Jessica Chastain in Chanel Couture at “An Evening Honoring Karl Lagerfeld”

Posted on November 07, 2013

Well, what else are you going to wear to an evening honoring Karl Lagerfeld?

Jessica Chastain hosts “An Evening Honoring Karl Lagerfeld” in New York City in Chanel couture.

Chanel Fall 2013 Couture Collection

Oh honey. That is the quintessential For Models Only getup. Not to be attempted by mere mortals.

Still, she probably had little input on the matter. And it’s fun to see her in something so different and so hard to pull off . We may be reading too much into it, but she seems to be having a little fun with the whole thing; knowing that it’s not her look but treating it like a costume for the evening. That’s exactly how to play it. It’s not a great look for her – although it is quite the head-turning one.  But something about her attitude here is selling it to us as a bit of fun for the night.

Look at Karl, hovering over her. You know he picked this for her. That’s why she’s free to loosen up. “Don’t blame me, guys! I just wear what I’m told!”





[Photo Credit: Marco Sagliocco/, IMAXtree]

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  • RussellH88

    I love it on the model. Not so much on Miss Chastain.

    • MoHub

      If only Ms. Jessica had worn the headpiece.

    • Missy

      Same. I think it’s the waist placement. On the model the torso is longer; making it almost a drop-waist dress. The belt helps with that effect, too. It needs that drop-waist line to keep it from going stumpy–even on the teeniest of mortal actresses.

      • jessicajessicao

        I think the bigger problem is that the dress is not meant to be worn by anyone with any sort of bosom. The seams don’t seem to accommodate for it.

      • Rhonda Shore

        Yes, the belt made a huge difference. Without it, it makes Jessica look thick around the middle, but she doesn’t care, which is cool…

      • My thoughts exactly. The belt takes away the oddness of the waist, and I’m also guessing Ms. Jessica is not as tall as the model, so the waist sits higher on her, anyway. But it’s nice to see her in something less…tasteful?…than she usually wears.

        I’m glad she skipped the head piece plus I’m glad Uncle Karl didn’t force her to don some weirdo gloves.

      • ampg

        Right – the waist hits in a horrible place for her. It looks like they shortened it by taking material off the top half, so as to preserve most of the skirt embellishments, but it totally ruins the proportions.

  • Lily

    I like the dress fine. She looks comfy (????) and like she’s having fun, so that’s nice. But I can’t sign off on those shoes. Hands down the worst part.

  • I was this close to being Karl for Halloween. When I told my husband, he replied, “Nobody knows who that is.” Then I reminded him that he had no idea that Conan was on TBS or even knew what TBS was. It’s a mixed pop culture marriage.

    • Bexxx

      One of the Fug Girls dressed up as him for Halloween once and it was awesome.

    • slizzy

      That would make my Halloween, to see Karl out there. No, not everyone would get it (especially in my podunk town) but for the ones that did get it…that would be a special moment.

    • kimmeister

      I know how a mixed pop culture marriage is! A few years ago I had to explain to my husband what brunch is. I thought, “how is it possible to have lived your entire life in the US and never heard of brunch?!” But, as a child he was only allowed to watch Spanish TV, so there’s that.

      • My husband didn’t laugh in Avenue Q, because he’s never seen an episode of Sesame St! Bizarre. But he does know what brunch is.

  • jtabz

    I actually think she’d be pulling it off if she had worn a belt of some sort. But she is one of my ladystar crushes, so this may be my adoration talking.

  • hughman

    “Keep talking, Keep smiling.”
    “DRESS!! Zis is za dress!!”

  • ChaCha_70

    Really Karl, those jeans?!

    • marlie

      I would never let someone who dresses like THAT pick out clothes for ME to wear.

    • filmcricket

      Uncle Karl obviously has no ambitions to become Daddy Karl.

  • “Well, what else are you going to wear to an evening honoring Karl Lagerfeld?”

    Ummm….I don’t know, but I would have kept exploring my options.

  • DTLAFamilies

    I hate Chanel. Totally coasting on past glory at this point.

    • MoHub

      Poor Coco is doing 10,000 RPMs in her grave.

  • MannahattaMamma

    Karl Lagerfeld scares me. Those collars! Those gloves! The desire to put a pretty woman in a dress made entirely of tinfoil and slinkys!

    • kimmeister

      It looks like something you would find in a magpie’s nest.

      • Aurumgirl

        It is a truly repellent dress. If I have to be nice about it, it makes the lovely Jessica look like a punched-around Christmas tree.

  • MilaXX

    I love Jessica enough to over look the douchebag that is Uncle Karl. Nonetheless, this look isn’t working. I dislike the puffy sleeves. She needs a belt and a bit of color somewhere, even if it’s just the bag.

  • The embellishment on that skirt must make it wildly uncomfortable to sit in. OUCH!

    • Jacqueline Wessel

      Is one permitted to sit in the presence of The Karl?

      • I hadn’t thought that through. Probably not.

  • I am wondering if the skirt started in the right dropped-waist position and then she didn’t pull it down properly when she went to the loo.

