Posts Tagged ‘Met Ball’

Cultural References in Fashion: Reverent or Racist?

May 4, 2015

 

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Dress by Ralph Lauren photographed by Platon for the Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Different cultures have long provided inspiration to designers. Whether it is jewelry indiginous to an African tribe, patterns influenced by American Indians, or that certain “je ne sais quoi”of French style, designers often borrow ideas from the world at large.
Recently, there seems to be a barrage of scrutiny placed on every sartorial choice and its social acceptability. Where a designer might set out to pay homage to the beauty of a cultural icon, inevitably, it ends in a public apology for offending said culture.
Have we gone too far? Has society become so politically correct, that we can no longer reference elements of traditional dress with out being considered racist? Recent examples of this backlash include Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel collection which included Native American headdresses, and Victoria’s Secret’s war bonnet and lingerie runway look, for which both companies issued apologies. Katy Perry’s performance in giesha garb also garned severe criticism.

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Ming Dynasty vase photographed by Platon for the Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Tonight, the fashion world will decend on the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City for the annual Met Ball, celebrating the opening of the latest Costume Institute’s exhibition. This year, the exhibition is entitled ” China Through the Looking Glass,” and explores how haute couture and avant garde fashion has been influenced by China. In a collaboration between the Costume Institute and The Department of Asian art, the installation will juxtapose fashion with Chinese costumes, art,porcelains,painting and film.

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Dress by Roberto Cavalli photographed by Platon for the Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Typically, the theme for the festivities are reflected in the attire of the attendees, all of whom are personally vetted by Vogue’s editrix, Anna Wintour. It will be interesting to see how the fashion flock interpret the Chinese theme without stepping on anyone’s cultural toes.

Wearing a dress made of traditional Chinese silk jacquard could be percieved as a good choice, while wearing chop sticks in your hair ala Suzy Wong; not so much. It will be interesting to see how celebrities and their stylists interpret the theme. We will be watching closely to see who nails it, and who makes the ultimate faux pas.

Stay tuned tomorrow when we rehash the best, the worst and the most offensive looks on the Met Ball red carpet.

China Through the Looking Glass opens to the public on May 7, 2015.

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A New Crop

May 14, 2014

Midriff baring tops made their way to the red carpet last week, as young Hollywood dared to bare it at the annual Met Ball.

Rihanna ruled the night in a white two piece by Stella McCartney:

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Anne Hathaway was a chic lady in red in Calvin Klein:

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Gabrielle Union was on the fringe in her Prada skirt and top:

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Anna Kendrick showed some skin in J. Mendel:

488321789.nocrop.w1800.h1330Emma Stone glows in brightly hued Thakoon:

"Charles James: Beyond Fashion" Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals

 

Pretty in Punk

May 9, 2013

Monday night marked the annual “Met Ball,” honoring the opening of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s latest exhibition entitled Punk: From Chaos to Couture.

Much speculation lead up to the event, as to how the theme would be handled by the revelers, hand selected by Vogue’s high priestess herself, Anna Wintour.

Well, today we have the answer, and in most cases, it was handled poorly.

While a few went all out, (Madonna you go girl!) many opted for odd choices that left them looking awkward and uncomfortable. Below are some of our favorites, who embraced the movement and looked pretty in punk:

Madonna at the Met

Madonna at the Met

Miley just being Miley

Miley just being Miley

Sarah Jessica Parker channeling  Carrie Bradshaw in Giles

Sarah Jessica Parker channeling Carrie Bradshaw in Giles

Kim Kardashian in a custom slipcover by Ricardo Tischi

Kim Kardashian in a custom slipcover by Riccardo Tischi

Beyonce in Givenchy

Beyonce in Givenchy

And after couture came utter chaos. What made these attractive young women embrace old age, instead of punk?

Nicole Richie goes grey

Nicole Richie goes grey

Kate Upton goes matronly

Kate Upton goes matronly

Nicki Minaj left us speechless

Nicki Minaj left us speechless

Anna Wintour in Chanel

Anna Wintour in Chanel

The grande dame of the evening may have inadvertently been the most punk of all. While others tried to conform to societal expectations, Ms.Wintour bucked the norm, and showed up in a demure floral Chanel gown. What looked the least in keeping with the theme,may just have out- punked everyone.

Met Ball Hall of Shame

May 10, 2012

Monday evening was the Met Ball, the fashionista’s equivalent of the Superbowl. Models, designers and celebs of all sorts came together to fete the opening of the Metropolitan Museum’s most recent fashion exhibition, wearing their most spectacular attire. The A-list guest list was personally approved by Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue Magazine, and tickets cost $25,000 each!

What was most amazing to me, were the serious fashion faux pas, committed by some of the most admired people in the business. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Marc Jacobs, designer extraordinaire of  multiple eponymous labels, and Louis Vuitton, is possibly the greatest fashion influencer of our time.

His black lace shirt dress, with white cotton boxer briefs, is not likely to inspire others to follow in his Pilgrim shoe clad footsteps.

Beyonce, hailed by People Magazine as the most beautiful woman in the world, also donned see through lace in this Givenchy Couture Gown. Hey Bey, at least Marc wore underwear!  One day a peacock, another day a feather duster.

Coco Rocha, super model, wore a vintage Givenchy Couture “pant-set “in bright yellow and fucshia. It used to belong to Elizabeth Taylor, Um, Coco, didn’t anyone ever tell you that 2 wrongs don’t make a right? Pass it on to the Golden Girls, and don’t look back!

Diane von Furstenberg, in her own design. Puzzled by her choice? So are we!

Taylor Tomassi Hill, former Marie Claire fashion director, and artistic director at Moda Operandi, said it best today, when she took to her Twitter to offer her opinion on the evening. She suggested that people who dressed badly should be banned from the event for a year, and all ensembles would be subject to approval prior to being allowed to return.

Judging from this year’s selections, if Ms. Tomasi Hill’s idea took effect, it would be a very small, intimate event next year!


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