Imagine the Met Gala had a more funky, less formal little sister – that’s the CFDA Fashion Awards. The fashion industry’s hottest stars, designers, and models hit NYC to give awards to dubious fashion “icons” like Johnny Depp and the Olsen twins (who have inspired millions to look like homeless people and that’s apparently worth an award from the most prestigious institution of American fashion).
ZOE SALDANA // gown and shoes by Prabal Gurung
Ah, Ms. Saldana! You were born to wear Prabal Gurung, and this sexy, trendy cut-out gown is delicious on you. The sleeves are fantastic, and for once, the sheer skirt looks sexy and intriguing instead of tacky and cheap. Love the cat-eye makeup, but I do wish she’d given us a bit more in terms of hair and/or jewelry. But throw Zoe in a sexy and chic cut-out gown, and you’ve basically guaranteed yourself red carpet gold.
DAKOTA FANNING // dress and shoes by Proenza Schouler
Dakota Fanning, I’m going to take this as a sign that you’ve dropped the miserable washed-out pale nothing-colors once and for all, and will now be dedicating your life to the fucking fabbest prints and silhouettes you can get your hands on. And I fully support that, because this dress is a hundred different kinds of awesome on her. It could have gone to a costumey place, but Dakota keeps it down-to-earth and fresh with the matching runway shoes that aren’t my style, but are still killer, attention-demanding pieces. I’ll take this over a colorless gown any day of the week, Dakota, so keep ’em coming!
KATE BOSWORTH // gown by Altuzarra, shoes by Gianvito Rossi for Altuzarra
Kate Bosworth seems to be on a fierce roller coaster ride to the top of Mount Fabulous. A few months ago, I barely remembered she existed and couldn’t name something she’d worn that I liked, ever. And suddenly, not only is she everywhere, but I’m finding myself actually liking her style! She killed in Calvin Klein last week and her Prada look for the Met Gala was stunning – now she’s officially on a style streak with this truly fantastic Altuzarra number. The single side cut-out is a great spin on an increasingly exhausting trend, the print is a thousand kinds of fabulous, and the dress fits her like a glove. I’m not sold on the purse, but the shoes are sexy and dramatic, if a little too thick around the ankle.
HILARY RHODA // gown, purse, and shoes by Rebecca Minkoff
I don’t know much about model Hilary Rhoda other than that she was fierce as hell in Zac Posen’s Pre-Fall 2012 collection. But this is the first time I’ve taken notice of her on the red carpet, and shit-damn, this girl can dress. This Rebecca Minkoff gown couldn’t possibly work on anyone but a model, but of course it looks beyond perfect on Hilary. It makes her impossibly long, lean figure look even longer and leaner. I love the different shades of blue, the bra top, the colorblocking, and even the mega-high slit, because it’s executed in a really beautiful way. (And she’s not using it as an excuse to bare her ass to the world.) But can someone tell me what’s happening around her ankles? Does the shoe have lots of straps around her ankle and calf, or does she have some sort of wrinkly ankle skin disorder, or is she possibly wearing some very unfortunate stockings? Whatever the reason, it doesn’t look good, but it can’t quite take away from the beauty of the rest of the look.
JESSICA PARÉ // dress and shoes by Jason Wu
I’m thrilled that Megan Draper is getting invited to industry events – she even presented one of the CFDA Awards! – and even more thrilled that she’s dressing the part. The fit of her Jason Wu dress leaves a lot to be desired, but the dress itself is beautiful. It’s chic, romantic, and different from what everyone else at the event wore. The pointy pumps are pleasantly platform-free, and the earrings are killer. With a better fit and one more interesting accessory, and a shade of lipstick that’s less washed-out, Jessica would look pretty damn close to perfect.
ANNA WINTOUR // dress by Marc Jacobs, shoes by Manolo Blahnik
Anna Wintour scooped up this dress minutes after it hit the runway. I’m not exaggerating – this is from Marc Jacobs’ Resort 2013 collection, which premiered the same day as the CFDA Awards. It’s an amazingly beautiful dress – the colors, the print, the fit – and the skinny belt and signature statement necklace are perfect accessories. I know Anna is devoted to those nude Manolo slingbacks, but I can’t fucking take them anymore, especially with the matching nude purse. They might be her favorites, but that doesn’t make them particularly stylish, at least compared to this amazing dress.
JOAN SMALLS // gown by Michael Kors
You may have caught a glimpse of Joan in the Spring 2012 runway shows – she walked for Emilio Pucci, Gareth Pugh, and Givenchy. She’s equally radiant on the red carpet, as evidenced by this white Michael Kors number. I’m never a fan of a mullet skirt, but this one is so beautifully executed that even I have to appreciate it. The fit in the bust and waist is a little off, but her legs look incredible and her gold accessories were excellent choices.
LILY COLLINS // dress by Marchesa, shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti
I actually like this dress on Lily, and I wouldn’t like it on most women. She’s got a sharp, youthful style that actually makes a gold eagle dress look kind of cool. I could do without the bridesmaids’ accessories, but what really mystifies me is how young she looks. Not a day over sixteen, and yet she’s twenty-three. Certainly, she’s got a youthful face and frame, but it’s not just that. It’s the ponytail, the studs, and the doll-like makeup that take too many years off her age.
