BEST OF MET : DECODING GALA 2019

Come May every year and I have tremendous build up to see the red carpet looks and the execution of the themes every year at the Met Gala. From following the release of the concept from the moment its announced, to the journey of seeing it through, till the memes and the mockery. It seems that one day of the year, people seem to become judges of haute couture for a day to feel inclusive by destructing an event like the MET while personally having a wardrobe that consists of bare fashion minimals (aka jeans and shirt), is all very amusing.

Before I proceed to tell you my favourite picks, let’s talk about what is MET GALA? It seems a lot of people actually don’t know “why people dress the way they do at the MET”.

Cara Delevingne wearing Dior at the Met 2019

Started first in 1948 by publicist Eleanor Lambert, it was a fashion fundraiser that involved the high society of New York and encouraged donations. In modern times, the Costume Institute’s Gala of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts’, is the biggest fashion fundraiser on the planet. It calls upon well known faces from the music, film, fashion and arts realms. And because its for the love of costume, there is a theme every year that leads to a build up amongst brands and invitees, conceptualisation, story boarding, mood, style boarding and beauty boarding and then finally execution of a concept and story telling into a garment and a complete look – from the hair to the shoes. Since 1995, the event has been presided over by Anna Wintour, US Vogue Editor-in-Chief.

Last year the theme was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. What was the theme this year? This year the exhibition was arranged by Andrew Bolton, curator of the costume institute, around Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on “Camp”. The beauty of this concept was that it could be construed in various ways. Susan’s writing is reflective and timely of the ongoing political and cultural trend that it would be a resonance of the current times. Susan Sontag’s definition of camp is the “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration , style at the expense of content ,the triumph of the epicene style”.

In Busby Berkeley movies and in the he-man actor Victor Mature, in Mae West and General de Gaulle, in Swan Lake, Flash Gordon comics, Caravaggio, chinoiserie, and the entirety of the Art Nouveau movement, Susan Sontag found Camp.

“Camp taste has an affinity for certain arts rather than others,” she noted. “Clothes, furniture, all the elements of visual decor, for instance, make up a large part of Camp.” Camp, as Andrew Bolton notes, “has become increasingly more mainstream in its pluralities—political camp, queer camp, Pop camp, the conflation of high and low, the idea that there is no such thing as originality.” Camp, he continues, has been described as style without content.

But I think you’ve got to be incredibly sophisticated to understand camp—look at Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs,” says Andrew in his interview to Hamish Bolton from Vogue. A 1909 book of Victorian slang explicitly describes camp as “actions and gestures of exaggerated emphasis used chiefly by persons of exceptional want of character.”

Let’s take a look at my top ten favourite looks in the line of the theme of “Camp:Notes on Fashion”.

LADY GAGA

One of the nights host, Lady Gaga had three changes on the red carpet. Couldn’t get more campier than that!

BILLY PORTER

Nailing it and how! Off late I have a new found respect for this man for so beautifully executing gender fluidity on the red carpet and making a statement with fashion. His inspiration was from the movie Cleopatra.

HAILEE STEINFELD

Remember the Viktor & Rolf gowns with memes and quotes? Well – illuminates the concept of camp in its exaggeration!

JANELLE MONÁE

Dress by Christian Siriano and inspired by Picasso!

KARDASHIANS & JENNERS

Kim wearing the “wet look” designed by the man Thierry Muggler himself! One of my personal favourites – exaggerated emphasis on the “wet” element!

GIGI HADID & MICHAEL KORS

Gigi Hadid went for a Cher and Liberace inspired look, wearing Michael Kors’ design!

EZRA MILLER, JARED LETO, DARREN CRISS, HAMISH BOWLES

I am sure you have started understanding the concept and the above looks now!

PRIYANKA CHOPRA JONAS & NICK JONAS

Moving aside the extreme memes and trolls that happened at the expense of Priyanka’s costume at the MET and every second person posting their views and opinions, like Vogue called – you would be disappointed to know that this couple was at their CAMPIEST BEST! What a duet! Priyanka’s team not only interprets camp in its absurdity but translates it with phenomenal prowess on the red carpet, syncing with Nick’s looks at the same time. They were the ultimate CAMP ROYALTY! FYI, Dior dressed them both!

There is a lot of intricate work that is involved at every step of the way, and if you thought passing a critic judgement on a look or calling it “nice” and “not nice”, is why they invested six months of hard work and craftsmanship into it, then you would be probably sad to know that your certification is not what they care about.

Fashion, above all, is not about looking pretty that the media or magazines sell you at large. Fashion is and has always been a form of art- an expression of identity and a liberation of self. Why else do you think it matters to us so much although we would vehemently deny it?

And when it comes to couture fashion – it calls for a different blog post. 😉

Ending on Oscar Wilde’s work of witticism “One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art”—are the essence of camp. 

So what did you take away from this year’s theme?

Probably not to be a MET gala couture comment expert next year is one of them 🙂

Claws come off,

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

SHADES OF COOL

We live in a country where obsession with fairness products and skin care that promise to lighten your skin shades by ten times are everywhere in the market. It not only dampens a person’s confidence but also somewhere creates an internal conflict of what you want to wear, what will suit your dusky or wheatish skin.

A lot of people give unsolicited advice and tell you not to wear dark shades on your lips or nails if you are not of a fairer skin tone and many such redundant suggestions.

