Perhaps Eddie Redmayne put it best when he tried to explain his navy blue tuxedo to model/host Hilary Rhoda last night: “You’re invited to a punk party and you’re told to turn up in a suit.” Indeed, it was a confusing night for the attendees of the 2013 Met Gala. You could either go whole-hog punk in a mohawk headpiece (Sarah Jessica Parker), mesh bodysuit (Miley Cyrus), or Blondie rig (Debbie Harry, Anne Hathaway), or ignore the theme altogether in favor of simple, pretty dresses (lots of people, but especially Kate Upton). Or even try perplexing, theme-averse spring florals (Anna Wintour, Kim Kardashian, and Mary-Kate Olsen).
Really, there was no way to win. Which is why we’d argue that the best way to look stylish, satisfied, and on-theme was to choose just one detail — an accessory, an eye makeup color, a signature styling quirk — that would add slight punk edge to an otherwise chic black-tie look. Too much punk and you might’ve seemed like a poser or, worse, worried about never getting any future coverage in Vogue (sorry, Madonna). Not enough edge and you might have been considered a sour-sport, destined to live the rest of your week wondering why the Internet ignored your perfectly pretty green goddess gown. So, we’re left with but one solution: the rare occasion when a happy medium, when hedging your bets, or towing the line, is actually the only way to stand out appropriately. Herewith, the 21 attendees who did that best.