Standing O, So-So, or Hell No: Met Gala 2017

P Diddy casually (AFFECTEDLY) lounges on the Met Gala stairs to allow (USURP) Cassie’s spotlight.

Throwing a costume ball is always a huge risk considering that the success of the party hinges partially on the creativity of the attendees and their ability to interpret the theme.  Even though Anna Wintour rules the Met Gala guest list with an iron fist (in all likelihood that fist is chain mail), there will always be four classes of people: those who explore the theme and nail it, those who explore the theme and fail it, those who go rogue and do whatever they please, and those who just want to look naked at every event they attend.  (For the last group, my hubs suggested I create a new category: Standing O, Hell No, So-So or Ho.)

This year’s theme was Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. We could talk about this theme exhaustively (please let us!) but I suspect you want to see photos so I’ll keep this short.  Rei Kawakubo is first and foremost an artist, clothing happens to be her medium.  She balks at things like conventionality, boundaries, and often beauty and functionality and tends to design interstitial-ly.  This to say that little of her clothing is worn literally (i.e. straight off the runway) however, so much of what we have adopted into our fashion playbooks can be credited to her avant-garde vision.  For instance: black as a fashion color (NY, you should be on your knees), asymmetry, relying heavily on red in design, and wearing oversized garments. Even though you think you might not have ever seen anyone wearing Comme des Garçons, you have.  Any time you see this cute logo, know that is what you are looking at:

OK, back to the Met Gala and the four classes of attendees.  First up, those who explored the theme and nailed it.  Exhibit A: Ri Ri

No one said that good circulation was required for this event.

Not only is Rihanna from the first class of attendees, I think we can universally agree that she won the Met Gala overall.  If you’ve not already guessed this dress is Comme des Garçons and is actually IN THE EXHIBIT.  Sure it has a huge flower saddle bag hanging off her left side but that, folks, IS quintessential Rei Kawakubo à la her lumps and bumps theme.  Remind yourself, dear readers, this is a costume ball.  Standing O!!

Also nailing it in Comme des Garçons:

Of course it’s not flattering, it wasn’t intended to be!

This is so on-brand for Helen Lasichanh.  Note: only 8 party goers, including Helen, were brave enough to wear Comme des Garçons.  Standing O!

On to the second class – those who explored the theme and failed:

Question: do camel-toe shoes hurt as much as camel-toe jeans?

I’m not going to get too rough here, Katy Perry at least explored the theme in this Maison Margiela look.  She went BIG, she went RED, she went avant-garde, and unfortunately she also went a bit overboard.  I still respect her attempt so I’m going to assign her a So-So.

This Something About Mary hair-do would’ve worked better for 2013’s punk themed gala.

Ditto Celine Dion in Atelier Versace.  She tried.  Hard.  This is decidedly avant-garde but she is treading in the waters of Hell No.

Do my eyes deceive or are those shoes also fishnet?

Gigi Hadid’s Tommy Hilfiger is aiming for the “in-between” (gown and suit, masculine and feminine) but reads like a futuristic call girl.  The thigh-high fishnets throw it even further off course.  Hell No.

Third class citizens: those who went rogue.  I will only offer a few examples since this category holds the vast majority of last evening’s guests.

Her extension is very I Dream of Jeannie.

Indeed this is a costume but for a completely different party.  This gown should be going to an event that features an abundance of martinis, cigarettes, and fondue.  J Lo’s Valentino is lovely and she looks great but even though Valentino is an underwriter of the event, she only gets a So-So for ignoring the theme.

 

What does Selena Gomez’s ’90’s-esque Coach gown have to do with the in-between or avant-garde or art as fashion?  This is not a trick question.  The answer, of course, is NOTHING.  At least if you set out to be a non-conformist, my suggestion would be to wear something undeniably pretty or at the very least interesting.  Hell No.

 

It’s true that Miranda Kerr’s Oscar de la Renta also has nothing to do with the night’s theme but it is achingly pretty and I long to make it mine!!  Standing O for the dress and So-So to Miranda for not adhering to the theme other than to bring a red element into her look.

