The Symphony Style File

Today we are mostly gushing over the Met Gala 2011 Red Carpet

Last night Anna Wintour hosted her annual Met Gala in New York City, the Vogue Editor-in-Chief was joined by Salma Hayek and her husband, luxury brand mogul Francois-Henri Pinault, in unveiling the new exhibit. This year’s event paid homage to the late, great designer Alexander McQueen and was attended by his successor Sarah Burton; who has recently captured the world’s gaze by designing the wedding dress of the century for Catherine Middleton’s marriage to Prince William. Notable absents at the 2011 event included Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss and short hemlines… join us as we gush over this year’s Met Gala fashion triumphs….

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, CBE (17 March 1969 – 11 February 2010)
The Costume Institute Gala’s celebration of Alexander McQueen’s life and work at The Metropolian Museum of Art is aptly titled ‘Savage Beauty’. As Hilary Alexander so wonderfully surmises, “From his Central Saint Martin’s postgraduate collection in 1992, called ‘Jack the Ripper Stalks his Victims’ (first bought in its entirety by the late Isabella Blow and, on her death, acquired by Daphne Guinness), through to his work with Givenchy, and to his last fully-realised collection, ‘Plato’s Atlantis’, spring/summer 2010, the exhibition is an absorbing, astounding walk through the extraordinary convolutions of his mind, and the technical virtuosity he could summon up in order to turn his ideas and thoughts into reality.” Predictably many of the fashion luminaries in attendance at this year’s Met Gala proudly wore McQueen, including Sarah Burton (obviously), Daphne Guinness, Anna Dello Russo, Gisele, Naomi Campbell, Sarah Jessica Parker and Salma Hayek.

Stella McCartney
was honoured with a total of seven starlets donning her creations for the occasion (including the designer herself). A pregnant Kate Hudson looked radiant in a nude, bejewelled gown and Madonna’s McCartney blue silk dress was a far cry from the haute bunny ears and Louis Vuitton ensemble she wore back in 2009.

Model Doutzen Kroes looked stunning in a floor-grazing Giambattista Valli red gown, whilst designer and mini-mogul Mary Kate Olsen also donned rouge, but opted for vintage instead of one of her own designs.

Symphony designer Prabal Gurung (whose Spring/Summer 2011 collection is exclusively available at Symphony now) dressed singer Ciara and actress Demi Moore.

The Met Gala offers designers a wonderful opportunity to show the world who inspires them. Designer Tory Burch showed up on the arm of Kanye West, who was wearing a custom-made Burch suit. Zac Posen stood beside a gothic Christina Ricci wearing one of his magnificent gowns, Karl Lagerfeld showed off his latest muse and Chanel campaign girl Blake Lively and Symphony designer, Thakoon dressed and accompanied the rising starlet Mia Wasikowska

Fairytale romance presented in the form of tulle, lace, feathers and sequins dominated with Fergie looking every inch the princess in Marchesa, Ashley Greene in a custom-made Donna Karen gown, Dakota Fanning in flower-embellished Valentino, Elizabeth Banks in head-to-toe gold sequin dress by Tommy Hilfiger and Jennifer Hudson flaunting her astounding new physique in a two-tone Vera Wang number. Model Jessica Stam came over all high-school-prom in a Tommy Hilfiger powder pink gown whilst Miranda Kerr channeled her inner-ballerina in Marchesa. Liv Tyler resembled a magnificent swan (NB: we are not talking in the Bjork- Marjan Pejoski-Oscars-2001 sense) in a Givenchy Couture gown which featured a trim of daffodil-yellow feathers. Chanel Iman looked resplendent in a ladylike lace ensemble by Dolce & Gabbana.

Black was also a popular choice this year with Ashley Olsen wearing a black Christian Dior Haute Couture gown with contrasting beige balloon sleeves and actress du jour Emma Stone looked radiant in a full length Lanvin black gown with a muted grey floral print. Diane Kruger wore a show-stopping Jason Wu gown complete with thigh-high split, whilst Michelle Williams went for a demure approach to black – opting for a full length Miu Miu gown emblazoned with gold birds in flight. Penelope Cruz arrived with designer Oscar de la Renta and presented her trademark elegant style in the form of a full-length black tiered gown by the veteran designer. Singer Janelle Monae went against the grain of full-length offerings and instead opted for a monochromic suit which was head-to-toe Chanel.

