Monday, May 21, 2018

Harry & Meghan Royal Wedding Fashion

Well, I didn't actually intend to write an update about the fashion of the Royal Wedding, but I received quite a few requests and who am I to deny my 5 readers?

I spent the morning with my friends Kate and Lis, wearing fascinators, sipping tea, munching on Maltesers and generally squealing and cooing. I will always love Prince Harry, who is only a couple months older than me and despite being a party animal, seems like he has the tender heart of his mama. It was impossibly beautiful and romantic and I was surprised how much the whole thing swept me away.

But let's talk fashion!

She Woke Up Like This





I know some people were a touch disappointed by the simplicity of Meghan's Givenchy gown, but I thought it was perfect for her. It felt modern for a modern girl and a modern idea of who can be royalty, but also had the architectural lines of a late 1920's, early 1930's gown and the neckline even reminded me a bit of Maid Marian! For myself, I'd pick something more like Kate's gown, but for her, I thought this was perfection.

The real star of the look, however, was the gorgeous 1932 diamond bandeau tiara made for Queen Mary (grandmother of the current Queen Elizabeth II). It was a surprising choice for royal watchers who assumed she'd don something more recognizable, but it perfectly complemented the 1930's lines of her gown and looked so gorgeous with the breathtaking dramatic veil that practically covered the aisle. We should all be so glamorous for a day. Her understated makeup, lashes and those adorable freckles were so elegant.

Queen Mary. She looks fun, right?

But THEN! As if they hadn't left us dumbstruck and twitterpated enough, they unveiled this second act look worthy of James Bond for the reception. The cut of her sexy halter Stella McCartney gown is just perfect, and the fabric choice of silk crepe gave the skirt the most delicious flutter as she climbed into their escape car, a vintage Jaguar convertible. You could label this picture, "And you will know us by the trail of dead" because we were all done for after seeing this look.

And then she tossed off a wave with a sparkling something blue that turned out to be Diana's aquamarine ring. Donezo: Party of Me. 

Royal Family Looks

Let's go over the various stylings of those who knew they'd score an invite, no matter how questionable their fashions may be. 

Meghan Markle's mom Doria Ragland killed it in this delicately embroidered green jacket and dress by Oscar de la Renta, while Camilla did her best to wear the frothy feathered hat most likely to block someone's view of the action. Kate wore a buttercream ensemble that read white in many pictures, which many people thought was a little shady, but I thought in some shots it even looked closer to lemon. I was a little underwhelmed by her look (the hat was fun, though), but someone on Twitter cheerfully said she was giving all of the spotlight to Meghan. That's a fine idea. 

Real talk: I'm not the biggest fan of the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals uniform Harry selected (for good reasons; it's the uniform of the unit he served with). The ruffly flaps in the front are cute? 

Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, perhaps not enjoying being an international meme for at least a year after William and Kate's wedding, chose decidedly less fanciful fascinators this time around and for that, we all suffer. Eugenie looked bright and cute, if maybe a touch underdressed, in a Jackie Kennedy-style pillbox hat and mock turtleneck dress. Beatrice wore the favored hem of most of the female guests -- the nearly impossible-to-wear tea length -- and while I bet her dress is interesting, it seemed a little overembellished. Her teal headband halo was very demure, if boring.

Who's afraid of color? Not this nonagenarian Queen. I was pleasantly surprised to see Elizabeth bust out this lime and purple combo -- advanced color pairing skills, you guys. Do you think she's been watching The Crown and wants to show us we're all wrong if we're thinking she's boring?

Sweet Charlotte's face is saying, "See you all back here in 25 years, bitches. It'll be MY day."

Best Dressed Guests

Amal Clooney wasn't just the best dressed royal wedding guest in this delicious and impeccable marigold Stella McCartney sheath, topped with a perfect hat and veil, accessorized with gold metallic pumps and finished off with the most perfect makeup look imaginable. She was maybe one of the best dressed people in the history of time and fashion. I'm not even exaggerating. This is one for the history books and museum exhibitions.

