I didn’t mean to write a third blog post in a row about fashion, but the death of an icon inspired me.
I am not a fashionista by any stretch (see my last post if you need confirmation), but I do love me some clothes. And with Gloria Vanderbilt’s death brought back a strong memory of mine.
My first pair of designer jeans were Gloria Vanderbilt. I vividly remember the day they were purchased: I was at Cartan’s with my mom (does Cartan’s even exist anymore? It was a store that carried things for kids and babies from birth until teen, from cribs to clothes.) I somehow convinced her that I should have the pricey jeans, and I was in awe of the GV triangle logo stamped on my butt.
I agonized on when to wear them. I was torn on wearing them right away or waiting. My “maturity” won out: I chose to wait until Friday. That way, my jeans would be a lasting memory for whoever thought of me over the weekend (is there anything more self-centered than a young teenage girl?).
In hindsight (sorry), no one was looking at my butt. But I treasured the thought that they might. I was realizing the power of fashion, not just to influence others, but, more importantly, to influence the way I felt about myself. As I have matured, I have learned to let that feeling guide my shopping: how do I feel in this outfit? I remember about 10 years ago taking girlfriends with me to buy a gala gown. I ended up getting the dress they liked on me rather than the one that made me feel glamorous and strong and sexy. I still think of that dress as a “one that got away.” When I see that other one in the closet I feel conflicted. I am sure I won’t wear it again.
Gloria Vanderbilt was, of course, way more than a name on a butt. A few years back I read a terrific book about her, written by her son, Anderson Cooper (for my review, go to https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26072609-the-rainbow-comes-and-goes). I had heard the phrase poor little rich girl but really didn’t understand it until I read this book. I’d recommend it — it’s a glimpse behind the heavy oak doors of the uber-rich and how money certainly does not guarantee happiness.
But those jeans, and the way they made me feel? That was money well spent on something that made me feel happy — grown up, special, middle-school sexy (as sexy as a flat as a board 12-year-old can feel with braces and badly feathered hair). I like to think that Gloria Vanderbilt, who experienced such dramatic highs and lows over her lifetime, ended up on a high. She was having a renaissance, valued as a talented painter and quite fun to follow on Instagram. And, as a mom, probably quite happy to be known as “Anderson Mom.”
I’ll always remember her as the gal who got me started on the dark and twisted path to fashion.
It’s been a few weeks since the annual Met Ball, and I am just about ready to digest the looks. This post will be picture heavy — because, frankly, even my scintillating prose can’t do these looks justice. It’s hard for me to be critical when the whole point is to be outlandish and stand out in a wild, wild way. so I’ll present the evening in categories, and you can make of it what you will (I will, of course, HAVE to make some commentary along the way. Because girl: these looks require reaction like Anna Wintour requires bangs and botox.
Every year the Met Ball, a huge fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, has a theme, and stars and designers and the generally too wealthy have fun with it. It’s like my annual Halloween Spooktacular, but with a waaay bigger budget. This year’s theme was camp. What is camp, exactly? According to Wikipedia, “Camp is an aesthetic style and sensibility that regards something as appealing because of its bad taste and ironic value.” So basically, it’s tacky made cool.
Here are some of the outfits that I personally felt embodied “camp” the best:
A particular fave probably surprises you, because it seems so bland. But Lena Waithe and Kerby Jean-Raymond are so cool. The pinstripes on their suits were the lyrics from Diana Ross’s “I’m Coming Out” and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” And you had to love the shout out on the back to all the drag queens who basically invented camp and live it every day!
In some instances, it was the accessories that made the outfit:
Some themes were simple.
“I forgot my pants”
“I remembered my pants”
Disney Princesses and Villains:
Instead of a theme, per se, some folks chose to focus on color.
Pretty (sometimes) in Pink:
It ain’t easy being green:
Ladies in Red:
Brighter than the sun yellow:
Why wear just one color? Taste the rainbow!
Another three genres sort of overlapped. First, you had the metallic gals, those who sometimes looked disco-ball glamorous, and sometimes reminded me of what my husband wraps up in after completing a marathon.
Then there were the warrior princesses, making bad-ass fashion either kick butt or smell like it:
And finally, in the Star Trek guest star category:
Some outfits were just plain pretty:
And some were just simply costumes:
Now we musn’t forget the couples, some of who doubled down on the fabulosity:
And as I have mentioned in other “fashion” posts, men have stepped up their game! Some focused the attention above the belt:
While others were power bottoms:
And some were just well suited, whether they be subdued…
Some went big pimpin:
Some wanted to make a statement:
And some were flam-blam-glam!
