enough but those lines of sparkles running width-wise across the waist and hips make her look like a rectangle.
Zoe Saldana in Calvin Klein Collection
The colour is beautiful on her. The dress is simple but flattering and definitely works for her. If only her hair was a little less wild and a little more styled.
Vera Wang in her own design
Wait. She's a designer, right? And she designed this, right? So why couldn't she make sure it was the right length? The dress and colour look great on her but it's way too long.
Joy Bryant in Missoni
She's wearing a sweaterdress. I know it's Missoni and all, but the fact remains that this is a long-sleeved, v-neck sweaterdress that's more cruise-wear than gala-wear.
Kristen Bell in Tory Burch
I like the dress, even though it's about a half-inch too long. I love the way the bodice is draped but this dress could use a belt since it has a one-inch faux-belt already. The look seems unfinished, as though she'd forgotten to wear jewelry or to bring a bag with her.
Alexa Chung in Christopher Kane
The dress is gorgeous with the scalloped bodice and hem, ombre sequins, pockets, and neck area. Those shoes are clunky and have that dratted ankle strap, however, and it looks like she didn't do anything special with her hair, so this dress is wearing her instead of the other way around. (we'll look at that dress in the background later on)
Joan Smalls in Tom Ford
I think someone wore this dress to another red carpet event. I like it. I like the lace and the way the rhinestones get larger towards the hem, wrists, and neck. The trouble is that with her hair straight down, you can't really see the neck - but maybe that's a good thing.
Jennifer Hudson in Vera Wang
Is she trying out wedding dresses so that she knows what she wants to wear if/when she gets married? This looks like a wedding dress with a dark taupe overlay. The colour doesn't really work for her.
Lara Stone in Calvin Klein
Lovely, although it's a bit long and her boobs are a bit too big for this dress. Still, it's lean and fresh and the colour works for her. (and don't worry, we'll get to that dress in the background a bit later)
|Lea Michele in Escada
This is.... ok. the skirt is in a weird position in this picture but the dress fits and is reasonably flattering. There's nothing really special about this dress, however.
Donna Karan (with Calvin Klein)
Presumably she's wearing her own design. I thought she was a less curvy person and I can't tell you how happy I am that she's a full-figured person. No wonder her designs look good on most people and are comfortable to wear. She's wearing a dress that is flattering - that shoulder strap detail brings the eye up to her face and the draping on the torso is slimming - and comfortable.
Dianna Agron in Michael Kors
Interesting. there's nothing really special about this dress except for the neckline thingy, and I can't say that I love that. The colour suits her, at least.
Doutzen Kroes in Giambattista Valli
She could hide stairs or a ramp underneath that skirt. I can see the advantage in carrying your own stairs or a ramp with you, if you're short and want to reach things that are way up high.
Gisele Bundchen in Alexander McQueen
I looooove the skirt. I am such a sucker for long, full skirts like this. I know that in reality, the width of the skirt is nearly my height so I'd look short and wide. In my head, I look like her.
I think (hope) that the sides are panels and not just open so that there's no danger of a malfunction of any kind. Those panels are actually very flattering because they slim the torso. I love her hair
Mary-Kate Olsen in vintage Givenchy
Sometimes I wonder why the Olsen twins prefer to wear clothes that overwhelm their tiny frames. This dress is too big for her. Of course it's too long, but it's also too big at the waist and shoulders. And is there some reason why her hair has to be scraggly-looking like this?
Saoirse Ronan in Rodarte
I'm not sure what doesn't work here but something is weird. is it the long bodice? The shorter skirt? The overlay? The silvery-grey shoes? The messy hair? All of the above?
Brooklyn Decker in Michael Kors
I don't know what to think about neon colours now that it's back again. Most people including myself, wouldn't wear head-to-toe neon pink. The colour is great on her but there's a bit too much coverage with the long sleeves and crew neck.
Isabel Lucas in Louis Vuitton
Here's one of the more interesting looks of the night. The dress is hands-down gorgeous but what makes it unusual is the way she's accessorized it. The headpiece, purse, and earrings change the impact of the dress; imagine what it would look like with no headpiece, scraggly hair, and a clutch. I prefer this well-thought-out, put-together look.
Jennifer Lopez in Gucci
At least with that shrug she won't be cold. This fetish-like outfit, with the fabric wrapped around her neck and bodice and her fuzzy-like shrug, isn't the type of thing JLo usually wears. Maybe that's a good thing.
Evan Rachel Wood in Gucci
This is one of my favourite dresses of the night. I love the colour, the silhouette, the chiffon, the embellishments - really, I love everything about this dress. This is one of the dresses that I think I could wear.
Malgosia Bela in Nina Ricci (with Peter Copping)
Because there were so many designers at the event, there are lots of pictures with the designer standing beside someone wearing their design. Like this one: he's with Nina Ricci designs. This dress would look a lot better if the granny panties were more of a bodysuit and didn't end at the waist. The skirt is also a strange length that's difficult to wear; it looks like her legs are being cut off. Finally, the black accessories don't work with this dress; she'd have been better off choosing something that goes with the embellishment or dress colour.
Emily Browning in Marc Jacobs
The dress is pretty, but she looks like she's wearing something that's designed to be just below knee-length for a tall person. Also, her clutch neither matches nor goes with her dress colour.
Jessica Alba in Ralph Lauren
I want to love this dress, I really do. I love its ethereal quality - the way it looks like moonlight - and the number of layers to it. Unfortunately, the fabric on the outer layer is quite stiff and it would work better it were softer.
