George Santos: ‘This red carpet will come to order!’

News & Politics

George Santos is no Joan Rivers.

The former congressman may dabble in style reportage, but he insists that when it comes to the red carpet he’s very much a freshman.

“I would be remiss if I accepted the throne of a queen like Joan Rivers,” Santos tells Align. “I have a long way to go. Joan Rivers was unparalleled.”

Although Santos may not have his official fashion police badge, he’s not shy about making the occasional citizen’s arrest. Over the weekend he got tongues wagging with his second annual roll call of fashion faves and fails from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Angry texts followed. But Santos says journalists should know nothing in the spotlight is off the record.

“I will say this: Provocateur cultural commentator at large extraordinaire George Santos is far more unforgiving than politician George Santos,” he cautions. “You wanna walk the red carpet, you wanna act like a big-boy celebrity, get ready.”

He smiles the sly, confident smile of a sheriff fixing to clean up the town. “I think some of the folks in D.C. aren’t thrilled that there’s going to be actual attention on what they’re wearing.”

Here at Align, the thrill is all ours. Santos was kind enough to sit down with us and go over some of the night’s most notable — and notorious — looks.

—Matt Himes


Abby Phillip, CNN anchor and political correspondent

Getty Images/Drew Angerer

Abby Phillip slayed. Look, not a lot of people will give credit where credit is due. I think Abby Phillip absolutely delivered. She understood the assignment, but the only reservation I would have is the color kind of washed her up a little bit because she’s a black girl.

So a lot of these warmer gold tones do wash up black women. However, she pulled that dress off with all its pleats and ruffles and everything it had to offer like a pro. So I gotta give it to her.

And she accessorized with velvet just enough on that big oversized belt of hers, which most people thought, let’s just do all suede and velvet looks, which it’s really easy to look cheap …

Getty Images/Paul Morigi

Olivia Beavers, Politico Congress reporter

… and that’s where you got my worst dress of the evening, which was a reporter from political called Olivia Beavers. She absolutely bombed. Gold is not for everyone. Here’s a problem we run into.

The dress is tapered all the way to the bottom, which means it gives you very limited mobility and very limited flow. And there’s no natural flow to the dress. You can see that the dress kind of moves, but it ruffles up against itself on the body because there’s no natural flow to the dress, which means she would have benefited from a slit on that dress, and it would have given the fabric better movement, right?

But instead you look at the hem, it looks a little cheap. It’s a little weird at the bottom. It funnels her. She has a beautiful figure. I actually know Olivia from my time on the Hill. She’s one of the most relentless, notorious reporters on Capitol Hill.

But then when you go and look at the shoe element, it’s not the right shoe. It’s not helping her toes or cliffhangers. It just looks really cheaply put together. I could almost say I feel like Olivia went on Temu and just ordered an outfit ready to go and she got home and just burned it because that’s it. You can’t reuse it.

Getty Images/Drew Angerer

Jacqui Heinrich, Fox News White House correspondent

Jackie Heinrich came out with a beautiful gold gown, and that kind of fell through the cracks. And I said, well, if you’re going to do gold, this is how it’s done.

Just because it’s gold doesn’t mean it’s 24 karat gold. And she delivered 24 karat gold there. If you were comparing karats and some of these other people kind of delivered, you know, 10 karat or even, I would say, faux gold.

Getty Images/Drew Angerer

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA)

The sheer chutzpah to show up like that alone!

It’s just so inspiring that he does not care what people are going to say.

The one thing he could have done was wear Adidas shorts because Adidas already has the stripes naturally on the side. It would have been just perfect!

So, room for improvement. But I think Senator Fetterman did a great job.

Getty Images/Drew Angerer

Sophia Bush, actress

She used every positive attribute about her. From her curvy silhouette to her hips, to her thighs. And she put this very cinched dress.

And she put pockets on it! And I’m like, yes, she nailed it. She looks stunning. She looked comfortable, too, which is crazy, right? A lot of people gave me pushback on that one. “No, it looks like she put all of her grandma’s old ugly earrings on the dress.”

I’m sorry. If you think that dress is ugly, then you clearly are a hater. Sophia Bush looked like a million bucks in that dress.

Getty Images/Drew Angerer

Kennedy, host of ‘Kennedy Saves the World’

Kennedy wore [the kind of] classic dress you take it behind the barn into the gravel pit and you shoot it dead, if you know what I mean, because there’s really not a redeeming quality.

Quite frankly, it was kind of embarrassing. I understand she has this shtick where she likes to say she’s, you know, completely a contrarian to everything, blah, blah, blah.

After a while, I just stopped believing it. I just think quite frankly, you just don’t know what you’re doing.

Getty Images/Paul Morigi

Heather Podesta, lobbyist

A notorious lobbyist in Washington, D.C., we all know who she is, but she just had classic elegance.

It was regal. It was just appropriate. It was age-appropriate. It was event-appropriate. The pattern, the cut, the silhouette, it just fit her so perfectly well. And she throws on that silver fox [hair], which just elevates it even more.

She didn’t look like she was even trying. It was that good. So it caught my attention really quick. And I’m like, oh, Heather, girl, all the years lobbying, we would think you’d wear some tired pantsuit, and look at you. You killed it.

She was stunning. I gotta take my hat off to Heather. You looked fabulous.

Getty Images/Paul Morigi

Lynda Carter, actress

Are you kidding? Linda Carter? I think she can still pull off Wonder Woman better than Gal Gadot does it today.