Then there are the gender benders, who reveled in the opportunity to be stylishly fluid:
But let’s be honest: one guest OWNED the event. Dear readers, I give you Lady Gaga:
After the event, the party continued. Here are some of my fave after-party looks:
In case you were wondering, Gucci made the most of the Met Gala outfits at 25, with Ferragamo and Luis Vuitton tied for 2nd at 14. Rounding ot the top five were Thom Brown (12) and Versace (11).
Bradon Maxwell “only” did four. But they were all for Lady Gaga, so he wins.
And so did we!
I think this is the end of fashion posts for a while, simply because the stars are off until the awards seasons kick off again.
Whatever will I find to talk about???
So I watched the Academy Awards, as usual. Took notes while it was on — and have edited those thoughts with pics and afterthoughts…(the verb tense is usually present, as I typed while I watched. Sorry if that confuses anyone)
What is up with the ruffles, the pink, the HUGE dresses?
Gaga clearly set the trend when she showed up in that periwinkle ball gown to the Golden Globes and the pink feathered gown at Cannes. Hoping she wears something totally different. A bright, sleek, regal number.
Speaking of sleek…
Clearly, when one wears a slinky dress, the left shoulder look-over is de rigueur. Like all of these dresses — except for the back of the last one. She looks like she has toilet paper stuck to her butt.
Another big trend: gender bending. I noticed the first gal pictured in the slideshow, costume designer Sandy Powell, in the background while someone was interviewing a big star, and just fell in love. I always think it’s fun to see what the costume designers wear. They are often so creative — just like their creations. In this case, Powell’s designs for The Favourite inspired one of the most talked about fashion moments of the night (we’ll chat about that later). Here she looks amazing to me — I would love to wear this look! (BTW: Powell was nominated for both The Favourite and Mary Poppins Returns. This is the third time she has been nominated doubly in the same year).
So how did the men look?
Here are a few other standouts, for better and worse:
The red carpet behind them, the celebs sat down for the show. After that opening, I got even more excited to go to see Queen this summer! Watching Glenn Close, Queen Latifah and Javier Bardem sing along was so freaking cool. Best opening monologue ever? Looking at Bradley Cooper’s face, I am guessing he was thinking “I cannot compete with this…”
Non-hosts Amy Pohler, Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph were hilarious. I was wondering how political the show would be, and the second joke of the night was about the border wall. I personally have no problem with folks using their 30 seconds of speech time to speak their mind, but I know it drives tons of people nuts.
The more I look at Tina’s dress the more I love it. And the more I look at Maya’s the more I want to use it to cover a couch.
Best Supporting Actress contenders:
Regina King wins (no surprise there). Her toga dress is masterful, and I think it wins best dressed in this category. My fave actress in this category, Amy Adams, had a terrific look. The other 3? Two were ok, one was awful. You guess which.
Helen Mirren and Jason Momoa? Yes, please. What a great pairing!
Best Documentary: wow! I was sure RBG would win it! Oh dear: that — does she know we can see right through her dress? Maybe that’s next year’s documentary feature: fashion gone wrong.
I’ts interesting seeing who the producers chose to introduce each best picture. Some made sense, like Dana Carvey and Mike Myers for Bohemian Rhapsody. But why did Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine introducing Vice? Is it because the movie is about the political machine?
Makeup: Vice won — and should have! But man the people who won sucked at giving their acceptance speech. Buy them some frickin glasses. Their speech made everyone rethink the decision not to do that award during a commercial.
What the actual F. Melissa McCarthy and Bryan Tyree Henry! I am digging these costume collaborations. Not everyone seemed to get the reference, but the outfits were a mashup of all the nominated movies’ costumes. The bunny cape was from The Favourite (remember I mentioned something about that before?)
J Lo and Chris Evans. Very pretty people. Her dress is her way of saying no one can outshine me! Metallic dresses were a theme this year, too:
Cinematography — Roma‘s first of (I am betting) several wins.
One of my fave lines of the night: Khaleesi (aka Emilia Clarke) loaning her dragons to RBG. Fantastic!
Serena Williams introducing A Star is Born. I am thinking these odd airings are a surprisingly successful way to introduce a modern element more relatable for a younger audience. Good touch.
I SUCKED this year at guessing the winners! Bohemian Rhapsody for sound editing, It did make great sense. But I still think a Quiet Place made better sense. But hey I got Roma right for foreign language film!
Bette Midler singing the song from Mary Poppins Returns. Song was kind of boring. Doesn’t make me excited to see the movie (the only one I planned to see this week and didn’t get to).
Charlize Theron and Daniel Craig — she could be Bond.
Best Supporting Actor contenders:
— Mahershala Ali won. A given, really. But why was he supporting, and Viggo lead? I don’t know. Anyway: Maheshala always seems like such a thoughtful, intelligent person. I dug his outfit, too. Not sure if he was my fave in the category fashion wise — they all looked pretty sharp.
