What Can Dallas Learn from the CFDA and Met Gala Red Carpets?



As we gear up to track Fall 2013’s biggest trends (stay tuned for the return of Trending in August), two recent high profile fashion events hint at shifts in the formal wear category. With Big D’s own fall social whirl coming up, we’ll take a look at celebrity style from the CFDA Awards and the Met Gala.

Each year, the Council of Fashion Designers of America hosts an extravagant awards gala to honor the accomplishments of established and emerging designers. The occasion draws a crowd of luminaries from the worlds of both fashion and entertainment. Bold statements were abundant at this year’s CFDA Awards on June 3rd, and red carpet looks showed that bold doesn’t always equal obnoxious. Instead, bold can be elegant through color, cut, and design.

Among the ladies at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, all generations of power models were the show stoppers. Erin Wasson wore a white cut-out Alexander Wang dress, and Linda Evangelista showed grace under pressure in an Oscar de la Renta ball gown. Playing it safe yet sexy, Karolina Kurkova selected Michael Kors.



With clean hair and makeup, most women chose to go with summer sun-kissed skin. Glamour displayed in modest directions was the event’s theme. Even the risk takers in sheers and cut-outs were sophisticated, with goddess appeal. Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci’s sheer illusion masterpiece wowed on Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima. Rocking color like no one’s business was Kerry Washington in a lemon yellow gown by Jason Wu. No fashionable event is complete without Rooney Mara, who arrived at the CFDA Awards in a black laser-cut lace Calvin Klein creation by Francisco Costa.



The Met Ball, also known as the Met Gala, is an annual fête to celebrate the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s fashion exhibit at the Costume Institute. One of the hottest (and highest-priced) tickets in town, A-listers gather for this event from around the world.

At this year’s Met Ball on May 6th, we witnessed a fashionable extravaganza of the rich, famous, and beautiful paying homage to Punk: Chaos to Couture. The looks were a bit more Gotham City than Hollywood, and anti-glare goggles were necessary for viewing some outfits. Misfires came as guests took chances and gambled on being understood.  Some frowned upon Madonna and Beyoncé’s choices, but we especially wondered Kim Kardashian, what were you thinking?



Though many stars were criticized in the press for not acting their age, we thought several hit it right on the Met red carpet. We spotted silver and gold, sequins and metallics, but black was the main story of the night. Anne Hathaway vamped in a black vintage Valentino with perfect platinum hair. Keeping calm in an edgy Balenciaga cocktail dress with cutouts was Carey Mulligan. Our absolute favorite was Taylor Swift in J. Mendel and Lorraine Schwartz jewels.



Perfect also was Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, rocking swept-back hair with a gown of metallic Gucci wonderment. And here, once again Rooney Mara rocked it! Finally, we think that Sarah Jessica Parker lived up to her untouchable red carpet reputation. Her gold and black Philip Treacy headpiece and thigh-high tartan boots accessorize her Giles Deacon dress perfectly.



So, what can the gala-goers of our fair city gain from this look at two important red carpets? In recent seasons, Dallas women have started their sophisticated journey into simplicity. They are setting aside ball gowns with long trains, big prints, multi-colored brocades, and matching mother-of-the-bride jackets. Moving forward, knowing that less is still more, we expect to see continuing elegance in clean and streamlined gowns. We predict such looks will be noticed on local red carpets at the Crystal Charity Ball, TACA, Two X Two, The Dallas Winspear Opera House, and the Dallas Symphony.