Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Met Gala 2022: Not-So-Gilded Glamour, or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Kim K

The clear winner of the 2022 Met Gala by a mile, Blake Lively, triumphantly turning to see how effectively she lapped everyone else. 

In the past decade, the Met Gala went from an event-of-the-year for those of us with Vogue subscriptions to a cultural firing range that turns everyone into an overnight fashion history scholar. Part of me loves it and part of me finds it a little overwhelming to see all of social media turn into the theme police. 

That's my thing. 😆

In all seriousness, the Met Gala is an annual fundraiser for the Costume Institute in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and proceeds support preservation efforts, curation, staff and exhibitions. The themes are inspired by the featured exhibitions, and sometimes it feels like that key detail gets a little lost in translation. The exhibition is "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion" and honestly, it's all over the place, which might explain why the past two galas have felt so frenetic.

This year's theme was "Gilded Glamour," which could be interpreted as:

  • Riffs on the Gilded Age in America (bustles, corsets, ruffles, romantic updos, feathers, beads — more is more is more)
  • Gilded, like literally gold or metallic
  • Glamour, which is wiiiiiide open for interpretation and might explain why so many attendees just wore what they wanted to wear. It happens every single year and always has, and for the most part we give them low scores for lack of class participation. 
I was wanting to see the riffs on the Gilded Age, and would have really liked to see some commentary on our current Gilded Age when a handful of tech billionaires appear to control everything. Maybe that could have been a bitcoin dress, or an outfit revealed via NFT or some other nonsense, but we'll never know because no one seemed to be thinking quite so hard about that parallel. 

The best Met Gala interpretations are homage, but not pure costume, and should bring delight to the fashion history obsessives who know Charles Worth from Charles James. 

I wanted John Singer Sargent-inspired:

I got Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:

Now that I've laid out my preamble, let's dig in. 


Blake, in every way, understood the assignment because she literally was the team captain and had to deliver. As Gala co-chair, she set the tone with her arrival in a gilded, draped, copper and mint gown dramatically revealed to be concealing a Statue-of-Liberty mint green dress underneath. The Gilded Age was most synonymous with New York high society and she paid tribute to that enduring legacy by collaborating with Versace and Lorraine Schwartz on this custom gown and tiara inspired by the Statue of Liberty, the ceiling of Grand Central Station, and the art deco lines of the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building. 

It's gilded (check), it's glamour (check), it's not just more is more — it's the most! Nailed it. 

Only Billie Eilish really delivered the full Sargent cosplay we may have been craving, looking ready to tend bar at the Folies Bergere in a Manet painting. Her eco-friendly Gucci dress was made entirely from existing materials, giving it a nice contemporary edge. 

Very few attendees can match Sarah Jessica Parker for demonstrated, documented, thoughtful love of fashion history. Her looks are always intentional. She collaborated with designer Christopher John Rogers to create this beautiful homage giving due to Elizabeth Hobbes Keckley, a former slave who became the dressmaker to Mary Todd Lincoln. The design is modeled after a black-and-white gingham design of Keckley's — also a fitting nod to quintessential American fashion. Not one to shy away from drama, she topped the look with a custom hat by Phillip Treacy. 

I've never been a Kim fan, and I think she has had an immeasurably bad impact on the psyche of women and girls and their relationships to their bodies. She managed to promote extremely harmful ideas of diet culture while talking about squeezing into Marilyn Monroe's iconic Jean Louis nude wiggle dress worn to sing JFK "Happy Birthday," which took away from the undeniable excitement of seeing our modern sexpot give it new life. 

That said — the moment I saw it, I thought "No it couldn't be!" and "OMG it IS!" I had to acknowledge that it certainly fits the bill of gilded glamour. I also appreciate she took great pains as a steward to protect the dress, only wearing it for a few steps on the red carpet before changing into a replica. It was a great dose of drama, and I'm happy to see her happy after all the toxicity with Kanye lately.

You cannot convince me Jodie Turner-Smith and Joshua Jackson aren't the sexiest couple alive right now. They are just so undeniably hot together, and happy together, and it is evident everywhere they go. She channeled Josephine Baker's Jazz Age in Paris glamour in ballet pink chiffon trimmed in sparkles by Gucci. He served up debonair salt and pepper beard with tails. Hot hot hot!

