Models, shmodels. Last night’s Costume Institute Gala, as many papers this morning would have you believe, was all about Madonna. Screw the vintage Scavullo photographs of Lauren Hutton, screw Brooke Shields’s infamous Calvins from the eighties, screw Gisele in her fabric scrap of a minidress, but most of all, screw Kate Moss’s turban. None of those things matter when Madonna shows up looking like a cleaning lady moonlighting as a stripper who washed her Xanax down with one too many margaritas before she changed outfits. And it was a genius, if not very attractive, fashion moment for her and Marc Jacobs, who designed the Louis Vuitton ensemble. Because on a night dedicated to the world’s most beautiful women, no one — especially a non-model — could win by trying to look the most beautiful. So looking a bit drunk before you actually got drunk wasn’t a bad way to steal attention from Kate Moss and her paltry headpiece. And she got plenty of attention. Here’s what some other news outlets thought of Madonna’s very special ensemble.
• The L.A. Times thought Madge looked “ready for Neverland … like the love child of Tinkerbell and Captain Hook.” The paper asks if Madonna’s hat was wackier than the one Sarah Jessica Parker wore to the Sex and the City movie premiere in London. We’d say so, but what say you? [Dish Rag/LAT]
• The London Times said the ball “ensured many new entries into the best and worst-dressed celebrity lists,” and cited Madonna as the “worst offender.” Her bunny ears made her “look more like a glamorous cleaning lady than a fashion icon.” [Times UK]
• British Marie Claire noted without comment that Madonna’s outfit “brought out her 80s side,” and suggested the pop star used it as a distraction from the difficulty she’s having adopting Mercy James from Malawi. The magazine also notes that Jesus Luz, who attended as Madge’s date, looked “super suave.” [British Marie Claire]
• The Insider writes that many “what the hell were they thinking” looks walked the carpet last night. André Leon Talley’s was the worst, but Madonna looked no less ridiculous, they argue, in her “Alice in Wonderland Louis Vuitton mess.” [Insider]
• The Daily Mail proclaims Madonna, Rihanna, and Stella McCartney the worst fashion disasters of the night. “[Madonna]’s bizarre mini-puffball outfit, thigh-high dominatrix style boots and starched fabric headdress from Louis Vuitton’s Autumn/Winter 2009 collection saw her veer into the realms of pantomime as she looked less like a Material Girl and more like a bonfide A-list fashion disaster.” Surprisingly, this paper was one of the few that still noticed Madonna’s “rippling muscles.” And some of us still remember Madonna as the original First Arms. [Daily Mail]
See a slideshow of red-carpet looks from the Costume Institute Gala.