The Worst of the Met Ball

chloemet

I know I’m a few days late on this, but I needed a couple days to cleanse my palate after this year’s Met Ball. Over the past two decades, the Met Ball has transformed from an stodgy society dinner to an eye-popping, extravaganza crawling with international celebrities and global heavy-hitters. (It also raises a gazillion dollars more than any comparable arts benefit in town.)

You can credit Anna Wintour for this transformation, and it all stems from her vice-like grip on the quality of the event. (She even controls the attendees quality with an iron fist — the creation and cultivation of the guest list is a taboo topic for Vogue staffers.) And every year, the fundraising climates in a spectacular gala, themed around the subject of the Costume Institute’s exhibition.

But this year, I fear the event may have jumped the shark. This year’s theme was China: Through the Looking Glass, tied to the exhibition of the same name which just opened yesterday. While this was a unique opportunity for celebrities and their stylists to highlight Asian designers, most wore incredibly crass an inappropriate clothes instead. Let’s get a taste of the bad taste, shall we?

Beyonce is a performer, but she won't be a fashion icon with this taste level.
Beyonce in Givenchy. She may be a performer, but she won’t be a fashion icon with this taste level.

This translucent frock is not fashion. This is Beyonce showing off her body to what she hopes will be an appreciative audience. In a world that values Instagram followers like currency, I understand the inclination to bait photographers to maximize your relevance — but it also saddens me. Whatever artistry may be inherent in this gown is lost — because the focus is on the body, instead of the mind or any other cerebral qualities that are usually celebrated at museums. Just… no.

J. Lo in Versace
J. Lo in Versace

Another dress that reveals too much. Yes, the dress reminds me of the cross-sections of the human body in biology class, but this dress also reveals the desperate insecurities that fuel Hollywood’s female elite. No tight quads or face-lifts? You may as well be stale bread — and unemployable in Hollywood.

Rihanna
Rihanna

If you bred Big Bird’s costume, Princess Diana’s wedding gown and Scarlett O’Hara’s prison seduction curtain outfit, you’d have this. I guess it could be worse — it could be see-through.

Olivia Wilde in Prada
Olivia Wilde in Prada

I am not wild about any dress that resembles a Christmas tree — imagine sitting down with all those rhinestones emblazoned across your butt! But the real horror here? Those Disco Robo-Cop gloves and the matchy-matchy handbag. Complete overkill.

Keri Russell in Altuzarra
Keri Russell in Joseph Altuzarra

When I saw this dress, it was a head-scratcher. What did this have to do with the China-centered exhibition? Apparently, Altuzarra was inspired by a costume from the film Shanghai Express — a far-flung reference, but okay. To me, it just looks like a mash-up of Felicity and Black Swan, which I would TOTALLY watch.

Chloe Sevigny in J.W. Anderson
Chloe Sevigny in J.W. Anderson

Then you have someone who takes the theme a little TOO literally, like Chloe wearing a Halloween costume that’s gone sour like old milk in the fridge. While I am just as enraptured with Chloe Sevigny as the rest of the fashion world, this is one example of the emperor wearing no clothes.

And now, your moment of zen:

Justin Bieber in Balmain
Justin Bieber in Balmain

Confession time: I actually loved this outfit, and I think Beebs was the best-dressed A-Lister on the carpet. (I can’t believe I just typed that sentence.)

What do you think of my picks? Would love to hear what you think!