It may be the night of film but the real winners (and losers) are chosen on the red carpet. Here’s a list of the best and worst looks of the night.
Best: Jessica Chastain
The Best Supporting Actress nominee strove away from her simple red carpet looks and donned a black and gold Alexander McQueen gown. We love the contrast between the tight bustier and flowing skirt. She completed her look with loose curls and Harry Winston yellow diamond jewels worth $2 million!
Best: Emma Stone
Emma proved just how smart she is. She chose a gown that closely resembled Nicole Kidman’s Balenciaga from the 2008 Oscars. It was a hit then and it is a hit now. She paired the scarlet Giambattista Valli dress with Louis Vuitton rubies.
The Costume Institute Gala – Who Wore What
The Metropolitan Institute of Costume Gala also known as the Met Ball is always filled with A-list celebrities and fashion royalty who set the trends for all of us. This year, the late Alexander McQueen was honored with exhibition entirely dedicated to his work. Friends and fans like Sarah Jessica Parker, Naomi Campbell, and Daphne Guinness rocked some of the house’s most iconic designs. Guinness might as well be a McQueen mascot as the feathered frock she wore seemed like it was created with her in mind. Gisele was the most stunning in bright red McQueen.
The models went for the minis. Miranda Kerr channeled her inner swan in a white hot Marchesa dress while Hilary Rhoda opted for a short, albeit sophisticated, McQueen moment.
Anna Wintour dazzled in a Chanel gown from the Spring 2011 Haute Couture Collection, which surprised many since the evening celebrated the work of Alexander McQueen. The Vogue Editor-in-Chief is clearly a creature of habit and has been wearing Karl Lagerfeld’s creations for the past few galas. So why break with tradition now?
Tory Burch stepped into the menswear realm by designing a one-button tuxedo for Kanye West. The dapper artist has been a fan of hers for quite some time and has been spotted at several of her fashion week presentations.
The night’s biggest miss was Kristen Stewart, whose ill-fitting Proenza Schouler gown was hard on the eyes. And why did Serena Williams feel the need to wear a bridal gown? Her Oscar de la Renta confection is perfect for a winter wedding, but it seemed totally out of place on the red carpet.
Jennifer Lopez’s Gucci gown would have been quite glamorous if not for the floral shrug blossoming on her shoulders. I did love Brooklyn Decker in Michael Kors and Diane Kruger in Jason Wu though!
Serena Williams in Oscar de la Renta
Miranda Kerr in Marchesa
Naomi Campbell in Alexander McQueen
Liv Tyler in Givenchy
Stunning in Sand:
Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen
Taylor Swift in J. Mendel
Ashley Greene in Donna Karan
Dakota Fanning in Valentino
Mad for Metallics:
Sarah Jessica Parker in Alexander McQueen
Gwyneth Paltrow in Stella McCartney
Renee Zellwegger in Carolina Herrera
Claire Danes in Calvin Klein
Jessica Alba in Ralph Lauren
Kate Hudson in Stella McCartney
Fergie in Marchesa
Photos are Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art/BFAnyc.com
PageDaily tells you how to get the look:
By Jennifer Wright
5 boroughs + 700 retailers = 1 huge party!
Over 700 fashion retailers across New York City recently stayed open late hosting one chic shindig—Fashion’s Night Out—hoping to drum up business. I heard someone liken the evening to devouring an entire box of chocolates all at once. Delightful and dizzying. A few tasty morsels: One member of the Vogue brain trust, Creative Director Grace Coddington, was literally fending off wolves at Prada. And she was mobbed by autograph hounds as she patiently signed Fashion’s Night Out memorabilia. (Presumably Anna Wintour was still in Queens!)
Designer Elie Tahari, who hosted a performance by Alexa Ray Joel at his Soho store, was a tad dubious about the impact of Fashion’s Night Out: “Well, even a kick in the backside is a good thing if you’re facing the right direction.” -Jennifer Wright.
