Fug File: Met Ball

Met Gala Fugs and Fabs: Women in White


If it seems like we’re missing someone major in this category — like, say, one Kimberly Kardashian — it’s because she got her own post. Let’s dig into the also-rans!

[Photos: Fame/Flynet, Getty]

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Met Gala Curiously Played Carpet: Grace Coddington


Okay, this one ought to touch off some discussion.

grace coddington met ball met gala

It is obviously… very literal. In a way that veers flagrantly costumey rather than, say, interpreting an inspiration into something new. I saw some people on Twitter were horribly offended; others just thought she was underdressed. Complicating this matter: Per solid reporting sources on Twitter, Grace quipped that Anna told her to wear PJs to the Met Gala because she has to hop a flight immediately after the party. Which… was a misguided joke to make, even if these somehow were her actual PJs, because… just no. Not great, Bob. Don’t diminish the cu essence of what you’re wearing, which you are SUPPOSED to be doing as a celebration and an homage to the culture that yielded it. Just don’t. (Also: I stared at her feet for SUCH A LONG TIME to see if those pants are footie-style. It looks LESS like they do in this photo, though, so I’m going to assume it’s an optical illusion and they’re overlong and she’s wearing them with Isotoners, or something.)

Which brings up the question, and it’s an honest one, because I am always curious about the challenges of drawing these lines and intent vs execution: At what point may you wear something of another culture because you love it, without fear of giving offense — what if, say, she bought this on a trip to China, or had lived there, and it’s a genuinely treasured souvenir? — and at what point are you guilty of misappropriation? If the answer to that is, “She should never casually wear this, ever,” then does Grace get a dispensation here because she is wearing it on a night that called for an embrace of the culture? Do we show mercy for the presumption of good intent? IS there, in fact, a way to theme an event like this that does not ring offensive, even though the hope clearly was for people to honor Chinese fashion and culture in a respectful and admiring way? Is this better or worse than if she randomly turned up in this at the Grammys? Et cetera.

I’m sure that by the time this runs, those debates and others will have taken place in the comments on other posts, SJP’s in particular. But this outfit is a lightning rod, for sure. And as the curator himself said it was a vital time for a cross-cultural dialogue, I figure, Fug Nation is smart — let’s take him up on that, in our own way.

[Photo: Getty]

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Met Gala Fugs and Fabs: Patterns


Lord knows, I LOVE a pattern. I think that a Chinese-inspired pattern on a beautiful dress was probably also a smart way for a woman who was perhaps apprehensive about the theme to play along. There are some beautiful highs here, some crazy low, and then CHER.

[Photos: Getty, Fame/Flynet]

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Met Gala Fug and Fab: Anna Wintour in Chanel and Bee Shaffer in Alexander McQueen


It’s only fair to put the event’s true overlord under the microscope. Spoiler: SHE PAINTED HER TOENAILS.

[Photos: Getty]

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Met Gala Mostly Well Played: Emily Blunt in Prada


I do still have an issue with how so many Prada gowns fit at the bust, so I’m holding back on total unreserved praise.

emily blunt met gala met ball

But, to my eyes, this is a nifty way to take two fabrics that are nods to Chinese fashion and give them a modern but still regal spin. She looks great – like, to me, that thing could end up in a costume exhibit of its own someday. Emily Blunt: Possibly A Way More Interesting Dresser Than You Remember, coming to the V&A in forty years. See you there. I’ll be the one gesturing wildly at pushy young whippersnappers with the tip of my cane.

[Photo: Getty]

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Met Gala Fug the Hmm: Karen Elson (and others) in Dolce & Gabbana


This is… dramatic.

karen elson "China: Through The Looking Glass" Costume Institute Benefit Gala - Arrivals

From a pure construction point of view, I am not wild at ALL about how the skirt attaches with the visible bunches of seams. It cheapens things. Taking a wider view, though… I don’t know, this feels like D&G didn’t care that much, and so tossed her a headdress and were like, “Eh, close enough.” But if she is (as we said for Cosmo) the High Priestess of her own Tarot deck, then she came armed with some of the Minor Arcana as well:

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