Jessica Chastain looks equally ready for her close-up and ready to tell your fortune at the carnival in her ruby Gucci ensemble, and I'm here for it. Her glamour was pure 1930s surrealism with a shimmering snake winding its way in and out of her bodice and around her collar. A sequined turban is always a good idea. 

Megan Thee Stallion has rarely missed since she's become a red carpet regular, and the gala was no exception. She's gilded! She looks like Icarus just barely making contact with the sun, but no one is expecting her to tumble back to Earth any time soon. She apparently told designer Jeremy Scott, "I want skin and I want gold ... I really, really, really, really want my moment on the stairs." Mission accomplished.

The best gala moments come with a magic combination of style, artistry, intellectualism and a healthy dose of chutzpah and Lizzo, in a gold-embroidered cape fit for the Metropolitan Opera, delivered. She whipped out her trusty flute and effortlessly played Debussey on the red carpet. That's flaunting Gilded Age knowledge, honey. 

Cynthia Erivo interpreted glamour in her singular style, wrapping her hair in a tribute to the Black women of the Gilded Age era in Louisiana who were required to cover their hair. She wanted to capture how regal they were despite the hate they faced. There's a lot going on — lace, feathers, jewelry, nails, a little LV suitcase purse — but it all comes together harmoniously. 

Honorable Mention

Michelle Yeoh looks like a regal queen in this upcycled green Prabal Gurung dress and spectacular Tasaki diamonds. I love the cape/train combo and the color is luminous. It feels like a great gown for just about any red carpet event, if not necessarily nailing the theme.

Alicia Keys somehow did an even more literal interpretation of gilded New York than Blake Lively, and her crystal NY skyline Ralph Lauren gown veered dangerously close to costume. You could imagine her popping out in this during a Miss America competition as Miss New York. I appreciate the effort, and it is pretty, but just a little too on the nose. 

Janelle Monae is a slam dunk red carpet all-star, and I love how she has such a strong style brand — black and white, futuristic, having fun with shape and form. On any other night, at any other occasion, this would be my best dressed, but on this night, this Ralph Lauren felt like more of the same for her and not particularly the sartorial stretch I crave. 

Sweet Nicola Coughlan, of Bridgerton and Derry Girls, got it! I love her puffed sleeve confection of a Richard Quinn gown, spewing a halo of feathers. I just feel like — and bear with me here — it actually still needs more sparkle? Have I lost my mind? 

Gemma Chan looks like she stepped out of an Erte sketch of a Paul Poiret design, and while I imagine this dress felt decidedly not like "gilded glamour" to most folks, I smiled. It harkens to avant-garde Paris between the wars, when every boundary was pushed and glamour ruled the day, and I appreciated the daring use of panniers (the side hoops at the hips). 

Kacey Musgraves' Prada dress of sequin fireworks is perfectly lovely and fit for a night at the opera, but the main savior of this look is the fan and the updo. Without it, this could be a dress for any event on any night. 

Rachel Brosnahan and designer Joseph Altuzarra were like, "Gilded? Got it." Gold sequins are a sure bet, and I do love the train of exaggerated paillettes the size of saucers. I just can't shake the feeling this, like Alicia Keys' look, is a little too literal. 

I gasped in delight when Austin Butler, on the cusp of serious fame for the upcoming "Elvis" biopic, smoldered up and down the red carpet not with his girlfriend Kaia Gerber, but with Priscilla Presley, looking very fine in basic black. A brilliant choice!

I have this fantasy that Shawn Mendes heard the theme and said to Tommy Hilfiger, "Give me Moby Dick couture. Call me Ishmael. That's the Gilded Age vibe we Canadians go for." Many have compared his look to Prince Charming, and listen with that jawline, he has me fooled.

I giggled in delighted surprise when I saw Sebastian Stan show up in this Valentino pink oversized lounge look. Is it on theme? Nah not really. Is it a real stretch for him that makes it feel like a sartorial turning point and makes me excited for his future? One hundred percent. 

Riz Ahmed managed to thread the needle of attending the — frankly a bit tone-deaf — "Gilded Age" event while still using the opportunity to make a statement. He wore the uniform of the workers and immigrants who "kept the Gilded Age going," but looks incredibly chic in the process. I appreciate the cerebral take on the theme. 