During the recent Fashion’s Night Out—the undisputed kick-off to Fashion Week—I heard someone describe the evening as akin to eating an entire box of delicious chocolates all at once. Delightful, absolutely, but also overwhelming, heart-pounding and dizzying. For this Global Celebration of Fashion, event hosts Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the City of New York encouraged every fashion retailer in the five boroughs to open their doors to anyone and everyone. Over 700 organizations responded with a kaleidoscope of offerings.
If you, sadly, could not attend, allow AskMelissa to offer some of the juiciest morsels for your consideration:
Like many who can be swayed by dessert, Bergdorf’s CEO Jim Gold was looking for the free cupcakes. (Here is a man who could capture my heart.) At his store, he was excited to welcome Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi, who was judging a celebrity cook-off. He noted that Lakshmi’s was, by far, the event he was most looking forward to. André Leon Talley and the Olsen Twins were also appearing at Bergdorf’s to ramp up the fashion excitement – hopefully Gold was at least somewhat excited about their presence, too.
Then in walked Victoria Beckham. She was not only loving Fashion’s Night Out and Bergdorf’s participation, but she was incredibly excited about the premiere of Gossip Girl‘s (the best show ever!) third season, which she’s “obsessed with.” Us, too!
Harper’s Bazaar editor Glenda Bailey was supportive of Bergdorf and the event, stating, “We do recognize how important the shows are, and we want to be out helping designers.” That said, she noted that every member of Harper’s editorial team would be going her own way during the evening. Perhaps this event is simply Vogue’s brainchild after all, not the darling of the whole fashion magazine community.
However, one member of the Vogue brain trust, Grace Coddington, was literally fending off the wolves at Prada.
A mob of people surrounded her as she patiently signed Fashion’s Night Out memorabilia – everything from T-shirts to flyers. (Presumably Anna Wintour was still in Queens!) Obviously, we’re not the only ones who fell in love with the creative director from The September Issue documentary.
Designer Elie Tahari, who hosted a performance by Alexa Ray Joel at his Soho store, was a tad dubious about the impact of Fashion’s Night Out, remarking somewhat bluntly, “Well, even a kick in the backside is a good thing if you’re facing the right direction.” Perhaps he was just distracted and exhausted after preparing for his safari-themed show earlier that day?
We tried to snap pictures of the new shoe designs at Louboutin’s (the collection will be released to the general public in the next few weeks) but were thwarted by a zealous security guard, who may have thought we were trying to copy the looks rather than just fondle the shoes, as any enthusiast would! We can tell you, however, that there are a lot of studs in Louboutin’s immediate future. For now, you will have to make do with this picture of the store’s live action window display.
Perhaps the highlight of our evening was Vogue‘s European editor-at-large Hamish Bowles belting out Noel Coward tunes at the Juicy Couture flagship store on Fifth Avenue, claiming that his jazz-hands-inspired performance was an “anti-Susan Boyle movement.” No one could ever accuse him of singing while frumpy. The throng surrounding him made it impossible to take a good picture, but we did catch some other appropriately garbed attendees at the store.
Has this put you in the mood for more Fashion Week sightings? We expect so! Diane Von Furstenberg is optimistic that the night’s festivities will become an annual tradition, adding interest to all the designer shows. Let’s hope that next year is just as scrumptious.
The Catwalk, Yeah
AskMelissa hit the highlights of Fashion Week.
• Custo Barcelona rocked an amazing show—great music, high-energy and packed! Society darling Tinsley Mortimer (could she be anything else with a name like that?!) was mobbed by photographers and reporters.
• Zang Toi‘s was an intimate presentation. Ivana Trump, Miss Universe Stefania Fernandez and composer Lucia Hwong Gordon adorned the front row. As the exquisite fabrics, beads, sequins and tassels flounced by, we hummed, “What a girl wants, what a girl needs . . .”
