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Brendan Cieko and Elizabeth Dobrska

Brendan Cieko and Elizabeth Dobrska

The theme, “Something Blue” kicked off the Museum of Fine Arts annual summer party with fantastical lights that illuminated the beautiful gowns on the steps of the Huntington entrance. This best dressed crowd of 25-46 year old revelers gathered to celebrate artist Juan Travieso and show their support for one Boston’s finest cultural institutions. Guests raised the fashion bar even higher this year, influenced I’m sure by the fact that Valentino was the lead sponsor. Boston and New York designer Michael DePaulo created a beautiful black, full petticoat, hi-lo gown with feathers and leather trimmings pour moi, while Abby Cushman stunned the crowd in a Michael DePaulo Valentino-red, floor length, off the shoulder trumpet gown. Blogger babes Jessica Diaz and Alisa Kapinos both sported floral—Jessica in a beautiful low cut, floral Alice and Olivia gown, which was news to me since I had no idea designer Stacey Bendet was doing ball gowns. But this was obviously a trend because Pia Miller, one of the co-chairs, also chose Alice and Olivia—a beautiful gold and auburn print floor length gown.  Co-chair Dobrska had a gorgeous vintage white and lavendar floral gown. I admired creatives like jewelry designer Maria Stokalska, who put together unexpected fashion combinations for the evening with her emerald green knee length circle skirt and a silk animal top-perfect for the night.

Endangered Bird #55a

Endangered Bird #55a, Juan Travieso

Aside from the gowns, the highlight of the evening was Juan Travieso. An artist we claim as our own, he was trained at the MFA Museum School and has since moved to Miami, where I saw his beautiful murals on the Walls of Wynwood. Juan came to Boston for three days to create one of his signature murals  and he enlisted a team of 5 local artists, (@graves_miller, @bruceybluejeans, @pt35mm, @farzanehsafarani, @paulkotakis), who were his cohorts at The Museum School. Working around the clock, they helped him finish the mural, each one being assigned separate triangles to paint to ultimately construct his Picasso-like, brightly colored, cubist mural with a deer head bursting out of the center.

The Summer Party kicks off the season for young and stylish Bostonians. A social calendar highlight for over ten years, this annual event raises vital operating support for the Museum of Fine Arts. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s Summer Party benefits an endowed Museum Council Special Exhibition Fund. I love supporting emerging artists and giving them this platform where art collectors, young and experienced, can bid on juried works of art. The event took place in the main gallery—50 foot ceilings, bodies bustling about taking pictures in front of the 10,000 pound, green glass Chihuly tree and partygoers snacking from the antipasto buffet. Ben and I snuck downstairs to view the Pupils of Hokusai Exhibit and unfettered by hoards of people, we sat in the calm, silent room, where our thoughts could roam as we pondered the beautiful Japanese paintings.

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Photography by Todd Mazur and Michael Blanchard

I look forward to the Golden Globes the way football fans anticipate the Super Bowl. It tends to be one of the award shows where people still take risks. However, this year’s gathering proved to be a rather non-risky one. Trends on the red carpet were: for men, velvet for jackets, sharp lines and a throwback to the ’50’s.

Kevin Spacey looked sharp as ever in his Hugo Boss tuxedo. According to his stylist Johanna Argan, who recently got nominated for the CDG Award for Contemporary Design for his show “House of Cards,” she put Spacey in the Hugo Boss shawl collar tuxedo “because they wanted to go for a classic rat pack feel.” It must have been his good luck charm, because after seven years of denial, Kevin went home with his first Golden Globe.

For women, we had some bright pops of white, Kate Hudson, my pick of the night, in Versace, Rosamund Pike in Vera Wang, Emily Blunt, and Sienna Miller to name a few. Kate really brought it home in a deep plunging neckline and crystal straps covering mesh cutouts in a very sexy (and sensual) white gown. There was no mistaking the Versace brand in Kate’s gown–reminiscent of the famous Elizabeth Hurley safety pin gown by Versace many years ago.

Not all starlets were as daring and successful as Hudson. Some played it safe such as Amy Adams with her blue one-shoulder dress and “ho hum” hair. She seemed to be attempting that Hollywood glamour with a unfussy touch, but her hair came off unpolished and not Golden Globe-worthy, it even had a frizzy fly-away look when the light hit it when she was accepting her award—the horror!

