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May 8th, 2013

Lessons In Style (MET Gala 2013).

Lessons In Style (MET Gala 2013).

I couldn’t write fast enough yesterday.

Never has there been a more exhausting red carpet.

The annual Met Ball is my favourite day on the fashion calendar because it’s the barometer of fashion fantasticness. It’s the red carpet where celebrities ditch their stylists in favour of outfits created by their designer dates.

This year’s theme Punk: Chaos To Couture divided, confused and derailed some of the A-list guest list. There were those that could and those that couldn’t.

Here’s the good, the bad and the Sid Vicious.


There Was A Theme People.

P.U.N.K. The theme was Punk. When Anna Wintour says Punk. You say “How Punk?”

Cameron did you open your invitation? It looks like you’re wearing a blue version of Gwyneth’s white Oscar dress.

You too Jennifer Lawrence. Pretty, frilly Dior gown but how did you feel chatting with Madonna in her suspenders and pink  shoes?

Katie Holmes obviously felt that shredding the hem of a bridal gown would be enough. It wasn’t.

And Katy Perry and Kelly Osbourne are going to need to explain their Hindi inspired looks to someone who cares.

And Gwyneth...I expect so, so much more from you. Much more than that pink bit of Valentino blah.

I mean, Nicole Richie dyed her hair grey. That’s the kind of commitment I wanted to see.

Heidi, Claire, Kate B….dishwater is less dreary.

Racoon Eyes.

You cannot do ‘Punk’ without black kohl eyeliner. And lots of it.

The difference between a smokey eye and this type of all-out look is the thickness around your rims.

There are no delicate lines or exact cat wings – you want to smash the stuff on. The idea of a racoon eye is to shut down the shape of your socket leaving a pool of inky black.

It’s a look that takes a healthy shot of beauty gumption and a very good eye make-up remover.

Karolina Kurkova killed it in a Siouxsie Sioux way.


Long Gloves.

If you can make it past these frocks you’ll see a new trend – gloves.

Kerry Washington in Vera Wang and Beyonce in Givenchy Haute Couture both wore skin tight, elbow high evening gloves of the early 19th century variety.

Start wrapping your head around the idea of these babies because they’re on their way back.

The Slash Dress.

Nicki Minaj in Tommy Hilfiger and the black brigade – Emma Watson in Prabal Gurung, Miranda Kerr in Michael Kors and Carey Mulligan in Balenciaga all rocked the slash-out trend.

It may not be traditionally punk but the cut-out panels and cut necklines were a nod to the anarchy of the period – and showed some nicely toned tummies.

Sexy enough.

Just Freaking Fabulous.

I love a theme more than most women. I will go full titt when asked to dress up by my host.

SJP (in Giles Deacon dress and Phillip Treacy headpiece) is clearly cut from the same roll of lamé. Look at her feathered mohawk. Now look at it again. Gasp.

What a wonderful interpretation of the haircut that defined the entire punk movement. Don’t get me started on the tartan knee highs and the visible knickers.

It’s genius, she’s genius. The End.

Puff Sleeves.

Riffing on Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood the puff sleeve has that Edwardian gothic vibe that crosses over into punk. Ish.

Bella Heathcote looked lovely in Chanel as did Laura Santo Domingo in Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda.

The evening’s host – Anna Wintour – also wore a slightly puffed sleeve in a dress that could have belonged to Snow White. Which of course was the Vogue Editor’s ironic point: at its core the Punk movement was about rebellion. Anna rebelled against her own dress code.

Long Sleeved & Figure-Hugging.

Slinky, spray-on was THE silhouette of the night. Rocked by everyone from Miley to Jennifer Lopez in everything from leopard print to mesh.

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Amanda, Rooney & Nicole.

Amanda Seyfried in draped fitted Givenchy, Rooney Mara also in Givenchy and Nicole Richie in Topshop.

Winners are grinners.

Three Generations Of Style.

The women and the clothes in this picture says everything there is to be said about grace.

When I grow up I want to be Vanessa Redgrave and wear her dress and have a blunt fringe.

Daughter Joely Richardson and grand-daughter Daisy Bevan looked equally awesome.

Slicked Back Hair.