 I was not familiar with Kitty Spencer (right) before this weekend, but she definitely caught my attention with this master class in confidence. Not many of us could rock a tea-length green gown paired with orange pumps and a truly fantastic hat, but she looked effortlessly chic. And as you may have guessed, it turns out this beauty is Diana's niece and Harry's first cousin. The woman on the left is supposedly the infamous "friend" who hooked up Harry and Meghan for their first blind date. Not all heroes wear capes; some wear Ralph Lauren.

As usual, Priyanka Chopra walked around like the royalty she practically is. She wore this fun and modern suit for the wedding itself, but then she set her phaser to STUN with this evening look by Dior:

This is what you wear when you're doing some prince-hunting of your own. Pumpkin carriage not necessary.

I love living in a world when America's greatest athlete is also our best fashion export. Serena Williams looked like she grew up going to royal weddings at Windsor in this tea rose nipped and tucked dress by Versace and a fanciful fascinator. From Compton to Windsor, you guys.

Of the many floral, tea-length gowns, I was most smitten with Sofia Wellesley's Red Valentino dress. She looks like a perfect English rose and I love the shoe choice. In case you're wondering, she's the wife of James Blunt, who I recently learned prevented a third world war in addition to writing one of my least favorite love songs. Life's surreal, you guys. 


I'm so glad Harry and Meghan had the wisdom to invite our queen, Oprah. She looked like she was representing all of us, cheesing the entire time, feeling the spirit from Bishop Michael Curry and generally repping the U.S. of A. to its best. I liked her pale pink Stella McCartney dress just fine, but I thought the lace was a little fussy. Apparently they had to stay up all night making it again because the original version looked white and Oprah, in all her wisdom, knew it was not cool to wear white to a wedding. Hear that, Kate? 

Carey Mulligan wore a bright, but kind of blah tea-length floral dress by Erdem. It's lovely, but she looked a little washed out to me and I'd like to have seen a bolder and more obnoxious headpiece look.

In England, Jacinda Barrett is pretty well known and in fact, is Meghan's co-star on Suits. Honestly, I know her best from The Real World: London and Bridget Jones' Diary. But I have to give her a hearty congrats for this beautifully tailored look in an inspired shade of bordeaux. Her hair and makeup are also luminous and pretty.

I live for a cape moment, so I'm all about this royal purple capelet dress and a hat ripped from a Christmas gift on Countess Karen Spencer (wife of Diana's brother Charles). I love it. 

I really went on a roller coaster of emotions about this Gucci look on Idris Elba's incredibly lucky date Sabrina Dhowre. At first I thought it was cute. But then it felt a little...collegiate? And maybe more appropriate for a very fancy soccer game? I don't know. It's still really cute and so is Idris Elba, so here we are.


Gina Torres (also a star of Suits) looked very lovely in this sheer red lacy floral dress and a really pretty blush hat, but the paneling on the dress and the pattern itself are a little discordant. My eyes don't really know where to look with so many leading lines.

I was pretty underwhelmed by Pippa Middleton's ho-hum floral dress with pink panels. It feels a little matronly for the woman who wowed us at the last royal wedding.

Posh looked funeral-ready in her navy frock, which felt a little blah and borderline morose for the occasion. But her tomato red heels were redemptive! And she wouldn't be Victoria if she wasn't wearing dark colors, right?

Harry invited two of his exes, sweetie that he is. Chelsy Davy looked perfectly fine in her navy dress, but it was also a little underwhelming. Maybe the perfect thing for an ex-girlfriend to wear to the wedding everyone thought might be hers?

Harry's other famous ex, Cressida Bonas, wore a really cute and very bright and technicolor dress that, to me, felt a little more summer party than "my ex's wedding." It's like she had the opposite approach of Chelsy, whose outfit was not designed to get attention. Cressida is like, "LOOK AT ME, I'M DOING FINE."

And lastly, this fancy lady named Delfina Blaquier wore a pretty ill-fitting Wendy Darling costume that has all the makings of a pretty outfit but fell apart a bit on execution. 

All in all, it was a beautiful day for beautiful people and if anyone was horrifically dressed, I haven't seen pictures of them! What more could a wedded couple ask for?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Met Gala 2018 Review

By popular demand, I present my thoughts on this year's Met Gala fashions. Longtime readers know all of my normal rules of decency and taste go flying out the window when it comes to the Met Gala. I want spectacle. I want drama. I want cojones. And most of all, I want respect for the theme because I love nothing more than a theme party and cannot abide people who think they're above theme dressing. YA AIN'T. 

