Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Manus x Machina, Thoughts on The 2016 Met Gala

As soon as I heard this year's theme, I was expecting to be disappointed with The Met Gala red carpet.  I was anticipating futuristic silhouettes with flashing lights and maybe even a 3D printed dress or two.  But just because you have the technology to attach lights to a dress does not mean that you should.  Case in point, this Marchesa dress on Karolina Kurkova.  It was lovely without the tech - with the wiring, she looks like she belongs on a float at Disneyland (I hope no one spills a drink on her or there may be an unscheduled trip to the emergency room).  And do your best to avoid looking at the hair . . . I guess she pulled off that Disney wig in a hurry before stepping on the red carpet and did not have time to run a brush through her hair.  I do, however, love Georgina Chapman's backless dress.  The beaded fringe is amazing, and must be incredibly fun to wear - although I think I spy a case of horsehair braid resting on the floor which is doing strange things to the hemline.  Make it stop!!


It would seem that a lot of folks thought that grunge or goth was the dress code, and some choices were downright bizarre.  There were a lot of strange shoe choices as well as some really short hemlines.  I am not a fan.  I guess 90s grunge is back, but I wish I could un-see all of the combat boots on the red carpet.  Very few women can actually get away with the look.  Sarah Jessica is one of them.  She went with stilettos, but her outfit choice this year is still breaking my heart.

I did catch a glimpse of Dior's "Junon" gown in the museum exhibition as well as a Bar Suit.  So I guess I have misinterpreted the theme.  And thankfully, not everyone and their stylist went the tech route.


My absolute favorite of the evening is Nicole Kidman’s choice of Alexander McQueen.  Here is proof that cut-outs can be classy.  She looks gorgeous and incredibly elegant.  


I am not quite sure about the chain that holds the cape in place (I would have preferred that the piece attached directly to the dress at the shoulders).  And those two moon shapes at the midsection look slightly off - they would have looked much better at the waist, in my opinion, but other than that, I think this celestial confection is stunning!  I would definitely love to see this one up close!


A dress I would love to have in my closet is Bee Shaffer's gown with a train that goes on for days.  This one is also McQueen.  She looks like she belongs in a Pre-Raphaelite painting!


Zoe Saldana went with a Dolce & Gabbana gown with a significant train, but I think this one is trying too hard.  I am sure that all those feathers (I think that is what they are) look incredible in person, but it looks more like a floral arrangement trying to look like a dress than an actual dress to me.


This 1930s style Chanel is pretty fabulous.  I am not generally drawn to Karl Lagerfeld's design ethic (although I would love to be a fly on the wall in the couture atelier!), but I do love this.


I also find myself drawn to this Chanel as well.  What is happening to me?!  I hate the hair and the attitude, but I bet that dress is wonderful up close.  I love texture!


And here comes the prettiest robot you ever did see.  There were a lot of metallic choices which is obviously a play on the "Machina" theme.   Naomi Watts is wearing a pretty basic silhouette by Burberry that would normally bore me, but she looks beautiful, and I do like the floral texture on top of the chain mail base.  I am not sure I like the choice of earrings, though.


I actually prefer Gucci's liquid gold version of the strapless column dress on Sienna Miller to the silver on Naomi.  This one is bordering on gaudy, but she makes it work.  And I love the bow treatment on the bodice.  Maybe I am drawn to it because I can see Marilyn Monroe slinking around in something just like it.


Rose Byrne is also in liquid gold, but the form fitting shine makes her look dumpy, which I did not realize was possible.  The silhouette looks very classic 1930s Hollywood and I want to love it, but it is not very flattering.  Is it velvet or satin?  The shoes and clutch are not helping the ensemble, either.  And now that I am staring at it, I think that skirt ruffle needs to start at the waist instead of the hip - that might also help cut down on the shine across the stomach.  This might be incredible in a print . . . maybe floral or even an abstract geometric design.


This Proenza Schouler on Brie Larson also has possibilities (although by the look on her face, Brie might not agree).  I love the tiered ruffles in a heavy fabric encrusted with paillettes and the black tie; I actually thought this was Prada when I first saw it.  But the cutout at the waist would look better with a more extreme diagonal line, and perhaps a more scooped armhole, in my opinion.  The length is a bit unexpected, but I think it works.  I am also curious to know what is going on in the back.


