Met Gala: Best (dresses) of the Worst (lists)

With all the different things I love about fashion, over-groomed starlets wearing expensive dresses is not usually at the top of the list. I’ve usually already seen their clothes at preceding fashion weeks, and so there is generally very little exciting about seeing them again on unnaturally shiny celebrities. I am more interested in the Met Costume Institute exhibition than I am interested in who wore what at the gala that opened it (well ok, with the exception of Chloe Sevigny).

However, as things tend to happen following an event of this sort, the entertainment blogs and mags like to divvy up the looks into the thoroughly scientific categories of what is “hot” and what is “not.” The best dressed lists seem to consist of those who were the most traditionally pretty: buzz words like “flattering” and “feminine” get thrown around. Which, naturally, leaves everything else to the worst dressed list. Perhaps it is my inner contrarian that needs to defend the honour of the riskier pieces, perhaps I just like to cause a fuss with my clothes (like that time in the tenth grade I went to school wearing leg warmers over flared jeans in order to prove a point to my mom – a point which I cannot remember, but it was important, let me tell you). Yeah, yeah, we all know Marion Cotillard and the legions of ladies in sparkling floor length gowns looked nice, but they’ve gotten enough praise already.

Here are my choices for looks that got unfairly slammed by the critics:

I decided I would put Kristen Stewart (wearing Chanel Haute Couture) first because 1) it was probably the most universally panned by bloggers and 2) got your attention, didn’t it? MTV says: “Her outfit last night looked like a prom dress gone wrong. Essentially, the cut and shape were totally unflattering.” Maybe it’s just because the girls who covered teen magazines when I used to buy them a long time ago (read: 2004) tended to be impossibly sunny and dressed in technicolour poufs (you wanna talk prom dresses gone wrong?) Either way, I can appreciate the existence of a teen queen who prefers to wear a sheer skirt on the red carpet and who doesn’t know how to fake a smile if her life depended on it. I swear I’m not just saying that in an attempt to get page hits from Twilight fans.

What I love about M.I.A. (here in Alexander Wang) is that she rocks the hell out of whatever she wears and yet continues to be a target for critics (I probably don’t need to tell you to google “Henry Holland + Grammys”). She continues to provoke and keep things interesting in a way previously seen with certain swan dresses of red carpets past. Is she wearing a gold knit dress over a leather catsuit? Yes. Am I going to question it? God, no.

My favourite ensemble of the night (but anything Rodarte I tend to automatically fawn over), Kirsten Dunst’s dress was well recieved, although her footwear, not so much. Personally, I think the white tights and laced shoes create an unexpected addition to the dress’s victorian details and layers of lace. In other words, she looks like an elegant grandmother who could hold her own in a fight. That’s a compliment, by the way.

To be honest, Tina Fey’s look didn’t make me gasp in awe, but I felt her choice was in tune with the gala’s theme of the American Woman. Her decision wear pants in lieu of a dress that night was very modern, just like the type of woman Fey herself is. Plus, out of all the looks that night, this one was probably the most convenient when time came to use the washroom. Which, you know, is always a plus.

Disagree with me? I’m sure at least one of you out there must, at least on KStew. Tell me your own picks in the comments.

- Anna Fitz

10 thoughts on “Met Gala: Best (dresses) of the Worst (lists)

  1. The thing about “best” and “worst” is that I find anyone who can make a good argument for an outfit totally sways me.
    When I looked at these I was thinking that MIA should find things that fit her (the way that overlay drapes under her arms makes me think of a sea-weed dripping lagoon monster) and Kirsten Dunst looks like a meringuey bride (although I did like her shoes). Now, Swamp Thing notwithstanding, I do agree I like MIAs willingness to be playful, and the feisty gran reference made me think of Miss Havisham, which I also can’t argue with.
    But I will never give a pass to Kristen “I love sparkly vampires” Stewart. And it’s not about the dress (it so rarely is). She needs posture lessons.

  2. EVERYBODY HATES KIRSTEN STEWART. i mean, dont get me wrong, i think her acting is “meh” on a good day and twilight is just ten degrees of terrible HOWEVER!! i think i relate to her too much. I know if I was invited to the met gala i would get all excited and pick out something dramatic and sexy and short and black, but then be so awkward once i showed up and end up slouching in a corner. which i guess is a fair con against her outfit pick – it’s not what you wear it’s how you wear it etc. etc. still can’t hate.

  3. I actually like her dress… I don’t like the clutch, and I think she could definitely use some “how to pose in photos since you’re sort of a celebrity” lessons, but the dress is pretty. I wouldn’t wear it, but on her, I kind of like it. I haven’t seen Twilight (GASP!) and can’t really think of what else she’s been in besides that mediocre, post-O.C. Adam Brody movie, so I’m not judging her on anything besides media. Media? Are we media? Wait…

  4. Heh heh – oh, Anna! I think you’d be absolutely lovely at a gala. There is no issue with awkwardness; awkwardness is charming. The problem (I have) with Kristin Stewart is that her scowling and slouching look so exasperatingly deliberate. It’s like the year Eddie Vedder won the Grammy (or whatever) and got up and made some pretentious speech about how awards were meaningless. Ok, fine. WHY ARE YOU HERE, THEN? It annoys me when people show up at events for what seems to be the express purpose of looking bored or pissed off. I’m not saying it’s not “work” on some level, but give me a break – it’s Chanel and champagne. CHEER UP ALREADY.

  5. Ok, wait. I would definitely wear what Kirsten Stewart is wearing. What is wrong with it exactly other than the person who is wearing the dress? I mean, if she is the only “bad” thing, then why not put her in a “Worst People on the Red Carpet” list?
    Also, I love Tina Fey’s outfit!!!! She looks classy. Is this a “OMG-a-woman-who-is-not-wearing-a-dress” sort of deal? Because if it is, it makes me love it even more. (TEAM TINA FEY!)

  6. Kristen- I hate her acting, I must say anything connected with her gives me the puke face. BUT I like that she has this mysterious tomboyish confidence about her- the dress is interesting which causes me to look closer. Perhaps she isn’t elegant, perhaps she has shitty posture, but I think what she’s wearing is a good representation of her attitude and style.

    I love MIA, she always wears something partly strange- like that polka dot mesh thing…..Anna’s right, she has a great attitude- it allows her to pull off just about anything- and look at that posture! haha. I want to reach out and touch it (but that’s because you all know I have a weakness for textures). I think with a makeup adjustment (it clashes a bit doesn’t it?) and less gold accessories (although I kind of like the representation of traditional Indian/Sri Lankan dress), it may have looked even better.

    Kristen- haha I actually love those shoes. a lot. but it is a lot of white. Like anna says I think with the shoes and the dress together, you don’t see the great detail at the bottom so much and would have liked it with a different color shoe. I do believe it is one of the better dresses Kristen has worn!

    Tina Fey rocks. Women rarely wear pants to award shows. She’s got such personality of course she’d wear something that stands out. she probably got bored of wearing the usual variety of LBD she sticks to. It also accentuates her waist and gives her a nice hourglass figure!

  7. Are some of these things “mistakes” sure! But the fact is that these women are making interesting choices and unique choices with their fashion and in the end we remember the people who made interesting choices vs. the army of clones so often seen on the red carpet.
    Posts like this are why I love WORN

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