Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Costume Institute Gala: The Highs and Lows

There are a few events that everyone hopes to have the opportunity to attend at least once in their lifetime ... the Oscars, their wedding, and if you love fashion, The Costume Institute Gala. And what would the gala be without people dressed and done up to the nines? There were some definite highs and lows at this year's event, which -- while it had a "Superheroes" theme -- didn't necessarily mean everyone's hair and makeup team came to the rescue. Here are the hits and misses.

Naomi Watts
: Such a picture of stunning Hollywood glamour. Her curled locks are to-die-for, her red lips are sexily sultry and her skin is glowing. I love everything about this look.

Michelle Trachtenberg
: Everything here just works. The hair is pulled back without being severe, the eyes are rimmed in black but not too heavy-handed, and the lips are the perfect shade of glossy rose. The whole look just complements her vintage dress beautifully.

Jessica Stam
: I love this girl. I always think she's stunning -- every time I see her walk on the runway at Fashion Week I'm thrilled. And with her winged-out black liner, glossy nude lip and simple updo, her hair and makeup complement her Proenza Schouler dress perfectly.

Elletra Rossellini Weidemann
: Yes, the turquoise eyeshadow and teased bangs are over the top. But against her color-blocked Chris Benz gown, it just works. I love that the popular brights trend showed up here!

: What a gorgeous goddess. Her vibrant red Dolce & Gabbana gown -- definitely one of the most stunning of the evening -- is offset beautifully by her heavily lined eyes, swooping bangs, mocha-hued lips ... and of course the fabulous David Bowie as a fantastic accessory.

Ellen Barkin
: This woman never fails to impress. No matter how much time passes, she continues to look beautiful, well-put-together and absolutely glamorous at all times. The bob is sleek and sophisticated, the makeup is just-so, and her skin is positively glowing against her black Diane von Furstenberg dress. Perfection.

Claire Danes
: Nothing about this look works to me. The eyes are too dark, the lips are too light and matte, and the hair is too overdone. Sorry, Claire -- I still love you with Angela's dark red mane the best. But I am jealous of two things -- her simple-yet-chic Narciso Rodriguez dress and the fact that she's holding the designer's hand!

Sofia Coppola
: All right, I get it -- her style is never too overdone, and I can respect that. But at a fancy event like this, can't you at least comb your hair and put on some mascara? Especially when you're wearing Marc Jacobs and you have him on your arm?

Christina Ricci
: This just screams "scary" to me. First of all ... she is so pin-thin, it looks like she might fall over in her Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci Haute Couture gown at any second. Secondly, her hair is just not flattering -- I would have loved to see it down, or at least with some curly tendrils around her face to offset her angular jaw. I do, however, like her lipstick -- it's a pretty shade of mauve-ish pink.

Victoria Beckham
: Posh, what happened here? You just look way, way, way over the top. The teased updo is too much, the red lips are too much, the neglected eyes are not enough. But at least you have David Beckham on your arm.

Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen
: Oh, girls. Ashley is almost there, if only she would flash a smile. But Mary-Kate, oh, Mary-Kate. Why must you go out with dirty hair and makeup that makes you look as though you haven't slept for a week? At least they get to put their arms around master shoemaker Christian Louboutin.

Piper Perabo
: Remember how cute and girl-next-door she was in Coyote Ugly? Well, maybe she shouldn't have chopped off her pretty locks and curled them into an awkward mess that makes it look like wings are coming out from the side of her head. And can someone please feed her a piece of cake? She's so rail-thin!

Rachel Bilson
: Is it me, or does she look like she has a mop on her head? The bangs just aren't working for her. I can barely see her eyes, but I assume they're rimmed in her signature black liner. And with the dramatic nature of her Calvin Klein Collection gown, I would have liked to see a crimson lip.

A fabulous photo of Tom Welling, who not only looks amazingly, impeccably handsome in his Ralph Lauren Purple Label tux; but was fitted for it by my very own fabulous roommate, Todd at the Ralph Lauren flagship store (otherwise known as the Mansion). Mmmmm.

All photos are courtesy of Style.com.


  1. I am so glad you put Ellen Barkin as a high point. She's such a great example of how you can age beautifully in Hollywood.
    I also couldn't believe that was Piper P. in the photo, it really looked nothing like her. Not flattering at all.
    Great post!

  2. I agreed with every critique that you made. You also made me spit on my screen with your comment on Rachel B's hair! LOL What a great post, I love it.



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