MF: The Met Ball

Posted on December 07, 2011

Bravo sez:


“On the season finale of Mad Fashion, Chris March gets an opportunity he has only dreamed about — a chance to design for the Met Ball. Chris creates a one-of-a-kind outfit for Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen as she makes her first trip to the fashion world’s premiere event. But if the pressure of the Met Ball isn’t enough, Chris also needs the approval of Chrissy’s boyfriend — Grammy winning R&B star John Legend! Can Chris get John’s legendary seal of approval or will this be the look that falls flat?”

No doubt about it, this was the most prestigious project the March Gang’s ever attempted. The Met Ball really is the most important social event of American fashion (and pretty close to the top of the list internationally). Chris wasn’t exaggerating when he said this dress would be seen by millions.

John Legend would definitely be among the most photographed of the red carpet attendees, which means this dress would wind up in a ton of pictures.

John was nice enough, but he sure did come off controlling and she sure did come off compliant.


Although we couldn’t disagree with him when he reacted negatively to the shoulder treatment.

We think that piece could really work on the right dress and the right woman, but this wasn’t the time for it.

The feathers took it away from edgy and into draggy, but she strikes us as the kind of gal whose pretty draggy on her own. But she asked for a Black Swan dress, so she got what she wanted.  It suited her better than the leather piece.

As for the final look:


Practically everything about it works, from the feathers to the ruffles, to the safety pins, to the crystals. It’s all gorgeous and dramatic and McQueen-esque. But it really needed a lining. The sheerness tips it over into tacky, given everything else that’s going on, including the plunging neckline and slit to the hip.

But we love this show and we’re going to miss its relatively drama-free creativity now that the season’s ended. Here’s hoping Season 2 is around the corner.

[Photo Credit:]

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  • Grace Armstrong

    Wow, the Met Ball. Good for the gang! That is a huge huge deal.

  • thedogsmother

    Yes, Bravo, please! We need a season two. Love the creativity of it all without soul sucking drama. Chris March, and his worthy assistants, are unique, talented and fun to watch.

  • Sobaika Mirza

    What a great dress! I do think it’s a bit much but it all worked considering the theme, the girl, and the Met Ball.

  • Anonymous

    “Tlo said: But we love this show and we’re going to miss its relatively drama-free creativity now that the season’s ended.”

    I second that emotion! This show has been a welcome respite of talent and creativity in a sea of the screaming narcissistic loons that  comprise the majority reality tv.


    • Anonymous

      “screaming narcissistic loons”

      Excellent. Now, how to work that into a conversation?

  • Anonymous

    OH NO I really don’t want to hear that John Legend is a bad boyfriend. He’s so cute. And bangable. But mostly cute.

    I agree re: the lining.

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad you said it, because I thought she’s wearing it–why does he have that much input and why is she  letting him dictate her choices.  That out me off a little–otherwise I really enjoyed watching the show.  It’s fun to see them figure things out and come up with new options and such.

    • scottyf

      “why does he have that much input and why is she  letting him dictate her choices.”

      Because he is the celebrity who will be photographed and judged partially on her look. Most likely Ms. Teigen wouldn’t even be going to the event if not for Mr. Legend. 

      When I attend the Met Ball with Denzel (after I knock out his wife Paulette and hide her in a closet), whatever Mr. Washington asks me to wear, I will gladly do so.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t know…Miss Pauletta seems like the type to have some vaseline in her purse “just in case heffas try an get outta line.”  You know shes been fightin off floozies for decades lol.

        • scottyf

          You know THAT’S right. Although Ms. Paulette is plenty fierce in her own right. That’s why I would have to knock her out from behind. I wouldn’t stand a chance in any face-to-face confrontation. I’d be the one hidden in the closet!

          And since I never plan to go back in a closet again, I guess I’d better find someone else to take me to the Ball.

          • Anonymous

            Mr. Keeter would look nice with some chocolate arm candy 😉

          • Mich

            sir, your comments are the 4th reason why i come here-1+2= tlo (in no particular order), 3= all the pretty, 4= your comments.
            thank you for all the funny!

      • Anonymous

        So you’ve dumped Mr Bert in favor of Denzel???  Fickle….

        • scottyf

          I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

          If I’m talking about another man: always assume threesome.

          • Anonymous

            And what does Bert say about that??

      • Anonymous

        I get that. She just seemed SO deferential to him, and that just rubs me the wrong way. Also I think that you, Bert, and Denzel would make a lovely triple.

      • Anonymous

        I get that. She just seemed SO deferential to him, and that just rubs me the wrong way. Also I think that you, Bert, and Denzel would make a lovely triple.

    • Isabel

      He paid the bill! So,he gets to choose

  • Anonymous

    Too many cooks.

  • Terence Ng

    Gorgeous! Go Chris!

