• Hot! Or Hmm…: “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” 2011 Costume Institute Gala At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

    Tonight models, editors, and members of the entertainment industry gathered for one of the premiere fashion events of the year: the Costume Institute Gala At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art. This year’s festivities paid tribute to Alexander McQueen, the cutting edge British designer who suddenly committed suicide last year to the dismay of scores of friends and fans. Guests showed up determined to stunt–and while most did, some disappointed.

    Let’s take a look at the best and the worst looks of the night:

    Kerry Washington
    mastered the art of the cut out in a mint green Escada dress accented by diamond jewels. The dress says enough on its own, though I love the touch of contrasting pink lipstick and bouncy hair. Hot!

    Solange Knowles opted for a Fall 2011 green, white, and navy patterned Dries Van Noten dress played up by heavily kohled eyes, her signature Afro, and Jean-Michel Cazabat heels. I’m a sucker for a smile, so am only hmm’ing at the Zoolander gaze. The overall ensemble is super hot!

    Ciara left her duties as Givenchy’s muse by the wayside, smoldering in an ombre gown by Prabal Gurung. Her Lorraine Schwartz black diamond and sapphire mesh bracelets seem a little heavy given the frothiness of the gown, but I think Ciara’s dress is dreamy. Again, I’m not a fan of her giving so much ‘face.’ It’s ok to smile at a fashion event, Cici! Hot!

    Alicia Keys chose a belted chocolate Givenchy gown accented by a crocodile jacket and matching crocodile clutch. The leather jacket looked more suited for a less glitzy red carpet, and why such a dull tone? Hmm, I would’ve liked to see either a vibrant color, shiny metallic, or classic black. This brown hue did nothing to uplift Keys’s natural beauty.

    Speaking of color…va va voom! Eva Mendes looked electric in a royal blue one shoulder pleated Stella McCartney gown. The diamond earrings? The gold belt? Perfection.

    Rihanna represented in a one shoulder lace gown by Stella McCartney, accented by strappy sandals and Wilfredo Rosado jewels. The dress marries saucy and sophisticated and I must say I’m loving her long luxurious braid. The berry lip and turquoise earrings are nice touches.

    Model Chanel Iman also want for sheer and lacy in a white dress by Dolce & Gabbana. Though you can see her undergarments, her look exudes classic innocence and elegance. Dying over her silver spiked Christian Louboutins, diamond accents, and red lipstick. Hot!

    Naomi Campbell paid homage to her dear friend Alexander McQueen in a dress designed by the house. The frock’s intricate details speak to the genius of McQueen, but the allure is somewhat lost in styling. What’s up with the cutesy hairbow? And the banged pony? A simple chignon would’ve done the trick. The hair knocks this Gala perfect look down to junior high school dance level. Hmm…

    Speaking of underwhelming hair choices, Rashida Jones played up a simple eggplant strapless with a headband and curly banged ‘do more suitable for a school picture. A slick updo or something a tad more sophisticated (sans the headband) could have saved this look.

    For example, take Zoe Saldana in this pale yellow Calvin Klein. The color pops, the dress fits, the makeup is simple, and the hair is loose and wavy (no bows or bands). Hot!

    Beyonce and Jay-Z made an appearance as well, with Beyonce in an Emilio Pucci dress and Jay in a Tom Ford tux. Apparently Beyonce’s dress was so tight she needed major help navigating the stairs, but haven’t we all suffered for fashion at one point? Her dress’s brocade details, dramatic high neckline, mermaid hem, and bust revealing cut out are event appropriate. Jay-Z’s mini ‘fro isn’t the norm, but why shouldn’t he show off the texture of his hair? Loving how this couple stayed true to themselves.

    Janelle Monaé made an appearance in her signature white tuxedo shirt and pant combo, uplifted by a top hat with a slight lace and mesh veil. The House of Chanel, who designed the ensemble, added certain couture details like pleated cuffs and a high neck, but this look is a yawnfest. I ‘get’ having a signature look, but I’m thinking Janelle could have gone the way of Rihanna at the 2009 Met Gala with a blazer with exaggerated shoulders and an edgy hairstyle. The idea was great. The execution? Hmmm, it could have been just a wee bit more creative.

    Perhaps she could have taken notes from Vogue Japan editor-at-large Anna Dello Russo

    …who made a white button down, black pants, and jacket look extraordinary with gold details and an ‘I dare you not to look at me’ hat. Her egg shaped topper was a bit more unexpected than Monae’s top hat, which seemed more obvious for a menswear inspired look.

