Gwyneth Paltrow in Valentino: she looks happy here but she hasn't gotten inside yet!
Several years ago I went to charity balls all the time, not as a guest, but as a model showing and talking up fur coats donated as silent auction items. The parties were mostly held in local casinos, and because this is Reno and not Las Vegas, there are no Chihuly chandeliers, three-tier artificial waterfalls, tigers, or Venetian canals in their lobbies. In fact, everything looks a little tired, especially the carpets. The people who attended those parties were a mixed bunch, old rich, new rich, no rich, wearing whatever they thought passed for party clothes. They, and I, generally had a very good time, especially those people at the "lifestyle" convention. Google it and use your imagination.
Anyhoo, looking at the photos from the Met Gala red carpet, with its tired old red carpet and its motley assemblage of alleged celebrities, made me recall my home-town parties. The big difference was that most of the people at the Met Gala didn't seem to be having a good time at all. Maybe it was all that black pseudo-punk eye makeup that made the women look so grim, or maybe their feet hurt, or maybe they were hungry from starving to fit into their sometimes really ugly couture outfits and angry because they knew they couldn't actually eat at the event for fear of getting a spot on the borrowed garment. Who knows?
It is known, however, that Gwyneth Paltrow didn't have a good time at the Gala, and her remarks about the event being overcrowded, hot, and disorganized got almost as much press as Kim K's couch-impersonation photos. She was thoroughly dissed for those comments, too, because GP is the woman everybody loves to hate; how else could she be voted "most beautiful" and "most hated" celebrity in one year? (Okay, I know how she was voted most beautiful. People Magazine always puts celebrities with some huge project to promote on the cover of their "most beautiful," or "sexiest" issues. Iron Man 3 was released around the time People published its most beautiful issue, Gwyneth is in Iron Man 3, hence Gwyneth is the most beautiful.) One TV commentator called GB's complaints "rich girl problems," implying that she should be grateful for being invited at all. A columnist chided her for daring to piss off Anna Wintour, Vogue Magazine's editor-in-chief and thus ensuring that she'd never be invited to the Gala again and endangering her status as a Vogue cover girl. (Now that's what I'd call rich girl problems.)
But I have to give GP a pass on her comments because neither she, nor any of the other, celebrities at the Gala were, strictly speaking, guests. They, their host, and the corporate sponsors who actually ponied up the money, were all involved in a complicated dance of self-promotion. The Met Gala is supposed to be elite, exclusive, artistic, a chance to rub shoulders with A-list actors, socialites, and fashionistas. When Gwyneth shows up, Vogue's power and prestige is enhanced – look, we called and an Oscar-winning most beautiful actress answered! – and some designer gets his dress photographed. In return, GP's reputation as a woman of taste gets a boost, and she can trade on that to get more covers, more dresses, and more Goop. This year, though, I'd say she didn't get the benefit of her bargain.
Anna Wintour supposedly has veto power over the attendees, so not every Tom, Dick and Harriet with $250,000 to pay for a table can buy their way in. It was reported that Ms. Wintour barred the cast of the Real Housewives of New York, no doubt about to attend on Bravo's dime and fixin' to brawl, and Kris Kardashian, because she wanted a "parade of stars, not a parade of reality stars." But Heidi Klum made the cut, so did KellyOsbourne and Julianne Hough, who shows up everywhere for some reason unknown to me. There were a lot of other "Dancing with the Star" quality stars in attendance, too. Thus instead of looking like sophisticated fashionistas, the red carpet gang resembled escapees from the People's Choice Awards plus one or two visitors from the AVNs. There were too many blonde actresses from every list from A to Z, too many no-so-super models, and too many pop stars. Pop stars are the death of class; how could Anna not know that?
Then there was Julianna Rancic reporting from the red carpet for E! news. If pop stars are the death of class, Julianna and E! news are the undertakers.
In the end, people like Niki Minaj, Kate Upton, Stacy Keibler and Jimmy Fallon got to bask in Gwyneth's reflected glory, while all she got was heat rash. Worse, the acting, award-winning, blogging, Spanish-speaking-friend-of-Mario-Batali, model-thin and internally-cleansed Gwyneth was upstaged by Kim "Famous for Nothing" Kardashian. Even worse, the Fashion Police didn't like her dress, or the dress she wore the previous week at the Iron Man premiere.
The Dutch royal family has to pay for its jewels; your average movie star gets loaners.
Pearl and diamonds, from ebay, only $19,000. Aren't the Interwebs wonderful?
More from ebay, a mere $24,000!
I've had enough of this stripped down, blingless trend, and I'm going to make it my personal mission to end it. Girlfriend, throw on a honking big colored-jewel necklace and a wide ethically-sourced diamond bracelet or three; it's safe, they're vegan! A star should shine, dammit!