Giuliana Rancic teetered on frat boy bullying pushing George Clooney’s tequila shots on unwitting attendees such as princess Amal Clooney. I don’t think she’s ever taken a shot of tequila, much less grabbed one in her white satin opera gloves paired with her Dior Haute Couture black gown.

TOP LOOKS FROM BEST TO GREAT

Plunging necklines were a theme, done successfully by Sienna Miller, J Lo, Kate Hudson, and Jessica Chastain. Though I rarely like Jessica Chastain, actress in “A Most Violent Year”, she really successfully pulled off her look, the bronze/black pleated low cut halter dress and old Hollywood deep side hair part came together beautifully.

Allison Williams attempted Old Hollywood hair with a deep side part and a faux bob. Her hairline had a too-pulled-back look that made it seem like she was wearing a wig—not the look I’m sure she was attempting for the Golden Globes Red Carpet. Her red Armani Prive sparkly tiered gown made up for the bad hair. And I must add that her makeup did her no favors either. She’s truly a beautiful girl, just had a hair and makeup FAIL for the Globes.

BOTTOM LOOKS FROM WORST TO BAD:

Feathers and sparkle were also ever-present on this Red Carpet. Some ups and some downs: Kiera Knightly for “Imitation Game” had a huge FAIL in Chanel Couture. She bragged about how 30 seamstresses sewed the dress in a week, but I think they should have used less seamstresses and focused on ONE good designer to draft the pattern. The dress was billowy and looked like a couture potato sack with a ruffle top to boot. It did a huge disservice to pregnant women everywhere. We know you can look hot when pregnant, why couldn’t Chanel do something fitted for Kiera? Chanel should have taken some notes from Givenchy if they wanted to do feathers and sparkle. Julianne Moore was stunning in her Custom Givenchy.  But not all feathers won out. Another feathers fail was Claire Danes in Valentino. The “Homeland’ actress’s mesh top with feathers a plenty had horrible fit-it seemed to hang on her lithe top, in a heavy and unflattering way.  Emma Stone was a breath of fresh air in the sparkle category. She wore a relaxed pantsuit with a sparkle strapless top cropped cigarette pant legs and a huge obi type black satin bow in the back.

Other relaxed looks of the night, some successful and some not so successful were: Ruth Wilson yes, Melissa McCarthy no, Katie Cassidy yes, Kristin Whig no, Lena Dunham no. Apparently Zac Posen was a former babysitter of hers and dressed her. I think he was skimping on the tailoring, maybe because her parents only paid him $4.75 an hour for his services back in the ’90’s. Lena prides herself in not caring about her looks. But please, if you are going to go to the Globes hire a makeup artist.

 

Michael DePaulo

Fashion designer Michael DePaulo is having a good year. Last February, the Boston native made his Palm Beach debut to critical acclaim and is getting ready to launch a new bridal and ready-to-wear line in December. Known primarily for his cocktail, evening and special occasion designs, DePaulo’s use of sophisticated lines with an innovative edge has attracted an A-list clientele that includes media and sports powerhouse Linda Pizzuti Henry and Tony Award-winning theater director Diane Paulus. We recently caught up with the handsome and peripatetic 34-year-old over coffee in the South End, where we talked about the intersection of fashion, design and architecture as well as the joys of the perfect plate of pasta.

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I can’t say I’ve ever really been a fan of the murse. I’ve yet to set my eyes on a purse for a man where function meets fashion. Spring/summer lines presented at Paris Fashion Week didn’t help my disapproval for the man purse either, with oversized clutches seen in camo by Valentino amongst others. If I’m going to rock a murse it needs to be able to hold more than my car keys, wallet and phone – which brings me to Berluti,

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You might as well refer to rain as fashion suicide, so you can thank the genius known as Valentino for making your rainy days ever so fashionable with this pair of boots from his REDValentino line. Forget your standard rain boots with that waxy rubber ducky look, the exterior of these boots are muted with a matte finish, playing down the idea they’re even suited for the rain. The real eye catcher here though is the stitching; creating an illusion of leather or suede boots which in reality are made of rubber – the oversized bow and gold buckle don’t hurt either. Fashion, quality and function make these REDValentino’s worth the $195 investment for your dull rainy days. You can find them at Neiman Marcus.

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