  • marlie

    That dress is ugly and horribly unflattering to her body. And the weird makeup (seriously, look closely at her eyes) isn’t helping one bit.

    • Psht. The early onset of Pinkeye is a hot look, you don’t know.

      • marlie

        There’s also that weird eyeliner going on above her eyelid. I guess it’s supposed to be futuristic, or something, but it bugs.

    • schadenfreudelicious

      That is indeed some very odd eyelid crease lining going on there…

    • kimmeister

      I often think she has too much eye makeup, too little brow makeup.

  • pepper76

    It even looks shapeless and unflattering on the model. I don’t completely hate it on Jessica, but I think it would have been improved with a belt and black tights. (Yes, I said it – black tights!)

    • I agree. I am just as pale as she, so no shade, but black tights would have made her look less like a pretty ice cube.

      • pepper76

        I’m that pale, too! For some reason, she looks like she’s freezing to me. Maybe it’s that whole ice cube thing that you mentioned. I think tights and a belt would give the whole look a little more weight and presence, especially on a beautiful pale redhead like Ms. Chastain.

  • slizzy

    The proportions are off (prefer the drop waist on the model) and it’s a bit robo-tronic, but I kinda like it. A belt would have helped too, although the one on the model looks like a seatbelt.

    • BayTampaBay

      I agree! The dress needed a belt and I like the one from the runway.

  • smh4748

    She has a great smile. Too bad they ditched the belt–the meeting point between the bodice and the skirt is really jarring, unflattering, and distracting. With a belt, I think she actually pulls this off pretty well.

  • boweryboy

    If she kept the giant black vinyl belt I would like it more. As it is, it’s a hot crazy mess.
    Also: Karl Lagerfeld is creepy as fuck.

    • conniemd

      Just read his Wikipedia page. He lives with a persian cat who he said he would marry if it was legal. Now I’ve often said my beautiful male cat Beau would make the perfect husband, but I really meant, I wish men were more like him, not that I actually wanted to marry him.

      • marlie

        A Persian cat that he may or may not have “stolen” from his boytoy. “I’ll cat-sit for you, but I’m not giving her back.”

  • AC Simons

    She looks like she’s ready to serve as a Christmas tree ornament.

  • sweetlilvoice

    Sadly, her hair looks worse than my dance instructor’s did last night after dancing for an hour. Love Uncle K’s look.

    • NYCGlamourpuss

      Loving everything about Uncle K’s look as well. Styling is everything!

  • crash1212

    Taking those gigantic belts off of these looks (we’ve seen it twice so far) is a mistake. I think these frocks make most women look way thicker than they are and those belts help to keep that tendency at bay. Also, she needed a way stronger lip with this. Her face almost disappears. Oh, and bare legs with these looks just doesn’t work. As an aside, Uncle Karl certainly fills a pair of jeans out nicely.

    • Imasewsure

      Agreed. I don’t love either of these outfits but the belts in particular were necessary. Boots help too just to make them more balanced (even though still somewhat ugly anyway)

    • conniemd

      I remember when we saw that collection. All the outfits had the gigantic belts on the hips. These two outfits answer the question of what would they look like without the belts?

  • alyce1213

    Well, she tried something out of the ordinary, unexpected. Unfortunately, it’s a fail. Really bad.

  • kt

    It looks like they shortened the bodice. So, where it is gamine and long waisted on the model it is stumpy on her.

    • marlie

      The uncles rail on the stylists for not having the garments tailored to fit the actresses’ bodies (usually too long for them), but this time they were a little too aggressive with the alteration. Be careful what you wish for, I guess.

  • NYCGlamourpuss

    Nawp! If it had been styled more like the model, with her hair pulled straight back off her forehead, then okay, maybe. But not this.

  • Ginger

    She really should’ve gone with the thigh-high boots and belt, in my humble opinion. I know that it’d be recreating the runway look exactly, but the boots are part of what makes this look edgy as opposed to a Christmas ornament.

  • Tatiana Luján

    I think Chastain looks great, but that top would had look way better with simple black cigarrette pants.
    The skirt would have looked beautiful with a plain top or shirt.

  • Imasewsure

    It’s hideous but better with the equally hideous belt. Oh Uncle Karl!!

  • SewingSiren

    This Chanel collection is ugly. The bodice of this dress is alright, but the skirt looks proportionately off. Too short.

  • Judy_S

    These diamond-encrusted mini looks are pretty strange, but given that I think she looks pretty (I also liked Lupita Nyong’o yesterday).

  • jw_ny

    She may be good sport about wearing this for Karl, but not so much of one since she drew the line at NOT wearing the matching head piece.

  • cakecakecake

    The proportions are fixed, albeit a bit off. The waist, yet again, is just way too damn high!

  • formerlyAnon

    Y’all are kind. Hair looks a mess, face looks . . . “coming down with something,” legs look Too Pale. Dress is only unflattering.

  • judybrowni

    You think the model was pulling that…thing off?

    It’s an abomination, but less so when worn by Jessica.

  • NDC_IPCentral

    I’d wear stockings. But that’s me, a throwback to more formal times, and I wear them all the time anyway, to avoid blisters, to look professional, to finish a look.

