12 posts tagged "Met gala"
Considering the fashion industry’s increasing investment in the East (see Dior Homme’s, Burberry’s, and Michael Kors’ recent shows in Shanghai, and Balenciaga’s presentation in Beijing), it’s no surprise that the Met is allegedly looking to China for its major Costume Institute exhibition next spring. According to WWD, details about the show are scarce, and a sponsor and participating designers have yet to be confirmed. The museum is also reportedly planning an additional show for the fall. We’ll bring you more info about both expos as we receive it, but in the meantime, we highly suggest you go check out Charles James: Beyond Fashion, which opened a whole twelve days ago.
The whirlwind Met gala went down on Monday evening, which—in the fast-paced fashion news cycle—feels like eons ago. After repeated viewings of our epic 152-slide red-carpet report, there’s just one look worth revisiting, and that’s the tour de force that was Erykah Badu. She was clearly the coolest person at the event, and her “I don’t give a f*ck” attitude made her impact all the more persuasive.
Nearly a week later, I’m still trolling photo agencies for unseen Badu Met images and relishing in the candid selfies she shared with Style.com. So what’s behind my obsession with the neo-soul queen? I’m by no means a fangirl, and could maybe hum along to some of her bigger hits. But in addition to Badu’s Givenchy Haute Couture look (more on that momentarily), it was simply her unanticipated, fundamentally vital presence at one of the industry’s biggest nights that provoked my reaction: “This is everything!”
In a sea of ball-gown-clad starlets well versed in the step-and-repeat paparazzi routine, Badu was a breath of fresh air in her embellished topcoat and strapless black jumpsuit designed by Riccardo Tisci (who recently cast her in Givenchy’s Spring ’14 ad campaign). And let’s not forget that statement-making hat, which was the crown jewel of her outfit. The tall, wide-brimmed lid quickly earned its fair share of Pharrell comparisons, but many didn’t realize Badu has been rocking major top hats long before Pharrell debuted his now-signature Vivienne Westwood style at this year’s Grammys—after all, she’s got to be able to stash that mass of all-natural hair somewhere. Completing the effect were a pair of bling-y diamond chandelier earrings, Badu’s own gold grill, and a fistful of rings by Lillian Shalom. All in all, Badu’s look was inspired, her personality shined, and her presence was memorable, which is why I still can’t get over her.
After Monday night’s Met Gala, rumors broke that Harvey Weinstein—media mogul and husband to Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman—was in talks to revive the Charles James label, whose founding designer is, of course, the subject of this year’s Costume Institute exhibition, Charles James: Beyond Fashion, opening on May 8. I had hoped the rumors were just that, and that James’ artistic legacy would not be muddied by modern interpretations and production pressures. However, Weinstein has now confirmed that he has inked a deal to license the house with the option to buy. “Charles James was one of the most incredible couturiers in the history of fashion, and this label deserves to be a household name in the same ranks as Chanel, Dior, and Oscar de la Renta,” he said in a statement. Ms. Chapman and her brother, Marchesa CEO Edward Chapman, will serve as creative consultants.
No doubt, it will be interesting to see where the trio takes the label, but the revival won’t be easy. In order to honor James’ vision, the new designs will need to be thoroughly forward-thinking, impeccably handcrafted, and not overtly referential. After all, James was obsessed with the future and disapproved of nostalgia. “There is no going back,” he’s quoted as saying. “Study the past to know why, not what, and from the why, dream and do.” Weinstein and the Chapmans will need to heed these words if they’re to bring the brand back with integrity. Here’s hoping the revival succeeds in making James a household name for the right reasons.
Not everyone at last night’s Met Gala knew the story of Charles James—not by a long shot. “He’s a new person for me,” admitted Hailee Steinfeld, who was utterly adorable in Prabal Gurung. “He’s someone I don’t know. I’m 25!” laughed a Michael Kors-clad Ming Xi when quizzed on the couturier. The evening’s DJ, Diplo, referred to Charles James: Beyond Fashion as “Fashion and the Thingamajig.” And when we asked Katie Couric about James, she jokingly replied, “I think he’s from the forties, isn’t he? Don’t ask me any more hard questions!” However, while not everyone was familiar with the details of James’ career, most everyone had seen the iconic 1948 Cecil Beaton photo, which features eight women in pastel James gowns. Or, as Hedwig and the Angry Inch‘s Lena Hall called it, “that Cecile photograph.” She made up for the slip with her charm, and by looking divine in a Jamesian Zac Posen number. “I’ve seen that photograph a lot. In fact, I think my mother has it on her wall. So when I saw that, I was like, ‘Oh, I guess I know more about him than I thought.’”
Gala chair Aerin Lauder had an even more personal story about the famed snap. “I own the Cecil Beaton photograph, but I didn’t know much about [James] before working on the event for a year.” It would seem many a starlet and socialite looked to said image for sartorial inspiration—so much so that we were able to re-create the photograph with some of the ladies from yesterday evening’s red carpet. Here, for your viewing pleasure, we give you a modern-day mockup of Beaton’s photo, starring TV chef and girlfriend to Governor Andrew Cuomo Sandra Lee’s gargantuan dress (a questionable blend of a James ball gown and his Butterfly design), Hall, Amy Adams, Katie Holmes, Liu Wen, Sarah Silverman, and more. You’re welcome.