Few occasions necessitate full on fashion ferocity like the Costume Institute Gala at New York’s Metropolitan Museum. Everyone who’s anyone in fashion comes in their best red carpet outfits to sparkle and cheese in front of the flashing lights. A few selections for today’s Hot! or Hmm..


Rihanna took a break from house hunting and clubbing to grace her first red carpet since her Chris Brown snafu. The idea of her Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2009 cropped pant suit is hot, but in application, this gets a hmmm…Honestly we’ve seen her in much cuter even on casual occasions. The voluminous shoulders, slicked hair, bow tie, and all black take away from her typical chic allure.


Beauty Tyra Banks also donned all black, but kept it traditional in a Badgley Mischka strapless gown. With “Model as Muse” as the theme for the night, Tyra went for uber glam with a pompadour and dramatic makeup. As with Rihanna, I’ve seen Tyra look hotter, and this time she gets a Hmm…maybe a long flowing mane would have been more flattering.


Iman represented the model contingent flawlessly in a Donna Karan one shoulder champagne gown. Her hair and makeup are beautiful, and she exudes grace with her regal stature. Hot!


Covergirl Chanel Iman was also quite regal in a plunging Zac Posen gown and Montblanc jewels. The long train and gauzy fabric on this exotic print dress is totally fitting for such a glamorous fete. Tres Chic!


Alek Wek went the opposite direction, wearing a thigh grazing dress in a pop of eye catching purple. For some reason this dress doesn’t scream ‘formal,’ yet with Alek’s beauty she can pull anything off! Hot!


Eva Mendes went for a simple style and shimmered in a Calvin Klein gown… definitely not a Hmmm, but also not simmering hot! I would have liked to see something a bit more dramatic like ruffles, a train, or a pop of color like Rosario Dawson


…who shined in a pink strapless number by Diane von Furstenberg. The tousled hair could have been pulled back into a tight chignon, but overall Rosario looked simple, elegant, and hot!


Kanye West’s arm candy Amber Rose also went for strapless and sizzled in a red floor length Carolina Herrera frock. Her dramatic red lip and understated jewels play off the color of the dress, and Kanye’s Louis Vuitton tuxedo complements her impeccably. And don’t they look like they’re going to prom? Cute and hot!


Eva Longoria Parker was also cute with her hubby Tony Parker, amping up the sauce factor in a black Diane von Furstenberg dress with keyhole front and open back. She looked super sexy…hot!


Our favorite ATLien Ciara also sauced it up an open back black and white Pucci gown dolled up with jewelry by Jack Vartanian. Ciara’s been representing for the A quite well lately, and last night was no exception. Hot!

Lastly our resident fashionisto, Andre Leon Talley, chose a black Isabel Toledo cape and bejeweled Roger Vivier flats for the occasion:


Andre’s look said “I’m over this fashion stuff“, and his costume and comportment accordingly lacked enthusiasm and panache. Triple snaps, however, for his ever present Barack Obama pin accenting his chunky necklace. Obama support is always hot!

What do you guys think?


*See more pictures and commentary at my buddy Catherine’s blog Red Carpet Fashion Awards.

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20 thoughts on “Hot! or Hmm…: The Costume Institute Gala at the Met Museum”

  1. I think everyone looked well. I believe the some stars could have been more avant-garde…

  2. Disappointing last years superhero theme provided more risky and left field options.
    Model as a Muse is supposed to provide a je ne sais quois element that makes you want to hang out, study, design, create, get inspired by the person.
    The gowns were lovely but not Muse-like…

    Where are the models? Jourdan, Sessilee, Arlenis, Chanel, Ubah etc…

    PS I thought she was going to be in Marc Jacobs or something.

  3. Rihanna’s tux wouldn’t have been so bad if the pants were longer and she skipped the blouse and bow tie underneath the jacket (then the buttons on the jacket would need to have been placed higher up to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions). The hair and makeup (from what I can see from the pic) looks cute though.

  4. Everyone looks hot to me. And Rihanna and Tyra especially took a fashion risk (which I think you should at the MET COSTUME GALA) and def pulled it off! Go girls!

  5. This is BY FAR the biggest pot of FASHION DISASTER that I have seen thus far on H/H.

    Rihanna – I honestly couldn’t be more disappointed in her recent clothing choices. It’s like she is lost in the fashion darkness and can’t find the light switch. This outfit is TERRIBLE. I really hope she gets her swag back soon…

    Tyra – WTH is that? She was doing so well with her Jackie-O dresses, but now this? Ugh, minus 3 points, Ty.

    Andre – *Sigh* No comment. SMH

    And everyone else is just boring boring BORING, except for Ciara. She has been reppin so hard lately. I love it. Go Girl!

    Great post, Claire.

  6. This is the “COSTUME” Institute Gala; I would think it would be less about being CUTE, and more about being Avant-Garde.

    I applaud RiRi and Tyra for not looking conventional, because we all know they can bring it.

    The other ladies look lovely.

  7. Tyra looks amazing! Finally she ditched that played out blonde wig/weave thing.

  8. I agree with everyone else that more women should have pushed the envelope and that is why I disagree with some about Rihanna’s stye. One she was one out of two that wore pants and it looked couture. I could assume since the theme was “Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion” that simplicity was not a big deal.