Last, and in this case also least, are those who attend every event looking naked.  They deserve no more air time and so I will give them a group Hell No and let you decide for yourselves:

Standing O or Hell No: Kendall + Hailey at Coachella

Sometimes I feel sorry for things in my wardrobe because I’ve neglected to wear them in awhile.  I’ve come to understand that it’s times like these when I am most susceptible to a sartorial misstep.  My fashion empathy (and my tendency towards personification) get the better of me and I lose my ability to edit.  In these instances, whatever the object of my bleeding heart comes along with me and gets tossed into the mix.  Rarely does said object add value and inevitably I’m forced to confront the day regretting my decision. (Side note:  I think I may have displayed this exact shortcoming while dating in my 20s.)  Could this possibly explain why Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin presented themselves this way? I imagine each started with a sparkly bralette, as one does when preparing for Coachella, and then the outfit-build spiraled out of control when random pieces began tugging on their heart strings.  Or maybe they just ingested mushrooms before getting dressed.

As un-supportive as I am of Hailey’s outfit, it’s Kendall I can’t stop staring at.  I’m trying to make sense of it all, like the morning after a rager, and yet I can’t find the relationship between any two pieces she has on.  The larger looming question is why she would have any one of these pieces in her wardrobe to begin with.  Each item independently is arrant nonsense and as a team downright egregious.  Hell No.

When A Photo Opp is a Missed Opp

Why do I smell melting crayons around here?

If a picture really is worth a thousand words, I feel confident that the main word would be airbrush. Certainly Melania Trump is an attractive woman but even more than usual her official White House portrait makes her look like the Madame Tussaud wax version of herself.  In no way does she look accessible which, I gather, is the actual point of taking a portrait like this. To me she appears less like a hostess of the White House and more like a bouncer at the SoHo House. Case and point: with her arms tightly crossed she’s poised to judge you instead of receive you.

Look, people, this could have been worse. At least she has clothes on.  And those clothes, for all intents and purposes, are appropriate. I just think she could’ve shed some of the (what appears to be) hostility and imbued a little warmth into this shot. In other words, she could’ve tried to appear HUMAN.

 

Did you just call me a dominatrix??

Just one of hundreds of outfits from yesterday’s look book session.

Yesterday my new super-cool-client’s super-cool-and-ridiculously-smart boyfriend informed me that I practice combinatorics. I nodded in emphatic agreement and then asked what the H that means.  His response was too complicated for me to comprehend let alone remember (EVEN THOUGH I AM CLEARLY AN EXPERT IN THIS FIELD) and so I looked it up.  Combinatorics is a branch of mathematics concerning the study of finite or countable discrete structures in order to achieve optimal objects.  So, when I develop a look-book and create near-infinite (I am also an expert at hyperbole!) outfit permutations based on the finite pieces I purchase with my client during a shop, I am really demonstrating amazing mathematical capabilities. It’s no wonder then why I’m sitting here currently waiting for NASA to light up my cell.  As I mull over my genius I believe, therefore, that my new title should be Combinatrix.  It’s got a ring to it, yes?  In fact, I’m praying someone asks me to submit a resume for something (anything!!) so that I can showcase this title and skill.  Don’t be surprised if each and every one of you is updated regarding (and asked to endorse) both of these on LinkedIn.  DO NOT LEAVE ME HANGING!  In the meantime, if any of you want to casually discuss The Pythagorean Theorem or maybe the Laws of Relativity, you know where to find me (obviously by the phone waiting for NASA).

The Kill Shot: Federer Graces GQ

A stone cold fox sitting on what might be an actual stone cold fox. 

This GQ photo is nothing if not a testament to the power of allure inherent to Roger Federer.  Who else, pray tell, could convincingly lounge on a fur throw in white sport socks and corresponding tight white short-shorts while cuddling with a tennis trophy AND SPORTING A BLAZER OVER A T-SHIRT SWEATER COMBO?!  Yet somehow I’m buying what he’s selling even if that boils down to nothing more than his image.

Now let’s get a look at the other photos supporting his I’m-sexy-in-athleisure-image because they are all awesome in their own right:

Sweats + Tennis Sweater + Peak Lapel Blazer = OBVIOUS (to no one but Roger Federer)

In tennis, and in life really, I believe this would be known as the “kill shot.”

Snow suit or swim suit? I think you know my answer.

For the briefest of moments this morning I considered acting like a normal mom and going to the grocery store to stock up on bread and milk.  Then I remembered I’m not normal and bought a swimsuit instead.  This beautiful Zimmerman suit to be exact.  I subscribe to the mode of thought that when Life serves you lemons, make lemonade.  Except for future reference, Life, I’d prefer you serve me lemons rather than 24″ of snow.  Thanks.

Other pretty and forward-looking-suits I considered:

Lisa Marie Fernandez Natalie Bikini

 

Missoni Mare Striped One Piece Halter

 

Malia Jones Criss Cross One Piece Swimsuit

This one is all about the backside (double entendre intended).

