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