The big night arrived and passed, leaving a trail of fashion disasters behind… The night every fashion lover was waiting for – the annual Costume Institute Gala, which took place last night in New York – will remain in the collective memory because of a red carpet packed with irrelevant “celebrities” and bad dresses. The theme of the fashion exhibition, Punk: Chaos to Couture, was a tricky one and yesterday what I had been thinking for a while finally became clear: nobody seems to care for the exhibition, for art, not even Vogue’s editor-in-chief; the only thing which seems to be really important is the buzz and the gossip surrounding the attendees. There’s no point in denying that everyone loves a good (or bad) red carpet to scrutinize, but the event is becoming more and more irrelevant: some celebrities are walking disasters and have no sense of style whatsoever; others just fade into the background; others are plain boring. The result? Nobody – or a very few – nailed the “theme” of the event, but I shouldn’t be surprised, since Anna Wintour herself walked the red carpet wearing a floral dress (“Florals for spring? Groundbreaking”, Miranda Priestly would say).
While Darby Crash and Wendy O. Williams were rolling in their graves (or maybe just drinking another beer or sawing another guitar), some guests gave their own rendition of punk, thus demonstrating they had no idea what punk was/is. I firmly believe punk is a state of mind, not only a lifestyle, so here are the four celebrities who – I think – nailed it.
This is “punk”…
To me, punk has always been a big, huge “fuck you” in the face of society and social conventions. Despite not symbolizing such a strong statement, I think Dree Hemingway embodied the spirit of what I’m referring to. She wore a Stella McCartney dress, with gathered waistline and neckline, pairing it to a black leather biker jacket and black clogs. Side-swept hair, a wood clutch, a big ring and kohl-rimmed eyes completed the look. She didn’t dress up, but just made a simple dress her own.
Vivienne Westwood, the designer who was largely responsible for bringing punk into the mainstream, should have been the queen of the evening, but the celeb frenzy put her aside and literally shut her up. The way in which she was not given voice was outrageous and showed all the flaws of this event. Westwood, a political activist, attached a laminated photo of the Wikileaks revolutionary Bradley Manning to her taffeta robe. “When I did punk all those years ago, [it was about the same thing]: justice and [trying to] have a better world,” she explained. “I’ve got different methods nowadays,” she explained to Vogue livestream’s Billy Norwich, but her speech were cut down. Draw your own conclusions.
She walked the red carpet with her husband Andreas Kronthaler and with Lily Cole, who wore a custom-made corset dress made of sustainable Amazonian wild rubber. Dame Vivienne wore a stunning taffeta dress with drawstring detail at the waistline and matching robe. So graceful!
Oh, Madonna! Her Givenchy Haute Couture outfit was a mess, but she was the only one who tried to give her own rendition of the theme. She looked like a punk dominatrix and stole the scene to those who were supposed to be the stars of the night. She took fishnet stockings and ripped dress, a studded plaid blazer with safety pin decorations, a collar with monogrammed locket and chains (elements of the stereotyped punk style) and mixed everything together. A pair of hot pink suede Casadei pumps, red lips and a dark wig à la Betty Page completed the look.
Another huge “Who cares?” came from my favourite Olsen sister, Mary-Kate. The dishevelled look is part of her personality and I love her consistency on the red carpet. She wore a Chanel Haute Couture drop-waist dress with front slit and gold decorations, plus an astonishing vintage piece by Balmain – an embroidered silk opera coat with fur trims. She completed the look with barely-there gold strappy sandals by Louis Vuitton, a couple of necklaces and Sidney Garber earrings. This is the only outfit I would have worn myself.
…and this is NOT (but I liked it)
Other celebrities didn’t succeed to nail the exhibition’s theme, but still managed to imbue their outfits with something (remotely) punk. One of the protagonists of Girls, Allison Williams, looked vampy in a custom-made black dress by Joseph Altuzarra, embellished by sheer and lace panels on the bodice and skirt. Let me tell you some bare skin and a heavy cat’s eye are NOT punk, but this was a nice try.
Bare skin and heavy cat’s eyes on Carey Mulligan, too. The British actress looked uber-chic in a Balenciaga black dress from the fall 2013 collection, the first designed by Alexander Wang. The dress is so beautiful, with the round-edged peplum, side cut-outs and metallic element which reminds me of a big safety pin. She completed the look with Balenciaga t-strap/thong pumps, a side-parted updo and Tiffany & Co. jewellery.
Jennifer Lawrence is a wise girl. Instead of dressing up or playing the “fake rebel” card, she opted for a 1950s look: the result was absolutely flawless. She opted for a Christian Dior strapless dress with full skirt and heavily embellished overlay. She added a satin ribbon belt, Brian Atwood Shina platform sandals (with flower-decorated heels), an adorable birdcage veil by Jennifer Behr, a Christian Dior flat clutch and Rose Dior Bagatelle diamond earrings. A beautiful shade of red lipstick completed her look.
Last but not least, Lena Dunham wearing a lace tent dress by Erdem, who was her date on the red carpet. What can I say? The dress lacks any shape and the Empire line is clearly a way to hide Lena’s curves, but the polka dot tulle insert on the bodice and the frilled details on the sleeves are cute. Plus, she was the only one who proudly showed her tattoos, an attitude which I love and support. She styled her short hair with a side parting and opted for a smouldering eye make-up.
As usual, there’s a poll! You can vote your best dressed celebrity, then I’ll let you know who the winner is. Cast your vote and share your thoughts in the comments. Do you agree with my list or do you have other best-dressed celebrities in mind? Speak your mind. xoxo ♥