At the Met Gala, there are the people who nail the theme, the people who ignore the theme and the in-betweens whose theme is "I won't be ignored." You can't deny the charm of someone doing the Most on a night when the biggest sin is to be blandly tasteful. 

Bad Bunny wore a puffed-sleeve Burberry trench dress fit for a Looney Tunes character, and a beaded updo, and it somehow leaves me a little bit speechless, which is — for this one night of the year — a good thing.

Not sure I could have rolled my eyes harder when I saw Cara Delavigne interpreted "gilded glamour" as pasties and Goldfinger body paint.

I'm just as baffled as you are that, on Evan Mock, a Shakespearean collar paired with a *checks notes* corset-blazer and low-rise trousers is..........working for me? Maybe it's the signature lavender hair, maybe it's the sk8ter boi thumbs up pose, but I'm charmed by this Head of State effort. 

Kodi Smit-McPhee heard gilded glamour and was like "fully serial killer, got it." 

You almost have to laugh at how thoroughly Louisa Jacobson, literal star of HBO's "The Gilded Age" and daughter of Meryl, whiffed an easy A. I guess she probably figured if everyone expected her to arrive in draped and bustled satin, she should veer as far as possible in the other direction but I'm here to tell you — that is the wrong instinct when most people still don't know who you are. The theme was a GIMME for her and she said, "nah, I'm going to see if I can guess all the answers rather than study."


Very lovely gown on Phoebe Bridgers, apparently inspired by Keith Haring's body paint drawings on Grace Jones — a reference absolutely no one would get without explanation. This dress is as tasteful as every Armani dress Jodie Foster has ever worn and at the Met Gala, that's a fail.

Olivia Rodrigo's big Met Gala outing felt no different from any other fashion moment she's had all year, except she added butterflies to her hair. It would have been so fun for her to truly WOW us the way Billie Eilish did last year in her Marilyn cosplay. I would have loved to see Olivia all ruffled and bustled up, but I do appreciate the neckline is very Gilded-era appropriate.

The most inspired choice about Hailey Bieber's Yves Saint Laurent is the unconventional black hose with a strappy heal. Wild, I know. A major risk. 

Kaia Gerber gave us disco fairy queen in her — yes, gilded — Alexander McQueen gown. I like this look, and it's technically gilded and glamorous, but felt a bit underwhelming to me. 

My queen Julianne Moore went extremely understated, but not on the night I'd want! This Tom Ford is elegant, and was inspired by what Jackie Kennedy would wear to a state dinner, but just lacks a bit of wow factor.

I know I said the theme was gilded, and more is more, but Chloe Bailey really took that to mean "melting Jessica Rabbit being choked by a golden snitch." This Area design is undeniably NOT BORING but vaguely trying too hard? The necklace AND the exaggerated hips/bust is a lot of look. 

It's honestly profound how much Katy Perry's Oscar de la Renta look was just a big blah nothing. A lot of design elements mishmashed together in the most forgettable way. And if any house should absolutely nail this theme, it's Oscar de la Renta. 

Is this Christian Siriano look gilded? Technically no. Is it glamour? Yes, I think maybe. Normani gets some points here for effort and an A+ for abs, but I don't expect myself to remember this one years into the future. 

Mindy Kaling did what she usually does, which is wear something very pretty that isn't really on theme, could be worn to any formal event at any time and somehow also isn't my favorite of her looks. There's always next year! This is by Prabal Gurung and she said she was inspired by his idea of redefining what it means to be American, and that's lovely, but I just need a teensy bit more. 


The greatest Met Gala sins are to be boring or completely ignore the theme in favor of just sexiness and credit goes to the Kardashians/Jenners for nailing both. We have, left to right: Kylie in what can only be a dream wedding gown sketch by a high school basketball player; Khloe in a been-there-one-million-times gold sequin pageant gown; Kourtney in a cropped men's shirt and a giant Ace bandage, with a train of unfinished tailoring by Thom Browne; and Kendall in a costume of Gwyneth Paltrow's much-maligned goth Oscars look from 2002. Not a one truly understood the assignment, bless 'em. 

Now listen — I'm not crazy or blind, this is FASHION and I kind of love it. But it's so wildly disregarding of the theme, in my mind (I guess the corset counts?) that I found myself actually annoyed when I saw it. Furthermore, I love the futuristic evil space queen vibe of the puffer coat, but considering Rihanna literally blew our minds in a couture puffer coat at the recent September 2021 Met Gala, it felt more copycat than revolutionary.

