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,
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
Dimitrios Kambouris/ Larry Busacca/ Jamie McCarthy/ Getty Images
I like Carey Mulligan from afar better than I like it up close. One of the best things about her is that she always kind of seems amused in pictures – I think it’s just the way she places her mouth – but this utterly matte lip works for that. She looks amused. But I feel like there was a whole thought put into this look, which is very Red Queen from the Looking Glass, red notwithstanding, and then put it with sensible pumps. Full Story
Dimitrios Kambouris/ Kevin Mazur/ Jamie McCarthy/ Getty Images
This J Mendel on Olivia Munn is a shrug for me…at the MET Gala. At the Golden Globes? All over it. The falling sleeves really flatter the shoulders. And it’s still sexy without being tight and clingy. What do you think of her nails though? The matching ombre. Too much? LOVING my ombre nails to match my @jmendel dress #metball Full Story
Kevin Mazur/ Dimitrios Kambouris/ Larry Busacca/ Jamie McCarthy/ Getty Images
Karen Elson looks awesome, but her night was ruined as soon as SJP hit the carpet, because she became the ‘other’ one in a headpiece. Every dramatic move that Elson made – big red skirt, big gold necklace, who are we kidding, that tiara, which under any other circumstances would have been a showstopper – is in serious ‘what else have you got?’ territory, primarily because with such a wide reaching theme, you have to go pretty far to be the one on the extreme side. Full Story
Kevin Mazur/ Taylor Hill/ Getty Images
Was it a last minute decision? Like, she wasn’t intending to go but decided to go anyway and just yanked something serviceable out of the closet that didn’t need to be pressed? Then again, it’s Chanel. I’ve no doubt Rachel Weisz has some Chanel lying around but this is couture so… it probably wasn’t yanked from anywhere. Full Story
Larry Busacca/ Jamie McCarthy/ Kevin Mazur/ Getty Images
Allison Williams doesn’t usually do it for me on a red carpet. And I don’t often enjoy a red dress on a red carpet either. Especially this shade of red, where you can’t tell the difference between the dress and the carpet. Also, tulle. Don’t have much time for it. But I quite like this choice. Full Story
Larry Busacca/ Andrew Toth/ Getty Images
Well done. Michael B Jordan is the male counterpart to Courtney Easton. They’re both in Dolce&Gabbana. And it’s the fabric that sets this apart from just a regular tuxedo. It’s luxurious. It’s old and modern at the same time. It has to be worn with confidence. And this guy…clearly… as we’ve seen on several occasions lately, he has the flash. Full Story
Taylor Hill/ Jamie McCarthy/ Dimitrios Kambouris/ Getty Images
Julia Roberts. That’s who popped into my mind when Eddie Redmayne and Hannah Bagshawe arrived at the MET Gala. Julia Roberts at the Oscars. Winning at the Oscars in vintage Valentino. I just feel like annoying you so I’ll post this to get you going: Full Story
Andrew Toth/ Dimitrios Kambouris/ Larry Busacca/ Getty Images
Well it’s gold. But it’s definitely not Chinese. Still… I appreciate the drama of this look (while you’re still wondering who she is. Answer: actress, Mad Max: Fury Road). It’s Dolce&Gabbana and it reminds me of their Fall 2012 collection which Stefano described as “something between princesses and virgins”. Full Story