The Costume Institute Gala 2011: Alexander McQueen “Savage Beauty”

The annual Costume Institute Gala’s MET Ball is fashion’s biggest extravaganza, this year it was in tribute to the late Alexander McQueen and there were plenty of guests in attendance who had some way over his illustrous career crossed paths, become great friends, walked in one of his shows or admired him from a distance.

The “Savage Beauty” exhibition is exquisite, I spent a fair amount of time going through the pieces on the MET Museum blog, the pictures, the video and the accompanying narrative from his close friends and colleagues play the part in it being pretty unique. I haven’t always paid close attention to Alexander McQueen and fashion for that matter only picking up my addiction in the past couple of years, so I feel I’ve missed out on some amazing shows such as “It’s Only a Game”, “VOSS” and “Widows of Culloden”. I advise you take a look they are things of beauty.

Those in attendance of 2011’s MET Ball had to pull out the stops to be the one most talked about, the dress that was most desired and the look of the night. And what a night it was for our very own British designer Stella McCartney, I’ve counted EIGHT women wearing her designs, that must be some kind of an achievement for any designer let alone a Brit. Stella is known for making dresses for women, perfectly sculpted, figure-hugging, or fiercely bright and statement-making. Every celebrity looked amazing in her gowns and for Iman a gold lame jumpsuit (she is Iman of course she can do what she wants).

Eva Mendes - although I like the colour and 70's style of the dress I'm still hoping Eva will return to her sexy roots rather than all the loose dresses she's been wearing recently. Rihanna - looks drop dead hot exactly as expected, the nude slash on the opposite side of the dress exposes just enough without been slutty. Her hair would have been amazing plaited without the long piece on the end.

Hailee Steinfield - I must say this is one of my favourites of the night, unexpectedly because it is understated glamour at its best. Capped sleeves and fitted bodice, works beautifully with the mini/maxi skirt. Iman - who cares, that crazy hair and the gold lame is what she's about.

Naomi Watts - simple column dress, with sheer sleeves is a sharp contrast to what Thandie Newton is wearing. Both stunning in equal ways, but Thandie pips Naomi to the post with the scallop lac detailing and sheer skirt. Sexy.

Amber Valletta - a classic Stella dress, the simple column skirt keeps the attention focused primarily on the detailed bodice, her pulled back hair and massive earrings add sultry glamour. Gwyneth Paltrow - we know that Gwynnie is bessie's with Stella so of course she would wear the designer, but even though the dress is gorgeous and I would kill for it, Gwyneth makes it dull and boring. This is her go to look, where are her pins from the Balmain dress a couple of years ago?

There were only a select few to actually wear McQueen, those I expected like Sarah Jessica Parker, Sarah Burton, Daphne Guinness, Naomi Campbell and Anna Dello Russo, as well as Gisele and Coco Rocha. Daphne Guinness actually got dressed in the window of Barneys department store, strange but true you can see the delightful video here. She wore an amazing feathered McQueen creation, probably out of her own very extensive private collection, it captured Guinness perfectly.

Sarah Jessica Parker truly stunned me in her McQueen gown, normally she is a quirky dresser, there’s always something added that makes it that little bit odd but her dress was beautiful. I’m not entirely familiar with Sarah Burton’s style, so her white floaty dress was probably well chosen and not too extreme.

I adore Anna Dello Russo’s outfit, perfectly fitted trousers, gold embroidery detail, crisp white shirt and cropped jacket, not a dress but so ADR. Apparently Naomi Campbell decided to chose the dress with the most fringing anybody ever saw and let it drown her, not to mention the awful hair, whoever did that should be fired.

Gisele looked lovely in her red gown, but it wasn’t outstanding for someone with a body as gorgeous as that. And the only saving grace on Coco Rocha’s black grecian-style dress are the feather’s adorned on the hip, a perfect touch to an otherwise simple dress.

Daphne Guinness

Sarah Jessica Parker

Anna Dello Russo

Naomi Campbell

Gisele Bundchen

Coco Rocha

Next up are my favourite people, Blake Lively, Beyonce and Diane Kruger. Each have their own unique style, Blake and Diane, if you read my blog enough you will know, are my style crushes so I was impressed that Diane returned to Jason Wu as she always looks gorgeous in his dresses. The thigh slit oozes sex but with the full length sleeves adds the classic glamour that Diane does so well and with the perfect Josh accessory on her arm she was never going to fail. Blake had Karl Lagerfeld as her accessory, and what else would she be dressed in other than Chanel? But the dress she turned up in wasn’t what I expected at all. Blake tends to stick to a pattern, mini and tight, boobs and tight, long and more than likely tight-ish, it works for her she has a killer body and it gets her noticed as always. You can see her style peeking through on one half of the dress and then a massive sash covers her other half, its different and I suppose sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone and that’s exactly what Blake has done and she pulls it off with aplomb.

Diane Kruger and Josh Jackson

Blake Lively

Hey B what’s that you can’t move? Beyonce rocked up in skintight Emilio Pucci, showing off her fantastic figure. She struggled to climb the stairs into the venue and even got booed when she didn’t stand and stop for waiting photographers. Who cares about them when you look that gorgeous, I think the keyhole over the breasts wasn’t needed as the dress really spoke for itself.


Kudos goes to Ginnifer Goodwin for shunning a designer dress and opting for custom made Topshop gown, what a coop for them. Her green dress is killer, love it, the cutout the full length brilliant choice. Jessica Szhor also chose Topshop from their Unique range which according to their Inside Out blog will be available in stores in September!

Ginnifer Goodwin and Jessica Szhor

Favourites of the night go to Christina Ricci in Zac Posen, Karlie Kloss looking majah 90’s in Dior, Brooklyn Decker in neon pink Calvin Klein, Liv Tyler in Givenchy Couture, (you’re going to hear lots about her soo)n Oh Land in 3.1 Philip Lim.

Christina Ricci and Karlie Kloss

Brooklyn Decker and Liv Tyler

Oh Land


2 thoughts on “The Costume Institute Gala 2011: Alexander McQueen “Savage Beauty”

  1. Pingback: MET Gala 2012 « The Importance of Being Oreo

  2. Pingback: Met Gala 2014 ‘Charles James: White Tie and Decorations’ | The Importance of Being Oreo

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