Carolina Herrera throws shade on Beyonce & others for ‘naked’ Met Gala gowns


I really enjoy Carolina Herrera’s clothes. If I was First Lady or a senator, I would wear a lot of Herrera’s designs. She makes sophisticated, beautiful stuff that doesn’t seem too stuffy. Carolina is 76 years old now and still vital and kicking. She sat down with the Washington Post to promote her latest boutique opening in DC. She ended up throwing some well-executed shade at Beyonce and all the celebrity women who walk around nearly naked. Some highlights from the interview:

Designers shouldn’t TRY to be hip & cool: “If you are a designer who is born hip and cool, then fine, you can do it. But I don’t understand a designer who sees hip and cool [young designers] and they want to be like the newcomers. You confuse the client.”

Nakedness is not good design: Some designers think “it’s so modern to be naked or almost naked. They think it’s going to attract younger people if they do those dresses. No! The almost naked! Oh God! They’re trying to get people to pay attention to them. In life, there should be a little mystery.” Herrera turns to the recent Costume Institute gala to make her point. Exhibits A through C: Beyoncé and her bedazzled mosquito netting; Jennifer Lopez in a red beaded gown that was all front and back and no sides; Kim Kardashian with a train of white feathers trailing from a derriere served up for admiration. “They’re supposed to be fashion icons and they’re not wearing anything. It’s an obsession now.”

She’s not against an open neckline, but it has to be done correctly: “If it’s open so much, they look like fried eggs. Fashion is about proportion.”

[From WaPo]

I don’t really think Carolina is saying that she hates Beyonce, J.Lo or Kim Kardashian specifically, I think she’s making a larger statement about fashion. If anything, she’s criticizing Ricardo Tisci (Givenchy), Roberto Cavalli and Donatella Versace for designing clothes for women which are barely even functional as “fashion” or “clothes.” And I agree with her. I’m SO tired of seeing bedazzled illusion netting.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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98 Responses to “Carolina Herrera throws shade on Beyonce & others for ‘naked’ Met Gala gowns”

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  1. Katie says:

    1. critique does not equal hate.
    2. CH is not incorrect. The “naked” trend is neither fashionable, nor attractive. Showing off all of your assets isn’t classy. She is completely correct in saying there should be some mystery.
    3. The “naked” trend reeks of desperation.

    • Prairiegirl says:

      Katie nailed it.

    • Tifygodess says:

      Exactly but We live in a society where any criticism is seen as hate or jealousy. I am so tired of seeing the words jealous or hater used for everything and add them together my head wants to explode. Why can’t people self reflect and realize that no, not everyone who says something to you, that you don’t like is jealous or hating. So juvenile. I worry for our future.
      I’m so bored with this show off mentality. No people don’t need to wear turtlenecks and pants but come on. Sexy can be sexy without being naked.

      • Jen43 says:

        True. People are allowed to have different opinions. PC run amok.

      • belle de jour says:

        You are too right.
        Pet peeve: a lot of people lack the ability to think or express themselves critically anymore, and so ‘critical’ has become synonymous with ‘negative’ – which has lazily been conflated with ‘wrong’ or ‘shaming.’
        A quick flurry of buzzwords and unsupported talking points and pointy ineffectual name-calling darts does not a reasoned argument, discussion or dynamic debate make.
        It drives me nuts.

      • MCraw says:

        I just hate the mob mentality of insults hurled at ppl who have differing, minority opinions. Twitter goes IN on ppl, threatening lives, jobs, families… All because someone decided to share an unpopular opinion. I’ve seen it on this website and so many others.

        As for Herrera, she is completely right. All those women reeked of desperation that night, the ultimate fashion faux pas. Rihanna, in all her covered up glory, stole the show with her beauty, her style and her class.

      • Carmen says:

        I thought Rihanna looked like an omelet, but at least she had some clothes on.

    • kcarp says:

      Critique also doesn’t mean you are being misogynistic , racist, transphobic, slut shaming, body shaming, far right winged, or any other buzz word.

      • Katey says:

        Yes!!! I sooooo agree!!

