Met Gala 2013: The Costume Institute Goes Punk For A Night

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The punk theme at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2013 Gala, the annual ball held in NYC to open The Costume Institute’s spring exhibition, was a bit of unlikely. Glamorous red carpet divas ditching their satin gowns and smokey eyes for bondage-inspired clothing and garish makeup—could this really happen? The answer was, alas, no. Though unconventional, the looks at the event were more rock festival than punk, with unkempt locks and deep-colored lips rather than of Manic Panic–dyed mohawks and full-on black lipstick. Though a rainbow of wacky beauty looks may sound a bit extreme for an event like the Met Gala (no thanks to Elle Fanning), that, in a nutshell, was supposed to be the whole idea.

Stars still looked gorgeous lighting up the red carpet Monday night, but the energy of the punk era seemed only alive in a few worthy guests who actually lived through punk's heyday—Vivienne Westwood and the members of Blondie, for whom “punk” is much more than just a fashion statement. Despite the dearth of authentic punk, we spotted some interesting beauty ideas on the Met Gala 2013 red carpet. Here are some of our favorite interpretations of wild styles past from the event.

Spiked styles were an obvious choice for a punk-theme 'do that surprisingly few stars chose to adopt. Miley Cyrus is lucky to have the perfect short style to pull off the look, and she looked fab with tousled spikes, kept in place by Oribe Rock Hard Gel. We also love how the look put her grown-out roots on full display. Miley's bright yet minimal makeup provided the perfect counterpoint of pretty under her boyish 'do, reminding us a bit of a young Debbie Juvenile or Linda Ashby. Alternately, Sarah Jessica Parker got creative with a mohawk-inspired hat look woven into an elaborate fishtail braid. It was an apt nod to hardcore style while still staying true to her own recognizable taste.

The inspiration for many Met guests' hairstyles may very well have been Patti Smith, who dominated the mid-'70s punk era through her songwriting and passionate performances. Patti's low-key style was almost masculine, especially in a scene where many men were wearing more makeup than women, and her long, shaggy brown locks would fit in anywhere today. Ashley Olsen and Allison Williams rocked Patti-esque locks Monday night, but then again, they always look that way! Others like Kim Gordon channeled Debbie Harry with messy bobs and blunt bangs. Oddly, Debbie herself showed up with backswept hair.

Smokey eye’s were just as rampant as ever on the Met red carpet, this time with a little more black eyeliner. Katie Holmes and Jennifer Lopez smoked out their eyes past the point of no return, while others chose more graphic styles. We loved Stella Tennant’s stark black liner. More colorfully, Emily Blunt sported a pink cat eye, which popped against her otherwise conventional ensemble. To get the look, try NARS Blush in Desire on the lids.

The real place punk style shined wasn’t in the hair or on the face, but instead, on the nails. Emmy Rossum (pictured left) sported taupe fishscale-like nail art, created with Butter London 3 Free Lacquer in Yummy Mummy, a lace overlay to matched her dress, and finished with crystal appliques and gothic, bold rings. Sienna Miller dressed up her manicure in Deborah Lippmann’s Fade To Black polish, with individual mini spikes adding a dangerous detail.