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I *guess* my ticket was somehow lost in the mail, dear readers, because I was – again – not invited to the Costume Institute‘s Annual Gala. Huh. Oh well. Next year, right? Regardless, there are umpteen pictures out there capturing the glory and fabulousness of it all. Currently the Institute is home to the exhibit “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy,” which is just as, um, fantastical as it sounds. Or at least it looks pretty fantastical from what I can tell. All those retro-futuristic looks from designers like Balenciaga, Galliano, McQueen, and Mugler, just to name a few, would surely look better in some hyper-stylized movie setting than in real life. Unless you have a penchant for full body armor (cough – Beyonce – cough), these pieces will only ever been seen on the runway. Except maybe for the outfit to the right, which was worn with ferocity in a George Michael video. The rest of the pieces, though, do make for a smashing museum exhibit.

The attendees at the Gala, of course, take their sartorial cues from this temporary exhibit and many dressed with the odd cape (André Leon Talley), random chest insignia (Naomi Watts), ginormous belt (Eugenia Silva), or custom Dior sunglasses (lots of people) in homage to the theme. Some, however, seemed to be inspired by something else altogether. Vogue editor Anna Wintour, for example, resembled not so much a member of the Hall of Justice as a Tauntaun roaming the plains of Hoth. (Let the record show the DCGF had to dig hard for that reference. I am not a Star Wars junkie!) The resemblance of horns…the slightly fuzzy texture of her Chanel Haute Couture gown…think about it. At least those little coil things appear to be able to keep her hands warm, should she be lost in a snow storm without Han Solo. Perhaps I’d like the dress better without what appears to be the giant-shouldered shrug layered on top. But her necklaces seem to be competing with the neckline, which is never a good thing. All in all, I think it’s a super-bad look, especially for Anna, who usually fares much better.

Zac Posen pulled out a weird look, too. Let me just write this out for you: bright blue suit, black button down shirt, red bow tie. Sounds strange right? Place that look next to Kate Mara in a canary-yellow Zac Posen gown and you have an unholy pairing that can only be described as Matthew Lesko-meets-red-carpet. It really pains me to type that sentence. I think the blue suit might be okay, if the pants weren’t made of the same shiny material as the lapel. Are you with me on this? No pajama suit pants, Zac! I mean, I even like his Clark Kent glasses and the way his bow tie is reminiscent of Pee-Wee Herman. I even like that. Just not the pants. As for Kate’s dress, it’s typical Posen, which is to say it’s frilly and formfitting yes still voluminous and I’m sure Natalie Portman or Claire Danes would be equally at home in it. So…meh.

At least they didn’t fare as poorly as Alexandra Kotur (yes, that’s her real last name) from (no, I’m not picking on Vogue). Her Carolina Herrera dress is nothing if not matronly, but that’s who Herrera often designs for, so I’m not mad at that aspect in theory. I guess I’d have to say it’s the severe hairstyle, the seeming lack of make-up and the tilted stance that left me thinking of nothing but the Leaning Tower of Pisa when I saw this picture. So. Many. Layers. And the color palette is very…uh…gosh. I’m not sure. The bow around the waist? Unforgivable. That’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. There’s nothing heroic about wearing a dress like this. In fact, Kotur needs a superhero to rescue her from this frock!

Many dressed well at the event, especially the men who turned up in classic tuxedos and snappy shoes. Well played Chris Noth and Tom Welling. As for the rest there are still so many questions unanswered. Did Pucci underwrite this event? Why were there an abundance of unflattering fishtail hemlines? Are Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Douillon the same person? Tune in next week to find out!


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