Tag Archives: Sarah Jessica Parker

Red Carpet Rundown: Met Gala 2011, All Hail McQueen!

The Met Ball is usually my favourite red carpet event of the year. It’s all about the fashion, daaahling, which usually means everyone forgets about playing safe and instead sets upon the dress-up box with all the unrestrained glee of a five year old child. The scene was set for the Met Gala 2011 to be the most craziest amazingest one of all, as it was held in honour of fashion maverick Alexander McQueen, with a theme of Savage Beauty. So what did the A-Listers do? Decide to play it safe, of course!

Given that style slideshows for the Met Ball usually number in the hundreds rather than the tens, is it not disappointing that only about a dozen of the attendees bothered to wear the designer they were supposed to be paying tribute to? Ciara (in Prabal Gurung) actually tweeted something about being excited that her dress was ‘very reminiscent of Alexander McQueen’ – why don’t you just wear McQueen then, you eejit?! At least she did better than most with a feathery gown that was just about dramatic enough to be reminiscent of McQueen – I’m yet to discover how boring beige or pretty princess dresses could be connected.

So it seems only fitting to kick off my red carpet rundown with the folk who bothered to wear the designer. Yes, on any other night, they may have looked like whacked-out mentalists yet here, they were just about the only ones who looked like they could read an invitation. And some even offer a telling reminder that McQueen wasn’t all about whacked-out mentalists in the first place. The most fitting tribute of all?

And chief amongst them, Gisele. She not only totally OWNED the event, she made everyone else wonder why? Why they’d bothered to make an effort, why they’d turned up at all, why they weren’t as beautiful as Gisele, why the hell they hadn’t worn McQueen, … all the above and much much more. There are no more words to describe what is basically perfection.

And how awesome is this photo of Gisele and Naomi Campbell?! ‘TA-DA!!!’ From one end of the McQueen spectrum, dramatic yet simple breath-taking beauty, to the other – ornate embroidery, avante-garde embellishments, this is haute couture that simply isn’t intended for mere mortals. Campbell shows it might not even work for models but I applaud her for trying. And if anyone else was going to try and pull off wearing a coat of arms on their boobs and streams of loo paper everywhere else, I’m sure as hell glad it’s batshit-crazy Naomi. She even manages to look almost regal.

Anna Dello Russo shows how to make mentalist work; admittedly, it helps if you’re renowned in the fashion community for making mentalist your uniform. So she’s wearing an egg on her head, a matador’s outfit on her body, the most beautiful pair of gold booties on her feet and her sleeves are detaching themselves from the shoulders – and she looks smokin’. If she got any cooler, Wintour would have to kill her. Maybe.

It was mostly left up to fashion folk to pay tribute so here’s Liu Wen (who?) and Constance Jablonski (who???) in McQueen designs. I love Wen’s sexy number, which is all about the striking neckline and immaculate cut. The smoky eyes, strong lips and fierce cuffs totally work as well, like some classy exceedingly well-dressed dominatrix. I’m less certain about Jablonski’s ensemble – the powdery mottled grey print is soft and lovely, she looks ridiculously long and lean and the metallic belt stops it all from becoming a drippy watercolour. But the elephant in the room is the ruff, which does make it look like Constance’s lovely face is being served up on a platter or has been Photoshopped on afterwards. Then again, she’s a model and ends up looking pretty great anyway.

I lurve Karen Elson’s gold gown with a tarnished antique effect that makes it look like it’s decaying – but in such style! Together with that gorgeous red hair teased over one eye and that flawless porcelain skin, she looks like she could give those 1950s screen sirens a run for their money. Though she’d need to grow some boobs first, obviously.

I also love love love Hilary Rhoda’s Victoriana-esque coat dress. It’s not the kind of thing I usually love and I’m dying to give her a top hat and whip but I just think it looks stunning. It’s something about that crisp white colour and the brilliance of the design and tailoring that makes what is essential a gentleman’s riding jacket… and not even one from this century… look exquisitely feminine, high-fashion and would never have ended up as anything else. And we’ve not even mentioned her Union Jack clutch yet, which is just so many shades of awesome it outshone most of the other red carpet walkers.

Daphne Guinness, Raquel Zimmerman and Coco Rocha all wore looks from McQueen’s most recent collection, designed by (obligatory Royal Wedding mention) Sarah Burton. As you can see, feathers may have been a prominent theme. Coco’s is obviously the most understated and I love the tribal feel of the gold embellishments. Raquel’s is next in the swan evolution line and although that’s a hell of a lot of dress, you gotta love the dramz; it truly is evil black swan princess territory. Finally, we have dear old Daphne, rocking two types of feather and only a few tweets away from sprouting wings – let’s not think how many birds are wandering around bald thanks to this collection – who looks some kind of fabulous. It’s totally outrageous, ridiculously flamboyant and yet it works. It’s more likely that she could lay an egg in it than sit down, but as far as fashion statements go, it’s so gloriously deliciously overblown that I can’t resist. We need more Daphnes on the red carpet – for the lolz if for nothing else.

Trust Sarah Jessica Parker to show everyone how it’s done. To all that thought McQueen was all tartan, spikes and outrageousness, here she showcases classy elegant shimmering sophistication. It’s little unexpected touches like the cowl neck and three-quarter length sleeves that make this even more stunning than your average glittery gown, whilst the ice blue shoes are just so so right. And I get the feeling you don’t often get to say that about ice blue shoes so let’s all wallow in that.