  9. Rihanna’s a winner!
    She knows what this event is about and she did the damn thing with a look only she could pull off so well.
    Luvs her!

  10. No, no, no. Some of y’all are blinded by Rihanna. This chick does not style herself and she is clearly channeling her inner Prince. But clearly, she looks retarded! This outfit was daring yes and b/c it’s Marc Jacobs I guess it’s labeled as fashion.

    However, I’m going to have to refer to a post I did on my blog called A True Fashionista. A True Fashionista is a woman who knows and loves her body and she knows what looks good on it and what doesn’t. She doesn’t wear things because they are expensive or made by some designer. She wears clothes that look good on her and compliment her individual style.

    This is NOT Rihanna. Yes, she has definitely worn some hot outfits that I myself would rock but, she is not consistent. You guys forget that Rihanna has had three albums and she didn’t cut her hair till right before the third. Therefore, she’s not truly original. This hasn’t been her look or persona until about a year and a half ago and now every blog I get on talks about how fashionable, this no talented hack is.

    Please go sit down Rih-Rih. Your 15 minutes of fame are almost up. The clock is ticking.

  11. LoudPen…I couldnt have stated it better!!! So True!

    Anyway, Ciara looks the best with Amber and Kanye taking the most fashionable couple trophy for this event. Chanel looks nice. Eva and Tony do too. Everyone else looks boring. Tyras hair messed it up for me. Rihannas gimic is losing its steam, time for her to try something else.

  12. Bump whatever ya heard or think ya know… Miss Fenty is fly and cannot be denied!! Disapproving crowds FALLBACK!

  13. Based just only on these few photos, I will have to say my favs are Chanel Iman epitomizes “Model as Muse” and Iman, she never ever gets it wrong, and a nod to Alex Wex, I absolutely love that color on her, I do wish that her dress was a gown though.

    Very disappointed in Rhianna’s tux, I really expected more, I would have loved to have seen her in a shirt-less exaggerated version of a Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo suit with hot Old Hollywood” red lipstick, a throwback to Old Hollywood Glamor with balancing Masculine & Femininity.

    Ciara I don’t

    I don’t care how many albums Rhianna has, I don’t care that she “cut her hair till right before her 3rd album”….I get it that 98.5% of these celebs have stylist and glam squads and that a lot of these celebs have no personal style and are given a persona, at least Rhianna owns it, she wears the clothes how they are meant to be worn, the clothes don’t wear her, she is one of few celebs with a “persona” that can pull it of effortlessly and appear to make it her own, she doesn’t look like she’s trying too be the part of “a bad girl, a rebel, punk rock princess” she pulls it off without a hitch, I mean the girl is what 19, 20, 21? She has plenty of time to experiment and reinvent her steelo, I may not be a big fan of her music but, I enjoy her “persona” for lack of a better word and I look forward to seeing what other look, person, image she or her stylist come up with next………Still not felling this tux on her though,

    @ LoudPen – Oh and umm can you and tell us who in the biz is “truly original”? And I stress the “truly” part.

  14. Alex brought it AND took it home! Her dress may not scream black tie formal, it’s more of a cocktail dress. However, she WORKED IT and brought it home. Oh, I MUST know who designed her dress.

    Of course, Amber, as expected, dd her thing. Oh yes, Mrs. Parker’s dress is to die for. Her dress is another I must see in my own closet very soon. Oh, I LOVE it.

    I had intended to keep my comments positive. However, Andre’ ruined it for me. Why is he walking around in a bleeping TENT! Andre’ of all people. He knows better! I have never understood why Andre’ gets into funks and comes out looking like a damn fool! HE MUST STOP IT. THIS MUST STOP NOW!!!!!

  15. Rihanna looks awesome. I think she took a risk (which is suppose to be done at this type of event) that really paid off. Iman is flawless. Everyone else looks nice but so typical for red carpet looks. I really thought Amber would have went with a more dramatic look but she looks cute. Alek Wek’s skin is so amazing!

  16. Everyone keeps saying they’re supposed to be avant garde for this ball, which may be true. You can be avant garde and look like a FOOL or you can look good. A great outfit looks good whether you have big shoulders and short pants or not.
    Rihanna looks a damned fool.
    Stop making excuses for this girl, she’s allowed to mess up one time. She has 30 other circumstances where she looks great. For this, she did not. Not at all.
    So let her take this hit, she’ll be back punching.
    But please don’t excuse ugliness for being something that it is not.
    PS Kimora came to this ball in a great dress that was out of the box and gorgeous. Google.

  17. It is ok to have different opinions on whether an outfit is hot or not.. it is cool.. but the long paragraphs (e.g. by LoudPen) are dealing with other issues and not what Rihanna has on.. you might not like the girl but she is very relevant.. Rihanna is one of the few people, forced or not, that makes the world their catwalk.. and I admire her for that.. she has some kind of swagger that is impressive for someone her age.. Heck, I am not the biggest fan of hers but I know a fierce chick when I see one.. Rihanna is fab!

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