Something must have gone wrong at the Costume Institute Gala 2009: after the defection of Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Stephanie Seymour, following the absence of the French designer Azzedine Alaia , a sort of emotional frost fell on the red carpet. This morning, when I first checked the pics from the event, I was extremely disappointed from what I saw (yes, I am also referring to Anne Hathaway: bouffant hairstyle and dress with exposed zip? No way!). Then I started digging the photo archive, and some gorgeous outfits came to the rescue. As usual, I am just posting the outfits I actually liked, leaving to others the fun to point the worst dressed guests out.
Just one word for Kate Moss: stunning. She was co-host of the event and posed on the red carpet with Marc Jacobs. She wore a Marc Jacobs iridescent short dress , Yves Saint Laurent metallic Tribute Two platform pumps, Harry Winston jewels and a nice turban-shaped headpiece by Stephen Jones. The dress had a plunging opening on the back.
Everyone is focusing on celebrities, but, since the exhibition is devoted to models, here are the best dressed of them. Anja Rubik wore a glittering Balmain dress and sandals; Sasha Pivovarova wore a Giambattista Valli feather cape with a Fred Leighton tiara and earrings, Luigi Scialanga necklace and bracelets. Lara Stone arrived with the designer Alexander Wang, wearing one of his creations, and Daria Werbowy wore a Balmain short sequined dress with ankle boots and a shining clutch bag.
Back in the Nineties, Shalom Harlow was one of my favourite models. She arrived at the Gala wearing a Bob Mackie puffy taffeta dress, which would have turned anyone in a walking disaster. Shalom was gorgeous as usual and she absolutely pulled this ‘dangerous’ dress off. Natalia Vodianova and Nadja Auermann wore simple dresses: Vodianova chose a Fortuny dark pink long dress, while Auermann, blonder than blond, wore a Lanvin draped beige dress, very chic.
Sessilee Lopez dazzled in a Zac Posen metallic dress, with Diane Von Furstenberg gold peep-toe pumps, a Judith Leiber oval minaudiere and Tom Binns jewels. I love Liya Kebede’s Derek Lam sequined dress and the lavender strappy sandals she wore to complete the outfit. Arlenis Sosa was lovely in her Alberta Ferretti fringed dress, and Iris Strubegger was amazing in a Givenchy Haute Couture flower-printed dress.
Jessica Stam’s beauty is so intense and modern, emphasized by her red/blonde hair. She wore a stunning Rodarte minidress, Nicholas Kirkwood strappy sandals and diamond jewels.
The model-turned-actress Diane Kruger is always one of my favourite celebs on the red carpet, because she is extremely refined, simple and classy. For the occasion, she wore a Chanel Haute Couture short dress, with black satin pumps and clutch bag. I love her hairstyle (there is some jeweled ornament in her hair) and the barely-there make-up.
Time goes by but not for Cindy Crawford. She brought a touch of supermodels’ fascination on the red carpet, wearing a sexy Versace satin dress, with a plunging neckline and side slit. She also wore strappy platform sandals, a blue clutch and diamond jewels, all by Versace.
As a huge Versace fan, I was more than happy to see lots of celebs wearing Versace dresses. Blake Lively surely stopped the show with this sexy blue dress on. This dress is perfect for her, and the colour beautifully compliments her tanned skin. Blake added gold strappy sandals and Lorraine Schwartz rings. I also love her hair, pulled back in a sleek ponytail. Blake’s partner for the event was her boyfriend and co-star in Gossip Girl, Penn Badgley. Leighton Meester (wearing a tragic Louis Vuitton outfit) and Ed Westwick (OMG, was Ed or Chuck Bass the handsome young man on the red carpet? ;)) also attended the event.
Jessica Biel’s choice really surprised me. She wore my favourite dress from Atelier Versace Spring 2009, the amazing China red exotic flower dress with the long ruffled train. When I wrote about the collection, I was wondering who would have been the first to walk the red carpet wearing this dress, but I would have never thought of Biel. The dress is superlative, but Biel doesn’t look comfortable in it; moreover, her spray tanned orange-y complexion is horrible. Well, everything comes second after the dress. As for the accessories, she chose Christian Louboutin Hyper-Privè pumps and Fred Leighton jewels, including platinum-set rose cut diamond earrings and a platinum-set sapphire ring.
Kate Beckinsale wore another showstopper dress, a Marchesa dress with a glittering bodice and big ruffled skirt. She’s gorgeous in it and I also like her wavy hair and simple make-up.
Ashley Olsen, unlike her Christian Lacroix-clad twin, wowed me wearing this minimalist white dress from her collection The Row. The dress has a short train and a plunging neckline on the back. It reminds me of Calvin Klein’s style but also of the infamous white jersey dresses designed by Tom Ford for Gucci. She carried a silver metallic bag and wore Fred Leighton vintage jewellery. I really like her shorter haircut and basic smoky eye make-up.
Molly Sims wore a Dolce & Gabbana dress, with a fitted bodice and ruched sleeves. I usually don’t like brocade-like fabrics, but the gold silk of this dress is gorgeous. I also appreciate Molly’s accessories: she wore satin platform pumps, Tom Binns coloured jewels and an embroidered Dolce & Gabbana Vlada bag, with the keyhole closure .
I really enjoyed Stella McCartney’s outfit: she wore one of her trademark jumpsuits, made of lace. This is not a safe choice, but Stella looked super-confident in it. She accented the waist-line with a satin bow belt.
The actress Lake Bell walked the carpet wearing a perfectly tailored Rag & Bone suit. She mixed feminine (patent pumps, a Raven Kaufmann Couture satin clutch) and masculine (the fedora hat) accessories, and the result was gorgeous. Lake is so beautiful, this androginous outfit is perfect for her because it emphasizes her charm. Rihanna tried the same masculine/feminine look, wearing a Dolce & Gabbana suit, but it was just not right for her.
Last but not least, here is Lisa Airan, the New York dermatologist and socialite I have a girl crush for . I think she’s amazing because she always changes her style and always looks perfect. This time she channelled her inner Mr Spock wearing a rhinestone-studded Balmain dress and Christian Louboutin Differa strappy sandals. I don’t like her hairstyle, but her dark red lipstick is so right for this outfit.
These are the best dressed guests for me. Which is your favourite? Have I left your best-dressed celebrities out?
 How is it possible no one invited Alaia? When it comes to the influence of models on fashion, he was one of the first designers, back in the Eighties, who contributed in making them heroes of the catwalk. The influence of his work on fashion, moreover, is not questionable. This demonstrate the real state of fashion, which is more and more connected to business.
 The fabric of this dress makes me think of the beautiful Versace dress Amber Valletta wore at the Costume Institute Gala in 2008.
 I have written of this bag in Cherchez la Femme.
 I think she was the best dressed (in a Rodarte cloud-like dress) at the Costume Institute Gala 2008.