Camila Cabello somehow managed to come dressed in a look that isn't working really for any theme, and isn't the most flattering cut, either. Her peekaboo drape at the hip is accessorized with a garden of fake flowers that look haphazardly glued on. The top itself is odd and unflattering, and the fabric looks cheap. Prabal Gurung kinda dropped the ball on this one.

This man is apparently a Swedish creative director named Fredrik Robertsson but everyone took one look and was like, "Wow, Jared Leto really be out here dressed as a gilded glamorous lamplighter fish." Truthfully, I usually love the futuristic delicacy of Iris Van Herpen's designs, but this was so hilariously WTF off-theme you had to laugh. I love imagining him navigating the party with his fish ribs and giant claws. I hope he stuck them into each crudite and ate them off his nails like he was Edward Scissorhands. 

Emily Ratajkowski appeared to dig into her childhood dress-up and craft boxes and pull out 3-4 ballet costumes, an old tablecloth, a bag of those mini pom-poms and treated the night as her own personal "Make it Work" moment. It's vintage Versace and it misses the mark in every possible way. 

I love Maggie Rogers so much but this sheer...bib? Safety vest?... ain't it. And freeing the nipple at the Met Gala isn't really shocking at this point; it just reads lazy. The general yawn of the whole ensemble is a real head-scratcher. Of all the Chanel outfits in the world, this felt like the one?

Emma Stone looks very lovely in her Singing in the Rain flapper dress and bejeweled Mary Janes, but my friends, this is what phoning it in looks like. Huge disappointment from someone who I would have loved to see serve up a full Madame X moment on the stairs. The event AND the painting are at the Met for chrissakes! It was right there for the taking and she left it on the table.

The Lauren clan are memes of themselves at this point when it comes to wearing denim to high-fashion events, but David Lauren made me do a sort of hybrid LOL-resigned sigh when I saw his white-tie coat and tails with...ripped jeans and cowboy boots. He looks like one of those paper doll-inspired toys where you slide the outfits to find a match, but someone just gave up looking for bottoms. I can just imagine him getting the invite requesting white tie and thinking, " my do I...????" 

Monday, April 4, 2022

Fashion Review: Grammys 2022

Grammy's AFTER the Oscars? Not a fan. But I do love that the Grammy red carpet always offers an opportunity to take the fashion road less traveled, in ways that both delight and befuddle. It's almost a bigger sin to be conventionally tasteful than it is to be wackadoodle. There's a fine line, though, between wacky fashion that's daring and wacky fashion that's costume. Let's get into it. 

Best Dressed

The smile really says it all, doesn't it? It's been such a pleasure to see Lil Nas X defy anyone who believed he was going to be a one-hit wonder and simultaneously come into his own as an artist in the most beautiful, honest way. He was performing in Vegas and I love this futuristic Elvis-meets-King of Pop-meets-Dolly Parton's butterflies ensemble by Balmain. It's perfect for the occasion and perfect for him and you can tell he loves it.

Hot pink was the color of the night, and I'm not mad at it. This rose gold-and-hot-pink ruffly confection by Gucci is a spiritual cousin to Jessica Chastain's Oscars gown, and this feels as equally appropriate for a Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire routine as it does for the Grammys red carpet. St. Vincent has the stature to pull off just about anything.

Doja Cat was giving us alien glamour with her 90s-meets-futuristic spiky hair and her barely there seafoam Versace gown. It's quintessentially her, which is to say provocative, irreverent but still pretty.

If you can pull off 1992 bondage Versace originally modeled by Christy Turlington, by God, do it. Dua Lipa debuted platinum locks perfectly paired with an oxblood lip and stack of bangles. It was a great outfit for a presenter, past winner and present pop queen. 

I'm a sucker, and I can't help it. When confronted with voluminous ruffly highlighter-pink petals, I simply cannot resist. Chrissy Teigen looked luminous in this cherry blossom of a dress by Nicole + Felicia Couture.

Carrie Underwood usually plays it pretty safe with metallic or black dresses, so I thought this pillowy saffron Dolce & Gabbana gown was a nice change of pace and the effect of the color growing richer as the fabric descends is so lovely. It's such a happy color. 