Salma Hayek is a brand ambassador for McQueen so it’s no surprise she turned up wearing the label, even if I’ve never been convinced of the match-up. McQueen often seems too edgy for Hayek and the elaborate designs a little too busy for her short curvy body but this gown is lovely. It’s soft, romantic, flowing and languorous, the draping just so. The colour is a little too close to her skin-tone to make it an unqualified success but the dress itself is beautiful.

And then there’s Chloe Sevigny. I don’t get Chloe’s signature much-feted style and frankly, I’ve given up trying. This is exactly the sort of unflattering frumpy outfit I’d expect her to turn up in, McQueen or not. Her boobs couldn’t get more saggy-looking if you hung weights on them. The iddy-biddy tie is an unnecessary afterthought from a designer staring despondently at the image of Colonel Sanders on his KFC bucket. The hair is just… there. Flatly malevolent. Much like the whole ensemble. Sorry but no.

Pictures: Just Jared, Style.com, Look.co.uk, Socialite Life, Huffington Post Style

Red Carpet Rundown: Oscars 2010, Part II

And onto Part II, cunningly-named ‘The Rest’ category; this is what I was referring to when I said the Oscars 2010 red carpet was one of the most interesting and adventurous in years. Thought I’d hook you in with the uglies to start off…

Diane Kruger in Chanel – Kruger is usually one of the most impeccably-dressed women around (see what she’s been wearing the rest of this awards season here) but this is a dress only a mother could love. In fact, make that grandmother, as surely (cool hip grandmas apart) they’re the only ones constituting any sort of buoyant lace doilie market there may be and lace doilies appears to be what this dress is fashioned from. Screwed-up lace doilies occasionally throttled with screwed-up black lace doilies that is. Find the most unflattering parts of a figure to tie things around and in a quite remarkable feat, that’s where the black lace appears on this gown. The middle section reminds me of curdled cottage cheese, which in turn reminds me of thrush. No dress that reminds me of an infection whereby your urine looks like cottage cheese can be a good thing.

Vera Farmiga in Marchesa – I’m usually a big fan of Marchesa’s structural gowns but try as I might to love this one, rather like that Topshop dress that rocked on Alexa Chung/Kate Moss/Sienna Miller but just looks weird on you, I can’t. I love the cerise colour, I love the shade of lipstick and I love that the neutral-wearing Farmiga has taken a real fashion risk, but I just see pencil shavings… or pleated napkins… or cupcake cases, which are stiff, slightly grotesque and give Farmiga no shape at all. I think in isolated doses, just on the bodice with a sleek skirt or vice versa, it might have worked yet in its current state, it just looks like an infection running rampage over the entire dress.

Zoe Saldana in Givenchy – Some critics are going loop the loop for this dress, which just highlights the selective couture blindess that seems to go on. Saldana is stunning and sells this gown with all her Na’vi might but it was weird on the catwalk and it’s still weird now. Let’s go through this step by step. Glittering bodice: gorgeous. Origami-pleated waistline – delectable. Lavender colour – delicious. The bottom: *Red alert, fire alarms, sirens, screams of horror * What is it?! The remains of a Muppet? A crowd of purple Chuzzles? Some tie-dyed shag-pile rugs from the 70s? No idea, but DO NOT LIKE.

Charlize Theron in Christian Dior – In homage to her Arrested Development character, perhaps this gown would look better on inside out? Only a Mr F could have thought this would look good. Charlize really can’t have a go at us if we’re all staring at her tits because the two Danish pastries attached to her boobs make it kinda hard not to. I preferred them when held up to the ears to make you look like Princess Leia (you can have that style tip for free). In all fairness, the rest of the gown is fine and Theron is her usual immaculately-groomed but if the designer really had to “add interest” to this simple dress, couldn’t he have found a less patently ridiculous place to do so?

Carey Mulligan in Prada – I hoped it would be Kristen Stewart bringing a rock edge to the Oscars but step forward English rose, Mulligan, to do red carpet dressing with a punky twist. Rather than embellishing the bodice with mere girlie glitter, Prada have instead scattered it with miniature knives, forks, scissors, keys and watch gears, a really cute and quirky design detail that totally works and makes the top half of this dress rock. Bottom half however and things start to get a bit tipsy; I don’t like the shorter length at the front, the border is unnecessary and the shoes seem heavy. I think a shorter version of this would look great at some music awards show – get onto it Prada!

Sarah Jessica Parker in Chanel – Of course, SJP fans would have you believe this dress is amazing/beautiful/stunning and that she was one of the best dressed of the night. But those SJP fans tend to think she would look fantastic in a bin bag (and let’s face it, she probably has worn one at some stage) and the reality is that this dress is a bit of a let-down. It does have a classic sort of elegance to it, but the musty yellow colour makes it look like it was discovered amongst the mothballs at the back of the closet and you’ll have more chance of finding a real-life Big than any sort of shape in this saggy sheath. Nevertheless, the beautifully intricate neckline is fascinating, in a Derren Brown sort of way. Is sheer will power alone holding it up? A spell from the fashion gods granted for so many years of sterling service? Who knows but it, and those sparkling bracelets, are the best thing about this outfit.