Gentle reader,

Did you ever wonder what it would look like when the Fashion World’s mighty had fallen?  The organizers of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala might have been pondering that very question when they settled upon the theme “Punk: Chaos to Couture” for this year’s bash because from the final scorecard of hits and misses, it seems that infusing punk inspirations into red carpet glamour proved trickier than expected.  Some just threw in the towel and showed up in beautiful ball gowns.  I guess that’s okay but it’s not really the spirit of the event, at least not to people like me who don’t have to worry about landing on the Worst Dressed list.  I just make the damn list!

Emma Watson Met Ball

Emma Watson bewitches?

I pondered whether to give points for trying even when the result was a train wreck of safety pins and plaid.  I must admit that, aside from obvious associations like dog collars and Union Jacks, I’m about as familiar with punk as I am with country music but pull on your ripped up vinyl gloves (or your goddamned cowboy boots) and get ready for my Met Ball 2013 round-up anyway.

One prominent choice for bringing a little punk this year was to cover oneself in black lace.  Diane Kruger in Chanel and Joan Smalls in Gucci both looked great doing just that.  Jessica Biel in Giambattista Valli and Jessica Alba in Tory Burch didn’t, and why in hell would anyone wear something by preppy queen Tory Burch to a punk-themed event anyway?  Jennifer Lopez went one better in a Michael Kors long sleeved sheer gown appliquéd with a glistening leopard pattern.

J-Lo-Met-Ball-2013The other big trend was Givenchy, worn by everyone from Beyonce with flaming orange scarf print trim and Rooney Mara in ghostly white lace to Florence Welch in black velvet and crazy long tassels that looked more Fleetwood Mac than punk.  Madonna was a mess in a Givenchy plaid jacket and a whole lot of fishnet and poor Kim Kardashian was just a big, round pile of ugly flowers that I think even covered her hands.  La Wintour might now consider reinstating the Kardashian ban and I hope Givenchy’s Riccardo Tischi is standing back and surveying all the damage he managed to do on a single night.  Only Amanda Seyfriend in a printed silk Givenchy gown with a flowing train emerged unscathed.

Something that I loved seeing this year was how the punk element of slashes and holes was conveyed in more streamlined gowns that were so elegantly revealing.  Anne Hathaway in black vintage Valentino, Carey Mulligan in a black Balenciaga cocktail dress with cut-out sides and Emma Watson with her mile-long Prabal Gurung train were covered but still managed to show some skin.  Gwyneth Paltrow wore hot pink Valentino Couture with a big slash across the top and Gwen Stefani rocked it out in black and white satin Maison Martin Margiela but I think Olivia Wilde clearly won this category with her sleek ivory silk bandeau-topped Calvin Klein gown.

Sarah Jessica Parker Met Ball 2013This year’s honorable mentions go to Anna Wintour for her choice of a splashy bright floral beaded Chanel Couture gown that would have been better with a mohawk, little Elle Fanning for her red, white and blue tie-dyed silk Rodarte dress with matching eye shadow and Nicole Ritchie for her awesome sprayed-white hair and matching custom Topshop column gown.  Donatella Versace should also be recognized for her dangerously spiky accessories even though it’s a mystery why her punk inspired Fall 2013 collection wasn’t all over that fucking carpet.

Finally, we have what I feel were the best looks to convey the punk sensibility while still looking appropriate for the Met Ball.  Lily Cole was very successful as an Elizabethan space alien in her shiny Vivienne Westwood and Miley Cyrus (I can’t believe I’m saying this!) was right on target in a black mesh Marc Jacobs gown and spiked hair.  Christina Ricci, also in Westwood, looked gorgeous in red and turquoise tartan but Sarah Jessica Parker did the silhouette better in printed silk Giles Deacon with a Philip Treacey feathered mohawk headpiece and custom tartan velvet Louboutin boots.  The sexiest, most punk-est award, though, goes to Anja Rubik in an Anthony Vaccarello red leather minidress with rivet-accented skirt and spot-on styling.

Let see what kind of theme these crazy bitches come up with next year.  I’m voting for “Mormons: Then and Now”.

Much love,

xxJames