This year, the Met Gala is celebrating the debut of the Costume Institute's exhibition, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. The show explores the decorative elements associated with traditional garments of the Catholic church and the ways those traditions have influenced fashion designers. SO, that said, we're looking for looks that are bejeweled, bedazzled, Papal-inspired and worthy of a saint. Let's review, shall we?

Best Dressed

Rihanna defended her territory as Queen of the Met Ball in this positively papal Maison Margiela pearl-encrusted ensemble. The detail and intricacy of the beadwork were the very height of custom couture, it was dead on the theme and cheeky as hell. Even daring to wear a papal mitre is ballsy and maybe courting a few lightning strikes, but let's be real: I think lightning would just bounce right off of her Fenty shimmer lotion.

Blake Lively came gunning for Rihanna's title in this voluminous Atelier Versace gown that required a PARTY BUS for transportation. The garnet red is so rich, the beadwork so beautiful that she truly looked like she stepped out of a Baroque painting. A++.

Kate Bosworth brought angelic glamour in this ethereal and dare I say, virginal, Oscar de la Renta gown. The veil was a beautiful accessorizing stroke of genius and her bright and pretty makeup sold the look. 

Count on Sarah Jessica Parker to don the wackiest and most challenging head gear on the market with fearlessness and aplomb. I do think the flower alongside it is a bit much, but the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda gown itself — with its sacred hearts — is perfection. Her giddiness for theme dressing is infectious and makes me always want to reward her with my adulation.

Listen, if an occasion arose where it was completely acceptable to wear meticulously feathered angel wings and a Versace mini to a party, I would hope I'd seize that moment and never look back. This might be my favorite Met Gala look Katy Perry has ever worn, and I love imagining how incredibly annoying it was to walk around her/be around her/sit near her while she tried to navigate the room in these bad boys (I'm sure they were ditched instantly, but WHAT IF THEY WEREN'T?).

This marks the first time that I felt Kim K's hourglass frame and penchant for selling sex were used effectively. She looks like a modern-day Sophia Loren in this poured gold Versace gown studded with rhinestone crucifixes. I also appreciate how she managed to make the theme fit for her regular style.

I could not be more in love with the cotton candy cloud that is SZA's Versace gown. The accessorizing with matching boots and that heavenly halo headpiece are icing on the cake. She's someone I'm excited to see every time she hits an event.

Zendaya is here to give us all confusing romantic feelings for Joan of Arc and I'm not mad at it. The detail and attention paid to this entire Versace look warms my art history-lovin heart, from her iconic haircut to the armor draped over beading resembling chainmail. Who knew Joan of Arc could look so glamorous?

Priyanka Chopra looks like a medieval queen in her royal red Ralph Lauren velvet gown and gold lace hood. She gives such good face and kills it every time she has the chance! I like how she always has fun with fashion and always, always is event-appropriate.

Gigi Hadid's Versace gown was inspired by stained glass windows, and looks like a beautiful watercolor lily. It's a classic look that would fit for ANY event, regardless of the theme, but also happens to present an unexpected and yet entirely appropriate reference to Catholic motifs. Versace clearly came to dominate this year!

Cardi B is in full Madonna mode, and I don't mean the pop singer. Her va va va voom Moschino by Jeremy Scott take on a Renaissance Madonna is regal, exciting and impressive for a relative fashion newcomer.

Chadwick Boseman brought some of that Black Panther royalty swag to the carpet in this fit-for-a-Pope ivory robe and suite combo, also by Versace because apparently they just spent their whole year working on this one event. A little bit Elvis, a little bit John Paul II, every bit a slam dunk. 

I JUST FREAKING LOVE LENA WAITHE. Her outfit not only turns gay pride into a fashion statement, but still manages to call to mind Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. She's giving great face, too. 


I love Ariana Grande's Sistine Chapel gown by Vera Wang dotted with cherubs, a fun take on the theme that most people didn't think about. It reminds me of the old Fiorucci logo! But I was a little on the fence about the big bow. It's a little bit little girl, and I think I'm ready to see a new look from her.

