fashion

Dressing your age at the Met Gala has never been so complicated.

If you’re Kendall Jenner, choosing what to wear to the most fashionable of fashionable nights in glittering NYC is easy:

Not much.

Youth is enough. At the Met Gala, like every other red carpet event, the cameras and the culture cannot get enough of young flesh. Side boobing, ab-flashing, pokey-pokey shoulder-blading… the more skin, the better. The fewer modesty-covering sequinned-feathers, the better. Roll yourself in glue-stick, thrash around in glitter and you’ve pretty much nailed the preferred look.

Rita Ora, Kylie Jenner and Lorde. The Young Ones. (Images: Getty)

Kendall Jenner would look great in nothing, or in a Snuggie. That's how youth rolls.

But if you are over 40, a Met Gala invitation is a trickier proposition. The event demands show-stopping. The event demands edgy. The event demands industrial-grade Spanx.

Unless you are Madonna. If you are Madonna, then it only requires some black ribbons, a G-string and 57  years of not giving a f***.

Lol..............Met Ball????????????????????????????

A photo posted by Madonna (@madonna) on May 2, 2016 at 7:22pm PDT

People will clutch their pearls about Madge's bum on the red carpet. They will tell her to put it away. And she will give them the finger and remind them if they think she's going to head into her 60s in a cardigan and crocs, they're dreaming. Thank God.

Event dressing is terrifying. Whether it's the Met Gala or your cousin's Zippy's wedding, there's something about choosing an outfit that will be forever frozen in time that can be paralysing and sends even the sanest among us into a "But I have nothing to weeeeaaaaarrr" tantrum.

Add to that the wide range of insecurities that the average woman carries around in her clutch - saggy arms, wrinkly cleavage, big bum, little bum, double chin, ugly toes - and it's a very, very rare person who's feeling confident enough to think, 'You know what, let's go with the latex'.

ADVERTISEMENT

For your enjoyment: Met Gala fashion with Monz. Post continues after video...

Beyonce, of course, stands alone on that one, looking like some kind of jaw-dropping, futuristic Condom Goddess :

The Condom Goddess herself (Image via Getty).

Most of us, once we lose the confidence to flash flesh, are looking for one thing when it comes to event dressing: Sleeves. I will go to considerable lengths to find a dress that makes me feel good while still covering my bingo wings. And I thought that was my lot, as a woman with a 4 in front of my age.

But I am mistaken. Because look. Just look at these women.

Nicole Kidman rocking ab cut-outs and deep cleavage like a long-lost Kardashian cousin (that lesser-known ginger side of the family). Naomi Watts, Uma Thurman, both of whom have arms that could belong to their 21-year-old nannies.

Naomi, Nicole and Uma. (Images: Getty)

Hollywood no longer tolerates ageing in its movie stars, male or female. And it doesn't have to. Because these women, with their extraordinary genes, top-of-the-line dermatologists, whole food gurus and punishing exercise regimes, look and dress just like the starlets they once were. They are the visual manifestations of what mere mortals know to be true - women get more powerful as they age.

ADVERTISEMENT

Witness Cindy Crawford. She's 50. There was a time when a 50-year-old supermodel would NOT be happy to be posing next to the 20-year-old version of herself. Those days are gone. Because in 2016, when 50-year-olds look like this, and 62 looks like Christie Brinkley, there is nothing to lose by showing the world your perfectly curated face, body, outfit. There is only upside.

And aspiration.

Which is the only part of this incredible spectacle that wrankles. The Met Gala - hosted every year by Anna Wintour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC and every year the most glorious procession of fashion you have ever witnessed - is yet another reminder that in the new world order, there are No Excuses.

Age is no excuse not to be Hot. Pregnancy is no excuse not to be Hot.

There's a certain freedom to the invisibility that ageing - in its previous, more modest incarnation - gives you. Not having to trussy up in bake foil and stick crunchy contacts in your eyes and have your legs bleed from chain-mail cuts (yes, that happened to Kylie Jenner today) and having to swear off carbs for three months prior - that used to be one of the perks of getting older.

No more. Hiding behind sleeves is for The Weak.

SJP the Queen of the Met Gala (Image: Getty)

And, of course, for the epic Sarah Jessica Parker. Who has been known to turn up to the Met Gala dressed as a gladiator, a woman on fire and a woman who forgot half her clothes but who, today, wore pedal pushers and a coat. And the most exquisite shoes you have ever seen.

Next year, they'll all be wearing peddle-pushers.

You can follow Holly on Facebook, here

00:00 / ???