      • Zigggy says:


      • JenniferJustice says:

        Or anti-feminist! Especially when the topic of discussion is naked “fashion”. Nothing says “look at me tata’s and a$$ but don’t objectify me” like naked fashion. #hurl#

      • Neonscream says:

        That really depends on the critique. It isn’t neccesarily misogynist, racist or whatever but you can’t hide behind “just critique” or “just my opinion” if that critique/opinion is bigoted. If you say that the bedazzled netting look (which I hate FWIW) is slutty then your critique IS misogynist because you are a) making presumptions about a woman’s sexual life based on her clothes and b) claiming that a woman’s sexual choices are problematic based on the idea that woman shouldn’t have as much sex as they like. Same as if you claim its “just your opinion” that big noses are ugly because they look Jewish. It may just be your opinion but it’s based on bigotry.

    • Christina says:


    • NUTBALLS says:


    • Sarah says:

      +1 to infinity

    • Sherry says:


    • M.A.F. says:

      Agree on all accounts especially #1

    • enuff said says:

      Have always loved her…First Class!!

    • Wentworth Miller says:

      Correct on all accounts. I can’t understand why any speech against something or someone is always considered being a hater or throwing shade. When did the middle ground between hate and love disappear?

  2. lisa2 says:

    She is right.. there was nothing fashionable about any of those outfits. Nothing edgy or cutting edge. It was all about how much skin could be shown without going full nude. And it is a LOOK AT ME outfit..

    boring.. because now everyone is doing it and it is now just MEH.. and it was MEH at the beginning too. It screams desperation. And I don’t care how much print it gets. They all see desperate.

    • Jib says:

      Cher did the near nude 30 years ago – and did it much better. And I love Herrara’s gowns! Divine!!!

  3. GingerCrunch says:

    A tailored white shirt over fried eggs ANY DAY, ANY EVENT!

  4. Jaana says:

    i agree with her. I’m so over nudity. Its not shocking, just pathetic.

    • Nicolette says:

      +1. It really is enough already. I mean I know guys just love what’s been happening but isn’t there something to be said for leaving something to the imagination? As Carolina put it, a little mystery. I don’t even want to see a man with everything out there, peeling off the layers is so much more enticing and sexy. The dresses being worn by JLo, Kim and Beyoncé all look like like they should come with a matching stripper pole. Carolina is classic, timeless and elegant.

      • Anne tommy says:

        agree. And it’s all so gender based,with women wearing little more than nipple pasties and a thong accompanied by men in nice tuxedos. I certainly don’t want to see Jay Z or J Lo’s toy boy wearing nothing but leather shorts and a smile but that’s the equivalent and it simply doesn’t happen. Beyoncé and co. should turn down the trashometer.

    • MinnFinn says:

      It is said that all fashion ends in excess so my hope is that JoLo, Beyonce et al are showing us the beginning of the end of this nude-y trend.

      And pathetic is what it is plus desperate and try-so-hard-to-be-sexy that it ends up not being sexy.

      • KayLastima says:

        It’s not sexy, not by a long shot. It is desperate cries for attention. To be an onlooker in this situation would be excruciating for me, it’s bad enough to see it in photos where the women seem to revel in their “The king has no clothes” attire. Who is telling them this is an outstanding way in which to regard themselves, as nothing but an object?? I have no words for Beyoncé. She must not have an ounce of love for herself. It stands to reason, just look at who she choose as a partner. It is my opinion that there is not a lot of self worth there, and this all but screams that with the force of a tsunami. And that goes for the rest of the lot that choose to dress themselves this way, for a special event, or in everyday life. I’m looking at you Kim, and all your vapid ilk, including the pop tartlets/actresses.

  5. Amelia says:

    I’d absolutely love to look like her when I’m her age.
    She looks georgeous and timelessly stylish.
    Completely agree with her regarding Beyoncé, J-Lo and co.
    There’s showing a little skin, and then there’s attention seeking.

    • capepopsie says:

      I couldn´t agree more!!

    • PunkyMomma says:

      I agree. She is class personified. And she is spot on about proportion. I once heard Carolina say in an interview that a woman’s best fashion accessory is a full length mirror. She’s absolutely right.

      • belle de jour says:

        Yes! to the full-length mirror. Go, Carolina!

        When you get stuck on one piece of an ensemble – especially an attention-gimmick dress or ‘edgy’ accessory – you often lose sight of the effect of the whole.

    • Lensblury says:

      Amelia, I agree. She looks fantastic, plus I love her style – very graceful. CH is right, these “Tonight I’m wearing a handful of fairy dust” dresses and the likes are desperate and display neither taste, nor edge, nor inspiration. They’re just not nice to look at.

