The spring and summer seasons are breeding grounds for wedding celebrations and the usual little black dress won’t do. Summer weddings are opportunities to experiment with and enjoy bright colors and sartorial flair.
The attendees of this year’s Metropolitan Costume Gala exhibited new evening trends that have a little something for every woman and setting the trend for the season.
The courageous few who felt up to the challenge of wearing very feminine and luxurious gowns opted for the dramatic touch. Recession minimalism and simplicity were not on their mind as they dressed in gowns that served as a prompt for wistful fantasies and aspirations to stand out.
Liz Hurley evoked a sense of regal glamor à la Grace Kelly and Jackie O. in a dusty rose pink gown by Elie Saab. Roses softly formed from chiffon were stitched flat onto the dress, getting bigger in diameter towards the hem of the gown. Perfectly proportional and complimentary to the dramatically flared skirt, there’s much to take note of. Topped off solely with chandelier earrings, Hurley looked like she finally got a classy stylist.
Kate Beckinsale, Heidi Klum and Jessica Biel also wore the biggest gowns at the ball. Klum’s was perhaps the most novel for its wide empire silhouetted gown by Gilles Mendel. Klum’s chiffon dress was an example of maternity eveningwear at its finest; also defying the ultimate fashion taboo of pairing black with navy.
The spirit of Yves Saint Laurent seems to be living on. Although his death recently has been a great loss to the fashion world, his approach to empowering women through dress with his iconic black suits have translated to contemporary evening wear. The twist is that somehow, they’re now fused with strong statements of femininity.
Case in point is Rihanna’s Dolce and Gabbana She Tux; her pants hit above the ankle to show her patent black platformed heels and her tux jacket sleeves were exaggerated. The shoulder was unnaturally high, yet the rich satin of the outfit added a visual and feminine softness to it. With her trademark leather gloves, there was something tough and gritty about it all.
Yet there was no sense of cross dressing here. Whether she was trying to project an image post-scandal of her new strength, she and Lake Bell have proved that She Tuxes are every bit as fun (and highly original) to dress up in as gowns this season.
Blue isn’t about melancholy
Blake Lively, Brooke Shields, Cindy Crawford and Donatella Versace wore various shades of turquoise, teals and royal blues at the Gala.
In an off the shoulder Grecian goddess dress with a natural silhouette, Brooke Shields seems to straddle that fine line between sexiness and dressing appropriately for one’s age.
Blake Lively, star of the series “Gossip Girls , wore a royal blue Versace dress also off the shoulder that had one long sleeved shoulder balanced out by a dramatic hip- high slit.
The dramatics were very much trademarks of Donatella Versace’s designs and personal aesthetic but what was so novel was the play of straps and how they were positioned to hold up the dress. Lesson to learn: a bold shade of blue with some dramatic element to the shape of the dress will result in a lot of attention.
Whites are not just for brides
Although it’s always a sore point of discussion to wear white at someone else’s wedding, fact of the matter is that white is the new black. Worn by countless celebrities in various shades on this year’s red carpets, Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue USA, highlights to women both young and old how white can be so versatile.
Wintour wore a dress that was reminiscent of sleek 1930s’ evening wear. In her typical slightly-conservative style, the dress featured a rounded collar and slightly boxy sleeves that did not downplay the mostly white and black print which was in a sense very modern in its shapes.
It fused classic elements of dresses that don’t physically reveal much but tell a tale of tasteful elegance. With a wide patent belt that was more obi than belt, Wintour’s dress was mostly unembellished save for some black beads hanging from her short sleeves.
It’s interesting to consider why so many this year chose to wear white. Is it because white in its various shades can be flattering to any skin tone? Or because on a red carpet its can capture photographers’ attentions? Or is it because it is and always will be symbolic of hope in such frustrating times? Whatever the reasons, white will always be classic and modern in appearance on any woman.
Giselle Bundchen, Eva Mendes, Kate Moss and Kate Hudson all emphasized the power of metallic gowns.
Although Hudson has forever been wearing metallic shades of gold, it was horrible to see Moss looking terribly aged in a shade and silhouette that did not seem to suit her.
Bundchen’s a royal blue dress with shimmer and sequined detailing and a very short hemline was perhaps a little understated for a gala of such magnitude. Yet, with her long legs as an asset, Bundchen had every right to wear her dress short.
Trying to translate Bundchen’s hemline to Egyptian weddings would be perceived by many as slightly tacky and a longer hemline might be a little bit too much shimmer if worn by someone on the larger side of things.
What one can walk away from this all is to enjoy metallics, shimmer and sequins but in the right amounts and in the midst of a crowd that won’t assume the worst of you. And if one had legs like Bundchen, it too would have been a crime to hide them.