Last week played host to an evening that has become known as the Fashion Oscars. For the world looking in, it's slicker and glossier than most other events in the world's fashionista's diary, in short, at this event, not a chipped toenail or a single strand of hair is left out of place. That's right, it was the annual Costume Institute Gala at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art – The Met Ball.
The idea at The Met Ball is that top designers arrive with an actress or model hanging decoratively off their arm wearing something they have customized for them especially for the night. At any red carpet event it's always about the outfit - along with the opportunity to showcase their new partner, movie or album – here, the biggest kudos lies squarely with which designer they can bag for the night.
On the run up to the Ball, celebrity agents stalk designer representatives in the hope they can score the biggest one they can, as accompanying a big designer to this event would cement the celeb's status high in the style stakes in the eyes of the fashion industry – no easy feat.
Emma Stone looked cute on the arm of Lanvin's Alber Elbaz, Azealia Banks spent the evening with Alexander Wang, McQueen designer Sarah Burton took actress Cate Blanchett while models Arizona Muse and Chanel Iman walked the red runway with Erdem and Tom Ford. Statuesque model Karolina Kurkova set tongues wagging with a metallic floor length dress and matching turban by famed US celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and looked stunning. Strangely even though Valentino himself took SJP, she looked awful draped in some floral fabric that looked like it was fished out of an old people's home car boot sale.
January Jones looked gorgeous in a canary yellow tailored dress by Atelier Versace, it fitted her like a glove and was a gamble but definitely one worth taking. Caroline Sieber looked beautiful in customized Christopher Kane while newly wed Carey Mulligan beamed in a cute metallic bespoke Prada dress.
Getting it SO unforgivably wrong was a team of fashion savvy socialites that should have done so much better. 'The Help' actress Jessica Chastain got it badly wrong in an ill fitting and wrinkled Vuitton – just horrible. Diane Kruger - who should have stuck to her signature minimalism - trussed herself up in a feathered purple dress that did nothing but unflatter her. Mary-Kate Olsen looked like she'd aged 85 years and Kirsten Dunst wore a belted orange double breasted skirt suit – go figure. There were some clear biscuit takers though; model Coco Rocha wore a vintage marigold yellow and fuchsia thing that apparently used to belong to Liz Taylor – sadly it didn't go to her grave with her. Alexa Chung channeled a style-challenged uptight librarian– and Marc Jacobs wore a black sheer lace dress with his white boxers on show – OUCH!
My week ended up at Shoreditch House with lovely Laura Carmichael from Downton Abbey who was fresh off the plane from the Met Ball. She told me that The Devil who wears Prada herself Anna Wintour, must approve all the style choices - even down to the nail colour - for all the guests. It begs the question - how do so many get it so wrong? Saying that, there WAS a lobster on Anna's Prada..."
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