Other starlets channeling Christina Ricci’s Wednesday-Addam’s-gothic-style (who wore Zac Posen – see above) included Bee Shaffer, who opted for a mahogany Balenciaga column gown, whilst her mother Anna Wintour wore a suitably amazing couture Chanel sequin dress. The enigmatic Kristen Stewart played up her dark side, wearing a blood-red embroidered gown which Proenza Schouler had specially made for her, whilst Taylor Swift who looked other-worldly in couture J Mendel. Beyonce Knowles make a surprising choice with a high-neck, décolleté-exposing Pucci fishtail gown.

A Dress on display at the exhibition, take from The Horn of Plenty Alexander McQueen of Autumn/Winter 2009–10

The spring 2011 Costume Institute exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, is on view May 4 through July 31. The exhibition celebrates the late Mr. McQueen’s extraordinary contributions to fashion.

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The highlights from the Royal Wedding

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Music Monday

You Can’t Hurry Love submitted by Erin Fetherston.

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The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day, April 29th 2011

The most coveted wedding dress commission of the century went to Alexander McQueen’s Creative Director Sarah Burton. Burton became McQueen’s right hand woman after joining his label as an intern in 1996. She presented her first womenswear collection without him at Paris Fashion Week shortly after his shocking suicide in October last year – drawing praise for infusing her mentor’s unique style with a new element of femininity. Her work is said to have caught Miss Middleton’s eye when she designed an off-the-shoulder wedding dress for Sara Buys, a fashion journalist who married Tom Parker Bowles, the son of the Duchess of Cornwall, in 2005.

Catherine wows in a stunning lace creation by Alexander McQueen Creative Director Sarah Burton

The lace applique for the bodice and skirt was handmade by the Royal School of Needlework, with individual flowers hand-cut from lace (in shapes of roses, thistle, daffodils and shamrocks). The dress is made of ivory and white satin gazar with a skirt in the shape of an opening flower. The satin bodice, narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips in a McQueen signature, is based on Victorian corsetry. The back is finished with 58 gazar and organza covered buttons.

Bride and Maid of Honour both in McQueen

The veil, made of ivory silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers, is held in place by a 1936 Cartier tiara, lent to Ms. Middleton by the Queen. (It was bought for her mother by the Duke of York and presented to Queen Elizabeth on her 18th birthday.) Ms. Middleton’s earrings—shaped like oak leaves with a pave set diamond acorn suspended in the center—are by Robinson Pelham. The shoes are also by McQueen.

Catherine Middleton in McQueen for the evening reception

Catherine changed into a strapless ivory gown and angora bolero, which was also designed by Sarah Burton, for the evening reception. Her sister and Maid of Honour, Pippa Middleton, also made a change – but this time to a custom-made Temperley London emerald green gown.

Pippa Middleton arrives in a custom-made Temperley London gown to the evening reception

David Beckham in Ralph Lauren, Victoria Beckham in her own design

Samantha Cameron in Burberry dress, Erdem accessories and Aldo shoes

Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton in a McQueen design

Princess Ameerah Al Tawil, wife of Saudi Prince Al Walid bin Talal wore a custom made Zuhair Muard Couture dress especially made for the occasion. The light rosewood satin with silk lace overcoat was decorated with hand embroidered organza flowers.

Prince William and his best man Prince Harry in traditional military dress

Princess Eugenie of York with Princess Beatrice of York, in Valentino Haute Couture.

HRH Prince Charles in traditional military dress

Queen Elizabeth II

Carole Middleton in Catherine Walker

Prince Pavlos with Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, in Louis Vuitton.

Catherine Middelton, The Duchess of Cambridge, did her own make-up on the day

Fiona Cairns with the 8-tiered traditional wedding cake she created for the royal couple

The couple also commissioned McVities to create a chocolate cake for their reception


William and his new wife leave Westminster Abbey in the 1902 State Landau, just as his parents did thirty years earlier.

Prince William’s parents on their wedding day

Well wishers came from all over the globe to witness the historical occasion

The Balcony Appearance, a tradition which started in 1840 at Queen Victoria’s wedding

The newlyweds drove out of the gates of Buckingham Palace in Prince Charles’ vintage Aston Martin DB6 convertible, festooned with balloons and bearing an L plate.

Photos: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images // Hugo Burnand / Official Royal Wedding Photographer

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