  • Jessica TallGirl Freeman

    I wished there was a lining as well, I think it would have completed the look.  It just looks like a black bathing suit under an unfinished gown.  She still looks great. 

  • scottyf

    T&Lo said…
    “John was nice enough, but he sure did come off controlling…”

    Really? To me, he seemed the same laid-back dude I see in most of his interviews. If anything I felt the producers probably asked him to be a little critical, and he complied, but seemed a little uncomfortable in that role. I loved that he offered up information about his own outfit.

    I agree with you about the finished product: I actually liked the silhouette, but really thought the sheerness of the skirt took it a little into the Old West Saloon Singer/Lady of the Evening territory.

    • Shannon Stewart

      I thought his behavior made perfect sense (and believe me, I would be SCREAMING if my husband ever thought he got to control my wardrobe… and he wouldn’t be walking afterward:) 

      But in this case, John Legend certainly has more experience with this kind of event, and it makes sense for her to turn to him for guidance — if I were suddenly thrust into the position of attending that kind of thing, with a date that would make sure I would be photographed and commented on, damn straight I’d want the advice of someone who had walked that line before. 

      Though I like the sheerness of the skirt.  Yes, the whole look is a bit much, but I’m fine with that.  For one, I like OTT and I assume she does too, based on her hiring Chris March.  But for another, a gown that is hard to pull off is good publicity when your job is making clothes look good.

      • MaggieCat

        That’s kind of what I thought. She mentioned more than once that this isn’t the sort of event she gets to do very often, so I can see asking the person you know and whose opinion you probably value and who’s been to the same event previously for an opinion. It’s not like he was throwing a hissy fit. (And I agreed re: the leather collar. It was cool in and of itself, but I didn’t think it suited her or that particular dress very well.)

        As for the sheerness on the skirt, I mentioned to my mother that I thought it needed a semi-transparent lining to make it a little less translucent but not entirely opaque so it would look more like a skirt and less like fancy curtain sheers.

  • Eric Scheirer Stott

    To quote a 19th C. critic, this is “One of those dresses which never seems to end- and you wish it would”. When it comes to doing Fashion versus Costume Chris March has some taste issues.

  • Anonymous

    Legend kind of gave me the creeps a bit – that whole thing about him having an opening in the dress to slip his hand in and she was the giggly “if that’s what my man wants, I’m just a swimsuit model” gave me a little of the icks.  I’m glad Chris got the Met Ball opp but this wasn’t my favorite of their creations.  But I welcome a second season wholeheartedly.

    • squirrel_monkey

      I totally agree. The whole thing was uncomfortable to watch. 

    • Mary McClelland

      Definitely too TMI. I think Chris catered to her a little too much and should have stood his ground to class it up (i.e. line the sucker!). 

      • Anonymous

        Agree with all y’all!  And I’ll go out on a limb and say that while no one would ever describe my personal style as “edgy,” I kinda liked the leather collar.  The feathers were pretty, but I thought the leather was more unexpected and more McQueen-ish.  Maybe Chris should’ve reached out to Stella for some help with the “leathuh”!

      • Anonymous

        Yep. he should have been a bit more diva designer and told her that if she wanted to play with the big girls at the Met ball, she’d have to go high fashion and tasteful. 

  • Anonymous

    I do love this show, and I just wish Bravo trusted the creative process was fascinating enough for reality TV.  Or maybe I wish there were more people who would watch this kind of collaborative, thoughtful, FUN, creative process!  

    Because I know they can’t show everything in 30 minutes, but the final dress was different from what was shown – and I don’t mean the neck collar.  Chris made the bra and sewed it in, but at that point there was no lining at all, and it seemed like none planned, for the bodice of the dress.  At that point, and the photos above show it, it seemed the design was to see skin between the bra covering the left boob and the sweep of the dress from right shoulder to left side.  So how did that change come about?  Was it client driven, or during the fitting?  

    I mean for a fitting, there seems to be very little fitting that actually goes on, from what they show.  There’s just not enough of the down and dirty how you make a fabulous dress (or fabulous costume) in the show, though maybe that would not be interesting enough for Bravo’s reality TV.  I’d also love to know how much these things cost.  Even more insider-y, would love to know how the SHOW was put together – do the clients pay anything at all, or if they’re on the show does Bravo pick up the tab?  How does it all really come together?  What the heck was Jennifer Coolidge’s plan if Chris March couldn’t have made her a last minute dress?  

    And yeah, wow, this ep really made it clear what it means to be arm candy of a successful award winning musician.  He wants what he wants, she gets to live in his orbit.    

  • Sara__B

    Lots of cleavage paired with a sky-high slit are rarely elegant, but did we have to see her derriere, too? Chris and gang, I love you, but this is too tacky for the Met Ball. I’m sure she turned heads due to her over-exposure rather than the “savage beauty” of her gown. 

