American Woman…Listen What I Say…

Last night was the big kahuna of the New York City social whirl, The Costume Institute Gala, a.k.a. Anna Wintour’s Playground. If you were not there, then you do not exist. If you are not on Anna’s guest list, you might as well just curl up and die. If you are not BFFs with a top fashion designer, then you might as well just call it a day and move out to the suburbs. Sounds harsh? Perhaps…but it is true. The theme this season was American Woman. There’s all sorts of good reasons for this theme since America’s schmatta business has suffered greatly since the Wall Street debacle of September 2008. American designers could use all the help they can get and leave it up to Anna to stake her claim on the resurgence of American style. There was lots of dresses on the red carpet, several of which were amazing and several more which, shown here, are the winners of the I MEAN…WHAT?!? Not Best Dressed Awards.

Carrie Mulligan was really under dressed in this Miu Miu number.

Maybe this is better in person, but I just think there's too much Marchesa going on.

Though I love the fabric on this Halston number that Sarah Jessica Parker wore, I am not swacked on the style of this dress.

Gayle King sports a mother-of-the-bride two-piece set.

While there was a trend for too much dress, Bar Refaeli was on the opposite side of that spectrum. It needed another inch or two in length.

Christina Hendricks wins Worst of the Not Best Dressed Awards...yikes.

Andre Leon Talley and Whoopi Goldberg look like a Rabbi and a Cantor dressed for the High Holidays at Temple Beth El. Chado Ralph Rucci did not do himself any favors. Would love to hear Kelly Cutrone's take on this.

Oh and Katy Perry, this disco inferno number is better served at the Grammy or the American Music Awards, not the Costume Institute Gala. That's a costume alright...for like Cirque du Soleil.

This Marc Jacobs number is such the wrong choice for Rachel Zoe as she proves the adage, "Do as I say, not as I do". What are those side blobs of fabric? And the bag does not work either.

This is another Marchesa number that doesn't do it for me. And Blake Lively is wearing the wrong shoes too. And (B) I am over the over-sized shoulder treatments. Scroll up to Christina Hendricks if you are not convinced.

Mary J Blige proves my point that the over-sized shoulder treatments don't work on the chest either. This is a lovely color, and without that blob of fabric, it would have been that much cleaner and cooler.

Zac Posen designed this dress for Doutzen Kroes a.k.a. Glenda the Good Witch. All she needs is a wand.

Giambattista Valli overdid the fluff on Rosario Dawson's dress.

Riley Keough also gets a little lost in this too-much-dress by Thakoon.

As you can see, too much dress is not necessarily a good thing. It is my humble opinion that “less is more” (gee, you’d think no one ever said that) and simple, elegant and chic is always the best plan of action. After pawing through all the images on style.com, Women’s Wear Daily, Patrick McMullan and Wireimage, I keep coming back to my favorite looks of the evening that hits all the points I just made. Herewith is my Best Dressed for reasons of the obvious. They wear the dress, the dress does not wear them.

Zoe Saldana and Diane Kruger knocked it out of the park in these simple, elegant, chic, clean, Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein.

Honorable mention: Anna Wintour looks great. She should wear sunglasses less often.

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