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Costume Institute Gala a Relaxed Affair with Oprah at Helm
Sarah Jessica Parker Oprah Winfrey & Oscar de la Renta Sienna Miller & Jude Law
Sarah Jessica Parker
Oscar de la Renta & Oprah Winfrey
Sienna Miller & Jude Law
L'Wren Scott & Mick Jagger Taylor Swift Donatella Versace
L'Wren Scott & Mick Jagger
Taylor Swift
Donatella Versace
Marion Cotillard Liv Tyler, Stella McCartney, Kate Hudson Jessica Biel & Justin Timberlake
Marion Cotillard
Liv Tyler, Stella McCartney & Kate Hudson
Jessica Biel & Justin Timberlake

New York, May 3, 2010 – “Oprah does represent to me the complete American woman, an incredible work ethic, energy, she loves philanthropy; I mean, she’s just everywoman,” Anna Wintour told reporters as she entered the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute gala on Monday.  This year’s exhibition is American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity, so Oprah Winfrey was the perfect gala co-chair.

Oprah arrived on the arm of Oscar de la Renta, who designed her dress for the ball.  “Being able to celebrate the American woman with the quintessential American designer is the most fun,” a beaming Winfrey said.  “I feel like Pretty Woman.”

And Oprah’s trademark warmth seemed to permeate this very chic evening.  The famous attendees seemed to be more relaxed than in previous years, laughing and air-kissing as they made their way up the museum’s steps.  Eva Longoria Parker joked about her tight-fitting dress.  Maggie Grace laughed about the sticky East Coast weather.  “It’s very English weather.  It can’t make up its mind if it’s really going to rain or not," she said.

Emma Watson told Burberry designer Christopher Bailey that she wanted her dress for the gala to be white and off-the-shoulder.  “Christopher did the rest and brought it to life and made it cool and young,” the Harry Potter star said. 

Michael Kors recalled the first time he’d met Oprah.  “The first time I did Oprah’s show, I almost had a heart attack,” Kors said, laughing.  “The audience made me crazy, but she’s one of a kind.”

Oprah really does seem to put everyone at ease, and perhaps most telling, even celebrities who normally avoid the media completely joked and schmoozed with the reporters lining the museum stairs.  Kirsten Dunst chattered about her Rodarte for Gap dress, which was to be auctioned off along with others to benefit the Costume Institute.  Mariska Hargitay was unusually easygoing; she’d just met Oprah a couple of weeks previously at an awards luncheon.  “That was a thrill,” Hargitay gushed.

And Katie Couric, who arrived a bit late, and who is normally unapproachable at red carpets events, was relaxed and gracious and laughing; and no, she told us that she didn’t wear her designer gown on the CBS Evening News broadcast; she changed into afterward.

Scots & Scotch at Dressed to Kilt
Sean Connery Joan Jett Mike Myer
Sir Sean Connery
Joan Jett
Mike Myers
Alan Cumming Kyle M Kellie Pickler
Alan Cumming
Kyle MacLachlan
Kellie Pickler

New York, April 5, 2010 – Hot Scots and wannabe Scots donned tartan at the Dressed to Kilt fashion show, one of our favorite events each year.  This year’s theme was “Mad for Scotland,” celebrating eccentric style and individuality. 

Looking mad (and having fun) on the runway were Joan Jett in a cone-shaped bra and feathered headdress, Mike Myers in a kilt with sneakers, and model Marcus Schenkenberg, who covered his legs with a floor-length garment, but made up for that by going bare-chested.  Scottish footballer Thom Evans showed off his soccer ball on the runway, while fellow Scot Alan Cumming wore a kilt-suit with tall boots.  Kellie Pickler and Kelly Bensimon both opted for short plaid dresses. 

Not all the models dressed eccentrically.  Kyle McLachlan paired a traditional kilt with a turtleneck, and Al Roker, Sam Waterston, Olympic speed skater Shani Davis and Eric Trump (the Donald’s son) all wore traditional blazers over their kilts – must be what guys wear to the office in Glasgow. 

Sir Sean and Lady Micheline Connery hosted, and the crowd grew more and more rowdy thanks to copious amounts of Glenfiddich. 

On the Scene: SAG Awards
Betty White Sandra Bullock Jeff Bridges
Betty White
Sandra Bullock
Jeff Bridges
Tina Fey Drew Barrymore Christoph Waltz & Diane Kruger
Tina Fey
Drew Barrymore
Christoph Waltz & Diane Kruger
Justin Timberlake Sophia Loren Julianna Margulies
Justin Timberlake
Sophia Loren
Julianna Margulies

Los Angeles, January 23, 2010 – There wasn’t a tool belt in sight at the SAG Awards, where the entertainment industry’s working stiff union workers pay tribute to their own.  The skies cleared after days of rain, and Hollywood stars trod the red carpet dressed to the nines.  (Although none of the actors from the movie Nine won anything.)

Despite her moving Best Actress acceptance speech, Sandra Bullock displayed her comedic talents in presenting Betty White with a Lifetime Achievement Award: “She starred in four different television shows called The Betty White Show. Four. Most people would stop naming shows after themselves after the third one.”  (Bullock is turning out to be an entertaining presence of this year’s awards circuit, after kissing Meryl Streep at the Critics’ Choice Awards.)  Backstage, Bullock said she was surprised by her SAG win.  “My money was on Meryl,” she said. 

The 88-year-old White was no slouch in the comedy department herself, coming back at Bulock with, “Isn’t it heartening to see how far a girl as plain as she is can go?”  White continued to crack jokes, and working a high-slit dress, told reporters backstage, “You’ve got to use everything you possibly can!”

Other notable union label winners included Drew “Um” Barrymore, Jeff Bridges, Julianna Margulies, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Bacon and Mo’Nique

Patti Smith & Steven Sebring: Objects of Life Opening
Albert Maysles, Steven Sebring, Michael Stipe Patti Smith
Albert Maysles, Steven Sebring & Michael Stipe
Patti Smith
Zac Posen, Jessica Lange Kellt Cutrone
Zac Posen & Jessica Lange
Kelly Cutrone

New York, January 6, 2010 – Patti Smith and Steven Sebring collaborated for eleven years on the documentary Patti Smith: Dream of Life, which aired on PBS on December 30.  The two artists just put together an exhibition, Objects of Life, consisting of a range of works, some collaborative, some individually executed, in a celebration of the odyssey that the filming itself was.  The installation at Chelsea’s Robert Miller gallery includes significant objects belonging to Smith - her childhood dress, her Land 250 Polaroid camera, and a tambourine made by Robert Mapplethorpe - along with Sebring’s monumental photographs of these objects.

The opening night was a revolving door of celebrities and artists.  We noticed Sam Shephard wandering around the gallery, later on, his lady Jessica Lange joined him.  Filmmaker Albert Maysles, artist Ryan McGinley, Zoe Kravitz and fashion designers Calvin Klein, Zac Posen, John Bartlett, Reed Krakoff, Nicole Miller and Nanette Lepore all popped in.  Kelly Cutrone waltzed in with photographers Mary Ellen Mark and Roxanne Lowit.  Once Patti’s dear friend Michael Stipe arrived, she led him through the entire exhibit, and the two remained inseparable for the rest of the evening. 

Photos: Caroline Torem Craig

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