Gone are the days in which the Costume Institute gala was the IT fashion event of the year. Believe it or not, there was a time when the grand opening of a fashion exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was really exclusive. Now everybody can see what it’s been turned into: most of the outfits seen on the red carpet yesterday speak louder than a million words. Celebrities can wear skimpy/artsy outfits whenever they like, but Costume Institute galas have a memo, which is usually connected to the subject of that year’s exhibition. If attendees were clueless about punk in 2013, imagine what they did in 2014 with Charles James. The Anglo-American couturier, famous for his ballgowns, should have been paid homage to with a proper ballgown, not with crop tops and skinny trousers! I think I’ll need some time to forget some horrors (sorry, Lena), but my best-dressed list will help me.
Stella Tennant was simply stunning in a feathered powder blue ballgown by Burberry, which she accessorizes with pearl grey satin pumps and gold jewellery (a cuff bracelet and a necklace) and diamond earrings. She’s pure class, and clearly showed how it’s done, leaving embarassing antics to celebs.
The one-shoulder satin dress was gathered and pleated and had a cloud-like white tulle skirt. Bee completed it with diamond jewellery (including an antique pendant necklace) and a jewelled satin clutch by McQueen.
Ladies in Powder Pink/Beige
Most of the guests who wore Zac Posen made an impression. The American designer has always cited Charles James as one of his main sources of inspiration and the outfits he designed for the event showed it. Karen Elson was a vision in powder pink, wearing a short-sleeved corseted dress inspired to a similar piece from Posen’s fall/winter 2014 collection. The model also wore diamond jewellery by Van Cleef & Arpels. Don’t you love her chic updo with short bangs?
A cape-and-tuxedo  Zac Posen walked the red carpet with Dita Von Teese, too. The burlesque queen looked awesome in a custom piece, a classic Posen mermaid-line dress with contrasting hem and accents on the bodice. Dita also wore Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery and a diamanté-clasp satin clutch by Roger Vivier.
Another model who looked lovely was Suki Waterhouse, Bradley Cooper’s girlfriend. As one of Burberry Prorsum’s faces, she wore a tulle ruffled dress by the British fashion house. The strapless bodice, with gathered accents, beautifully contrasted with the full skirt. She also wore Anita Ko diamond jewellery and a Roger Vivier metallic clutch.
Ladies in Red
I’ve never featured Sarah Silverman in my best-dressed lists, but she really surprised me with this stunning Zac Posen ballgown, inspired to another piece of the fall/winter 2014 collection. The comedian and writer looked über-glamourous in the strapless pleated bodice and full skirt, which she accessorized with diamond earrings and a simple side-parted updo. Kudos to her for wearing such a beautiful dress and for her date, my favourite tv doctor, Michael Sheen.
I really think the style choices of most models were much more event-appropriate than the celebrities’. Arizona Muse, for example, looked like a real-life princess in a Ralph & Russo scarlet dress from the spring/summer 2014 collection. The strapless bodice and the thin bow belt added an extra dose of charm, which the model amplified with diamond jewellery by De Beers and a satin clutch by Smythson.
Ladies in Black (and White)
My favourite actress of the night was Hailee Steinfeld, who looked flawless in a custom Prabal Gurung black and white dress, accessorized with Van Cleef & Arpels jewels and Charlotte Olympia satin shoes. The dress was lined in pink, a princess-like detail which made the sleeveless dress more beautiful than ever. The young actress sported a nice centre-parted updo and cat’s eyes.
I know most of you won’t agree with me, but Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen looked smashing in their vintage outfits. In my book of style this is true class, which means you can wear something incredibly elegant without showing any skin. The comments I’ve read so far are always the same: “They look like old ladies”. I can’t see what’s wrong with that, really. I’ve often said I would wear like Mary-Kate if I were famous, but this time I prefer Ashley’s dress better. They picked vintage pieces from Lily et Cie: Ashley wore a dark blue dress by Chanel, accented with gold buttons (she completed it with pearl earrings), while Mary-Kate stunned me by wearing a Gianfranco Ferrè striped dress with long ribbon belt. I’m so glad she paid homage to one of the most influential Italian designers by wearing such a lovely creation. She completed the outfit with a black satin envelope clutch. Both of them sported minimal make-up and centre-parted updos.
Do you agree with my choices? What is your best-dressed guest of the event?
I have a feeling this gala is becoming more about gossip and less about fashion. I can’t get over some of the guests, which I think have no reason to be there. In any case, next year I want to see Christina Aguilera on the red carpet. She can do better than Rita Ora for sure.
 His outfit was designed by Ralph Rucci.