I chose mostly one piece swimsuits because perhaps subconsciously I’m afraid of being cold; but I understand that this reasoning is akin to my mom wanting to be buried in a mausoleum because she’s afraid she won’t be able to breathe underground.

Ask Wardrobe Whisperer: Belt + Suspenders?

You can don a belt with your suspenders if your style icon is Bill Lumbergh. And if you match them to your tie, you too can look this good.

Recently I was called in to end a family feud.  It was a father/son showdown regarding suspenders and whether or not they should be worn with a belt.  The answer is that both accessories were designed to keep your pants from falling down and so they should not be worn together.  That would, for us ladies, be like wearing Spanx and a girdle.  Or a bustier and a bra.  A decision must be made between the two.  When settling this particular debate I was tempted to add that a person who feels it necessary to wear both belt AND suspenders might also have some deep-seated trust issues.  But then I reminded myself that no one cares about my psychological interpretations of sartorial conundrums.  (But why is this I wonder?  Is it because I don’t have a psychology degree?  Qualifications smallifications!  I think we can all agree they are irrelevant and unnecessary.)  So if anyone would like to hear more of my psychological analysis, please do contact me directly.  I’m more than happy to spew all sorts of ill informed and misguided nonsense your way.  In the meantime, let’s look at some truly dapper gentlemen who are aware of the no-belt-with-suspenders-rule:

Tattoos optional. Belt not optional.

 

This outfit is luda and yet oddly convincing.

 

Hello, sir.

And no post about suspenders could go without a look in the review mirror at this memorable image:

There isn’t much right about this outfit today but even this d-bag knew not to wear a belt.

Standing O or Hell No: Oscars 2017

Emma Stone may be the only La La Land cast member still smiling after that Best Picture blunder.

Lent begins Wednesday which is disconcerting to me on many levels (but perhaps not as disconcerting as being told you won Best Picture and then NO! There’s a mix up and you, well, LOST and have to slink back to your seat after having already thanked the Academy, the world, and your first grade teacher.)  Back to Lent.

As many of you are aware, during Lent it’s customary to either give something up for 40 days or do something extra.  Given the current political climate, I’ve decided to give up negativity.  However, now that I’ve imposed a giant looming stop watch onto my fashion critiquing, allow me to purge my negativity while there’s still time.   In the spirit of saving the best for last, it seems fitting to begin with this atrocity:

Did she steal a page from Scarlet O’Hara’s playbook and tear down her dining room drapes to fashion this dress?

When Dakota Johnson emerged onto the carpet in this Gucci number I emitted a high-pitch squeal that only dogs and ghosts could hear.  Somehow this photo is forgiving her a few sins but note that despite its pretty and appropriate color, this dress was too long, too wrinkled, and most egregiously sported that ridiculous bow.  Toss in the un-glamorous and unflattering hair and the drab make up and you know what you get?  A HELL NO!

Bows should have gotten an Oscar for Leading Nemesis last night.  First Dakota and then this:

I love Leslie Mann.  Love.  She is adorable and funny.  And so I feel agitated that this dress was im-Posened on her.  (See what I did there?  The dress is by Zac Posen and he, well, okay, you get it.)  I don’t know if Zac was inspired by the upcoming feature film Beauty in the Beast but this appears to be some weird wrinkled version of Belle’s dress.  Hell No.

 

Even the background and carpet are in overt agreement that she should win.

As Lent would dictate, let’s turn the other cheek and begin to appreciate all that was good on the carpet last night.  Despite the overall absence of color and heavy reliance on metallics several women still stunned.  But to be honest, I wasn’t calling for smelling salts over any one of the dresses.  Instead, my favorite looks were the sum of all parts.  My most favorite (and a perfect example of the equation I reference) was Emma Stone.  She brought so much gravity to her big moment with her flawless hair and make up.  Her Givenchy dress was quite pretty but, for me, it was more about how every element came together. To steal a word from her acceptance speech she was a confluence of old Hollywood glamour, modern beauty, and charisma.  Standing O for her overall look and for her big win!

Speaking of Emma and flawless hair and make up…

Proving that it doesn’t hurt to have Julia Roberts in your gene pool.

I wasn’t a fan of Emma Roberts’s Armani Prive gown and so I won’t bother to feature it (and her chest-thong), but her head was perfection and I’d be remiss not to comment on it.  Standing O for her stupendous hair and make-up (and natural beauty of course).

 

Sheer elegance.

