Last Bank Holiday Monday, while it may have been drab and raining in York, in New York it was one of the biggest nights for fashion of the year.The annual Costume Institute gala dinner and ball at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, known fondly as ‘The Oscars of the East Coast’ took place and the red carpet was full of stars dripping in exquisite jewellery and amazing couture dresses and suits. The night marks the opening of the fashion exhibit in the Met, with this year’s being “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations”. This particular exhibit is described as designed to ‘explore the striking affinities between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada’, both renowned Italian designers and fashion legends from different eras.
The Met Ball, for me, is the most interesting and exciting of red carpet events, rivaling that of the Oscars and fashion weeks, purely due to fashion boundaries being pushed there every year and the level of detail and design in all of the dresses especially debuted for the night. The night itself is a magnificent celebration of the fashion industryand is co-chaired by the formidable Anna Wintour, editor in chief for US Vogue, who wore a lobster dress based on the Schiaparelli original, but re-invented by Prada for the occasion.
However, like with all red carpet events, there were of course some hits and misses in outfit choice, and controversy. This was sparked mainly by eccentric designer Marc Jacobs, who wore only a sheer lace black shirt and white boxer shorts, teamed with a black clutch. He explained his choice by praising the ‘unconventionality’ of both Prada and Schiaparelli and feeling his non-conformist position of not wearing a suit was ‘appropriate’ for the event.
There were a few fashion errors, such as Kirsten Dunst and Eva Mendes clashing with the carpet itself in garish orange, and a bit too much of the eighties being revived by model Coco Rocha with her pink dip dyed hair and yellow shoulder padded suit. Nonetheless, there were numerous fashion triumphs, especially in the metallic trend, including English starlet Carey Mulligan, one of the hosts of the ball, who shone in a bespoke two tone Prada sequined dress and Rosie Huntington Whiteley, who wore a full length Burberry black and bronze embellished gown. Beyoncé also stunned in a Givenchy Haute Couture, by Riccardo Tisci, embellished dress with stunning purple feather train, in one of her first red carpet appearances since the birth of her daughter.
In spite of the celebrity elite on the carpet, the night was truly all about the gorgeous luxury and excess of couture fashion and the gowns adorned by the guests rightfully stole the show.