May i interrupt – and tell you that there are shades that are so cool that you would totally wear them on dusky to wheatish skin? I could even show you a few!

NOTE – For all my lip shades, I generally mix more than one colour for the perfect degree of shade I want !

LIP SHADES THAT SCREAM

Worn in the above photo, buy the red lip shade here and the maroon here

Buy the above shade of Nicka K True Matte lip shade in Aubergine here.

I am wearing Stila All Day Liquid Lipstick in creamy matte finish. Since I checked and this is not in stock anymore, you can buy an alternative in Maybelline . It has the same texture, colour and finish. Buy it here.

For the above lip shade, I have mixed two shades of colour!

One is the Sephora #Lipstories in 45 City Beat (matte finish) which you can buy here.
The second shade is a hot pink liquid matte lip shade from Sugar which you can buy it here.

MY FAVOURITE NAIL SHADES

For the shade I am wearing in the above photo, its from Faces Canada in shade Hocus that you can buy here.

I love variant of colours for my nails, my personal choices range from pastel shades to ombre and dark tones in matte. For matte shades in a range of light to dark tones, you can buy it here.

For matte shades from Nykaa which are my actual favourites and what i use, along with the cookie crumble shades – you can buy them here.

Holographic nail shades are the latest trend now and although I am yet to get them for myself, you can find various brands offering them online. You can buy the above shade and its various ranges here.

Now that I have given you a list down of the various shades you should indulge in a bit of retail therapy and get splurging! These are easy on your budget and totally worth it.

The ideologies that bind us to such stereotypes are always based on theories propagated by mindsets that evidently were backward! Even today I hear a lot of people from your and my generation – the so-called millennials who still sign up to such nonsense theories of dark colours on lips and nails and why the need for it.

Well the need is simple – we want to look good in wearing whatever we feel we can pull off without your unsolicited advice, thank you!

We are all struggling, trying to get comfortable inn beauty standards we are setting for ourselves everyday. So if you have a darker skin tone and you want to wear a darker shade – nothing stops you other than you!

Yes, you can flush all those well wishers and their advice and wear every shade of cool.

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

OF LUXURY HOTELS & ISTANBUL

One morning, staring groggily at my breakfast and letting the caffeine hit me so that I finally realise I am awake, I stared aimlessly outside my drawing room window overlooking the Bosphorus Strait. Suddenly, my roommate emitted a shrill ultrasonic sound to maybe announce to the world that Amir Khan was in the city, Istanbul.

Obviously getting excited momentarily, I sauntered lazily to take a shower thinking of the long day of Hospitality seminar I had at the university. So as a part of the class, we were to be taken to two luxury hotels and given a briefing and indulged into the marketing, business and  history of the foundations. What seemed a tad boring initially as it had nothing to do with fashion, soon turned out to be more than I expected. We covered two luxury hotels in the same day, the Fairmont Quasar Istanbul and Soho House Istanbul.

The Fairmont Quasar was the first stop where we met the seminar instructor, Antony Doucet. After being slightly in a different zone initially, post the introductions, which I will admit, Antony’s disclosure of Chanel connections and his obvious knowledge of fashion brands, especially Coco, I was far more alert on any word that left the man’s mouth post the divulgence! Just after that, came the revelation that an Indian actor was staying at the Fairmont, yeah, you don’t even get points on guessing it was Amir Khan.

As fate would have it, while we were there, he had left the premises for some promotional stuff, so after a round of squeals and grunts, we went around taking a tour of the place.

Below is a photo series from the Fairmont Quasar and Soho House and of course what I wore, how I styled my attire and a brief history about both the establishments.

FAIRMONT QUASAR ISTANBUL

Rising over the slopes of the Bosphorus, surveying centuries of history, yet silhouetted against the modern skyline of Istanbul, the Fairmont heritage of distinction and style merges with the city’s historical past and traditions to bring guests an exceptional experience in the heart of one of the world’s most talked about destinations. For guests seeking a true luxury hotel in Istanbul, Fairmont Quasar Istanbul is the ultimate destination, comprising of the traditions of the past and the technological advancements of the future.  It caters to sophisticated travellers with 209 guest rooms, including 25 suites and 40 Fairmont Gold rooms, with additional 64 Fairmont Residences along with a diverse selection of restaurants and bars, also the  luxurious Willow Stream Spa and state-of-the-art gym are the perfect places to relax and revitalize.

SOHO HOUSE ISTANBUL

A exclusive group of private members’ clubs for people working in the creative industries, the brand Houses in London, New York, Berlin, Toronto, West Hollywood, Chicago and Miami. Istanbul is their 13th with some more ambitious projects in the future.

In 1873, Ignazio Corpi, a powerful Genoese shipbuilder in what was then known as the European quarter of Constantinople, commissioned a palatial residence bearing his family’s name. He engaged Italian architect Giacomo Leoni, who set about importing marble from Carrara for the flooring and facings and Piemonte rosewood for the doors and window frames. Famous artists of the day were invited to create the wall paintings depicting Greek mythological scenes in the entrance hall and on the ceilings of the Great Hall. The building took nine years in total to complete. Following Iganzio’s death, his nephews leased the building to the American ambassador, John G.A. Leishman. From 1906, it served as the U.S. embassy and residence, and then the US consulate general from 1937 to 2003. In 2014, Soho House began extensive restoration work on the Palazzo, returning it to its former glory. – From the History of Soho House Istanbul

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Dress and Shrug – Forever 21 India