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Met Gala: The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Red Carpet

Bee and AnnaPhoto: Wire Image

This morning feels like the day after prom, except we didn’t just lose our virginity and we’re not dying of hangover (kidding — or are we?). Last night at the Costume Institute gala, the Soirée for the World’s Most Fabulous People in the World’s Most Fabulous Dresses (or, this year, perhaps the Bat-Cave Ball), we worked the red carpet like a street corner on Saturday night. That is to say, we didn’t actually attend. But we already know what happened inside anyway: Victoria Beckham smiled on the down low, everyone was jealous of Katie Holmes’s bob and Gisele’s body, and guests politely picked at their food. And it’s not like the red carpet wasn’t without its humor: Just take Lady Wintour’s alien-walk entrance, for starters.

Ever the dutiful hostess, Anna was the first to arrive at about a quarter till seven with her daughter, Bee Shaffer. Like mother like daughter, the pair arrived wearing complicated (and thus impractical, though if there ever were a night…) gowns. Wintour wore a floor-length silver Chanel Haute Couture number with what looked like puffy antlers attached to the hips. Or maybe they were Princess Leia buns. There was a distinct Star Wars vibe going. She slowly climbed up the empty red-carpeted stairs, gripping the pillowy attachments at her sides as if to help swivel her hips, an act she methodically performed her entire walk up the stairs.

On the other side of the disorientingly wide red carpet, Bee lumbered up the stairs in perhaps the most voluminous gown of the night, a purple strapless number with leafy appliqués spilling from the bodice. More than one security guard fanned Bee’s train out behind her and helped her up the stairs, lest conniving tulle and/or gravity suck her back down. She trudged along, leaving Mom to fend for herself with a few select camera crews. One such reporter even had the audacity to hold a Batman mask up to Wintour’s face. Wintour promptly retreated to the other side of the carpet.

Predictably (and unfairly), the most stunning attendees of the evening were the supermodels. Gisele Bündchen looked perfect in a backless neutral Versace gown with side cutouts. In person, she obnoxiously looks as though she’s never had so much as a chocolate chip in her life. Chanel Iman also looked stunning in a swirly chartreuse belted Phillip Lim gown. Since she’s home-schooled, this was her version of prom. Guess she missed that whole awkward high-school phase, huh?

What superhero are we going for here?Photo: Getty Images

Kimora Lee Simmons wore one of our least favorite outfits of the night, a Kevan Hall gown she said that she helped design with André Leon Talley. Thank goodness no children with sticks were around because they might have mistaken her for an African piñata and started whacking her. She said Talley himself zipped her into the dress, which was hand-painted in Africa.

Talley was the last to arrive with his date, Venus Williams. Sadly the man who routinely wears couture muumuus and glossy navy crocodile jackets — and whose outfit we were most excited to see — was the most disappointing. He just wore a suit. To the superhero-themed ball. Thankfully everyone else made up for it.

Related: Video: Red-Carpet Superheroes at the Met Gala
Party Lines Slideshow: Met Costume Institute Gala

Met Gala: The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Red Carpet