Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Red Carpet Round Up: 2014 Met Ball

It should go without saying, but allow me to make one thing very clear: the Met Ball is the queen bee of all red carpets. Ever. Outrageously avant grade ensembles, celebrities and industry heavyweights mingling, and a drool-worthy exhibit--what more could a complete fashion nerd need? While it is one of the very few times when the red carpet welcomes (and celebrates) outfits that dare to be different, there are always a handful of major looks and awful get-ups. Without a moment to spare, let's take a look at this year's best and worst gowns, shall we?

The Worst.

Cara Delevingne in Stella McCartney: Though it's basically assumed that we will never see an off-duty Delevingne sport a regal gown, the funky "it" model has never looked so trashy!  A trouser to the Met Ball can be a rewarding risk, but full hair and a skimpy top scream more Olivia Newton John in Grease than fashion-forward. This number would've been perfect for last year's punk theme, but the night was all about paying homage to America's founding couturier! Charles James would not approve.
Kristen Stewart in Chanel: One word: too much mixed media! Yes, the Met Ball is the ultimate time to wear such a high-octane dress; however, the feathers, metallic belt, and abundance of sequins equals sensory overload. At least the Twilight star didn't add statement accessories to boot. Oh, the horror.
Maggie Gyllenhaal in Valentino: A sartorial acid trip gone completely wrong, this is simply too much dress for the actress. Gyllenhaal's low-maintenance hair and simplistic makeup make it feel as if the dress is wearing her! And though a cape is always a great way to make a statement, the polka dots completely overshadow the silhouette. A classic case of trying too hard, don't you think?
Shailene Woodley in Rodarte: Just no. As one of the coolest young actresses in Hollywood, the Divergent star looks extremely frumpy. Not to mention the grandma chic dress completely juxtaposes her edgy chop, and not in a good way. The use of seven too many fabrics, plus the forced smirk on her face, makes me wonder if this was an arts and crafts project the Mulleavy sisters did way back when.
Sandra Lee in Dara Lamb: Dressing in theme? Yes. Cheap fabric and poor execution? No thank you. This is the Met Ball-- time to pull out the top tier designers! 
Elizabeth Olsen in Miu Miu: As the sister of two megawatt designers, who let her out of the house in this condition? If the dress wasn't mediocre enough, the fit is atrocious. Since when is wearing a bra to the event of the year optional? And the steam job on the skirt of the dress is just dreadful. It's all about execution! 
Lupita Nyong'o in Prada: Supposedly at the apex of her career as America's favorite fashionista, this ensemble is a huge let down. While her dedication to the embellished flapper theme is admirable, the look is just a little too kitschy. Additionally, the clashing necklines is very distracting from an already busy ensemble. The Academy Award winner would've nailed her first Met Ball carpet with a cleaner, yet equally attention-grabbing ensemble. This evening called for a Ralph Lauren redux.
Katie Holmes in Marchesa: Shipwrecked Belle? I think so. Between the hair and the crinkled skirt, the ensemble looks insanely sloppy. Suri would've had a better dress.

The Best.

