I LOVE the MET Gala. I’ve covered it twice for etalk. It’s the best b-roll of the year. It’s the best dress porn. It’s non-stop fashion masturbation. And amazingly, even though the theme was China: Through The Looking Glass, and it could have been a disaster, it ended up being one of the strongest showings in a while, even though, as I predicted, there was a chopsticks incident. Thanks Nicki Minaj.
Before we begin (and argue), just a quick word on MET Gala criteria. This is not, as Joanna noted, a state dinner. Not the Oscars. It’s OK to play. Play!!! Some played by the invitation – which is why there was so much red, gold, and green. All lucky Chinese colours. And… um… verging on tacky? I’m OK with this for this year. Because, well, think of it like a Chinese wedding. Think of my ma, the Chinese Squawking Chicken. Think of Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan. (Click here to read my new column at FLARE about Chinese extra and superficiality. And by the way… the last line of this piece? Read it. I’m boasting now.) We are a little tacky. Dragons? Fine. Phoenixes work too. And fish. Fish are very good luck. Ching-chong eye makeup however is not acceptable.
But if you don’t want to go Chinese, or risk offending, go fashion forward. Imagination. Statements. Theatre. Costumes! It’s the Costume Institute Gala. Boring is unforgivable.
And then… there’s Beyonce.
We have so much to talk about. And it’s so worth an all-nighter. Keep refreshing. There will likely be close to 50 posts overnight and into the morning. And definitely send us your thoughts.
I’ll begin with Gong Li, one of the co-chairs of this year’s gala, and one of the finest Chinese actresses of all time. Look at the exquisite detail at the back and how the fan almost becomes the head of a goldfish. She’s perfect.
Yours in gossip,
Kevin Mazur/ Taylor Hill/ Rabbani and Solimene Photography/ Getty Images
I’ll channel Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians & China Rich Girlfriend “Singlish” for this post about Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen who decided maintain their funereal style – which, ordinarily, I’m into – for the China MET Gala… Alamak! Such bad luck, lah. Full Story
Taylor Hill/ George Pimentel/ Larry Busacca/ Daniel Zuchnik /Getty Images
Hated what Jennifer Lawrence wore to the MET Gala main event, especially as one of the co-hosts. Is it limiting, this Dior deal? Duana wrote earlier about Emily Blunt, about assuming Emily was more fashion forward than she actually is because, hilariously, she was in Devil Wears Prada. And I feel like I’ve done the same with Jennifer because her personality is just so not aligned with what she’s been wearing. Full Story
Larry Busacca/ Kevin Mazur/ Michael Stewart/ Rabbani and Solimene Photography/ Taylor Hill/ Getty Images
What did I say yesterday when I wrote about FKA twigs and Robert Pattinson making their red carpet debut at the MET Gala? I said I wanted her to go rogue. Well, she wore a Christopher Kane dress with a dick at the slit. That’ll do. When I was in London a couple of weeks ago, Lorella and I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum for the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibit. Full Story
Larry Busacca/ Andrew Toth/ Dimitrios Kambouris/ Kevin Mazur/ Getty Images
You know I love Emily Blunt. And you further know Emily Blunt can take a fashion risk. Well…. I wrote that sentence, and then I found myself in the position of having to back it up, and actually there isn’t that much. Like, she wore a bright green gown to the SAGs a few years back, and there’s a shot of her from one of the Your Sister’s Sisters premieres where she’s wearing what looks like the black and blue version of The Dress – but I realize that Emily Blunt is not actually the fashion risk-taker I have been giving her credit for. Full Story
Jamie McCarthy/ Larry Busacca/ Kevin Mazur/ Rabbani and Solimene Photography/ John Lamparski/ Getty Images
It’s Versace. But it could also have been Zuhair Murad. What’s the difference? Beading held together by pantyhose – who can tell it apart? Doesn’t matter if there’s a dragon because f-ck, I’m so over it. I’m so over JLO in these kinds of dresses. I’m so over “body-con” as a substitute for imagination. Full Story
Dimitrios Kambouris/ Rabbani and Solimene Photography/ Larry Busacca / Jamie McCarthy/ Kevin Mazur/ Getty Images
If you’d have asked me who I would have predicted to pull out the ching-chong eyes before the MET Gala, I would have told you Katy Perry. Dakota Johnson would not have been on my radar. Maybe it’s because I’m so surprised that Katy wasn’t offensive that I’m not totally offended by her outfit. Full Story
Larry Busacca/ Jamie McCarthy/ Rabbani and Solimene Photography/ Taylor Hill/ Getty Images
So… Dakota Johnson. In Chanel. Nothing in the dress speaks to the theme of the MET Gala. And then you look at her eyes. And because it’s the MET Gala and the theme is China: Through The Looking Glass, and her dress isn’t China at all, now I’m wondering if she and her makeup artist were like, we’ll just give you some slanty eyes and you’re good to go! I just spent several minutes looking at photos of her through the Fifty Shades press tour. Full Story
Dimitrios Kambouris/ Larry Busacca/ Getty Images
I wish I loved this on Elizabeth Banks. That is, I do, on some level – the colour is perfect on her, and the cut-outs are cool while still being on trend. She looks fantastic, and the hair is fierce instead of glam, and she’s giving good face in the photos. But I would be lying if I said this could stand up next to some of the incredible creations that have appeared on this carpet. Full Story
Rabbani and Solimene Photography/ Jamie McCarthy/ Kevin Mazur/ Getty Images
I liked it better in 2013 when she wore Marc Jacobs and it was punk. Click here for a refresher. So this Alexander Wang feels a little recycled. That said, with her history of cultural appropriation, maybe it was a good idea to play it safe. What I like most about Miley’s look at the MET Gala is her makeup. Full Story
Dimitrios Kambouris/ Larry Busacca/ Taylor Hill/ Getty Images
“Do you want to do Keri Russell?” Lainey asks. She knows I’ll say yes, because I love Elizabeth Jennings so much, and weirdly because none of you are watching the show, it seems as though The Americans is my personal secret, and further seems as though only I can write about women who pronounce their names “Carrie” today. Full Story
Jamie McCarthy/ arry Busacca/ Dimitrios Kambouris/ Getty Images
I wrote earlier about the Empress Dowager Cixi in the Fan Bingbing post – click here if you missed it. Fan Bingbing was what I imagined a modern Cixi would look like. Lady Gaga, in Alexander Wang for Balenciaga, however was probably the closest interpretation of the outer robes that Cixi wore in her own time. Full Story
Taylor Hill/ Larry Busacca/ Rabbani and Solimene Photography/ Jamie McCarthy/ Getty Images
This is not the thing. It’s not because it’s pink, or because it’s big. Because as we all know, this is a costume gala and big and over the top are totally fine. But this is wrinkly and shiny and not done up like the more exuberant of courtesans, which is where you must go if you’re doing this, and the hair and makeup are sweet and pretty, which WE KNOW Washington can do. Full Story
Jamie McCarthy/ Kevin Mazur/ Dimitrios Kambouris/ Larry Busacca/ Getty Images