The punk rock theme of last night’s 2013 Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala Benefit offered television viewers a unique visual feast. An ode to this year’s grand costume exhibition, “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” which runs at the Met from May 9–Aug. 14, the prickly theme (think Elizabeth Hurley’s famous Versace safety-pin dress from 1994) was a sharp departure from past points of view (like last year’s tribute to Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli, and the Alexander McQueen retrospective in 2011). Nevertheless, many guests rose to this fashion occasion, channeling their fave punk rock influences, from pops of pink (said to be the color of the anti-establishment punk movement) to spikes, tartan, blackened metals, and more.
For starters, event chairs Moda Operandi’s Lauren Santo Domingo, Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, Anna Wintour, and actress Rooney Mara offered their own interpretations of the trend. Santo Domingo wore a silver Dolce & Gabbana gown with Eddie Borgo and Eva Fehren accessories (including a spiked dog collar). Tisci wore a dark tuxe. Wintour wore a deep pink rose bloom print from Chanel. And Mara donned a white Givenchy lace dress with a plunging neckline and zippers at the waist. Beyonce was dubbed an honorary chair, and wore a Givenchy Haute Couture strapless gown with a cinched corset, its baroque styling in opposition to the fierce looks seen elsewhere on the red carpet.
Vogue‘s Grace Coddington wore Rochas and reminisced about hanging out on London’s King’s Road, ground zero for the punk movement, in her youth. She said she’d love to see “some real street punks” at that affair mingling with the evening’s posers (it’s not clear if Coddington was referring to 20-year-old Miley Cyrus in spiked hair and a floor-length black fishnet-adorned Marc Jacobs gown).
R&B star Frank Ocean wore head-to-toe dark Givenchy, including a pair of studded shoes, while Cameron Diaz—in a Stella McCartney gown and cape—also rocked a studded belt and shoes. Stars like Kerry Washington and Elle Fanning played with color; Washington streaked her locks with purple dye while the younger Fanning’s eyelids sprouted blue angel wings. Everybody’s favorite actress to hate, Anne Hathaway, channeled Deborah Harry in bleached hair and a dark vintage Valentino gown (circa 1992), complete with lace effects and a controversial accent.
Katy Perry sparkled in a Dolce & Gabbana sequin communion-inspired gown with the Virgin Mary’s visage emblazoned on it (with a bold D&G gold-colored crown perched on her head), and Lena Dunham showed off her back tats courtesy of lacy windows sewn into the back of her black Erdem frock.
And while Sofia Coppola went against the grain by wearing a Marc Jacobs pajama-inspired get-up, Sex and the City’s Sarah Jessica Parker went all out in a Giles Deacon gown, thigh-high Louis Vuitton plaid boots, vintage Fred Leighton blackened metal jewels, and a Mohawk-inspired Philip Treacy head piece.
Fashion disappointments included J Lo. in an animal-print gown, Kim Kardashian’s high-collared and form-fitting pink Givenchy floral number, and Nicole Richie’s powdered white hair, which blogger and designer Wendy Brandes described as “more modern Marie Antoinette than punk.”
And it wouldn’t be a true anti-establishment affair unless there was a bit of bad behavior. Among the night’s transgressions: SJP is said to have flashed her undies at photographers, some naughtiness was said to have transpired in the CBGB-inspired bathrooms at the gala, and Vogue’s Billy Norwich, commentator for the evening, rudely cut short the interview of first lady of punk Vivienne Westwood.
To watch the red carpet live stream, click here.
For a slideshow of top looks from the night, click here.
Tune into the Style 360 blog tomorrow for a complete list of the jewelry worn.
My personal fave tweets of the night:
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) May 7, 2013
— WendyBrandes (@WendyBrandes) May 7, 2013
Anne Hathaway debuts blonde hair, sideboob at the Met Gala huff.to/16PQMve
— HuffPostStyle (@HuffPostStyle) May 7, 2013
— metmuseum (@metmuseum) May 7, 2013
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