The worst dressed lists won't have the Met Ball to kick around this year — at least, not for the ladies. Last year's punk-themed extravaganza was responsible for many a curious, $5,000-gown interpretation of punk rock (not to mention Miley's attempt at liberty spikes). But, this year, the Met's Costume Institute has decided to pay tribute to a designer much more at home on the red carpet — legendary American couturier Charles James.
Female attendees are all set here. James, who died in 1978 and whose namesake label is now defunct, was known for his dramatic evening wear. So, for ladies, it's "have glamorous jewel-tone gown, will travel." For men, things are a little trickier. The dress code calls for “White Tie and Decorations.” According to Alan Flusser's menswear bible Style and the Man, white tie is "the king of all male civilian garments," a descriptor that should tip you off that we're squarely in Fopland here. Per Flusser, proper execution of the look consists of a black, knee-length tailcoat; matching trousers with satin stripe or side braiding; white piqué waistcoat; wing-collar, white evening shirt; white bow tie; and black, patent opera pumps, preferably with grosgrain ribbon. Oh, and a silk top hat and white gloves — because, what are we, farmers?
As for the "decorations" part? We're curious to see how attendees interpret. These pieces of flair range from medals and stars to actual sashes — we're talking Duke of Edinburgh-level bedecking. Decorations are typically reserved for state functions or worn in the presence of royalty, but, in this case, Anna counts.
For men, it's a downright dandy look that's a far cry from the Tom Ford tuxes that have been de rigeur in past years. While we're already excited by the prospect of seeing Pharrell or Nicolas Ghesquière arrive dressed like Fred Astaire, we're guessing not all men will pull the look off with such grace. Expect some horrifying faux pas in the form of lace-up shoes or black suspenders. Also, expect at least one lady to blow minds by showing up in a gender-bending outfit, like Marlene Dietrich in Morocco — any bets on who it will be? (WWD)