The Met Gala Ball, 2016 – Jo Bayley Asks, Who Wore It Best?

HiddlestonEvery year on The First Monday in May the fashion world comes out to play on the most coveted couture red carpet around, The Met Gala Ball in New York.

There is no hotter ticket in town, and when those tickets are USD$30,000 per person or USD$75,000 for a table its no wonder celebs and fashionistas are falling over themselves for an invite.

I just can’t imagine being in that room, it’s all too much!

And what would I wear???

Well, call me old fashioned, but to me white tie, worn handsomely by actor Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager), is very traditional.

It calls for a fabulous frock for the ladies and a stunning suit and white tie (as the brief stipulates) for the gentlemen.

It seems that’s just me these days, and the rules have been re-written, anything goes in 2016.

Lagerfield 2

Karl Lagerfeld (French, born Hamburg, 1938) for House of Chanel (French, founded 1913) Wedding ensemble (back view), autumn/winter 2014–15 haute couture, courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Courtesy of CHANEL Patrimoine Collection Photo © Nicholas Alan Cope

So this year, the theme being Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, I was fascinated to see how it would be interpreted into couture.

Hand made versus machine made, it’s a very interesting concept.

170 ensembles dating from the early 20th century to the present when the hand (manus) met morphed to the machine (machina) at the onset of mass production

In a world with disposable clothes, and trends being churned out and turned over at a rate of knots, we can wear the latest looks copied straight from the runway.

Many are created in third world sweat shops, straight to High street stores.

Prices are low and turnover is high, and these factors together put many artisans out of business.

Not to say that this is what the exhibition is about, but more to the point it highlights what can be done by machine to strengthen couture.

What it does show is how technology can stand side by side with traditional methods, laser cutting and lace, thermo shaping and pleating as examples.

Hopefully this can broaden our thought process and acceptance, to what will become new traditions and trades.

So how did this theme translate on the red carpet?

Alicia Vikander

Alicia Vikander wearing Louis Vuitton Sleeveless Dress Featuring Red Leather Bustier Top and Asymmetrical Embellished Skirt Louis Vuitton Combat Boots

I have to be honest and say I was rather disappointed by most of the looks this year. It seemed quite contrived and predictable, but that being said there were a few looks that I adored

Claire Danes

Claire Danes in Zac Posen, Met Gala 2016, Red Carpet – photo Jamie McCarthy FilmMagic

My best dressed of the night was the delightful Claire Danes.

Dressed by Zac Posen, this gown was divine.

The magic was in the detail.

A seemingly simple frock, the top a fitted bustier teamed with a full skirt in gossamer organza was one of a kind. A hand sewn piece laden with fibre optics, it literally lit up the room!

Danes Glimmer

Claire Danes in Zac Posen, Met Gala 2016, Photo Dimitrios Kambouris – Getty Images

It was spectacular and glamorous. Love, love, love!

Next up Nicole Kidman in Alexander McQueen and Fred Leighton jewels.

It’s no secret I adore the moon and the stars, and Kidman was dressed in my favourite print.

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman, out of this world…

So really I couldn’t go past this celestial gown. If I had an invitation this would have been my choice.

Perfection all the way.

MET Costume Institute Gala 2016

Anna Wintour and Bee Schaffer, Met Gala 2016

Also in Alexander McQueen was Bee Schaffer accessorising with Fred Leighton headband and rings, complimented by Macklowe earrings.

Symmetrical blossoms cascaded down this stunning gown in a variation of colours.

Oh so stylish.

Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner in Atelier Versace Dress at 2016 Met Gala in New York City

Kendall Jenner in Atelier Versace and Lorraine Schwartz jewels.

Fresh, fun and modern, while I’m indifferent to the Kardashians et al.. it’s not about them its all about the dress and Kendall rocks this dress.

The shape and the colours are like a stained glass column and I love the modernity of this piece. Fabulous!

Last, but certainly not least is the gorgeous Emma Watson.

Wearing Calvin Klein Collection with Paige Novice and Walters Faith jewels, this strong young woman always shines in my eyes and this year is no exception.

Monochrome glory made from recycled materials, super clever and super stylish. 10 out of 10.

A special mention to Anna Wintour in Chanel, featuring a lattice pattern and stunning fringing she always nails it in a subtle way, and why shouldn’t she.

Wintour drives this fundraiser for the Met and is fearless in her passion for this institution. I admire her tenacity and passion for fashion.

She has truly pioneered fashion as a new art form.

So, there you have it, my take on the 2016 Met Gala Ball.

Who knows what 2017 holds, and honestly it excites me every year.

Emma Watson

Emma Watson attends the Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City

Fashion constantly evolves and ignites imagination, so whatever next years theme is, I can’t wait!

Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor, The Culture Concept Circle, 2016

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