      • NerdMomma says:

        “Tonight I’m wearing a handful of fairy dust”

        Okay, that made me burst out laughing. Great description 🙂

      • Lirko says:

        If makes me kind of sad that go there, because whether or not they are feeling desperate to stay relevant and show the world at large that they’ve still got it, it certainly comes across that way.

    • beautifulDay says:

      I can’t stand the preppy patrician look, and I’d take naked fashion over this 50s throwback any day. As per all the other posters I am free to critique.

  6. Lennox says:

    She’s absolutely right. I found all the dresses mentioned above unbelievably tacky, and yes, it’s attention-seeking. It’s perfectly possible to wear something that shows off your shape without being practically naked.

  7. Po says:

    Completely agree. I think some of the designers have run out of ways to shock people with how beautifully made their clothes are so they go for the old standby of showing t&a.

    • Lirko says:

      Good point. Some designers rely on shock value more than actual design to get and keep their name out there. A well cut dress in a beautiful fabric if done well is all the sexy you’ll ever need for an event. But then there’s some designers who have made “sexy” so literal that women are now walking around naked at awards shows. That must be some celebrity bubble they’re in full of sycophants if none is telling them how ridiculous they look… Like desperate retired ice skaters.

    • Liberty says:


      But ….. is it shocking anymore, really? They look like crappy ice dancing costumes or old Vegas costumes. Like Cher in her old show you tubes (and at least she had the energy and wit to carry those costumes off). How is that shocking, amazing, or anything but blah at this point? I mean…seen so often, it’s kind of boring, the opposite of a shock or a wow.

      • Po says:

        Yeah and you’ll notice the women who do it have the same style/image that never changes. If you have to try to be edgy you’re probably not.

  8. Div says:

    I know some people were upset with this, but she’s not slut-shaming them. I agree that she’s critiquing the designers that rely on flesh colored patterns and netting more than anything else.

    • whipmyhair48 says:

      She’s not saying that women who dress like this are sluts. She’s saying that what the are wearing shouldn’t be considered fashion.

      Anyone who thinks she is slut shaming should get over their butt-hurt.

  9. INeedANap says:

    Kaiser, I love that you said “First Lady or a senator”, rather than senator’s wife. Je t’adore.

  10. Jen43 says:

    She is 100% correct. And she is lovely.

  11. Norman Bates' Mother says:

    Shade well deserved. And fairly distributed. I like that she puts much of the blame on designers, because most of the media coverage I’ve seen were focusing on the 3 naked ladies and not the supposed artists, who designed these atrocities. They didn’t force them to wear it, so they deserve some shade as well but Ms. Herrera worded it all very well.

    She always looks very classy and elegant herself and even though some of her designs show a significant amount of skin (I remember a dress with almost completely sheer top), it’s never too much – it’s always either legs or breasts, so she knows what she’s talking about.

  12. Miss M says:

    She is right. I would love to wear a CH gown one day 🙂

  13. Chinoiserie says:

    She is right when she says it is supposed be about fashion (expecially in Met gala) and they are not wearing anything.

  14. Naddie says:

    I couldn’t agree more. But then someone comes and says that it’s “whatever shaming” because women should be able to show off their bodies and not be side-eyed. I’m honestly confused, but I just can’t disagree with her at all.

  15. lowercaselois says:

    Many years ago I brought a Carolina Herrera wedding gown. Since then, the gown has been passed on to three different members of my family. That is how timeless and classic her designs are.

  16. Neelyo says:

    Beyonce looks awful in that thing she’s wearing and that hair is ridiculous. She has absolutely no taste or style.

    • Susan says:

      Totally agree. I know it’s unpopular to NOT like Beyoncé but frankly I’ve never seen the appeal. Talent or style wise. (Ducking as i prepare to be pelted with tomatoes).

    • Lola says:

      Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous is exactly what she always looks like. That stripper number she did with her husband was sad and pathetic.

    • Maria A. says:

      That outfit would work in one venue only as appropriate attire, maybe: Las Vegas, as part of her act. Otherwise, it’s just a narcissistic scream for attention.

  17. Tara says:

    I agree with her. It’s just tacky to be that naked on the red carpet. Jennifer Lopez seems to go overboard with it lately because I think she’s obsessed with people still seeing her as this sex symbol. She’s so self-absorbed. It’s all for attention. Classy style will always be timeless.

    Beyoncé is trying to copy Rihanna anyway.