Leelee Sobieski in Vionnet
This should be a soft dress but it comes across as quite heavy. It's a lovely dress for all that. I love the gold belt and deep vee neckline, which save the dress from being boring.
Juliana Margulies in Narcisco Rodriguez
Is it just me or does it look like this dress doesn't fit properly. The top looks kind of wrinkled and somehow it looks like her top was cut and shifted over to the side. Plus her shoes don't seem to fit properly; see how her toes don't come nearly to the end of the shoe?
Michelle Alves in Abed Mahfouz
This is another of my favourite dresses. It kind of reminds my of my high-school graduation dress (it was like a prom but we didn't call it a prom). I guess it's also similar to a bridal gown, except that a bridal gown wouldn't be quite so sheer. We hope.
Naomi Campbell in Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen
Oh, wow. This is eye-catching, and not necessarily in a good way. I think the skirt is all fringe and there are fringey bits coming from under her bobs and bare skin everywhere. There is a place for an outfit like this and 'm not entirely sure that this event was that place.
Mary J. Blige in Gucci
What's with all the straps and crossover bits going on? This dress has a lot going on here with the embellishments and straps. There's a little bit too much attention on the bodice here.
Fergie in Marchesa
Is she getting married? This is a wedding dress if I've ever seen one - and since I've watched a lot of wedding shows, I've seen a lot. At least this one has sleeves. Even if she didn't bother doing anything interesting or attractive with her hair.
Miranda Kerr in Marchesa
I feel so sorry for her because she didn't know that while this was a Costume Institute party and she showed up in her ballerina costume.
Hilary Rhoda in Alexander McQueen
I love this outfit. It's not traditionally formal because it's not long, but I love the white tails and miniskirt paired with the sleek hair and booties.
Elettra Wiedemann in Prabal Gurung
Someone said that she's Ingrid Bergman's granddaughter and that this mullet dress was originally worn by Ms. Bergman in the 1952 film Europa '51. When I saw that, I was amazed at how modern this vintage dress looked. it turns out that it looks modern because it *is* modern.
Chanel Iman in Dolce & Gabbana
I like the idea of the lace dress over underwear but this isn't quite right. There's the bandeau bra there but the granny panties aren't quite right. It's like the she went all in on the top but couldn't do it on the bottom. Still, it's an attractive dress and it suits her.
Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer in Calvin Klein Collection
It looks like someone gave her butt a whack just before the picture was taken, doesn't it? Either that, or she's drunk and happy to be there. The dress is pretty.
Nicole Ritchie in a vintage gown
No one seems to know who made this gown; all I've been able to find out is that it's from the 30s. I love it. I love the open sleeves, the colour, the silhouette, and her bag. And I love her hair, of course.
Britt Marin (L) in Winter Kate and Nicole Richie
Aside from giving us another view of Nicole Ritchie's dress, I included this picture because of Britt Marin because I LOVE her dress. Everything about it - the fabric, the sleeves, the silhouette - is gorgeous. And I love the headpiece.
Dee Hilfiger in Tommy Hilfiger (with Tommy Hilfiger)
This is a lovely dress; who knew that a white column could look so good? The draping over the hips is very flattering and the neckline is gorgeous.
Liv Tyler in Givenchy
I included the front and back views of this dress because it's so unusual on both sides. I love the different textures and the wash of colour on the hem with the bright colour on the butt. Her bag is a perfect match.
Rachel Roy in her own design (with Amare Stoudemire)
I wouldn't expect anyone to wear a dress that makes her hips look wider than they are. As if the horizontal lines wern't enough, those v-lines are pointing straight to her hips. This dress is also too long.
Florence Welch in Yves Saint Laurent
This outfit is in keeping with her style: floor-length, with long sleeves in a light colour. Fortunately, this style works for her.
Serena Williams in Oscar de la Renta
Another person who thought that a party given by the Costume Institute meant that this was a costume party. Clearly she's trying to dress up as Lady Gaga.
Emma Roberts in Michael Kors
I love this simple dress with the black waist inset balanced by the open inset on the other side. This The draping on the bodice and on the one side of the skirt is lovely, too. This is good design.
Amanda Brooks in Giambattista Valli
You don't see restrictive capes like this all that often anymore, do you? It would be hard to eat dinner when you can't bend your elbows.
Sofia Vergara in Carolina Herrera
This looks like a prom dress. Not that there's anything wrong with that, except that she's not going to a prom. At least she looks happy.
Ashley Olsen in vintage Dior
This Olsen twin is also wearing vintage, but based on the huge sleeves I suspect that this is a vintage 80s dress. It looks good on her, and she even did her hair (unlike her sister). I hope the puffy sleeves don't come back - wouldn't they be something with the mullet skirts?
Kerry Washington in Escada
This is similar to the Michael Kors dress with the waist cutouts except that they're both flesh cutouts. Unfortunately, they're too high up and make the bodice look proportionately small compared to the skirt. I love the colour. And what's up with her hair?
Barbara Walters in Oscar de la Renta
I was sort of surprised to find out that this dress really went with this shawl because this dress has echoes of a tablecloth. Still, it's nice to see someone dressed in a bright colour, wearing something that fits, and looking happy.
Ginnifer Goodwin in Topshop Unique
This is another of those Topshop designs that aren't so expensive. I don't love this one quite so much because it's not as well-tailored as something more expensive would be. The slit, in particular, looks sloppy, and the fit over the abdomen and hips isn't all that good. The colour is great, however.
photo credits: zimbio.com, fashion.telegraph.co.uk, tomandlorenzo.com, style.com