That is how you do a red carpet. While Washington was abuzz with celeb arrivals in front of a very ’80s blue backdrop at the Hilton Saturday night, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was getting ready for the biggest night on the fashion calendar. This year, with a theme centered around famed couturier Charles James, the models, actors and musicians who ascended the MET stairs felt even more regal than usual. New York is, after all, the home of America’s fashion royalty.
The white tie dress code appeared much easier to decipher than the punk theme of 2013, and guests seemed to embrace the grandeur.
The glimpses of tails for men were a treat, even though most stuck with black tie. (The men behind Proenza Schouler told the New York Times they got special dispensation from queen Wintour for the less-formal dress.)
Eddie Redmayne and John Legend, however, looked as though they were born to wear tails.
Even Johnny Depp’s somewhat bizarre Ralph Lauren ensemble was exciting. Same goes for Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka. If there is a time to lean toward the fantastical, this is it.
Lupita Nyong’o seemed to be drawing inspiration from Josephine Baker (indeed, her makeup team said the look was meant to evoke a “modern-day” version of the star). The feathers were a little much but the whimsical Prada dress and Cartier jewels channeled the beauty of the event — especially when compared with her lovely but safe Oscar de la Renta dress for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
The Olsens could have been plucked from a Jane Austen-themed wonderland. The riding coats-turned-ball gowns were fantastical in the best way.
Zac Posen was certainly in his element. His gigantic ball gowns from this season finally made their brilliant debut on the likes of Karen Elson, Arizona Muse and Liu Wen.
The other story of the night was the trend of the moment. All hail the crop top.
Rihanna was at her prime — the elegance of the white draped Stella McCartney countered by bare back and midriff. A perfect blend of formality and edge.
Anne Hathaway’s tiny midriff and thigh slit had the same effect against her clean, red Calvin Klein.
Emma Stone was gorgeous in a Thakoon ensemble with contrasting shades of pink.
Trains were another break-out star. Idina Menzel, Anna Kendrick and Kate Upton were among those who carried off the extra yards of fabric with ease.
Thank goodness for a night of a little royal gazing.
See more photos here.