We had the same problem with Anthony’s dress that we had with Michael’s; namely that it was way too attention-seeking for an opera gala.
Several readers defended Michael’s dress by attempting to claim that no one wears gowns to the opera anywhere and that there really isn’t any such thing as an opera gown anymore. We disagree. We’ve covered red carpet at various Metropolitan Opera events (here, here, here, here, and here. Check that last link to see which PR alum showed up on the red carpet at the Met Opera. Not a coincidence, we think.). Obviously, there are no hard and fast rules, but generally speaking the gowns are demure (in comparison to average red carpet wear) and devoid of show-business frippery like feathers, an abundance of sequins, or too much skin showing. We maintain that any gal who showed up at an opera gala wearing either Michael’s or Anthony’s dress would stand out like a sore thumb – and not in a good way.
But we’ll say this: it really is a dramatic, well-made gown. Many of our issues with this look have to do with the styling, of which, Anthony, bless, is not a master. Every single acccessory here would have to be ditched to make this look acceptable, as far as we’re concerned. Even then, the plunging neckline is way too much for the opera.
We would have liked this dress so much better if one thing was different: the print. Try as we might, we just can’t find it in ourselves to like it. Too washed out and a little dated, frankly.
And that’s a shame because if she’d picked a more modern, trendy print, we’d bet the judges would have fallen all over this dress. Our take is somewhat similar to theirs, however: we’ve seen this dress before, many times. It’s, in many ways, a standard Carolina Herrera or Oscar de la Renta dress. That’s why the print was so crucial here. It’s a beautiful shape (although the waist is placed a bit high), a classic in many ways, and utterly appropriate for an opera gala, but it just doesn’t make the wearer look particularly stylish. We suspect Kara heard “opera” and pictured a society matron type, which is both exactly who you’d see at an opera gala and exactly who would be wearing a dress like this. On that level, she actually nailed it. But on the “design competition” level, this falls very short of the mark.
[Photo Credit: myLifetime.com - Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]