And while it seems a bit informal for a red carpet, I adore this green dress.  I have no idea who Elizabeth Debicki is and I cannot find any mention of the designer, but the dress is lovely.  All it needs is a parasol and you have the perfect frock for a garden party.  Love those sleeves!


Which is a breath of fresh air after seeing this feathered monstrosity.  It looks like Bjork's swan dress went grey overnight and lost its sense of humor.  What on earth was Vera Wang thinking?!  


[Click on image for source]

16 comments:

  1. Laura Mae, you obviously haven't watched The Night Manager if you don't recognise Elizabeth Debicki. It really is a fabulous TV series and some of the clothes Elizabeth wears are totally stunning!

    And I saw a photo of the last feathered dress somewhere else on the web. It looked quite beautiful, but it was from a different angle (mostly the back). I was wondering what it would look like from the front, I'm now very disappointed, but cheered up by your comment "Bjork's swan dress went grey overnight and lost it's sense of humour" Fantastic! :-D

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    1. I also recognized her immediately! (in fact, the only other one who looks familiar to me is Nicole Kidman). This dress is very different from what she wears in the series, more classic/vintage but it looks great on her.

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    2. I just watched The Man From Uncle last night - she is gorgeous and wears clothes beautifully.

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  2. I loved Nicole Kidman's dress, too. I really loved Clare Danes' light up Zac Posen gown, which was surprising. I'm normally not a fan of light up dresses. I thought Lily Rose Depp looked lovely and that there were far too many Kardashian/Jenners than was necessary.

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    1. I think the Zac Posen looked beautiful in the dark . . . but I disappointed because he seems to make the same dress over and over again. And I will admit to liking him less after listening to his attitude on Project Runway.

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  3. To me it feels like there's an overemphasis on metallic "robot" themes. If you go on the Met website, they have this as the description:

    "the exhibition will address the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the onset of mass production. It will explore this ongoing dichotomy, in which hand and machine are presented as discordant tools in the creative process, and question the relationship and distinction between haute couture and ready-to-wear."

    To me, it's about how technology influences the making of the garment; less so about technology infuses into the finished garment. In light of this, I've revised my thoughts on a few of the outfits. I feel like something like Emma Watson's outfit is much more on-brief than Rose Byrne's silver satin gown.

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    1. I think you are absolutely right. I came across that page after the event, and I will admit that I completely mis-understood the theme, which I am guessing a lot of people did! It also makes me sad that I cannot see the exhibition now that I realize it will not be filled with 3-d printed dresses. I just hope one day a Bar Suit will make its way to a local museum!

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  4. Elizabeth Debicki was also stunning in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and the latest version of The Great Gatsby. She had some beautiful costumes in both. I was just reading an article this morning about how she is every costume designer's dream. Wouldn't that be lovely?

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  5. Elizabeth Debicki would look good in anything...she is 6'2-3/4" tall...and yes that green dress was my favorite too!

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  6. I like the last costume, but I am a big fan of burlesque costumery, and am learning to work with feathers to sew more costumes this year.

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    1. Oh, wait, that's a dress? These are dresses? Naaaaaaah

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    2. My initial thought was . . . this belongs in Vegas. And on a stage, with the right lighting, it would work. I just don't like it on the red carpet because it looks cheap to me in daylight.

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  7. Is it me or is Nicole Kidman morphing into Helen Mirren?

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    1. Is that a bad thing? That's one good looking Dame!

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  8. I really liked Zoe Saldana's dress, Jennifer Hudson's H&M dress, and Claire Danes looked Grace Kellyish in her beautiful gown. There were way too many wild things on the carpet and someone should have sent Madonna home. It's like she and Lady Gaga were competing AND no one cared. My other hate gown was Katy Perry. Finally, I'm sure Anna Wintour had a good stiff drink before she sent out those Jenner/Kardashian invites! *LOL*

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    1. I was really disappointed to see the crazy Lady Gaga return. Some of her clothing choices lately have been really stunning; I guess she was not getting enough attention. And although I think they are both incredible women, Madonna and Lady Gaga looked really trashy.

      And unfortunately, I think the Kardashian's are here to stay. I just try my best to tune them out. It has to be a publicity grab on Wintour's part, right?

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