Hailee Steinfeld wore an extremely sheer Ralph and Russo dress that was very pretty but would not have bowled me over had her make up and hair not agreed with it so perfectly.  Overall, though, she was luminous and abounded with modern elegance.  Standing O!

 

Don’t get me wrong, this black Dior is classic and lovely but it is not earth shattering; And it would not have catapulted Kirsten Dunst onto my best dressed list had she not supplied the incredible body, gorgeous make up and hair, and understated but completely on point necklace.  Standing O for taking a simple look and elevating it to greatness!

 

Who me??

There is something very Alexis Colby about Taraji P Henson in this Alberta Ferretti.  Taraji looks like she could just as easily toss a glass of champagne in someone’s face as she could accept an Oscar.  Her gown is elegant but the success of this look is a testament to the attitude which she is bringing to that slit and that neckline.  Bonus points for her new shorter hair – tousled, modern, and gorgeous!  Standing O!

I wasn’t a fan of Ryan Gosling’s ruffled tux shirt last night yet I cannot callously omit him from my post like the Academy did from the Best Leading Actor win.  So here’s a shot from La La Land where his sartorial game soared:

I will take refuge in this photo when mid-Lent my resolve starts to waiver and I feel the urge to dissect a look ungenerously.  With great looks, Ryan, comes great responsibility and you will need to help see me through.

Standing O or Hell No: The Grammys 2017

If awards season is a marathon and the Golden Globes is fashion responding to the starting pistol, then the Grammys is fashion at mile 19 clutching its heart and wondering where all the oxygen went.  Except for a few ladies, most choices seemed to be the product of extreme hypoxia to the brain.

Adele looked exceptional in a green Givenchy (above) nailing fit and color simultaneously.  Also nailing the Big Win.  Standing O!

I rarely like this kind of a thing because it often reads as unnecessarily complicated, but Chrissy Teigen owned this tie up/cut out/sheer/printed gown with fringe on the bottom and feather accents on top.  Ok, I could do without the fringe on the bottom but somehow this is a successful look and I’m not even sure how.  Sheer hotness and force of will?  Standing O!

 

I will admit that there is a slight whiff of Ice Capades around the fabric of this Zuhair Murad gown but overall Celine harnessed her exceptional poise and appeared polished and regal and pretty.  Standing O!

 

It’s concerning to me that Tom Ford would callously sacrifice so many Fraggles to make this dress.  It is unconscionable: Hell No!

If you are Rihanna and this is your NIGHT, would you be so torn about what to wear that you’d dress your bottom half for a cotillion and your top half (okay maybe top quarter) for the gym?  No, no you would not.  And Hell No, Ri Ri.

Super Bowl LI: The Halftime Show

While in this outfit, I wish she would’ve covered that song Intergalactic by the Beastie Boys.

I’m of the opinion that Gaga did herself a disservice by incorporating all of those cool drones into the beginning of her performance.  They looked like fireworks, they took the shape of the American Flag, they were a stunning sight!  I felt distinctly cheated the moment the drones took their leave and we had to focus on the actual show again.  Don’t get me wrong, Gaga WORKS when she is asked to perform.  She offers up her heart and soul and it is always evident.  But despite her hustle, I felt the performance was anticlimactic.  Typically her voice is so extraordinary that I can listen to her sing most anything but the way she did her mash-up last night, all of her songs felt like the same song with slight variations.  And then her costumes left me wanting.  Clearly, in my view, this is where the mortal sin occurred.

The Versace she opened with was definitely my favorite (I can envision a moment in time where Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and I all converge on the last of this pair of boots and have to wrestle it out. Be warned, ladies, that I am prepared to fight a legion of marauders to secure these.  Sharpen thy nails.)  But the body-suit was not that different than what we’ve seen her in a hundred times before – something sparkly and sharp shouldered.  Zzzzzz.

I’m fairly sure this image will appear in my nightmare tonight.

And then the spiky golden bolero.  When you are renowned for having donned a meat dress, this sorta fails to excite.  It’s only a hair away from what I would wear in my actual daily life.  Then she went and saved the worst for last:

This begs the time-worn question: Are fishnets ever really a good idea?

This particular ensemble inspired this thoughtful commentary from a friend’s 5 year old: Daddy, why is she wearing a Chinese food container?  From the mouth of babes!  I will say, though, that her face looks GREAT here and for that I applaud.  But in the end I guess I wanted some really fun moment – something playful and unpolitical kinda like the Beyonce/Bruno Mars dance-off from last year’s show.  Instead I walked away talking about the drones.

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