Best line of the night: “I can’t believe a movie about menstruation just won an Oscar!”
First Man won for Visual Effects. I should know better than to bet against a space film. But seriously: Ready Player One had incredible effects!
So now the moment everyone is really waiting for, and it wasn’t an award. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper took the stage. And, I loved how they did the Shallow song. No intro needed. No fanfare. No upstaging anyone else. Evidently that was Bradley’s idea. The whole thing was planned — including the heat. I mean, they are actors. Do they have chemistry? Of course. But are they an item? No.
Spike Lee wins his first ever Oscar. One of the few truly political moments, but that’s who he is (I am sure there will be people bitching tomorrow about people preaching from the podium. Yawn.)
So happy that Lady Gaga won for best song! And she was so touched! Love it.
Interesting that Barbra Streisand introduced BlacKkKlansman, not A Star is Born. A little bit more politicking, but lowkey.
Best Actor contenders:
No shock Rami Malek wins best Actor. Didn’t know he was dating his costar from the movie! Ok so here’s why I don’t think Rami Malek should’ve won: his portrayal of Freddy Mercury doesn’t seem like a huge stretch from who he is as a person. He also needed someone straighten his darn tie on the red carpet. best dressed in this category? Viggo Mortenson.
Best Actress contenders:
Emily Coleman wins! She was wonderful, and I love how shocked she is. She seems like such a wonderful person and hilarious. Blowing a raspberry at the teleprompter: genius! A lot of people didn’t like her dress, but I think it was pretty cool. I think all these nominees looked fantastic. I am torn between Glenn Close and Lady Gaga for best dressed!
Here comes the original pretty woman, looking stun-NING.
Best picture…. Green Book! Green Book? Wow! I liked it, but it wasn’t my favorite of all the movies.
The show ends, but the party continues, and so does the fashion! Here are some after-party fashion moments:
That’s a wrap, folks. Now for me to get caught up on all the stuff on my DVR!
Hi! Petty fashion moment here! I love award season, and all the amazing clothes I can’t afford to wear and don’t have the body to do so anyway. I am scheduling all the movies I need to see for the Oscars, and the Golden Globes are often a precursor to both who will win, and what the fashions will be like. We have some cool names in the running this year — especially in terms of taking risks on the red carpet.
I love the folks who do something new and cool and interesting — I mean, Cher in her acting heyday was the one I would most want to be like if I had the chance, lol.
Today my blog is all about who wore what and what I thought of the outfits. I am not naming designers (I am sorry — I know they deserve a mention, but honestly: this little blog will neither make nor break anyone’s career), just sharing what I liked, what I didn’t, my opinions on trends, etc. I tried to put captions on most photos. Clothes do not make the man: just because I do (or do not) like someone’s outfit, does not equate how I think of their work. I am sure they are all lovely people.
Enjoy (and let me know if you concur!) Hope
Let’s start with co-hostess Sandra Oh:
Flawless. Elegant. Smart. Hair, makeup, jewelry. I love all three looks. If I had to pick one, I would probably pick the red. I love color. Which leads me to my first “ensemble” category: Women of COLOR!
Next group wore my absolute least favorite dress trend of the past too many years: flesh colored dresses. Yeah, I know the official term is blush, but all I see is mono-chromatic skin tones.
Two women got the trend right for different reasons:
On the opposite side of the spectrum: widow chic.
From death’s door to virginal: the prom dress look.
And then there is Heidi Klum. I liked her dress at first — then I saw the second picture. She looks like a teenager showing off her dress at the school dance. Not a good luck. Auf wiedersehn.
Now let’s look at something completely different: the guys. I LOVE that the men are taking chances. It used to be so boring, and they were just the picture frame for their date. Now they get to live it up. Some are all that — some are not that at all.
Starting with the classics:
Is white the way?
How about the velvety underground:
And how about a shout out to Idris Elba? All buttoned up or a little loose around the edges, man is foyne. (damn that Fiji water girl in the background)
Young Hollywood is going it’s own way — which is good and not so great.
Perhaps the best look of the night for men — following in the Cher school of thought: Billy Porter. Yaaas!
And now a look at my three favorite couples from the evening. I wish HWSNBN and I cleaned up this well!
Before I go to the big categories, I’m going to list my runners -up. The folks that were THAT close to awesome — or hideous.
And now: the worst looks of the night. The what were you thinking? The fire the stylist in the morning — or buy a new mirror looks.
So that of course just leaves my favorites. For so many reasons!
Thanks for indulging my inner Joan Rivers. I’ll try to write about something less trivial next time (oh who am I kidding?)