With Billy Porter, it's never just the mere fabric. It's always a full story that he tells with his movement, his styling, his accessories. I love this ruffled oversized button-down shirt and pants combo by Valentino, but what really makes the entire look sing is the swipe of blue lipstick. It is just the right amount of shock and awe. The silver accessories are also unexpected, but add so much. 

Lady Gaga does character dressing with the best of them, and as someone who also likes to cosplay my way through life, I appreciate how she matches her fashion to the assignment. In this case, she was going to be paying tribute to Tony Bennett, so she came in Armani Prive fit for Grace Kelly. I like the little swipe of the black neckline that looks like the flourish of a pen. 

Halsey also served up an Old Hollywood femme fatale vibe in a trendy velvet bustier and long skirt, topped with an incredible hat. 

Chloe Bailey redeemed her underwhelming Oscars look with this beautiful disco ball of a gown and cape by Valentino. She looks ready to be the true dancing queen. 

Saweetie found a way to make the current peek-a-boob trend look classy as evening wear with this hot pink bra top and full skirt by Valentino, accented with long, long gloves. This color is great on her.

SZA managed to hobble her way around on crutches while still managing a peachy-nude tulle train. She looks like a goddess of spring in this explosion of florals by Jean Paul Gaulthier.

Megan Thee Stallion has the energy of a jungle cat, so her Roberto Cavalli tiger-and-leopard gown felt entirely fitting. She is ready to hunt her prey. 

I didn't care for Olivia Rodrigo's red carpet dress, but I loved the vintage-vibe slip dress trimmed with shirred chiffon, fishnets and platform combat boots she wore to perform. You can draw a straight line from Courtney Love's baby doll dresses to this performance, and whether her fans know that history or not, it's nice to see the nod.

This is really what I'm looking for from my rock stars, and I appreciate Michelle Zauner's haute couture Valentino gown looks like she might be playing a dahlia in a school play. This is the place to do it. She looks like sunshine! 

It was really Jon Batiste's night, and he wore progressively more dazzling and spectacular fashions throughout the show. I really like how this diamond-patterned sequined Dolce & Gabbana suit almost looks like a graphic snakeskin print. 

God help me, I love Travis Barker's hot pink Givenchy jacket that truly looks like it's the one Audrey Hepburn wears in Breakfast at Tiffany's. The way he's holding the sunglasses just so — I would not be surprised if he can recite Holly Golightly's whole speech about the Mean Reds. 


If you're new around here, the Best/Worst category exists for something that is, ostensibly, bad but it is so undeniably ballsy and mirthful, you can't help but giggle.

Justin Bieber wore what must be Shaquille O'Neal's Balenciaga suit with Crocs fit for a Transformer and a hot pink beanie and yet...can I be mad at it when one of my very favorite things in rock history is David Byrne's giant gray suit in Stop Making Sense? I have no way of knowing if Justin even gets that reference, but like...what if he does??? Strange as it ever was.

Dillon Francis, a producer and DJ, did the absolute least and there's that dark part of me that is delighted by someone bringing their own snacks to the ceremony. Listen, if you're probably not going to win anything or ever be on camera, why NOT chow down on some Little Bites muffins from Walgreens? I'm impressed he even got in and security didn't say, you know, "Dude, this is a private event you're wandering into."

If you've ever asked yourself, "But what if Ursula the Sea Witch attended the Grammy's," never fear, I now know, thanks to Spice and her glorious green wig and sea of red ruffles that looks not so much attached to the dress as conjured, like angry waves.

I agree wholeheartedly with the message — "Love is the weapon" — if not the medium. This woman, Valerie Evigan, may have unintentionally distracted from her statement with her striped bun and ponytail combo, inflamed sleeves, orange carry-on purse and neon bodice. More is more but is the most the most?


I like the idea of turning a fashion trope on its head with an unconventional fabric, like a vinyl-look take on a pink Material Girl gown. Tinashe, in my opinion, didn't quite nail the styling, but it's a fun gown. 

Tiffany Haddish wore one of her personal best gowns in this beautiful silver-and-gold sequined Prada. She's glowing, and I love the fact it looked as good from the front as from the back with the large bow. 

At this point, I've seen just about every variation on the quicksilver sequined gown, but I love the subtle interest of the cutout sides on Snoh Aalegra's Versace gown. It's sexy, but sly, and well-designed to emphasize all her assets. 