    • Blythe says:

      When you’re failing to compete with the Taylors, Arianas, Nickis, Rihannas, and Beyoncés of the world, you have to bring out your secret weapon: tacky illusion mesh.

      • Lirko says:

        Yes! Unless you’re a Vegas showgirl or an actual ice skater, just say no to tacky illusion mesh!

  18. Kiddo says:

    There is a big difference between fashion designers in general and those who design costume pieces for performers. And those dresses are costumes, not gowns. It’s unlikely that the naked trend will be a best seller in Haute couture and then be translated into off the rack items for the masses. These designs are specifically made to show off bodies, rather than embracing style. That said, I’m not offended by it so much as I am bored, because it has become repetitive for performers, and thus it is uninspired copycatting.

  19. alicegrey12 says:

    Naked is beautiful don’t get me wrong, but going out naked in sheer gowns is just a disgusting grab for attention.

  20. littlemissnaughty says:

    It doesn’t sound like she’s throwing shade at the celebs but yeah, she’s definitely critiquing the designers. I feel like these designers are a little lazy and/or lack creativity. There’s nothing harder than to design something that’s going to look good on more than one size, that’s fashionable without being trendy, and that fits. If it’s interesting on top of that, full marks. Givenchy is not really doing that, neither is Versace. It can’t be that hard to take a sculpted J.Lo body and show it off with strategically placed sequins. Whatever happened to “If you show off one part, hide the others.”? It’s not a bad rule.

  21. Tig says:

    To everyone who made the observation that CH’s comments weren’t “whatever-shaming”-THANK YOU!! If anything, she’s designer shaming! Totally agree with everything she said- netting over a naked body with strategic sequins isn’t fashion. Are these women free to wear whatever? Sure, but more’s the pity that with unlimited access to the best of everything, this is what they decide on.

  22. Christina says:

    CH is the epitome of a Lady – pure class!

  23. HK9 says:

    She’s completely correct. All these ladies who insist on being next to naked at every event thinking it’s ‘edgy’ really comes off as thirsty. As for CH, the first outfit I had made for myself was a CH dress with matching jacket so I can tell you, this woman knows style.

  24. nikkisixx says:

    What I hated most about Beyonce’s antics at the Met Gala was the presentation. IT was awful. She came extremely late and she really thought she was going to shut sh&t down and make everyone fawn over her and her naked dress. Those kind of antics should be reserved for talentless fame hos, not Beyonce. And I say this as someone who’s a big fan and lover of her concerts.

  25. ickythump says:

    These nakedy dresses are more like costumes which should only be worn in Las Vegas reviews – they are out of context and we need designers like CH to bring the class and glamour back to the red carpet.

  26. Suzy from Ontario says:

    I agree with her. I’m sick of the nearly naked dresses. The same thing is even happening with some wedding dresses lately…barely there lace with large sheer areas. Really? Is it that important to be seen as so sexually adventurous and daring that you’d wear something like this on your wedding day?!! No thanks!

    I think Carolina is right…women can look much sexier if they retain a little mystery. I don’t find anything sexy or appealing about the dresses Beyonce and JLo and KK wore. Yeah we get it…you’re soooo daring and edgy. Like ickythump said…they’re like Vegas costumes! And I agree with HK9…they just come off as thirsty/try too hard for attention. Not very classy imo. Sometimes less is more.

    • Angel says:

      Thank you! I also think that for your wedding you should be trying for beautiful, you can go for one day without T & A.

  27. kri says:

    She is 100% correct. We all know these women have bodies they want to show off, and that is their right. But a beautiful body can be shown off with beautiful couture, and some of them don’t seem to get this, despite all of their money. It’s sad. And boring.

  28. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    I’ve got no beef with her comments though I do disagree with one thing and I wonder if it’s because she’s approaching this from the perspective of being a designer herself.

    These naked dresses aren’t about fashion. They’re naked dresses because the goal is NUDITY. These women want to be naked. They want the world to see as much as possible. Look at Beyonce’s ridiculous emphasis on her Vegan diet, they want the world to take notice and praise them for claiming the holy grail.

    Blame the culture, blame the competition, but these days if you’ve got the body the urge is to show it. It’s a form of accomplishment and claiming power (at this point the only thing anyone compliments JLo on are her looks).

    I just think Herrara is looking past the point, if it’s all about netting and strategically placed sequins then clearly the ladies don’t care about presenting ‘the dress’ now do they?

