Friday, May 9, 2008

Look! Down on the Red Carpet!! pt. 1

I'm finally getting around to posting about the fashion seen at the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute Gala held this past Monday. It's taken me a while to get to it, but there was a LOT to sift through. I've had to divide it up into several categories, only a few of which we'll get to today.

The exhibit being celebrated by this event is called Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, and accordingly, there was some thematic dressing to be found. Now, a secret about Style Spy: I am a closet lover of comic books. The last time I moved house I finally got rid of several boxes stuffed full of "X-Men" comics that I had been toting around for quite a while. There was a period of my life (and it was more recent that I would like to admit, we cannot chalk this up to youthful silliness) when I was spending a large-ish chunk of money every month on comics. Comic book collecting becomes shockingly expensive pretty quickly, especially when you're a fan of a family of titles like the "X-Men." Marvel puts out easily a dozen new "X-Men"-related books every month, and if you get really sucked in (like I was) you cannot be content with current titles; you begin haunting comic book stores and Times Square comic dealers set up on folding tables for back issues to fill in the holes in your collection. Before you know it, you're a complete junkie. I eventually quit cold turkey, and for several years avoided comic book stores the way a recovering drunk avoids bars.

Why do I tell you this? Why, to present my superhero bona fides. Let me assure you, folks, more than your average fashionista I know a superhero when I see one.

Category 1: Successful Interpretations of the Theme


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Piper Perabo (who???) in a designer I can't seem to determine. I just love this dress. I think the sleek modernity of it and the bold color blocking are what make me feel it's super-hero-ish.

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Her hair, on the other hand, is not super at all. It's actually not a bad haircut, although I think just a touch too much of what it is, but it's wrong for the streamlined sleekness of the dress. The other interesting thing -- note the difference in her lip color between the two photos. I hope the lighter lip is the "after" photo, when she realized that the dripping-with-blood thing she had going on was not working. I know the conventional wisdom is that you pick either the eye or the lip to emphasize when you're doing makeup, but you have to take that with a grain of salt. A lip that strong requires some balance on the eye, or you're going to look like a recently-risen vampire who ate breakfast before she attended to her toilette.



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Joy Bryant (who???) in Pucci with Matthew Williamson, Pucci's designer. Fab. The body-hugging silhouette makes it super, and those colors! Ah, I'm swooning. Mr. Williamson himself, I fear, was not so successful in his ensemble, but since he has the good sense to accessorize himself with such a well-dressed companion, he gets a lighter lashing.



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Lisa Airan in Rodarte. Absolutely stunning. Whatever this superheroine's name is, surely she has powers of flight.


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Christina Ricci in Givenchy. This is a good dress. I love the sort of Wonder Woman bodysuit effect swathed in that dreamy tulle -- this superheroine came straight from work and still looks beautiful. But... I just... Christina Ricci is looking ever so strange to me lately. She probably worked really hard to get her body into that killer condition, but her head is just... too... big. Which is a terribly unkind thing to say, but she's always been moon-faced, and now she's a full-on bobble-head doll, the effect of which is only added to by her seeming inability to keep said bobble-head on straight. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- give that woman some bangs!!!


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Amber Valletta in Versace. I've talked about this dress before, and I still love it. She looks amazing.


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Jennifer Connolly in, as usual, Balenciaga. More of the black & white graphic thing, and she looks great.


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Caroline Trentini in vintage Thierry Mugler (but you knew that already). Yeah, baby, that's what I'm talkin' about. Crazy about this -- it is sooooo close to over-the-line, but not. Which is, of course, a testament to Mugler's genius, not to mention Ms. Trentini's sense of adventure and great taste. I think if this dress were made of anything but that gorgeous black velvet, it would have been close to ridiculous. As it is, it's sublime. (Plus, she's wearing my shoes!)


Category 2: Less-Than-Successful Interpretations of the Theme:


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André Leon Talley (in a godhelpus Chanel cape) with Venus Williams in Carolina Herrera. ALT appears to have found himself a new underfashioned demi-celeb to Svengali, no doubt having been kicked to the curb by Jennifer Hudson after that Oscar fiasco. There's a part of me who loves ALT and his never-dampened outrageousness. The man has spirit and style. On the other hand, I think I would not like to have dinner with him -- my guess is he's a bit of a conversation hog. I shall admire him from afar.



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Oh, dear lord. Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, and Roberta Armani, all in Armani. All Tom is missing to be a dead ringer for a bellcap in a Marx Brothers movie is the little red fez -- what is UP with that tux?? Next, while I truly love Katie's little shout-out to Superman by combining the bright blue shoes with the red, the dress itself looks like it was made from that colored plastic wrap used to tie up gift baskets. Yards and yards and yards and fields and acreage of it. Lastly, apparently all the hairstylists in Milan (or wherever Ms. Armani resides) have been on strike. Since she was 16.


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Lake Bell (who???) in Balmain. I don't really have to explain this one, do I? (According to Style.com, Ms. Bell was nearly overcome by the attention from the press: "When they take a photo of me, I'm just like, 'Oh, my God, that's amazing that you know who I am,'" said a giddy Bell." Take heart, girlie. There are still some of us who don't. Rest assured you could walk safely past me without being accosted.)


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Anna Wintour in Chanel couture. Actually, I almost like this. It's the hip thingies that ruin it for me. I do applaud the riskiness of it.


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Thandie Newton, also in Chanel. Oh, my. Usually this woman hits it dead-on, but that is dreadful. Apparently she is dressed as Bordella, whose superpower is the ability to make you look as though you just stepped out of a Frederick's of Hollywood catalog. This, my friends, is a dubious power of extremely limited usefulness. (What I'd really like to know more about is that little hot pink flapper thing going anonymously past in the background. That dress greatly appeals to me.)


Category 3: Theme? What theme?


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This is as nice a job as I've seen Victoria Beckham do in a long little while. It's a pretty dress -- beautiful, really, in its classic glamor, it fits her wonderfully, and I cannot see any of her cleavages with the exception of her toes and I am perfectly fine with that. She actually looks nice. As for her husband, I do so prefer him with his clothes on, despite his undeniably outstanding physique. He looks great in that tux -- they are a very handsome couple here. Both are in Armani.


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Fergie is making a bid to quietly class up her act lately by wearing a lot of Calvin Klein. It's not working for me. Once a chav, always a chav. I am never going to forget (or forgive) "My Hump."


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Kate Moss and Stella McCartney, both in McCartney's designs. Moss looks pretty enough, McCartney -- oh my god, someone buy that woman a (vegan, eco-friendly, produced by empowered South American female entrepreneurs) lipstick. I love the color of the blue dress -- I actually just like the dress plenty -- but these two quite honestly give me the willies. That is a whole lot of overentitled smugness in one spot.

Oh, there's more, don't you worry. Lots more. Stay tuned!


photos: style.com, elle.com

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3 comments:

Jen said...

The only think I know Piper Peraboo from is Coyote Ugly, and I can't say that recommends her much.

I say it is really a shame that folks don't go even more far out for these costume bashes. I think our Superhero party had better costumes: http://flickr.com/photos/jenthies/sets/72157604317037287/
:)

Deja Pseu said...

Love the bag she's carrying with the Pucci dress.

Sian said...

That Victoria Beckham dress has been slated in the British press for allegedly making her look matronly. Which seems a bit harsh.

If my eyes were the size of Christina Ricci's, I could live with my head being a bit lollipop, I think.