Emilia Clarke's Dolce & Gabbana gown, earrings and hair accessories are lovely and manage to stay on theme in a very modern, Italian way. The blush is a fun choice, but ultimately a little distracting. 

I'm a sucker for anyone dripping in gold sequins and for that reason, I really enjoy Evan Rachel Wood's Altuzarra cape/gown combo. She looks like a phoenix rising from the flames!

Jennifer Lopez's Balmain dress almost looks like a costume for a Catholic superhero, like a Spider Woman for Catholics, but I'll allow it because she looks smokin' hot and it is on the nose. 

Janelle Monae wore her signature black and white with a chainmail hood and a halo-turned-church crown and I couldn't have even imagined such an outfit, but I'm glad she and Marc Jacobs chose to share it with the world. Her fashion antics feel like the equivalent of Simone Biles' floor routines. Even with a high degree of difficulty, she sticks the landings. 

This breathtaking gold drapey gown on Jasmine Sanders is by H&M, people. H&M!!! It's like a dress version of a chalice.

One of my favorite favorite favorite things about the Met is that I get to enjoy amazing fashion moments from surprising people, like this insanely regal and elegant Zac Posen ensemble on Lynda Carter, the original Wonder Woman. You could tell me she was the new queen of Genovia and I'd believe you completely.

Madonna basically wears some version of this Jean Paul Gaulthier ensemble to every Met Gala, but finally it was on the right night!!! The gown itself doesn't really do anything for me, but her bonkers veil and tiara combo are too crazy/fun to ignore. 

Solange served up a modern take on the theme, with a supa dupa fly Iris Van Herpen gown fit for Catwoman and a radiating halo of beams topping a doo-rag. She marches to her own beat at all times and I love her for it. 

Stella Maxwell (whoever that is) wore a Moschino gown that reminded me of a pop art take on decoupage in the best way. Her flowing flaxen locks lend a certain angelic quality to the simple (yet fun!) gown. 

This was the rare occasion that Tracee Ellis Ross really channeled the vibes of her mom, Diana Ross, in a belted Michael Kors tank dress and voluminous pink cape, paired with a bouffant hairdo. Honestly, it's not an obvious fit for the theme and that annoys me a bit. But I couldn't be mad at it, and it's fun to see her dressed up like mom for a night.

Tracee's TV daughter Yara Shahidi also strayed a bit from the theme, but damn if this isn't one of the most swoonworthy Chanel gowns to come out of the workroom in a long time. The tiers of pleated tulle just make my heart sing, and it feels both demure and age appropriate while still displaying grace beyond her years. I think she'll be a major fashion player if her career continues on the upswing. 


The Best/Worst category is reserved for someone who, in any normal circumstances, would be considered the worst but because of the occasion, their relative cojones and the fact their boldness can't be ignored, they're kinda the best. Jared Leto, dressed here basically as Vegas Wedding Chapel Jesus fits the bill. I appreciate any guy having fun with fashion, but this is a lot of look.

Cara Delevigne basically wore a Dior Haute Couture ode to leaded glass windows and little else. It's crazy, but I can appreciate a little mystery because I truly had to look up who this was. 

On any other night, I'm not sure I could endorse Cynthia Erivo's royal purple velvet, barely there Valentino bandage dress paired with hair shaped into horns and rhinestone eyebrows. But you know what? It ain't boring, that's for damn sure. And that color is the kind of royal shade you wage wars over. Also, her nails featured Sistine Chapel motifs reimagined with black women (killing it). You do you, Cynthia!


Everyone was going gaga for event co-chair Amal Clooney's Richard Quinn corset-topped gown with pants, but it just wasn't doing anything for me. I think the fabric pattern is very pretty and she looks great and I know I'm supposed to go "Whoa! PANTS!" but I couldn't really muster up the emotion. But I'm not blind .... it is certainly more magnificent than most of what we see 364 other days of the year.

Emma Stone's Louis Vuitton look seems more fitting for a fashion event inspired by British constables than an ode to the Catholic church. I'm not getting what the big fashion statement is here, and I can't really imagine looking at all the options and saying, "Yes, this is the best look for today." It's not the worst. It's just not exciting.

Karlie Kloss's sexy cutout Brandon Maxwell dress is beautiful and really perfect for the SAG Awards or a perfume launch. For the Met Ball, it's a little blah.