That’s old Hollywood. That’s classic, right? That’s a master class in what you should look like every time you go on a red carpet, and Lynda Carter never misses. I think she can put potato sacks on and she’ll still pull it off.

Getty Images/Drew Angerer

Gayle King, ‘CBS Mornings’ host

Gayle King: 10 out of 10. So last year she made my bad dress list for the dinner. She had a pink dress that didn’t fit her right. It was too short at the ankle. The shoe was wrong, the hair was wrong.

And then Oprah goes on Ozempic and she took so much Ozempic Gayle King lost 15 pounds and looked great in this pastel metallic green. It just looks so stunning.

Getty Images/Drew Angerer

Kristen Welker, NBC News White House correspondent

Kristen Welker is such a beautiful woman. She has this beautiful golden skin tone complexion. And she decided to cover it all up. Oh, that’s fine. But then it’s pink. And I love pink. I mean, I love a lot of pink.

But this pink just felt busy. It loses definition because there’s no contrast of colors on the upper part. And there’s a ribbon. And then there’s some type of embroidery.

It’s just a lot. It’s a high-neck collar. It’s the poofy sleeves. It just felt busy. This is a classic mistake of more is not better. It’s less is more. And that’s what she should really consider next year because this was kind of weird for me. Like, oof.

Getty Images/Paul Morigi

Sunny Hostin, co-host of ‘The View’

The dress is retro. I get the concept, I get the look. It’s incorporated, it’s structured. You can see all the stitching there. It’s a nicely confectioned dress. But it’s stiff on the bottom.

It ruffles in indentations because of how stiff it is. It’s like a type of a jeans material, as you can see from the picture. You look at the hem, you also see like that undoing non-hemmed bottom. But it aged her.

And Sunny Hostin looked so beautiful last year. Her curls were naturally out. She had this flowy, beautiful gown. She just looked like a million bucks.

This kind of packaged her in a weird way. The hair’s wrong. The look is uncomfortable-looking, but it’s also just not good.

Hey, she has a great figure. She could pretty much put anything on, but it doesn’t necessarily elevate her. This definitely did not elevate Sunny Hostin.

And it’s a shame because I was actually looking forward to seeing what she put on this year. This is something that I can see Posh Spice, Victoria Beckham from the Spice Girls, wearing back in 1995.

Getty Images/Paul Morigi

Juju Chang, ‘Nightline’ co-anchor

Juju Chang is beautiful, right? She’s beautiful woman. She’s a legend at ABC. That entire outfit, and there’s not a redeemable piece of that outfit. That dress would never work anywhere.

That shawl would never work anywhere. That bag is absolutely terrible. The shoes are horrible. Like effort, I’ll say this, beautiful hair and makeup done. And the accessory earrings, beautiful. The entire outfit, none of those garments work separately, let alone together.

I really feel like she tripped into a thrift store, walked out and said this’ll do because it looks vintage, it looks old, it looks dated, and it does look ugly.

And this is really very ugly to me. I don’t understand how such a beautiful woman can go so wrong in such a really messy outfit.

It’s all too busy, it’s all clashy. There’s tassel, there’s a tassel bag, there’s the shoe, almost like grandma slippers. This is a beautiful woman. She should be showing up with a lot more impressive of a look, and unfortunately, Juju Chang really bombed this year at the red carpet.

Getty Images/Paul Morigi

Coco Rocha, model

Let me make this clear: Coco’s beautiful. And Coco gets a lot more wins than I’ve ever seen her lose.

[But] this specific dress gave her a weird ergonomic shape, almost where she has a two-tiered body, which is disconnected.

And quite frankly, there’s a lack of balance. If anything, it’s a very imbalanced look. I just think it didn’t work for her. She was trying to elevate the runway and bring high fashion to D.C., which I guess I’ll give her an “A” for effort.

But girlfriend, I don’t think this was it in Paris. I don’t think this was it in New York, let alone in D.C.

Getty Images/Paul Morigi

Alyssa Farah Griffin, co-host of ‘The View’

This dress does not belong on Alyssa Farah. Quite frankly, if you look at the dress, it almost looks like it was cropped onto her.

Doesn’t even look like she’s actually wearing the dress. You remember when we were younger and girls would have those paper dolls that they can just like fold the dress on top? That’s exactly what this looks like.

It looks like that. It doesn’t look like anything that you would consider normal. So we have Alyssa Farah in this structured gown. And look, I always say Alyssa needs a lot more structure to make sense, but this dress ain’t it.

It’s actually not a bad dress. She didn’t pull it off. It’s poorly accessorized and it’s ill fitting on her. It does not look like it was meant for her. Maybe this would work on someone else, but for me, this was a big miss.

Getty Images/Drew Angerer

Melanie Zanona, CNN Capitol Hill reporter

Melanie Zanona from CNN, who showed up in a beautiful strapless red dress that I got to tell you, Matt, she looked like a million bucks. I mean, she took on every single part of her body and said, this goes here, this goes there, this is the pose and worked it. And she showed off her big, beautiful arms, her collarbone, and her entire chest. It looked so well put together. And this is a person that I would walk by all the time in Congress.

And I wouldn’t take two looks at her because she’s always professional in a skirt suit or a suit pants and doing her job. And then she comes out like this. I’m like, well, girl, you rocked it.

Words of wisdom

If you want to make an impression on the red carpet, make sure you have good friends that tell you the truth. Because if not, I will tell you the truth when you hit the carpet.

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