    Andre Leon Talley also showed how to make a signature look stand out in a voluminous royal purple cape with a dramatic train. Sure, he’s giving me a little Violet Beauregarde, but ALT knows how to keep things interesting and fun.

    Iman dazzled in a sequin peppered jumpsuit by Stella McCartney. My first impression was, “Wow, how fresh!” until I realized another Iman (Chanel) wore a gold sequined jumpsuit to last year’s Costume Institute Gala. Though it’s been done before, Iman looked ravishing and hot. The young bucks could learn a thing or three from this industry veteran. A Kotur clutch and vintage belt completed her look.

    Jennifer Lopez brought the drama (or dramer as Dwight from RHOATL would say ) in a Gucci Fall 2011 keyhole gown with a floral shrug. This, ladies, is how you shut it down. Her matching red lip, manicure, and minaudière only add to the look’s overall allure. Hot!

    Jennifer Hudson engulfed her new svelte body in layers of fabric designed by Vera Wang (pictured to her right). I like it, but I’m not wowed. Is Hudson’s choice giving anyone else a ‘bridesmaid’ vibe? Vera is known for her wedding gowns….

    Speaking of wedding gowns…couple about town Lala Vazquez and Carmelo Anthony made a first time appearance at the star studded fete. Lala’s tulle blush one shoulder Vera Wang gown also gave me more ‘wedding’ than ‘gala.’ If the tulle feathered fan embellished skirt were more molded to her body, it would’ve been hot! Carmelo looked suave in all black everything and a high wattage smile.

    Christine Teigen went the opposite route of J.Hud and Lala, letting it all show for the red carpet in a lacy black feathered Chris March number and Ruthie Davis peep toes. She’s giving me a bit of a Vegas vibe, but I think her look was head turning and dramatic–perfect for the event. Besides, style queen and former Paris Vogue editrix Carine Roitfeld  has been known to wear something similar by Dolce & Gabbana. It’s risqué, but definitely chic–and hot! Nod to John Legend as well who looked dapper in his tux.

    Speaking of guys, fashionphile Kanye West of course couldn’t miss this party! He kept it simple and traditional in a custom Tory Burch tux. Hot!

    Cassie opted for a custom blue and black Rag & Bone dress topped off by Christian Louboutin pumps. Cassie is so pretty…but this look does her a disservice. The dark makeup is too severe, and I’m not convinced pulling her half-shorn hair back was the best choice. The dress is nice, but not quite gala-worthy. Hmmm, we’ve seen better Cassie!

    Nicole Richie exuded Hollywood Glamour in an optic white Jason Wu gown with sleeves flaunting studs and cut out details. Loving her hair, lip, and confidence. Hot!

    Co-designers Amare Stoudemire and Rachel Roy
    were on the roster, and made a smashing couple with Rachel in a strapless white gown and Amare in a well tailored tux. The subtle details on Rachel’s dress were stunning, and Amare looked tempered yet dapper. Hot!

    Rosario Dawson twirled in a floor length black sequined Diane von Furstenberg gown accented by diamond earrings and a gold clutch.  Pretty enough, but this is very covered up for our burgeoning spring weather. The dress is pretty, but simple. Not a hmm… just a meek hot.

    Model Joan Smalls similarly sparkled in a long sleeve floor length Givenchy Tom Ford gown, though her look captured the bright lights better thanks to oversized embellished stones. I love her blunt cut and dark lipstick. She’s a runway certified beauty, of course she looks hot!

    Keri Hilson made an appearance at the event in a knit gray Versace dress finished with a tulle train. I like the long hair and diamond jewels, though the frock’s mix of casual and dressy elements are slightly confusing. And wait–are those bra straps I see, or is that a part of the dress? At any rate, Keri usually gets a thumbs down on the red carpet, but I think she looks quite lovely here. Better than average…a lukewarm hot.

    Joy Bryant opted for a pastel Missoni sweater dress, with highlights of pink, red, and orange. Knit and red carpet aren’t a good mix. With Missoni, I think of beach coverup, not a glam Gala. Hmm, her makeup looks nice.

    Lastly, Serena Williams peacocked in a feather laden white Oscar de la Renta frothy frock, topped off by an equally feathery Philip Treacy hat (perhaps inspired by the Royal Wedding?). I personally feel she needed to heed Coco Chanel’s advice to take one thing off before leaving the house–namely that hat. I could see the dress alone working, but the hat takes her look from ‘wow‘ to ‘what was she thinking?’

    Who do you think was best dressed at the 2011 Met Gala?

    Source: Wire Image


    Claire Sulmers is the publisher and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily, the #43 most influential style blog in the world.