    • Qitkat

      Hooray for ‘old school’.

  • Kate4queen

    My 11 year old dd would kill for this look

    • cocohall

      Exactly! She looks like a little girl in her new pretty pretty sparkle dress for the holidays. All she needs to complete her look are the red sparkle shoes they sell at Target which my girls wore YEAR ROUND. Cause SPARKLES are EVERYTHING!

  • claudemtl777

    It looks so unfinished…surprising considering Lagerfeld probs put it together. It’s as if she was at a fitting of the dress for the event, rather than the event itself.

  • RoseJB

    Does anyone look good in Chanel?

    • alyce1213

      Absolutely. This particular collection had its share of pieces that are challenging to wear (like this), but Chanel is fabulous. Women still love to wear it, for a reason.

  • NoveltyRocker

    There are some nice textures and ideas in recent Chanel but I’ve yet to see it all come together in a way that doesn’t look like costume. Or like NO ONE would really ever pile on all that Chanel if it didn’t have the brand history of classic Chanel. Not digging it. This is the least ridiculous I’ve seen it look recently and it still looks all disparate and pointless.

  • Josefina Madariaga Suárez

    I wish she had worn some sheer black (or gray) hose, but I don’t think she looks bad.

  • It needs the belt. Please. That’s what makes it work.

  • StephanieLovesTLo

    It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.

  • MW

    I loved it in the thumbnail but she’s having the same issues with proportions as Miss Lupita had the other day. Maybe this should clue Uncle Karl off, if even these two can’t work these outfits.

    Oh, and I hate the shoes.

    • Lilak

      A shame the ill-proportioned whole didn’t work on either … esp. since both women looked so good photographed from the waist up.

      Oh well, ladies … you get what you get … there will be “No hugging. No learning.” from Uncle Karl!

  • Froggae

    There is a rumor that she starved herself to fit into this outfit because Karl would not permit it to be resized to fit her. I really hope that rumor is not true because, honey, this was not worth it.

  • Qitkat

    There’s just something about this design which completely dissolves all notion of a slender waistline. Thus even the model needs to wear that black hip belt thing. While Jessica looks pretty enough here at a glance, this dress may not flatter anyone. I am however really fascinated by the unusualness of the fabrics.

  • Joanne Abrams

    I can’t imagine sitting in that dress, ouch!

  • Danielle

    But how did she sit down?

  • Lilithcat

    Tacky lampshade dress.

  • Kelly

    Her face looks lovely. But that dress is just so not right for her that I don’t think it works even as a “costume.” Whatever the role is, she’s miscast.

  • Kent Roby

    I bet this dress was really fun and dazzling in person, but the treatment in the runway look (the slightly lowered waist and the black “belt”, along with the dark boots) is much-more interesting.

  • lunchcoma

    I wonder what she did to incur the wrath of Karl. This is so unflattering that it seems like a punishment.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    Awkward and ugly.

  • bellafigura1

    All of these recent Chanel-strutters are getting the shoes wrong. Every single one, including La Swinton.

  • so colorless. not flattering to her coloring at all.

  • E. D.

    No on the dress. Ugh.

  • Jackie4g

    Lumpy bumpy bulky overgrown mess of a dress. Ms Chastain does look like she’s being gracious and a good sport. That dress is awful!

  • sleepycat

    GOD I hate Chanel and Uncle Karl

  • frannyprof

    It seems like everything by Chanel these days is FMO (For Models Only).

  • bertkeeter

    Horrible ON and OFF the RUNWAY!

  • Her makeup — and attitude — are gorgeous.

  • quiltrx

    Since when does Mr Fancy Bitch need any ‘honoring’ from mere mortals?
    (If this is indicative, it looks more like ‘A Night Allowing Karl Lagerfeld to Torture Celebrities and Probably Badmouth Them Later’)

  • samitee

    such a minor thing- but i seriously covet her earrings.

  • Shawn EH

    Girl, that’s a lotta look.

  • webslice33

    dress looks like it’s abrasive, like steel wool or something…

  • I think you guys are being way too generous. I think we are looking at a very nice woman who is completely freaked out here. I just can’t see her in Karl’s world. She looks uncomfortable to me and, frankly, a mess. Make-up, hair, frock, shoes. Trainwreck. Somebody get her out of there and bring her back to reality where she belongs.

  • guest2visits

    Karl knows that waist is not working. The dress seems to need a low slung belt and boots to give it the right proportion and make sense of that fabric. Still, Jessica is very pretty.

  • Nicole Little

    I love the texture in the skirt. This is a cool look but not a sexy one. Jessica looks better than the model, but the dress looks better on the model.

  • Emily Benson

    While I do think that the headpiece added a necessary architectural element to the outfit, the actual clothing itself is neither inventive nor creative. I have to disagree that it is for “models only,” as it is but an attempt at monochromatic modernism that completely fails to accomplish something that Marshall’s regularly achieves on its sale rack for middle-aged cubicle workers. This boring ensemble is so grey that the only redeeming factor is the lovely Miss Chastain and her fresh take on the overkilled side-braid.