    • Christina Brennan

      agreed.  if i would have seen this dress in a “in or out” post, I would have given it an OUT.  Tacky.

  • Anonymous

    The dress was pretty amazing — Chris certainly pulled just about everything out of his bag of tricks for it, didn’t he?  But not only did it need a lining in the skirt, but it also needed some kind of change at her waist — it made her look surprisingly chunky around the middle, and heaven knows she’s anything but. 

    And I wish we’d had an hour to see the creative process — is there somewhere online that has good closeup photos?  I’d love to see some closeups of the safety pins and the hair and all.

    I didn’t think John Legend was that controlling, either — he expressed an opinion about one feature of the dress, she happened to agree with him (and so did I), and then they went home and talked it over some more.  And you notice that, in the end, she picked her replacement neck treatment without him being there; if he really was *that* controlling, surely he would have been there to pick it for her.

  • Anonymous

    Holy cow, did she want a slutballs dress?  I’m not sure the Met Ball is the best place to show off ass cheek.  I do like the dress, it just seems a little naked.  A lot naked.

    • Anonymous

      I didn’t watch the show, but I’m annoyed just looking at the pictures. She is a swimsuit model. Everyone knows she has a great body. She should have kept it classy for the Met Ball. She looks like a whore, and I mean that in the literal sense of the word.

      • Anonymous

        Yes.  She looks like she’s wearing her fancy lingerie with a robe. 

    • Mary McClelland

      She specifically asked for skin (citing John also required it which was kinda a TMI yuck moment) all the whilst expressing her desire to look “high fashion” for a change. I think he should have lined it and she would have been happy enough with the plunging neckline and thigh-high slit. 

      • Anonymous

        Yuck.  There’s a difference between wanting to show skin and wanting to show SKINSKINSKIN.  She (or he or Bravo) paid a lot of money for a fancy robe and panties.

  • Anonymous

    You can see her ass, and it looks like there’s a hole in the lace right there. I love Chris March, but this does veer off into tacky. Of course, that could be more the client than the designer. I do hope the show comes back; in fact, I’d like to see it in a longer format.

  • Stefanos Mantyla

    And THIS is what got sent to the Met Ball?

    • Juline

       I think this is the worst look produced on the show. Not horrible quite, but the worst.

  • Anonymous

    Is anyone else a little twitchy about the asymmetrical neckline? It’s not quite enough to be obvious, so it just seems she needs to hike up the left side of her dress a bit. And I agree that it needs a lining. She’s veering alarmingly towards showgirl territory. Overall, though, it’s pretty good.

  • Liz H.

    Yup, not hard to find red carpet photos of this dress from the Met Ball.  (For example: ) I am in full agreement that a lining was needed on that skirt

    • Eric Scheirer Stott

      Oh Mama!  The flash turns it into a swimsuit with a flashy coverup

  • Judy_J

    It seems oddly appropriate for a swimsuit model.  I agree that lining the skirt would push this look over the line from showgirl to showstopper.

  • Urban Gypsy aka Tess

    This dress confuses me so. I want to love it; there’s no doubt it’s a masterpiece of sorts, but sadly a tacky masterpiece. The train is nothing short of phenomenal. Chris made safety pins look chic. The crystals. So much to swoon for but why, oh why, would he make that dress one sided only to have to add a bedazzled bra cup so she wasn’t half naked? And why no lining? Maybe it was the fact that she’s a swim suit model and so they decided to have her go out in a sheer, albeit stunning sheer, skirt over granny panties. I don’t know, I do know that it gives me a headache. 

  • Mary McClelland

    It definitely needed a lining – it distracted from the beauty and intricacy of the dress and took it into Barbarella territory.  I was shocked when I saw the finished product without one. Second of all: the shoes she chose were so boring and staid and I was not a fan of her 60’s housewife hair.

    • Eric Scheirer Stott

      The hair could have passed if she’d had a bit of a headpiece- a few crystals and feathers would have been nice.

  • Anonymous

    Whether it was client or designer or both, I agree totally – stunning work cheapened by showing too much skin.  But, you don’t build a business by making clients unhappy so I guess if they were happy it’s all good.

    Yes, a million times yes, add me to those hoping for a second season.

  • Alexis

    Girlfriend canNOT be wearing the right sized bra.  It just looks too small (in the cup).  I’m so focused on that that I am mostly distracted from the fact that a lining on this dress would have made it absolute perfection as a McQueen tribute.  But that train.  GAH!  I want to go somewhere where I can wear a dress with that train.  I love it.  I want it.  I’m willing to fight Ms. Teigan for it.  But she can keep the rest of the dress.  And her boyfriend.  And her submissive personality.  She seems sweet, though, if a bit of … milquetoast-ish.

  • Anonymous

    Every time someone said something was missing I said “a lining”.

    It was so nice to see a mostly drama free creative show, I loved it. 

