The best of the Met: President’s Ball fashion edition

Students wear glamorous outfits for President’s Ball.
Josefina Cuddeback | Collegian

New York Fashion Week. The Met Gala. President’s Ball. These events seem to have everything in common (think lavish outfits, notable attendees), and almost nothing differentiating them except location. But from the red carpets of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the art-deco carpets of the Searle Center, the name of the game is the same: eye-catching statement pieces with a story.

As is natural with events of this import, press members flock to observe and critique the looks of the evening, and make a final statement about who can claim the title “best dressed.” But what makes someone best dressed? Doesn’t best just imply the most good? What is the Good? If we knew what the Good was, Hillsdale would lose its advertising niche and enrollment would plummet. Given the ambiguity of the term, we  instead opted  to highlight several unique takes on “good” attire for the evening. 

The Glam Gown  

Freshman Cassandra DeVries turned heads in a strapless, floor length black gown, complete with sequins and long gloves. When asked about the inspiration for the gown, DeVries did not disappoint with the backstory. “I broke up with my boyfriend for 12 hours”. She immediately sought out the Kalamazoo boutiques, and purchased the revenge dress in the 12 hours before it became clear that her boyfriend, another Hillsdale attendee, didn’t know they had broken up and the whole thing was a misunderstanding. A happy misunderstanding, as DeVries kept the dress and looked stunning when the two attended the event together this past Saturday. 

The Twist on the Timeless 

Junior Amy Mills also turned out for the event in a floor length number, but incorporated an off-the-shoulder fur stole, reminiscent of 20th century Hollywood and stars such as Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford. She kept it fresh with bright colors, opting for a bold red. Though a junior, Mills had never attended President’s Ball until this weekend, and she did not disappoint for her debut. And her stylist? Macy’s and Amazon. Take notes kids, killer fashion need not kill your wallet as well. 

The Sustainable Chic 

As Head Student Ambassador, Junior Luke Hollister is no stranger to dressing for the job. He can, apparently, also dress for the event of the winter– but more impressive than his suave ensemble was its origin. Incentivized to meet the fashion bar set by his equally well-dressed friend group, Hollister caved to positive peer-pressure and set out for the equivalent of a Hillsdale boutique, i.e. Hillsdale Thrift. While the price tags at this establishment are generally more palatable, Hollister still struggled to pull the trigger on any purchase given his college-student finances. He knew he had found the sport coat when he saw the $6.99 pricetag marked at half-off. Not only was his coat a sustainable choice, it was also a financial win. 

“You heard it here first, ladies and gentlemen: Hillsdale Thrift,” Hollister said. “This is not a joke. This is not a story. This is reality.”

It’s no wonder that students were so prepared for President’s Ball as far as wardrobe. While most fashion devotees try to predict the signature looks for that year’s event, sophomore Kamden Mulder was ahead of the curve. She herself did not disappoint, going for a fresh cosmopolitan feel in a shag-inspired, pastel pink tunic dress. But when sharing her stylist’s name, Mulder admitted that her mother, the real fashionista of the family, found the dress. 

“Basically she’s more stylish than I am and my inspiration for life,” Mulder said.  

With Prez Ball 2023 in the rearview, Hillsdale can take a valuable lesson from the weekend: no one actually knows what the Good is, so if you do it with enough flair and confidence, almost anything goes.

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