Elegant vs Eccentric at the Met


Here's a hint. Elegant always wins, hands-down, every time.

So I'm just back from a trip to Seattle, and am still trying to figure out what time of day it is (bear with me, I'll get there). While I was away, the fashion industry hosted its biggest night out. The Met Gala is the year's official opening of the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Exhibit. This year, the exhibit is dedicated to Charles James, known as America's First Couturier.  Above is a photograph, taken by Cecil Beaton for Vogue in 1948,  that perhaps best sums-up Charles James, The Designer.

I find this image very arresting. The beautifully-draped silks, the icy colours, the opera gloves...this all just screams a post war elegance, and I for one, do not see how anyone could see this image, be invited to a white tie gala in honour of the very designer who created these elegant confections, and not want to pay a bit of homage by dressing the part.  Granted, while guests at the Met ball are certainly under no obligation to dress the theme of the evening, I cannot help but feel that for those who did not (including Ms. Wintour herself), this was one hell of a missed opportunity. How many times in our lives will we have the occasion to wear a ball gown and opera gloves? A Bustle? A Train? Yards and Yards of taffeta and tulle!? Exactly. This is one of those rare opportunities to really bring the goods; to Joan-Collins-bitch-slap convention and minimalism to the sidelines and replace it with high-octane glamour. To have such an opportunity before you but decide instead to go with your gold lamé Star Trek-inspired pantsuit (I'm talking to you Brie Larsen!) is simply unforgivable. No. Words.

Let's start with a brief look at who decided to embrace the theme and totally nailed it. I hereby raise a glass of virtual champagne and am in the process of making noisy air kisses all over my laptop screen for the amount sartorial game shown here.


Lovely, yes? I want to rip that bright chartreuse dress right off of Ivanka Trump and Gollum-scamper back to my house, where I will put it on and wear it while I dine with my cardboard cutout of Tom Hiddleston circa that Jaguar commercial where he recites Richard II.

Did I just say that out loud?

Let's have a look at those who I really wanted to slap for their insouciance before I sent them home to change.


The Met Ball. Leave the sheer, midriff-baring, gilded pants-suit-sporting, beaded-whatever-the-f-that-is thing at home. Agree or disagree? Discuss.

Comments

  1. "Leave the sheer, midriff-baring, gilded pants-suit-sporting, beaded-whatever-the-f-that-is thing at home." I'd apply this to just about any formal red carpet event. Why *wouldn't* you choose elegance and glamour if you have the means at your disposal?? The only exception, I guess would be the MTV awards. Then all bets are off.

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  2. Totally agree with you, except maybe the chartreuse thing. Anna Wintour - really?

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  3. Knowing that these ladies are often under contract with designers I am not sure one can even really critique them for their so-called choices.

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  4. I got lost in your T. Hiddleston fantasy and didn't pay attention to the dresses : 0
    SJP always knocks it out of the park and I loved Sarah Silverman's gown.

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    1. Sarah Silverman's gown is one of my favourites of the evening! LOVE the colour and how evocative it is of Charles James. Although I still love that chartreuse one though. I do love me some colour.

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  5. Elegance and glamour all the way. Trying to be clever and quirky just does to work.

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  6. Yup, I'm with you on this. That simple but gorgeous burgandy gown would be my pick (2nd would be the red one). SJP also looked awesome.

    Rhianna looked amazing and aaaalmost glam enough for the occasion, but not quite. That great bit yellow thing is a valiant effort but the design is just a bit saggy (it looks saggy on a model on the catwalk too). Lupita just went nuts. Maybe all her perfect outfits were getting to her so she (or her stylist) decided to push the envelope but pushed it WAY. TOO. FAR!

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  7. I didn't know about James until I read a recent New Yorker article about him. I'm with you on the ball gown thing, though I am getting sick of all the nude colour looks. Too bad some of the attendees didn't honour James with proper attire (do I sound like an old lady?). Some looked like they were ready for a night of clubbing. And the whole crop top trend? Eew, even on Anne Hathaway.

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  8. Totally agree - I would love to do the southern Belle and wear a sweeping ballgown. Cara and co may be young and hip but lose by miles in the class department.

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  9. "How many times in our lives will we have the occasion to wear a ball gown and opera gloves? A Bustle? A Train? Yards and Yards of taffeta and tulle!? Exactly. This is one of those rare opportunities to really bring the goods...To have such an opportunity before you but decide instead to go with your gold lamé Star Trek-inspired pantsuit (I'm talking to you Brie Larsen!) is simply unforgivable."

    LOL! You are definitely a lady after my own heart.
    Bravo! So well said!
    And totally agree with your best and worst dressed edit here. The Met ball was totally wasted on the latter.
    Man I'd love to see you slap Anna Wintour!

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