• At Alice + Olivia, Jill Zarin confided her disappointment at missing Zang—busy filming the Real Housewives. She joined Kelly Bensimon at Alice + Olivia’s celebrity-studded West Village location. Shenae Grimes, Lindsay Lohan, Kristin Cavallari, Jared Leto and Heather Graham showed up, while French girl band The Plastiscines performed.
• Jill Stuart was a scene—literally, as Real Housewives was filming there. The dresses were micro mini’s and fun, as was Bensimon’s ensemble—a leather mini with suede over-the-knee flat boots and a gorgeous bracelet from her new jewelry collection.
• Tory Burch was the collection to see. Anna Wintour showed up and stopped traffic. She then had Burch take her through the collection—more solids than we’ve seen her do before, but her signature fun prints made it into this very wearable collection.
The Good, the Bad and the Bizarre
Fashion Week had something for everyone.
Betsey Johnson remains incomparable. I loved her show at the Plaza, where she performed her customary cartwheels while models milled about in cotton-candy-pink dresses and guests guzzled pink champagne. Johnson garnered more than one comparison to Kay Thompson’s Eloise. Then, there was Thom Brown. The man in the shiny silver suit with the tutu and the headband. Why, Thom Brown? Why? Some oddities, however, are strangely delightful—like the Snuggie fashion show held at the Park Avenue Hotel. This object-of-fashion-derision blanket-with-sleeves (though, as one of their organizers sternly pointed out, Snuggies are So. Much. More.) previewed tie-dye and leopard prints for spring. Also, Snuggies for dogs. So ridiculous as to be irresistible. But, whether good or bad (and we will never say ugly), Fashion Week is always thrilling! —J.W.
Carmen Marc Valvo broadcast his show for all to see. While Betsey Johnson may not have succeeded in staging her fantasy “open to the public” runway in Madison Square Garden (next year, Betsey?), Valvo came close, televising his show on three jumbo-trons above Times Square. The glitter-and-gold-clad models were preening at the cocktail party inside the NASDAQ, as Valvo explained his look as modern armor for the urban jungle.
Betsey Johnson remains incomparable. I loved her show at the Plaza, where she performed her customary cartwheels for the guests while models milled about in cotton-candy-pink dresses and guests guzzled pink champagne. Johnson garnered more than one comparison to Kay Thompson’s Eloise.
Phillip Lim, Donna Karan and Milly, among others, donated items to a charity auction for MyGoodDeed, a 9/11 service organization. Especially timely given that our fun-filled Fashion Week kicked off on September 11th.
I understood when Axe deodorant established an Axe Lounge in Southhampton for the summer, where frat boys could hit on scantily clad women—it seemed to cater perfectly to their target market. But what prompted them to give out samples of their “rare leather” scent in lieu of gift-bags at the Duckie Brown show? One of the stylish gay men in attendance pondered aloud why he’d want to smell like his sofa, while another fashionista declared that she only wears Chanel No. 5.
Some oddities are strangely delightful though—like the Snuggie fashion show! Held at the Park Avenue Hotel, this object of fashion derision blanket-with-sleeves (though, as one of their organizers sternly pointed out, Snuggies are So. Much. More.) displayed new tie-dye and leopard prints for spring. Also snuggies for dogs. So ridiculous as to be irresistible.
MC Hammer pants are back? Yigal Azrouel seems to think so. I’ll believe it when I see Katie Lee Joel sporting a pair.
The skirts at the otherwise delightful Michael Angel show were so short that more than one spectator was mooned by the models. If girls with bodies that perfect can’t keep the skirts down, how are normal women expected to?
Thom Brown. The man in the shiny silver suit with the tutu and the headband. Why, Thom Brown? Why?
But, whether good or bad (and we will never say ugly), Fashion Week is always one of the most thrilling reasons to be in New York. Now it is six long months until March—we can barely wait!
By Jennifer Wright
. . . the Kind of September, when Condé Nast could revel in its excesses and Anna Wintour reigned supreme? The documentary film, The September Issue, is trying to remind us.