Grungy slicked back hair is perfect chic punk and favoured by many last night: Anne Hathaway in Vintage Valentino Haute Couture; Karolina Kurkova in Mary Katrantzou; Leelee Sobieski in Christian Dior Haute Couture; Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Gucci.

Slightly wet and not crunchy – here’s how to copy it at home.

Step 1: Start with clean hair (wavy or straightened, depending on the look you want to achieve).

Step 2: A little volume at the roots looks best with this look so backcomb for extra lift.

Step 3: Apply a small dollop of hair gel into the palm of your hands, warm the product between your hands and run it through your hair from hairline to the crown several times. Leave your ends product-free. Tip: You want a gel that doesn’t dry crunchy – try Redken Hardwear Gel 16.

Spikes Are Sexy Y’All.

The Burberry Girls brought posh punk to the carpet with golden spikes on their clothes and accessories.

Best in show: Sienna Miller (how nice it is to see her back in the fashion swimming pool) with a tough biker jacket shrugged over a simple white dress and a cool spike headpiece;  Cara Delevingne in the most perfect dress of the night (Burberry). I actually ache when I look at that dress.

Also punk chic were Dakota Fanning, Kate Bosworth in colour and spike and The Olsen’s whose usual Havisham schtick worked a treat.

Thank God For Models & Zandra.

Anja Rubik, Gisele, Lily Cole, Jaime King – this is what punk should look like.

God bless Zandra Rhodes. She’s looked like this for thirty years. Imagine the effort every morning after a bowl of cereal?

Props for authenticity and consistency.

A Word On Kim.

Help me understand…

She wore a couch to the ball. One with matching gloves. And shoes. Floral gloves. Floral shoes. It may have been Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci but it was still a sofa.

The reason this outfit is wrong has nothing to do with her size and shape. Kim is gloriously pregnant and weight should not be part of any discussion about her. This chat is about the fact that the dress is a couch. No doubt Kanye is to blame for the outfit but if my husband had tried to put me in head-to-toe flowers when I was seven months pregnant I would have strangled him with the matching gloves.

She walked straight down the red carpet and into this….

Want More?

See over 100 photos from the MET Gala here: The MET Gala (The Details).



  • Pingback: The MET Ball (The Details). « LifeStyled()

  • Dolly Levi

    Excellent wrap up Paula ! Loved Nicole and Rooney.
    I love Vanessa Redgrave too, i saw ‘Letters to Juliet’ with her in it a couple of years ago and she was/is so beautiful !! So was her husband ! Nice to see a bit of diversity on the red carpet.

  • Hanne_Liz

    Sarah Jessica Parker. Perfection.

  • Jess

    Cara Delevingne is my absolute fave. Love the hair, the make up and the DRESS. Love how passionate your were in this post Paula!

  • Judes

    I loved Cara’s look too! She smashed the theme out of the park and looked sexy and gorgeous while doing it!

  • Mia Freedman

    Best. Post. Ever. You’re on fire P. xxxxxx

  • Barb Fisher

    SJP is absolute perfection. Every little thing is so, so right. And Anne H’s total look, but especially her hair. Total and utter love! She looks beyond stunning.

    Love your round-ups Paula. You nail it every time.

  • Lenny


  • Helen

    I can’t believe how many people got it wrong – either not a hint of punk (Kim K – yuk) or referencing the wrong genre. Lots of Gothic pieces there – the crucifix (except for Madonna’s, obviously a reference to her early days), the crowns, the gold, the face nets – perhaps their stylists googled the wrong era?? And can’t believe you didn’t mention Anne’s suddenly blond hair – she looks incredible!

  • Stefanie

    Was looking forward to your wrap up on this and you did not disappoint! Thanks Paula.

  • Caroline Overington

    SJP. The headpiece. Look. Look again. Again. And again. Knocked it out of the park.

  • Caroline Overington

    Agreed! You get invited to an event like that, you gotta follow the instructions! Imagine turning up in black tie to a punkfest. What a waste of everyone’s time.
    On the other hand, the Nicole Ritchie does the Adams Family – first class.

  • nik

    all hail, Queen SJP!!

  • Project Style

    I LOVED this review! Perfectly to the point and hilarious!

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