Last night’s Costume Institute Gala Benefit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York was, of course, the fashion event of the year. The stars shone brightly, the designers got their moments of glory and . . . what we’ve all been waiting for; plenty of juicy gossip - was generated. But who had a hair ‘mare, who needed spare batteries and who hinted that they created their own dress? *squeals*
Anna Wintour attracted a certain number of admiring glances with her newly golden locks, which were very flattering indeed. Another Wintour creation, her daughter Bee Shaffer, was also remarked upon for looking lovely in her embellished Balenciaga gown, but also relaxed and smiley.
Miss Wintour and designer Michael Kors both praised Oprah Winfrey on the red carpet. The ball, which has a theme every year, was all about “American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity'” for 2010. An exhibition at the Museum documented this idea, described by Miss Wintour as “The clothes fit her life and that’s why I chose Oprah as the co-chair, because to me she is the American woman”.
Designer Michael Kors agreed. "Oprah – talk about an American icon," he told StyleList. "She's all about everything an American woman is. She's independent and smart." The talk show host and business woman was accompanied by designer Oscar De La Renta for the night. He said that "Oprah represents all that is today," aww!
Madcap pop princess Katy Perry hedged her bets in her very novel light-up electric dress from French boutique Cute Circuit. She decided to throw tradition out of the window, declaring "I respect and appreciate Anna Wintour, but I'm doing this for me," on the red carpet. "That's what people should do, especially when they're representing true women in American fashion." At the same time, she did have a plan B in case of emergency, pointing out that her dress had a little panic button on a wire in her cleavage, and if "Anna comes over and says 'shut that f-ing thing off' I'll do it." – Jolly sensible, Miss Perry.
Other stars who were all white last night were a super-glamorous Emma Watson in Burberry (with a fab accessory on her arm – no less than the extremely dashing creative director of the brand, Christopher Bailey), Diane Kruger in a space-age looking white minimal long sleeved sheath by Calvin Klein, Taylor Swift in Ralph Lauren Collection, and Kristen Dunst in Rodarte for GAP (the evening's sponsors), accompanied by the Mulleavy sisters. Our eyes were particularly drawn to her shoes - little white lace-up booties. Yikes!
Meanwhile, we pondered the question - is Sarah Jessica Parker doing more for Halston Heritage than just consulting? (like for example, sewing?) She said of her silver dress "I went over every inch of it and every seam," explaining, "Seeing as the theme was 'American Woman' and Halston was one of the great American designers, it seemed very fitting." Intriguing.
SJP was in great company in her iridescent gown. Others who picked up the metallic baton and ran with it were J-Lo in an oyster Zuhair Murad gown with a SERIOUSLY embellished bodice, Gwen Stefani in her own label LAMB, Kate Hudson in Stella McCartney, Clare Danes in a dark, pewtery Burberry floor sweeper and Marion Cotillard in a spangled Dior mermaid number. Anne Hathaway chose a poufy skirt with simple strapless top combo from Valentino, also in a glittering sequinned metallic.
In case anyone thought that fashion designers are too pretentious or take themselves too seriously, Marc Jacobs (aka the man we all wish was our GBF) was parading around in a baseball cap “I had hair transplants,” he explained, casually.
Another male star with suspiciously thick and luscious hair, Jude Law, was looking like the cat who got the cream parading around, as he was, on Sienna’s arm, who was looking stunning in a navy Emilio Pucci dress – slashed to the waist if you please!
The whole shebang was sponsored by GAP (most usually, a high fashion brand partner the event) and Alexander Wang designed two gowns in woven leather, one worn by rapper M.I.A. as part of the special GAP collaboration. The other one was worn by Gisele Bundchen who paid the young designer the compliment of saying "I feel like I am in Brazil,"
Other ladies who chose to eschew the protocol of floor sweeping tulle confections were our red carpet crush Carey Mulligan in a flower-embellished mauve Miu Miu number, Chloe Sevigny in a particularly vibrant turquoise Proenza Schouler dress – long of sleeve, high of neck and short of hem. How on earth can anyone have failed to notice Alexa Chung in her trouser suit, braces and ribbon tie. A brave choice? If anyone can carry off that look it's Miss Chung. Trust the Brits (and Chloe) to stamp on the rules with their fashion forward ideas. We Lurve!
And finally . . . the "We Want Your Boots" award goes to Charlotte Gainsbourg. Head to toe in Balenciaga, the label whose perfume she models for, we are well jealous of her fabulous-four-figure-price tag-footwear. Huh. If only we were best friends with Nicolas Ghesquiere . . .
- Naomi Atwood