JESSICA STAM // gown by Jason Wu, purse and shoes by Roger Vivier
Like a true model, Jessica Stam can wear the fuck out of this gown. Unfortunately, her successful modeling career has not turned her into a style maven, because this is some terrible styling. From the Snooki hair to the heavy platform sandals, she really cheapened this lovely gown as much as possible. Jason Wu should sue for defamation.
DOUTZEN KROES // gown by Sophie Theallet
Lose the choker, and I’d love the gown, though I don’t think platforms were a great choice. And though Doutzen is unstoppably beautiful, is the woman incapable of styling her hair?
ASHLEY OLSEN // gown and purse by The Row, shoes by Manolo Blahnik
Somehow, Ashley and Mary-Kate took home the coveted Womenswear Designer of the Year prize, in spite of the fact that their designs look like this, and thus no one who is not named Olsen actually wears these things. Yes, they’re famous, and their accessories can be cool, but they’re 25 and they don’t make nice clothes. Womenswear Designer of the Year? That seems a wee bit presumptuous, and also totally undeserved and basically ridiculous.
Politics aside, let’s get to the heart of the matter: Ashley is pulling this off relatively well. Like all the Olsens’ clothing, it’s designed to be at least two sizes too large. It’s as if their own tiny bodies cannot themselves display how tiny they really are, and so they need to wear giant clothing to appear even more shrunken. Quite disturbing, if you think about it. But it’s a lovely color, the purse is pretty great, the jewelry works well, and her face isn’t covered in unwashed hair or days-old kohl eyeliner, so that’s a plus.
MARY-KATE OLSEN // top, skirt, and purse by The Row, shoes by Louis Vuitton
Thank you, Mary-Kate, for going brunette: now I finally have a foolproof way to tell the Olsens apart! But though the color works on her, the cut does not – stick-straight, dead-looking hair with a severe center part is all wrong for her. And there are seventy-year-old women with more adventurous, youthful wardrobes than Mary-Kate Olsen. This is positively funereal.
JULIANNE HOUGH // gown by Kaufmanfranco
Probably the best she’s ever looked, but she sets the bar pretty low. The dress at least fits her beautifully, the makeup is much less offensive than usual, and she almost resembles a human being instead of the lovechild of an alien and a Barbie doll. That being said, this is about as ordinary as a red carpet look gets.
PADMA LAKSHMI // gown by Naeem Khan
Like many of her fellow starlets, Ms. Lakshmi wore a beautiful gown that just didn’t fit her. The length is a mess, and though the rest of the body fits decently, a gown with this many deconstructed details really demands a perfect fit or it looks like a sloppy mess. I like the fringed bodice, but with a poor fit and no styling, it’s hard to praise Padma for this look.
HEATHER GRAHAM // gown and shoes by Nicole Miller, purse by Marchesa
I’ll commend her on her refusal to age – perhaps there’s been medical help involved, but she really doesn’t look much different than she did a decade ago. Regardless, this powder blue prom nightmare is not doing her any favors, and neither are those hideous, tacky shoes. Her face, her tits, the straps and the clutch are really the only good things about this look.
MANDY MOORE // gown by Lela Rose, purse by Edie Parker, shoes by Prada
I’ve seen this dress a thousand times, but at least it’s pretty. However, a white purse and yellow-nude shoes with an ivory and gold gown is just stupid. From the hair to the lipstick to the accessories, it’s like she made a styling mistake every step of the way.
SOPHIA BUSH // gown by David Meister, shoes by Christian Louboutin
I take my comment about Julianne Hough back: this is about as ordinary as a red carpet look gets. If I have to see that seasons-old swooped draping tucked under a belt one more time, I’m going to lose it. And her God Bless America shoes – is she serious? With an orange gown? Sophia, I know you’re not exactly an A-lister (you barely make the D-list), but I think you can do just a little bit better than this mess.
RACHEL ZOE // gown by Rachel Zoe
Congratulations! You’re wearing a bathrobe.
JESSICA CHASTAIN // dress by Prabal Gurung, shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood for Prabal Gurung
Jessica, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME? You give me a perfectly made-up face, glowing with fresh-faced beauty, your stunning mermaid hair, and the fucking incredible Nicholas Kirkwood for Prabal Gurung shoes that Diane Kruger wore to Cannes last week that I’m still waking up in cold sweats over, reaching out to grasp the shoe that is just out of my reach. And then you destroy everything, not just by wearing a dress made for a tween, but by ADDING A FRILLY CAPE. It adds insult to injury when you pair hideous items with fabulous ones – because I know you have the potential to look amazing, and then you taunt me by wearing a bib. I don’t deserve this kind of injustice, Ms. Chastain.
BUSY PHILLIPPS // jumpsuit by Maison Martin Margiela, purse by Christian Louboutin, shoes by Brian Atwood
Cher called, and she said even if she could turn back
time tiii-aoom, she’d never wear that fugly fringed jumpsuit again.
Oh, and one more thing – the event’s host, Seth Meyers, showed up in the lace Commes de Garcons dress Marc Jacobs wore to the Met Gala. The best part? It was Anna Wintour’s idea.