Carrie Underwood, historically, rarely wears Important Designers — which is fine, but she’s famous enough that it always surprises me that she isn’t up a tier, twirling around in Dior and Givenchy, or Elie Saab. So this was a surprise. Iris Van Herpen is easily the biggest name she’s ever worn, to my memory, which is interesting because it’s also one with a high degree of difficulty. Where Gwen Christie goes, mere mortals generally fear to tread.

I applaud her for going there, but I can’t decide if I think it’s working. I like the colors. I like the trippy swirly pattern. I am a little creeped out by what looks like two eyes lurking in the vicinity of her thighs. Mostly, I think Van Herpen works the best in either its most ethereal and weird forms, or when the wearer is really elevating the hell out of it, but usually both. And this is definitely one of her more grounded designs… and it isn’t getting any special sauce, at least not in this photo. Carrie looks totally disconnected from it, like an icy blond Kacey Musgraves. Maybe it’s just the angle? This one, which of course I found later, is better:

2021 Latin American Music Awards, Sunrise, United States - 15 Apr 2021

I still think there’s something here that’s not quite in harmony. Maybe I’m being too hard on the whole endeavor; I don’t think this is TERRIBLE or anything, not at all. But I keep thinking it needs more than just business-as-usual styling — slicker hair, or campier hair, perhaps? In general, I wonder if going straight to Iris Van Herpen was a bit like getting your license and hitting up the Indy 500.

What say ye?

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