Beyonce in Givenchy: Did she wake up like this? Because the whole look is flawless. The partially sheer Givenchy gown is equal parts sexy and sophisticated. Plus, the gothic makeup and netted veil perfectly make this look Met Ball ready. And good news: Bey and Jay Z were also the evening's best dressed couple. The rapper's crisp white tuxedo jacket is an ideal match to his lady's noir outfit. As Queen B would say, "Bow down, bitches." 
Victoria Beckham in Victoria Beckham:  While it's nothing special, the growing minimalist in me can't help but adore this ensemble. Though the Met Ball serves as the perfect time to let your inner fashion freak loose, this is the Spice Girl-turned- designer's aesthetic. It's admirable that no event could shake her strong perspective. The sleek silhouette and soft color palette make her outfit ideal for the summer. On the accessories front, Beckham layered just the right amount of jewels. Translation? A crisp and classic look for the books. 
Stella McCartney: Out of all of Stella's Angels, the designer's outfit is ironically my favorite.  The trousers mixed with the striped asymmetrical top is innovative (and looks comfortable). The chunky bracelets on one wrist offer some balanced to this look. The natural makeup works with McCartney's nonchalant get-up while the chunky peep-toe heels and oval clutch give this look a whimsical twist.
Taylor Swift in Oscar de la Renta: A perfect blend of avant garde and relatable, Swift couldn't have chosen a better gown for the big night. The delicate embroidery is perfectly counteracted by the dress's dramatic train. To prevent an over- styled look, she smartly throws on dainty jewelry. As everyone knows, the singer rarely attends an event without her signature red pout, and Swift smartly uses the dress's pale pink hue as a neutral. The result? An all-star lesson in color theory.
Sarah Jessica Parker in Oscar de la Renta: Doesn't it sometimes feel as if the Met Ball should be renamed "The Sarah Jessica Parker Appreciation Ball?" Always perfectly in theme, this ensemble was bonafide scene stealer. The voluminous silhouette is balanced by a neutral black and white color combination. While she kept the jewels to a minimum, the gloves and ultra-glamorous hair supply a necessary dash of drama. Together, the look is extravagant whilst sophisticated and streamlined. 
Diane Kruger in Hugo Boss: Can Diane Kruger do no wrong? The icy hue mixed with the textured fabric stands out from your run of the mill neutral column dress. In addition, the pleated draped portion gives some more dimension to this ensemble and makes the dress Met Ball worthy. To exude a modern je ne sais quoi, Kruger opted for minimal jewels and a crisp white clutch. And let's not forget that Kruger's signature feminine makeup is flawless. But really, can Diane Kruger do no wrong? That was a serious question.

Hailee Steinfeld in Prabal Gurung: What's black, white, and chic all over? Not only is the execution of this dress supreme--the button details on the back of the gown is major and the color-blocking perfectly outlines her curves-- Steinfeld does a glorious job of wearing this ensemble. Unfortunately, a lot of dress with such a young girl tends to be a red flag; however, the actress has enough confidence and fashion star-power to carry such a lavish gown. Lastly, Steinfeld's thick brow and icy purple lip creates enough drama without competing with the dress.
Emma Stone in Thakoon: For the Met Ball, this dress is unusually plain to be on a best dressed list; however, what's not to love about sexier and sleeker side of the funny lady than we've seen in a long time? The different shades of pink makes the girly color modern, not to mention the high slit and cropped provide fun alternative to an otherwise basic silhouette. Stone completes this look with a youthful side braid, which was one of the evening's surprising beauty trends.
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen in Vintage Chanel: Impeccably tailored? Check. Event appropriate? Yes. A strong runner up for "Best Dressed Couple?" Naturally. Even though the designing duo have two different aesthetics, their ability to wear dresses that play off each other without perfectly matching is impressive. With natural makeup and slicked back hair, the stylish sisters have earned their title as fashion plates.  
Dree Hemingway in Proenza Schouler: Call this look "too basic for the Met Ball," but I'll refer to this look as lovely. Could the model/ actress have worn a jaw-dropping gown to the event? Yes. Should she have? Perhaps. However, I love how the crisp silhouette is juxtaposed with old Hollywood curls and a red pout. Plus, the craftsmanship of this dress is so superior that it completely justifies Hemingway's no frills choice.
Anna Wintour in Chanel Haute Couture: Though the Vogue Editor in Chief always sports an outfit that is both classic and au courant, Wintour hit this look out of the sartorial ball park. Simply put, the dress is phenomenal. Not only do the details photograph beautifully, the dress's color palette is remarkable. In true Anna fashion, she smartly styled a statement necklace to give her look some extra pizazz. 

All photos courtesy of The New York Times.

Which outfits did you love and which ones were a little much? Sound off below!


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