Kendall Jenner was like, "I hear you on the theme thing, but Imma do me." Her Off-White jumpsuit is extremely elegant and beautiful, but it feels like something Celine Dion should be wearing in concert. I can't fault it too much because she does look so pretty, but where's the appetite for drama?!

Nicki Minaj looked more sinner than saint in this Oscar de la Renta sequin gown topped with layers of blood red ombre tulle. I think, generally, the volume and the heavy accessories overwhelm her petite frame. Also, red ombre never fails to make me think of menstruation, so there's that.

I mean, ok, this isn't boring. The Olsen twins opted to wear vintage Paco Rabanne, which is an inspired choice. Ashley's technicolor dreamcoat comes only in the colors of bodily functions, though. I'm giving Mary Kate the win here because her neckline is very elegant and pretty.

There's a papal vibe to the top part of Rooney Mara's Givenchy gown, but her general disdain for life makes the overall look hard to love.

Salma Hayek's pastoral motif on the custom Altuzarra gown is fitting for the theme, but I still can't understand why it seems like she's always getting sartorial sloppy seconds when she's married to a fashion titan whose company owns most of the major European fashion houses. What gives lady?! This just doesn't feel special enough to me.

Selena Gomez heard about the theme and was like, "Pass, I'm going to be wearing a Coach nightie with a train." She looks healthy and glowy though, so that's good.

Tessa Thompson's black Thom Browne ensemble, topped with an exaggerated plaid tweed, would be perfect for a Met Gala exploring hip hop style of the 90s. It's fine, but it's not memorable. 


How do you solve a problem like Greta? Greta Gerwig came in a very literal take on a nun's robes by The Row that feels bordering on sacrilege. I guess every Catholic-themed ball needs a Mother Superior, right?

There's not really much to like about Bella Hadid's Chrome Hearts look. It doesn't feel particularly on-theme, the leather jacket looks like a beetle exoskeleton, the lace train looks kind of cheap. It overall gives me Dracula 2000 vibes.

Jennifer Connelly's Louis Vuitton feels very business on top and then Knights of the Round Table as your eye travels downward. I didn't see anything that thrilled me or felt inspiring about it.

Kate Moss, nooooooooo, not you! You're the last person I expect to show up so utterly boringly underdressed to the Met Gala. This very basic black mini by Saint Laurent is Bachelorette ready, but maybe not Met ball ready.

Miley Cyrus also opted for a snoozefest in this simple Stella McCartney. It's like the wrecking ball has swung a little too far right with her lately and she's still trying to find the middle ground between wacked out rave kid and demure princess.

Um what? No, pass. Riley Keough's Louis Vuitton is not Met Gala worthy. It's not even SAG awards worthy. It's like a Melrose Place-era blouse on top, tucked into a nightie haphazardly splattered with beads and sequins. I can't really imagine trying this on and saying, "We're done here, I've found it."

A lot of fashion mags were hailing Ruth Negga as one of the best dressed and they must be seeing something I'm not seeing, because this racing stripe Louis Vuitton is boring. It's kind of serving nun chic, so there's at least that.

Shailene Woodley came dressed as a cross between a Sexy Knight and some kind of Star Trek enemy like the Borg. The fit of the actual dress seems a little awkward, and she just generally looks stiff and uncomfortable. Also, those bangs are not a great fit for her face shape.

Part of the fun of dressing to a theme is walking the tightrope between clever and corny. Taylor Hill's Diane von Furstenberg papal robe is essentially a very literal Sexy Cassock costume and I rolled my eyes the minute I saw it. It's such an uninspired riff on the concept.

Man, look at these douche bags. Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen came as an evil poker player and his moll straight out of Casino Royale, if Casino Royale took place in Atlantic City. He looks like such a cheesy asshole in this Versace suit, I almost love it.

If there are two things that annoy me most when it comes to fashion it's: 1) lazy, boring design that relies almost entirely on 2) showing skin and saying "Look at me, I'm so daring." YAWN. I'm not impressed, Zoe Kravitz, with your ability to tie a black curtain around half your body that's literally holding on by two threads.  This was "designed" by Saint Laurent, but has all the design of a last-minute toga party outfit. *insert eye roll emoji*