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When bad fashion happens to good people

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Did you mean to look like a giant jellyfish? Red carpet blunders serve as a great reminder that when it comes to important fashion might feel boring but it actually means knowing what works for you.

I need to talk about the MET Gala. Just for a couple of minutes. It has become to red carpets what weddings are to the rest of the world - an excuse to lose your mind and dress like a character in a fairy tale. Or an alien.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about – I applaud you: The Met Gala is an annual event hosted by US Vogue editor Anna Wintour at the Metropolitan Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. This year it celebrated an exhibition titled ‘Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations’. To ensure everything looked just perfect and because she can, Anna insisted that her Vogue team wear 'Schiaparelli pink' in tribute. And no, I’m not joking.

The Met is the place where couture collides with Hollywood and creates the best dressed, most glamorous red carpet of the year. The guest list includes everyone that’s invited to the Oscars plus supermodels. It’s pretty damn fancy. The media wall is huge running along the steep steps of the museum's entrance. This isn’t so photographers have a good vantage point, it’s to showcase the over-the-top gowns that often require four or five metres of earth space like Diana’s bridal train at Westminster Abbey.

Have I conveyed the scale adequately?


On balance the event brings out the very best in fashion but when the sea is super-chic bad floats to the top like a cigarette packet in the baby pool at Bondi - you can’t miss it. I find it somewhat distressing when celebrities get it wrong at events such as these. It’s like brides who decide it's a good idea to try something ‘new’ on their wedding day. Why?

Looking good is a big part of a celebrity's day job and this should mean someone on their team giving them a healthy cup of honesty before they hit the red carpet. Surely this would be preferable to being photographed on the 'Worst Dressed' list and wearing it in the Google cache forever?

There wasn't a lot of honesty floating around in Florence Welch's hotel room. Gorgeous, talented, a red–head ... so much potential and yet she looked like the doll that covers the toilet roll at your grandma’s house. Or a giant jellyfish. Yes it was Alexander McQueen but it was also really terrible.

Equally disappointing was Cameron Diaz. She knows better. Exquisite face, rocking body, funny woman and then she goes and puts on an ill-fitting silver column dress with a hair-do that looked like the scene in Something About Mary where she’s uses Ben Stiller’s semen as hair gel. Cameron is a red carpet veteran, a Dress Legend, it baffles me how she could get it so blah.

And what about Christina Ricci? If someone, as in her stylist, did this to her intentionally then they should be fired and sued. There aren't enough adjectives to describe the ridiculousness of her outfit. She looked like they’d grabbed a piece of ribbon from Land of The Giants and turned her into a present for the Fashion Gods. Or maybe a sacrifice?

When the sea is chic bad floats to the top like a cigarette packet in the baby pool at Bondi - you can’t miss it".

Finally there was poor, old Kirstin Dunst wearing a mustard suit dress which was appropriate for an office. In 1935. It was too matronly, too retro ... be young while you still can Kikki. Wear your hair loose or try a design from this decade. Maybe call Carey Mulligan's stylist?

I was talking to my friend Wendy about this last night and she said that the only thing missing from most of the outfits at the MET was a palomino pony. Wendy is very funny but she’s also very right.

Lord knows I've worn many, many pony deserving outfits. Clothes that were utterly wrong. Wrong for my age. Wrong for my body shape. Repeatedly. But red carpet blunders on this level serve as a great reminder that when it comes to important fashion moments in your life safe might feel boring but safe actually means knowing what works for you (hello Gwyneth and Gisele).

A reminder that there’s no shame in always looking the same. Or in playing it safe. In fact, it's really just another word for signature style.

Paula Joye is Editor of www.lifestyled.com.au or you follow her on Twitter and Facebook.