The annual ball for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is sometimes called “the East Coast Oscars”, but with no award season affiliation, it’s, refreshingly, all about the clothes. It’s a tad ironic, then, that I’m here to hand out my own awards, but hey, they’re all about the clothes too. There were a number of highlights (some quite literal), some definite trends, some disappointments (the entire Kardashian-Jenner clan looking way too similar and kind of canceling out each other’s look) and some sad lowlights. Let’s check it out.
Alicia Vikander in Loius Vuitton
There’s a fine line Alicia is walking here, between Totes Adorbz and Tragically Tacky, but she stays on the side of sweet in this custom Vuitton with short, twirly black-and-white-and-metallic skirt, sequins, and bright red bustier top. Her styling– braided updo and quirky, goth-inspired ankle boots– is what keeps the look young and fresh.
Category: Bondage Babe
Taylor Swift in Louis Vuitton
This is really, really out there for Taylor. While Alicia managed to pull off the short leather Vuitton look, Taylor just looks a bit overdone and uncomfortable. The boots are kind of the worst (they aren’t really strappy at ALL, they have big ugly zippers down the back) and the too-dark, 90s-era vampy lipstick and overprocessed, fried-looking hair don’t help. The dress could have looked great with better styling, so it’s just sad that she comes off like a cut-rate Backpage dominatrix.
Category: Pastel Princess
Lorde in Valentino
This look is quite atypical for Lorde, as well. Gone is the black leather, replaced by a soft, ruffled style that would be right at home on a Disney princess.
Category: Most (Surprisingly) Comfy
Emma Watson in Calvin Klein
Looks like a traditional Old Hollywood gown with its long train and off-the-shoulder cut at first glance, doesn’t it? Look again. The bodice is actually a separate bustier, and the train is not part of a skirt, but a detachable accent over wide-leg pants. Emma has long tried to make pants with a train a thing, and with this look she’s finally done it!
Category: Precious Jewels
Hailee Steinfeld, Jessica Chastain, Emma Roberts, Lala Anthony, and Kate Hudson
Every precious gemstone color is represented to its best effect in these gowns. Hailee is our Emerald girl in a satin H&M column, Jessica is the princess of Sapphires in a black-lace-embellished Prada, Emma rocks the Amethyst in a flowing, ombré print Tory Burch gown, Lala is a Ruby queen in a plunging sequined Nicolas Jebran, and Kate shines like a Diamond in her cutout, mermaid-train Atelier Versace.
Category: The Shining Star
Nicole Kidman in Alexander McQueen
Wow, this wizardry-inspired gown, with its sheer, padded-shoulder cape, celestial motif and millions of spangles (topped with a tiara, no less!), is just jaw-dropping magical.
Category: The Goddess Award
Beyonce in Givenchy
Only Queen Bey could pull off a latex dress and look this amazing. This floral-detailed, long-sleeved, extremely body-conscious gown in the perfect shade of peach is nothing less than stunning.
Category: Pretty in Pink
Blake Lively in Burberry
Category: Flower Girls
Zoe Saldana and Bee Shaffer
Zoe brings the best kind of drama in the 3D flower garden that is this Dolce & Gabbana ball gown. Just amazeballs. Anna Wintour’s daughter Bee wears a more understated, but equally beautiful, take on the look from Alexander McQueen.
Category: Most Brilliant
Demi Lovato in Moschino
Gold baroque swirls, silver sequins… This is a beautiful look, crazy intricate and statuesque. It needs no other adornment. What’s wrong with being confident? Nothing, that’s what.
Category: The MVP
Lupita Nyong’o in Calvin Klein
This is what high fashion looks like. Lupita has continued to amaze us with her bold choices that only work for her. She is a true original, a consistent stunner, and outshines almost everyone with just the force of that radiant smile. As always, perfect, balancing the elegant with the fun to slay.
Category: The Silver Medal
Rita Ora in Vera Wang
Category: Most Dramatic
Katy Perry in Prada
Wow. A regal Royal blue velvet gown, accented with rows of gold beading, lock-and-key motifs and contrasting deep green trim, with high neck and cap sleeves, accessorized with studded leather belt and opera-length gloves, topped with an impressive beehive updo. This is one of Katy’s best looks ever, but it is robbed of perfection by whatever is going on with her eyebrows.
Category: Worst Dressed
Solange Knowles in David LePort
How are Beyonce and Solange related? I mean, both sisters are strikingly gorgeous, but while Bey wins at the fashion game, poor Solange always looks like she lost a bet. Banana-yellow rubber stirrup leg warmers?? Two cupcake liners pretending to be a dress?? Uh, no. At least the shoes are cute.
Category: Best Dressed/The Fluffy Award
Claire Danes in Zac Posen
I can’t even. Omg.
This is a first. Best-Dressed and the Extra-Special Fluffy Award (for the dress most representative of my own personal style– the dress I’d have picked for myself) are one and the same.
It lights up. It is fiber-optic. It is a ball gown. It is everything. I can’t speak. I can’t write. I bow down before Zac Posen and Claire Danes. I am so unworthy. I believe I shall call this look Electric Cinderella, and worship at its incandescent hem.
I love this. I weep tears of joy.