06 May 2014

the MET SET Beyond Fashion


Cecil Beaton gloriously captured Charles James ball gowns in 1948.
from The Met here

Not to be remiss in a posting on the MET GALA, and the new ANNA WINTOUR COSTUME CENTER...Nothing gets one's twitter feed, facebook, and instagram stalled like the MET event. The naming of the center even gets batted around. The Costume Institute got underway through Diana Vreeland's chutzpah with help from Babe Palely and other swans. She had glamourized these women and helped create the legends that now exist around them-so it was her turn.We can thank them, and well, if Mrs.Vreeland had done the naming She too-would have named it ...THE DIANA VREELAND....

The red carpet rush was full of glamour, glitz- push-along with the ghastly.
But isn't that the way?
As I tried to point out to a raucous twitter person-(She wrote: "the Met Ball has been forever sullied by the pedestrian narcissist Wintour. No style. All ego. Trashy guests.")- the great benefit of the ball is the-thousands+++ thousands+++, and more,that will see Charles James: Beyond Fashion and marvel over his gowns, his construction, and his fine details.

Every last  inch of Charles James will be scrutinized- little secrets exposed- hems will be lifted and Charles James will no doubt be #'ed to death. That is why a MET GALA exists for the likes of Me, and for the MET SET, #EXPOSURE. Celebrities and models flock and an occasional society maven glides in sans red carpet. Anna Wintour has changed the landscape-and the Costume Institute thrives-and without the power of Vogue magazine (to which I no longer subscribe #agedoutof & the website features are great)- it was just survive amongst the sea of galas & benefits.

Zac Posen did three of these ball gowns, seems he has the Charles James touch at the moment, though it's noted that Harvey Weinstein has struck a deal with the James estate to have his wife's Marchesa brand retained as creative consultants-along with all that entails. (read more at Page SIX here). Marchesa does make beautiful dresses- but the Charles James touch wasn't evident from Marchesa last night.

 Bee Shafer in McQueen & Suki Waterhouse in  Burberry (at right) making a Charles James moment at the MET

 Undoubtedly The Dress of the Evening as Homage to Charles James- 
Dita von Teese in, and with, Zac Posen, wearing a very fine manteau.

Italian designers Dolce and Gabbana do know how to make an entrance-
conjuring Winterhalter or Visconti's The Leopard. 

Tabitha Simmons in Dolce Gabanna

Evening Gloves

 There was never a better evening for opera gloves. 

 I love them.

I missed the Charles James era.

Model Fei Fei Sun, Marina Rust and Tory Burch, & below-yes that's Katie Couric

Some people-and not just those at the MET Gala-always look well dressed-polished-turned out perfectly.
Last night...

 Mario Testino-with decorations, badges-He is OBE- Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire - here with Stella Tennant-who always looks right.

Benedict Cumberbatch

The Beckhams

Stephanie Seymour

Hailee Steinfeld wearing, and with Prabal Gurung

Lily Aldridge in Michael Kors

...& Always.

Nancy Lee Gregory James, Charles James wife, photographed by Cecil Beaton

 Lauren Santo Domingo wearing Oscar de la Renta and below The Herreras

Stella Tennant, wearing Burbery- in repose at the Met Ball

for me -actress Maggie Q came away as Best Dressed for the evening.

Wearing Zac Posen, 
she looked to be a 21st century Charles James creation poised on the steps with him just before his 1950 collection debuted.

after hearing it all, No, not so-but enough about what Charles James would think, etc. etc....
Undoubtedly the perfectionist himself would have lots to say-about Charles James- because HE- & now- everyone knows -Charles James is Beyond Fashion.


  1. Terrific write up. I agree in every way.

  2. I see wearing a glove of proper length was ignored by several ladies. I like your take on this event, you posted good photos of some very nice gowns.

  3. Thanks for covering the women that really put in the effort and pulled it off flawlessly. Definitely, terrific coverage of the more beautiful attire at the Met. You've got good style, but I think we all really knew that already....-James

  4. Thank you for covering the women that really put in the effort and looked flawless at the MET. I agree, a terrific write up. It is easy to see that you have fantastic style, but I think that is something we all know already... -James

  5. Pst just saw another comment on Facebook about Givenchy turning
    over in his grave which I promptly corrected....

  6. The Visconti-Lampedusa allusion was possibly more kind and more generous than I would have thought possible to extract from this cast, but because it irresistibly does appeal to our aspirations for such occasions, I was absolutely delighted to sign on -- without any arbitration of nuance. I get off easy, and am sent to bed early.

  7. Over the elbow evening gloves, (beloved of the great Norman Norell) were known as Opera Length or 22 button gloves. Then there were 18 button gloves--presumably to the elbow. Which cannot hold a candle to the twenty twos, as these photographs reveal.
    As for the Costume Institute being named after Anna Wintour, I shall simply have to bite my tongue...

  8. Great write up and some dresses i hadn't see before ..although I admit the mastery of the Posen ,Dita reminds me of the Little Mermaid in it ..

    The Maggie Q is really interesting, Valasquez !

  9. Although I admire the artistry of the Posen ,, Dita reminds me of the Little Mermaid in it , v. constrained physically

    As for the Maggie Q, really interesting dress , Velasquez anyone !



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