Madonna Met gala 2013 after party

When fashion and fancy dress collide

Like fashion and art, fashion and fancy dress share sartorial territory. Granted though, it’s a less highbrow, slightly more camp glittery territory.

It started this year with Coachella. California festival dressing means cut offs, fringing, flowers and crop tops in ubiquity; A homogenised fashion rulebook for committed free spirits. And though not strictly fancy dress, it’s a look ripe for parody.

A timely festival commentator, P’Trique gave his verdict on the best and worst dressed celebs summing up the just-for-fun fancy dress cliché perfectly:

Then came this month’s Great Gatsby exhibition opening. Miuccia Prada, who created pieces for the adaption, wore a fur stole and Maggie Gyllenhaal showed up with a gamine crop and art deco earrings. Cary Mulligan, presumably a little tired of sequins, wore black embroidered Prada.

Maggie Gyllenhaal Great Gatsby exhibition opening

CATHERINE MARTIN and MIUCCIA PRADA Dress Gatsby Opening Cocktail

Subtle nods, maybe but SS13 collections were teaming with 20’s inspiration and feathers, fringing and embellishment have exploded onto the high street in the build up to the blockbuster release. Ebay alone experienced a rise of 530% in Gatsby related sales this year – signalling that the roaring 20s is THE fashion/fancy dress crossover of the summer.

Next, fancy dress was HAMMED UP TO THE MAX at London party planner stalwart, Fran Cutler’s 50th birthday shindig. The theme was ‘lucky bitches’ and true to form, the Dynasty mood board sent out with invitations encouraged tits, teeth and shoulder pads. Guests obliged with gusto, nipples and trowel-loads of eye shadow.

Fran Cutler’s 50th birthday


Finally, the CULMINATION of the fashion meets fancy dress phenomenon dropped down this week with the Met Ball’s Punk exhibition, orchestrated by the (rather unpunk) Anna Wintour. Anna’s floral Chanel dress aside, celebrity stylists had a field day throwing studs, fishnets, hairspray and EVEN MORE EYESHADOW at their victims (AKA clients).

Madonna went in disguise and forgot her trousers, SJP did couture punk by flashing her pants in Giles Deacon. Vivienne Westwood went as herself. And if there’s anything more punk than the ignoring dress code to talk politics but still looking en point, I don’t know what is.

Madonna met gala 2013 punk

It seems fancy dressing has never been more in vogue. Whether it’s ultra fashion, party themes or just crossing the boundaries of good taste for fun, playing dress-up is currently mandatory.

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