Before we head to this year’s MeT Gala Red Carpet for all the fashion, beauty and hair fabulousness, we take a quick beauty history lesson. One of the all-time showstoppers, was Ms. Sarah Jessica-Parker in that custom Oscar De La Renta gown, complete with bouffant beehive hair and theatrical smokey eyes. That year’s soirée was one for the true classicist; it was the celebration of the exhibition, Charles James: Beyond Fashion. Mr James was a British-born designer, who, from the 1920s, worked in London, Paris and New York, where he eventually settled and came to be known as America’s First Couturier. He was a serious fan of the glamorous ball gown, sculpted lavishly in opulent fabrics.
Cue a succession of show-stopper dresses and some drop-dead-divine beauty looks to match…
Sarah Jessica Parker
Leave it to SJP to get the party started – she was first to step onto the ruby rug – and raise the style bar. Always one to respect a dress code, she wore a Charles James-worthy gown – designed by masterful couturier, the late Oscar de la Renta, it featured a black bodice and a billowing ivory skirt, with Oscar’s red insignia printed on the checked train. Her double-French-Twist-ish hair style was super-sized to echo the volume of her skirt, and was gorgeously offset by a few gardenias tucked underneath. As for her makeup, she gave her classic smoky eyes a pretty edge with a dab of pearly-white highlighter along the browbones. Perfection.
Okay, the model’s electric purple-blue lipstick* might not have been for everyone – and would have actually looked very much at home on the punky red carpet brief of the year before – but Ms Smalls gets snaps for pulling off an edgy look so elegantly. Key to success is the pared-back makeup everywhere else – bar a fabulous flurry of lashes – and a carefree fishtail braid to offset all the high-octane glamour going on.
* For a more wearable (read: less blue) version of this lippie, try Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Brazen, $50, from Estée Lauder.
If purple lips are too far out of the realm of your beauty possibilities, you must at least give the burgundy trend a whirl – especially since Queen Bey gave it her seal of approval. Beyoncé’s take is a layered-up, lacquered-up lipstick, which adds extra dimension and richness to her glitzy gown and headwear. As with the purple pouted look above, there’s little need to over-work eyes when lips are this loud … and, of course, when said eyes are practically covered up with a veil.
The glamorously Gucci-clad actress didn’t try any crazy beauty tricks, instead, sticking to the classic screen-siren rule book: side-parted rippling waves à la Veronica Lake, fluttering lashes and an ultra-femme, full-bodied lipstick. There was one slight deviation: instead of the usual red lips that accompany this look, Blake went for a fleshy pink lipstick, to work more in tone with her beaded gown, and keep the overall look on the subtle side of sexy. Nicely played, Ms Lively.
Known as an it-girl, Burberry model and then much-younger girlfriend of Bradley Cooper, Suki suddenly looked every bit the grown-up, glamorous super-star she wanted to be, when she stepped onto the Met Gala’s carpet. She paired her fairytale-like frock – think countless tiers of pale pink tulle cascading from a strapless bustier – with a softly tousled up-do. She balanced the romanticism with a strong and modern makeup look: matte red lips, a dusting of taupe powder to lightly define the eyes, and a creamy complexion, uniform in tone except for a soft contouring of the cheeks. Hollywood, take note, this beauty means business.
SNEAK PEEK AT THE HOTTEST NEW FASHION FILM ON THE MET GALA
Hot off the press, we have the exclusive first-glimpse at the new fashion documentary on the Met Gala, The First Monday In May. Will be released 12th May. If you loved The September Issue, you’ll fall head over your stilettos for this.