My favorite scene of The September Issue, which documents the creation of Vogue’s September 2007 issue, doesn’t feature editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Nor does it include creative director Grace Coddington, who comes across as a true visionary in this film. My favorite scene stars editor-at-large André Leon Talley, who complained earlier in the film about “the famine of beauty, the famine of be-eeeauut-aayy! In this country.” He is pictured playing tennis, inexplicably draped in countless Louis Vuitton towels. At times he makes a half-hearted attempt to extend his arm and hit the ball—but he seems miserable when doing so. He appears much, much happier sitting on the bench surrounded by his version of tennis gear—his Louis Vuitton bags and his vintage, diamond encrusted Piaget “tennis watch,” the virtues of which he is eager to share with the filmmakers.
At first, this frivolous and decadent scene might understandably seem to highlight only the status-conscious, logo-loving world of fashion. But then you pause and realize—wow, these crazy excesses were “normal” among a certain segment of the population a mere two years ago when the movie was made. Today, when even successful companies (most notably Goldman Sachs) are advising their employees to avoid major purchases, Tally might not be quite so quick to share the merits of this watch. (Actually, I want to believe that he would be just as eager but maybe more diffident.)
This rarefied money-is-no-object spirit arises over and over in the movie. The audience gasped when Coddington mentions offhandedly that, in reshooting a spread, Wintour has “probably tossed $50,000 worth of work.” Meanwhile, the ad sales team toasts their “biggest issue ever!” with Moët et Chandon. (Remember— September Vogue was always the “biggest issue ever” and in 2007, its “Fearless Fashion” issue was 840 pages!) But the party may be ending. There was a wonderful article a few weeks ago in The Observer, “The Gilded Age of Condé Nast is Over,” detailing how even famously self-indulgent Condé Nast is cutting back on luxuries. One of the major casualties of the lousy economy? The company no longer offers free Orangina. Horrors! The CEO of Condé Nast announced, “You don’t need it! You don’t need the Orangina!” I must assume the champagne is no longer free flowing, either.
Of course, The September Issue isn’t just a fascinating remembrance of things past. It also captures the enormous effort involved in producing a single fashion magazine issue and provides a stunning portrait of the power wielded by Wintour. When she jokingly remarks to an assistant that he needs to go to the gym (yes, he does seem to have a bit of a belly in a photograph being used in the magazine), he hangs his head disconsolately. When Wintour murmurs, “Excuse me”, a terrified assistant leaps out of her way.
There must have been more than a grain of truth to The Devil Wears Prada, but in this film there is also a human side to the editor. All that power and pressure seem to have made Wintour lonely and isolated. She talks about how the rest of her family work in politics or undertake aid work in Third World countries, saying (perhaps forlornly) that they are all “very amused by what I do. They’re amused.” She clearly wants her daughter, Bea Schaffer, to follow in her footsteps, but Schaffer finds the world of fashion superficial. When I spoke with the film’s director, R.J. Cutler, I was a little surprised to hear that Wintour had enjoyed the film and been very pleased with how she is depicted. Being shown as vulnerable—and at times very funny—may be preferable to being, as one reporter says in the movie, an “ice-woman.”
Throughout the film, Wintour is challenged by her strong-willed colleague, Coddington, who, while not as overtly powerful, may be much savvier. She is not afraid to go through back channels to see that her favorite spreads remain in the issue. (Amusingly, she even uses the filmmakers to give her updates about whether pages from a series of beautiful shots inspired by the 1920s that she produced are being cut.) She also comes across as kinder; after Wintour tells the assistant he needs to lose weight, Coddington reassures him that having a paunch actually makes the picture much more interesting and “real”. But then again, perhaps she is just being truthful—the contrast surely highlights the model’s perfection.
Go to this film for the personalities; or to understand the art of fashion; or as a portrait of the times—but definitely see it. And then buy your September issue of Vogue, coming in at 584 pages of “Stylish Steals and Smart Splurges.”
Andre Leon Talley and Anna Wintour via Allmoviephoto.com