When asked at this year’s Met Gala if she hoped guests would embrace interesting or sexy outfit choices, Anna Wintour said: both.
But of course most A-list glamorous types choose sexy. They want to look as gorgeous as possible because they know all eyes are on them. n the context of our modern everyone’s-a-critic culture, why risk putting a Balenciaga-clad foot wrong? Better be safe than sorry. Because sexy most always means hot; while interesting can be a euphemism for weird.
To dress in, say, a glittering crocheted catsuit like Bella Hadid’s is to encourage headlines that compare you to a mad granny. Kendall Jenner and Bella’s sister Gigi both ended up on USA Today’s ‘Worst Dressed’ list for making bold choices. And Madonna in camouflage Jeremy Scott may well pop up in your inbox for all the wrong reasons.
Katy Perry got away with dolling herself up like a murderous bride because Wintour had a hand in it – and Perry performed at the gala. Her provocative look was part of the entertainment.
Without the excuse of a stage costume, pulling off avant-garde fashion is no easy feat. You need the right attitude as well as the right stylist (Rihanna’s BTW is Mel Ottenberg). It’s a perilous business, fraught with the very real danger that you will look like a try-hard wally carrying your cut-off dreadlocks as an accessory.
All of which is why we should celebrate Ri-ri.
This evening, the singer looked more demented than all those examples put together, but she also looked exactly right. Exactly right for the night – her outfit was by Comme des Garcons, which was being celebrated at the gala. Exactly right for the times – fashion is in a maximalist moment (despite Kim Kardashian’s rather lovely minimalist makeunder). And exactly right for her: fierce, original, fabulous, and absolutely in control.
Rihanna tamed a dress that would have defeated anyone else.
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