  • Anonymous

    I am shocked at how well the entire look came off.  McQueen is a good comparison, guys.  Girl gives great face along with a killer bod.

  • Anonymous

    I’m thrilled that Chris got so much exposure. But I thought the fake hair, safety pins and crystals covering the dress were kind of a rehash of elements from his Bryant Park collection on Project Runway. 

    I’m really hoping there is a season two; I have enjoyed watching Chris and his merry band buckle down, get stuff done and please clients without tears or high drama. Mad Fashion has been my antidote to the poison seeping from the drama vortices and backstabbers on that other  fashion reality show.

    • Anonymous

      Rather than a rehash, I thought the safety pins, etc. were a return to the same materials given an opportunity to use them in a garment with an entirely different flavor.  But since I like the effect he created with them in both instances, I don’t mind even if they fall into ‘rehash.’

  • foodycat

    The leather collar was a bit Chronicles of Riddick but I like the final dress. I agree a lining would have improved it though.

  • Mary Stone

    Yes needs lining, at least to the bottom of the “cheeks.”  A** cheek peepage takes gown straight to Fredericks of Hollywood territory.

  • Anonymous

    Ummmm…it just looks slutty to me, sorry. And John Legend came off looking kinda bad to me as far as his personality. But I am hoping for a 2nd season however I have a question: excluding Meryl Streep does he only design costumes? I think I would rather see him designing actual dresses vs. a costume every week.

  • Anonymous

    it’s pretty fucking fabulous, but they lost me at asscheek.  

  • Shannon Stewart

    See, I kinda like the SKINSKINSKIN (to quote a previous commenter:)  I think if there was less it would be more slutty — which I know sounds weird:)  But when you go that overboard, you’re so unapologetic about it that I think it works.  Like Cher. 

  • MilaXX

    Agreed. It most definitely needed a lining. The butt cheeks showing took it straight into tackyville. If there’ a season 2 count me in.

  • Anonymous

    That took a hard left into tacky as soon as she turned around. Chris, you should know better than to turn to tacky for the Met Ball.

  • Anonymous

    but this was a dress for a sports illustrated swimsuit edition model whose dictates were dictated by her boyfriend. of course there was gonna be too much skin. why else did he go out w/ her?

    sign me,
    having been there [if in a smaller way] & done that & never wanting to do it again.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t watch the show, but I’m loving the TLo rundowns. Agree on everything that’s been said: the train is stunning but the ass-curtain took it to tackytown. Mostly, I’m just sad John Legend came off like an asshole, because I love, love, LOVE his music. 

  • Anonymous

    Chrissy and Gissele  just rocked the Met. What better?    

  • Anonymous

    I think Legend was right in reviewing the dress beforehand.  He is the star and she is on his arm, it reflects on him how his date looks.  She wouldn’t even be there if it weren’t for him.      

    • Anonymous

      It may reflect poorly on him if his date looks tacky, but that just means he shouldn’t date tacky women. This no-opinion-of-her-own-having arm ornament is from the paleolithic era of gender relations.

  • Kelley Comfort

    Hate it. I WANT to like it, because Chris is awesome, but no. The weird neckline, the feather collar, the sheer fabric, the flamenco ruffles, all scream cheap to me.

  • Anonymous

    egads, it needed lining.  It makes it look like she is going to the awards for a stripper of the year and not the Met ball.  Not a fan at all, I think lining would have made it much more tasteful.

  • Anonymous

    I think the lines of the top part of this dress are lovely, and I also love the train. I agree that it needed a lining.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand why Miss Teigen is orange. And since I don’t watch this show and am not a fan of Chris March’s (I don’t dislike him, I just don’t think he’s a great talent), I’m gonna call that dress out as belonging onstage in the current revival of “La Cage aux Folles.” It is ridiculous and she looks like hell with that Bump-It hair, the off-center slit to the crotch, the butt cheeks on parade, the orange boobs hanging out and the deranged Birdwoman of Alcatraz neckpiece (which is off-center). Only Chita Rivera could make this thing happen.

  • Anonymous

    I loved this dress.  I would love to see some close-up detail of the work though.

  • Anonymous

    “…he sure did come off controlling and she sure did come off compliant.”

    um, yeah.  i mean, no one thought that this was somehow an example of an equitable, modern romance were they?  he saw her on a runway ~ or just as likely, went to her agency to look at the girls’ comp cards ~ and picked her out like i pick out my christmas ornaments.  and likely with the same criteria:  equal parts pretty, low-maintenance, and glitter.  *shrugs*  but if they like it, i love it.  he came off looking dickish, but i expected no more or less, so it’s cool.

  • Anonymous

    john Legend is so adorable and Chris March MUST LOSE WEIGHT. I love em but mister is gonna drop dead on us. FOR REAL (heaven forbid)