>> The way Jacquetta Wheeler (in McQueen) and Stella Tennant (in Burberry) carried themselves and their clothes is just phenomenal. I don't think I need to say much more than that. Too bad Kate Moss couldn't join them -- I liked the androgyny, but her outfit needed Le Smoking, not le leather pants.
Posts for May 2nd 2006
>> Usually designers do perfectly well dressing other people, but they have serious issues dressing themselves. But last night at the Costume Institute Gala I had fun watching it be the other way around -- the designers looked great, but some of their guests... ay!
Like Nic Ghesquiere, for example (who has just been named to the TIME 100, by the by). He looks quite dashing -- nonchalant, laidback -- love the jacket and skinny tie. But Charlotte Gainsbourg... she looks like his sixties spacecase bride... straight out of Barbarella. The flower power flower-looking thing on the front of her belt doesn't help with that whole image. Her makeup and hair look very sweet, but from the neck down... Nic, you've been on such a roll at Balenciaga. Why stop now?
Again the contrast with Christopher Bailey of Burberry and Sienna Miller. Christopher went for the classic tux -- can't knowck him for that. It would have been cooler if he had gone for tails, but... he's at Burberry, so we have to expect him to go with the classic. Sienna on the other hand... so many points of mistake making -- the hairdo that's not really done (and not in a good way), the in-your-face (literally) tan, the Edie look that she needed to move on from about five years ago... I'll stop before I really get on a roll -- but Christopher, did you really have to encourage the obsession?
I love Alexander McQueen for pulling off the tartan and kilt. It looks so right on him. And then the look just dies on Sarah Jessica Parker. One half of the dress or the other had the potential to work on her, but together... it's too much. I wish they hadn't modified it from the runway -- the balance between the nude and tartan was good as is, and I mean if you're going to go as all out as she did, she might as well do the runway version with the cool little black feathered hat. But I respect her for having the guts to do something different.
As for John Galliano, by now you just have to know to take him as he is. I love him for wearing the ridiculous things he does. I mean, who else can you think of that would wear sparkly silver pants, a polka-dotted vest, cowboy boots... yeah, no one. Charlize, well, I'm so glad to see someone wearing a lovely Dior dress in that color. But in typical Hollywood fashion, it just feels so safe, so restrained, so careful on her. I want to say I like it, but I just can't bring myself to.
Finally, a couple of designers who I thought looked very classy: Frida Giannini of Gucci and Pheobe Philo of some-brand-hopefully-very-soon. I love Phoebe's jewelry, and we're just going to ignore Hamish Bowles in the picture with her, because I have no idea what the heck he thinks he is wearing.
>> You all are going to shoot me when I say this, but I think my favorite look from the Costume Institute Gala was Ashley Olsen's. Believe me, I'm a little weirded out by this choice as well -- I keep going through the pictures, looking for something better, and nothing changes. I still like Ashley Olsen's outfit best.
With this event, or any event of this caliber, there's an interesting line to ride. It's very easy line to go under and look underdressed (Sienna Miller, Kate Moss), or to go the complete opposite and look way over-the-top. Usually the over-the-top involves some kind of poofy dress or loud garish color. But the thing is, like everything else, there is no set rule. As much as it would be nice, there is no set rule on what will look like too much on one person or just perfect on another -- it's all case-by-case.
What I'm getting at here is that Ashley Olsen's outfit had something interesting going on with it -- something that just worked for her (and rightly so, the dress was custom Badgley Mischka, after all). At first, the long sleeves set me aback -- I wasn't expecting her to cover up so much. But then I started liking it more and more -- the buttoned-up feel to her dress: long sleeves, long skirt, high neck is almost more sexy than any skin display could be. Because what does everyone else do nowadays but show off all of their skin and leave nothing to the imagination. It's a very demure, clean silhouette which the skinny belt breaks up nicely. And the dress isn't black like everyone wears or white like everyone else wears -- it has this lovely embroidered effect. I haven't seen the back of her dress, but a nice slit in the back above the belt and between the shoulder blades to reveal just a bit of what's underneath the cloth would be absolutely dead-on sexy.
As for her makeup -- I love the red lipstick. It, just like the hypothetical back slit, gives the outfit just that little bit of punch that it needs -- that little hint of sexy in the sea of demure. A great contrast with the clor of her eyes. And the bit of shine on her skin, I quite like that as well -- it makes her look dewy, real -- not all matte and mannequin-like. All in all, everything, it's very clean, very modern -- very beautiful.