Mosh pits never looked so chic as they did Monday night when Beyoncé, Rooney Mara, Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Tiger Woods and Anne Hathaway (along with a few hundred of their other A-list friends) all tried to get down with their punk-rock selves — to greater and lesser degrees — at the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute Gala in New York.
“I don’t think I’m very punk,” Mara admitted, wearing a white lace Givenchy gown that did seem more Little House on the Prairie than Sex Pistols. Although it sported some heavy-duty zippers.
The gala was tricky. What to wear to the social event of the season — which celebrates ripped tees, spiked hair and safety pins?
Sarah Jessica Parker went with a major mohawk, whipped up by Brit hat designer Philip Treacy. Sienna Miller sported a spiky leather jacket from Genevieve Jones. Kerry Washington added purple streaks to her hair “to match the dress,” she said, which was Vera Wang.
And January Jones — always eager to shed her ’60s-perfect Betty Draper image — got edgy with a black sequin mini (Genevieve Jones, again), with spike earrings and serious liquid eyeliner.
Kelly Osbourne, of course, seemed right at home, wearing a sashed and beaded Marc Jacobs number, with lavender hair swirled up and held in place with a gold, spiky hair piece. She was pinching herself that she was really here.
“I told my mother on the phone today, ‘Mom, you have no idea—I’m so excited.’”
No one here would be mistaken for Sid Vicious. But some dudes made an effort.
Take Eddie Redmayne, who looked sharp in a midnight blue tux and skull pocket square. He admitted the whole tux-meets-tough-ass merger of the evening was perplexing at best. Not that he was complaining.
“It’s such a surreal thing,” he said, looking off down the red carpet. “To be in a place where you think, ‘Oh, that looks like—’ and it actually tends to be them.”
Arm candy was in full force. Jason Sudeikis strolled arm in arm with Olivia Wilde. Tiger Woods with new (ish) girlfriend Lindsey Vonn. Tom Brady (who always looks like a deer in the headlights at these events) slipped by with supermodel Gisele Bundchen — and before you say, “Well, he’s out of his element, a New England Patriots quarterback and all,” there was Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks, chatting up a storm the entire length of the red carpet, pregnant wife Alexis Welch by his side.
Tommy Hilfiger donned a punk red plaid; Glee's Darren Criss, wore a navy/hunter tux by Richard Chai, with slick black satin lapels.
Renowned (and always sleek) hair stylist Fréderic Fekkai chuckled when asked if he perhaps harbored any rough and radical memories from his youth.
“My punk moment was so short,” he says, recalling a brief period when as a teen in France even he couldn’t resist the lure of the B-52s.
Homeland’s Damien Lewis was less reserved. He lifted up his foot to a railing to show off his silver-studded lace-ups.
“We’re feeling angry and full of rebellion,” he shouted. Then he smiled. “How else are we supposed to feel on punk night?”
Safety pinned and shredded sweet
For elegance with edge, look no further than Katie Holmes, whose grand, gravity-defying bouffant-turned-mohawk was matched by her serene pleated ivory gown from Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein, which trailed a long, shredded train.
Good ol’ 007’s Naomie Harris was also swathed and shredded in a grape Donna Karan gown so tight it took real effort to mount the stairs.
“I’m trying in this dress, but I can’t find my legs,” she said.
Tell it to Heidi Klum.
“I made it up the stairs, and I didn’t fall,” she said proudly to a group of reporters. Five minutes later, whoop! She almost took a spill.
If we’re giving awards for Most Statuesque, hands down it’s Uma Thurman, who sizzled in a killer “green bean” mermaid gown from Zac Posen with a peplum-like flare off the skirt reminiscent of a shark fin.
Anne Hathaway, in vintage Valentino — with the designer, in brown Corinthian leather, by her side — unleashed a new ’do (she's platinum!), which she claimed, “I’ve wanted to do forever, and this seemed like good timing.”
Valentino called her, she explained, requesting to dress her for the gala. She asked if he’d ever designed a punk dress.
“No, I don’t think so,” he replied. But they searched the archives and there it was, the closest thing to punk they could find: a sheer black vintage gown from 1992 with carefully placed beading.
“The exhibit is called ‘Punk: From Chaos to Couture,’” Hathaway remarked. “Well, if the beads pop off, it’ll be chaos on my couture.”
Speaking of which, Maggie Gyllenhaal had top-stick issues; one could perceive a more elaborate profile than perhaps she intended. Marc Jacobs and Sofia Coppola had pajama issues — unable to leave theirs at home, apparently, for how else to describe their PJ top-and-bottom ensembles?
Jacobs, though dressed for beddybye, was his usual astute self.
“What would punks be wearing today?” he was asked.
“A proper punk would probably be wearing a tux,” he surmised. “What can you do when all the rules have already been broken? Some gal who lives in a town nobody’s heard of, who doesn’t care about social media and doesn’t know how to work the Internet — who knows? These days, that might make her the most subversive one of all.”