Monday, May 12, 2008

Look! Down on the Red Carpet!! pt. 2

Here we have continuing coverage of the Costume Institute Gala from last week. (I know, I know, it was a week ago. I'm a busy Style Spy -- so sue me!)

Next category: Designers Who Should Not Be Allowed to Dress Themselves

This category was alarmingly deep. So much so that it is actually going to be today's entire post. I do not know what it says about fashion that so many of the people who design the things we're supposed to want to wear trod down this red carpet looking like escapees from some lunatic circus, but I suppose it's just another example of "Do as I say, don't do as I do."


Daphne Guinness and L'Wren Scott, both in L'Wren Scott. Guiness is one of the UK's most famous clothes horses, a true lover of fashion who is not afraid to try anything. Daphne Guinness is one of my fashion heroes. In my opinion, Daphne Guinness is a superhero of fashion, with a wardrobe so vast and deep that recently she auctioned off 1000 items to benefit a charity. This look, I assure you, is on the tame side for Ms. Guinness and I really don't like it. It's just a long drippy gown made out of some sort of sparkly fabric -- the only thing notable about it is that it is LOUD. I'm actually on the fence about Scott's sequined Catwoman getup -- on one hand I really like the unexpectedness of pants at an event like this. On the other hand I just don't... like it.


Anna Sui in vintage Zandra Rhodes and boots of her own design. Apparently, Ms. Sui's superhero alter-ego is called Cobweb, and her superpower is the ability to convert Swiffer cloths into garments. I know it's all-hail Zandra and I appreciate Sui's appreciation for it (she often rocks the vintage Zandra), but that is awful. Sui is not what we'd call model-thin, which is fine, but 17 shapeless layers of wispy fabric is not going to look good on anyone, no matter her size.


Donna Karan, in her own design. Now I love me some Donna Karan. I love her work, I love her signature draping and the lean sexiness of her clothes. I love that she pays attention to how women's bodies actually work and designs for them. I love her commitments to eastern philosophy and philanthropy.

And I hatehatehatehatehate the color of that dress. The dress is baby-poo, and the baby had carrots for lunch.

Also -- and here it gets a little touchier -- the cleavage issue. While I appreciate -- nay, applaud -- the fact that Ms. Karan has not fallen victim to the plastic surgery craze and has not gotten herself lifted and separated and be-cantalouped... well, that neckline is no longer her friend. That neckline, truth be told, is almost no one's friend, unless they are A) under 25 or B) pretty small-busted to begin with.


Karl Lagerfeld. Shine on, you crazy diamond.


Doo Ri Chung. Oh, this is just awful. Again, it does her figure absolutely no favors and for crying out loud -- if you're going to wear bare shoulders, STAND UP STRAIGHT!! That dress would improve 50% instantly if her posture was better.


Guinevere Van Seenus and Cecilia Dean (who???) with Laura & Kate Mulleavy, all in the Mulleavys' label, Rodarte. Speaking of bad posture, would someone please send the Mulleavy sisters to a Feldenkrais workshop or a Pilates studio or a chiropractor or something? These girls (the two on the right) are both lovely and they are amazing designers and I do not believe I have ever seen a single photo of them where they were not both pigeon-toed and hunched over like grannies in a Little Red Riding Hood picture book. So, I don't really have a problem with the clothes here (except that I find it cruelly ironic that a woman who designs and makes clothes for a living can't get her own pants properly hemmed), just the presentation.


Lou Doillon and Consuela Castiglione, both in Marni, which Castiglione designs. Oy. I know Lou Doillon has an impeccable French chic pedigree (offspring of Jacques Doillon and Jane Birkin, she of the world-famous and much-coveted Hermes bag) but it would be nice if she didn’t look as though she just rolled out of bed and tossed a jacket over her nightie. I’m all for effortless dressing, but it is a black-tie event and effortless does not have to equal careless. And I love Marni, don’t get me wrong. Just not here.


Gulp. Zac Posen and Kate Mara (who???) in Posen. Okay, Zac, hip-hip-hooray for your sense of adventure and willingness to buffoon it up a bit in tribute to the evening’s theme. But did you have to take your friend down with you? And what superpower, pray tell, does Big Bird have, exactly?


Marcus Wainwright, Sasha Pivovarova, and David Neville, all in Rag & Bone, which Wainwright and Neville design. The shoes -- don't even get me started. The collars -- why in the name of all that is holy would a man think it was a good idea to wear a wing collar with a long tie? And is Neville wearing some sort of kimono-wrap vest underneath his shawl-collared jacket? None of this makes sense to me. And if all this weren't enough, Pivivarova (which is hard to type but fun to say) appears to be wearing some sort of spangly briefs underneath her filmy skirt. ::sigh:: Whatever.


Vera Wang in her own… creation. Good googly-moogly. Here’s another designer I whose work I consistently adore because it’s so often not within the conventional definition of beauty and yet is so frequently mesmerizing in a dark, thought-provoking sort of way. This is mesmerizing in a day-glo, train-wreck sort of way. Folks, Vera Wang is a tiny creature, I’m pretty sure she’d fit on my dashboard (Our Lady of Quirky Couture), and that is about twice as much fabric as someone her size should wear. And ooooooooh, I need her to cut her hair. So veryvery over the long, center-parted Curtain of Desperate Youthfulness.


I'm sorry, Tommy, but I can't agree with you here. Tommy Hilfiger and Dee Ocleppo(who???). If this is a joke, it's not a very funny one. And if it's serious, it's a joke.

Stay tuned for a little more in the next day or two.


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HEATHER said...

You know, you would think that Wainwright and Neville could have at least gotten jackets that fit them properly. And that picture of the Mulleavy's looks like some sad, dorky prom picture's I've seen. They look totally thrilled to be there too!

Anonymous said...

Donna Karan's expression is as miserable as her dress, she must have known it was a mistake as soon as she got out of the limo. Anna Sui managed to look very frumpy but I gotta say L'wren Scott looked amazing in that cat womany get-up.