  29. LadyL says:

    Carolina oozes class and elegance. Her clothes can be worn by most women- regardless of age or dress size. Love her and her daughters.

  30. Otaku Fairy says:

    I don’t see HER commentary as slut-shaming because, unlike some of the commenters, she’s not in any way making personal or character attacks on any woman who would wear the dress. She’s just criticizing a fashion trend that she finds unattractive. That makes all the difference.

    While I don’t think any of this has to do with “Jealous H*trs”, I do think that if the naked-trend weren’t edgy at all, peoples’ responses to it would be more nonchalant and less “Gasp! Ew, nasty. Where’s your talent and your class? Cover up and stop being pathetic and desperate. You’re ‘supposed’ to only ever show a little bit of skin!” Part of what determines whether or not something is even a little bit edgy or controversial is the way people respond to it. And I do wish that at least before telling other women to dress/be more classy, people would privately take the time to stop and think about where the standards for what is or isn’t ‘classy’ for a woman have been coming from for thousands of years, and the fact that women have almost always been either forced or expected to be modestly dressed. In fashion, I think there should be room for lots of experimentation- room for almost everything!!! Otherwise, where’s the fun in celebrity costumes? 🙂

    To each his or her own. I like some of the naked/sparkly-type dresses, when I think the dresses look good. I don’t like Beyoncé’s dress, but I did like the one Rihanna wore and I kind of liked Kim K’s too- and I rarely like anything she wears. Anyway, why should celebrity fashion and costumes at an event NOT be attention-seeking?

    • meme says:

      Why don’t the men prance around half naked at these events? Why don’t they come shirtless? Sometimes the women are all decked out and their men look like slobs. Beyoncé looked like trash in that silly dress.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        “Why don’t the men prance around half naked at these events? Why don’t they come shirtless?”

        Because a man being half-naked or shirtless isn’t at all seen as ‘deviant’, ‘scandalous’, or boundary-pushing. People are just a lot more chill about the male body than they are about women’s. If a male celeb is publicly shirtless the only thing he’ll get headlines for is whether or not he has a bangin’ body, and the only brief discussion people will have about it on internet sites is whether or not the dude is crush-worthy or bangable. People move on, and don’t act like the fact that he did something with his own body is something that they’re entitled to chastise him for without anyone breathing a word of criticism over the opinion they voiced. People don’t raise that as a propriety issue, diagnose that man as ‘lacking self-worth’, or act like the male celeb’s shirtlessness is some kind of ill. Where’s the scandal? In order for something to be boundary-pushing, it doesn’t have to be new or original. It just has to go against someone’s boundaries about the ‘proper’ or ‘classy’ way for a certain demographic to present themselves.

        As for why men dress like slobs, it seems like a lot of men just don’t care about experimenting with fashion to begin with. I think women’s fashion is a lot more interesting. Also, I don’t think cisgendered men not doing something regularly in their lives is a valid reason for everyone else who does it to be policed. Pushing everyone else to be visual mimic clones of the stereotypical straight cis male is not the answer, and is not respectful to everyone who happens to not be a male.

      • Nic919 says:

        Women show up half naked at these events because it pays for them to exhibit their sexuality. You never see men with their shirts off at these events because they wouldn’t be considered sexy , instead they would be laughed at. It is normal for women’s bodies to be on display and sexualized. It is not normal for male bodies to be on display to the same degree.
        It would actually be deviating from the norm for men to wear nearly nude outfits.
        Men don’t wander around without shirts on unless they are at the beach or the gym.. Even then. Women’s attire is far more revealing in a general way that the only way to stick out a bit more is to basically be naked.

        Maybe we should be questioning why the fashion industry sexualizes women and their clothing, and starts this at a young age, whereas for men, it is still fashionable to wear looser clothing.

  31. M.A.F. says:

    Now, whenever I see a plunging neck line I will think “fried eggs”.

  32. LA Juice says:

    she’s just opining. and so will I- in retrospect, all the sheer bodysuit dresses seem totally trashy.

  33. TessD says:

    Whatever – it’s MET Gala, not the Oscars. I personally like sophisticated but that is a good place to go a little risque. Nothing wrong with that. And trying to shock everyone by going nearly naked to a public event is nothing new. It’s been done for centuries especially in the world of show business and art.

  34. Subconciously says:

    If a dress looks like something a prostitute in a bordello would wear when parading her assets to potential clients – then it is not fashion nor beautiful.