I was not familiar with Emonee LaRussa, but she's apparently an acclaimed motion graphics artist. What I like is her adventurous take on accessories — a headband halo straight out of the Renaissance and a giant pearl purse (my dream!). 

Leon Bridges managed to combine the best of his home state of Texas and the best of Vegas Elvis in this gold-embellished white suit with matching boots. I don't know if it's 100% working, but I like the gumption.

This feels a little casual for the Grammy's, but I was happy to see Maren Morris look like herself and not a Khloe Kardashian lookalike. This is a great take on couple dressing, complementary but not overly matchy-matchy. 

Sean Paul understands one of the shortcuts to a successful fashion look is black-and-white, mixed and remixed in complementary ways. I like this chalked coat/printed pant/platform Chucks combo a shocking amount.

Now, THAT is a fit. Elle King's bell-bottomed, flouncy-sleeved Christian Siriano suit is a model of good tailoring. It looks rock and roll. 


It can't be easy to pick a color scheme to color coordinate seven outfits around, but BTS consistently baffles me with their choices. This time we got brown and lavender — it feels like ugly brown suits are really having a moment — with Postal Service blue and slick, clean white. I do like that just one of them ever gets a gigantic flower accessory.

Maybe I'm an old fuddy duddy but this cartoonishly simulated beaded cleavage on a pink and black Vivienne Westwood gown feels a little too Hot Topic prom to me. I generally haven't been the biggest fan of Olivia Rodrigo's red carpet looks, but I think as she continues to evolve, she'll find her way.

Billie Eilish wore a Matrix take on a kimono by Rick Owens with combat boots and although I'm envious of her ability to find increasingly adventurous ways to be comfortable, I wasn't super in love with this look. I liked her Taylor Hawkins tribute t-shirt better!

Cynthia Erivo rarely missteps but I wasn't blown away by this zip-up robe gown over sequins. It might be the world's fanciest choir robe. It's not bad, it's just not my fave.

Remember when some guy from your high school insisted on getting the 1940's-style zoot suit for prom and thought it was the *coolest?* That's what Finneas reminds me of in his formal zoot suit pajamas by Gucci. I like the big fake orchid to lend some visual interest, but without it, this would be a great big blah.

H.E.R loves a Dundas jumpsuit, but I'm distracted by the visible seams in the midsection. I wish it had sequins all over the pants. She looks like she's going to be playing the Sun in a triumphant finale of "Annie." 

Theoretically, you can't go wrong with gray Dior Haute Couture, but the seams on the bustline of Rachel Zegler's dress just aren't terribly flattering. I wish it had more of a sweetheart neckline and the sleeves sat higher on her arms, rather that cut across her bust this way. I do LOVE her makeup and bob, however. This is really a close but no cigar look. 

This Gucci on Jared Leto is a LOT OF LOOK. It's 70% Waylon Jennings, with a little Brian Boitano thrown in with the sequined lace. The mix you never saw coming.  

Jimme Allen is giving me bandleader action hero, equally ready to play a ballroom or slide to home base. His shoes look both mesmerizing and very uncomfortable.

Worst Dressed

Yola here is captured mid-morph from beast to woman, and truthfully, I kind of love it. Furry beast arms and chopstick hair, roaring down the red carpet? Why the heck not. Who says we can't have Animorphs couture? 

There's daring fashion, and then there's fully coming in a Pokemon costume, and that's where we are with singer-songwriter Tayla Parx (writer of "Thank U, Next" and "High Hopes"). She looks like she had to hustle over to the ceremony after finishing a shift as a mascot at Universal Studios.

Li Saumet, a Colombian singer, looked like a cartoon come to life and honestly, there's part of me that just loves the complete confusion it must have caused all night. Her mask is like a cotton-candy interpretation of ancient Colombian masks, topping a pink flamingo dress and highlighter yellow sneaks. It's giving me Masked Singer, as though she wandered into the wrong auditorium.

I know the 90s are back but I don't think anyone really wants this type of puffy shirt and oversized brocade suit look back. Songwriter Ilsey Juber ("Nothing Breaks Like a Heart") looks a little like a down-on-her-luck footman in Amadeus-meets-Elaine Benes in the J. Peterman era.