The Met Gala, often affectionately dubbed fashion’s biggest night out, is quite possibly the high point of the fashion calendar, especially for those who aren’t attending every fashion week. The first Monday in May is a stylish, artistic free-for-all that debuts some of the most iconic red carpet moments and raises millions of pounds for a cornerstone of American culture.
The gala’s theme, which is always based on the subject of the coinciding exhibition, is often one that both stifles and pushes fashion-forward, and this year’s Met was no different. As part of a two-part exhibition on American fashion, this year’s Met Gala centered on Gilded Glamour with an official title of America: an anthology of fashion.
However, despite numerous headlines, social media videos, and probably some small print on the invitation, not everyone got the memo. Some stars, despite looking amazing, seemed to be dressed for any red carpet or even looked wildly futuristic. Olivia Rodrigo, sported a beautiful lilac sequined Versace dress that screamed glamour but not the gilded kind. While, Sebastian Stan (who we must congratulate on not turning up in a black suit like pretty much every other male star) looked good enough to eat in a head-to-toe candy pink Valentino look but sadly was possibly the furthest from the theme.
Despite this, some stars saved the evening, with glamourous, referential and just down-right delectable looks.
Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday, Mr President’ dress designed by Jean Louis based on a Bob Mackie sketch in 1962. The American reality TV star brought to life an iconic piece of fashion history and looked dazzling at the same time, a far cry from her last, all black Met Gala look that certainly left opinion divided.
Lizzo wore an extravagant Thom Browne look complete with a matching gold flute and corkscrew style nails. While the reference to the theme wasn’t as explicit as Kim K’s, the long corset and gold embroidery synonymous with the Gilded age being celebrated hit the nail subtly on the head.
Claire Danes doesn’t attend every Met Gala, but when she does, she always manages to look fabulous. In an ode to Edwardian and flapper style undergarments, the actress dazzled in a Lanvin dress. While the look possibly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, even the muted cream tone of the dress seems to perfectly reflect the theme.
Franco Moschino, the founder behind the campy and controversial fashion house of the same name, was not an American designer by birth. However, much of his work often parodied french Haute Couture in the same way American fashion copied it. The aubergine purple Moschino dress worn by Anitta feels oddly American, complete with a modernised bustle and strings of pearls; the look was a creative nod to the theme.
Sarah Jessica Parker, responsible for tv’s biggest fictional fashion icon, wore an elegantly crafted black and white Christopher John Rodgers gown. At first glance, the look may seem pretty far from the theme, however, SJP explained that it was inspired by Elizabeth Keckley, the first black female fashion designer or modiste of the white house.
Billie Eilish has been on the theme and on-brand for 100% of the Met Galas she has attended (it helps that this was only her second one). Her beautiful Gucci dress perfectly reflected glamour and the gilded age of fashion, with corsetry, a bustle, and even semi-historically accurate hair. Despite some critics of the look, it’s clear how well Eilish uses fashion to further craft public persona and personality.
Despite being of Italian descent, Elsa Schiaparelli is often associated with the notion of gilded glamour and American fashion. Her surrealist work spoke to the world in a way the classic and romantic styles of European fashion could not. The iconic fashion house is now helmed by American Born Daniel Roseberry, whose work makes numerous and consistent references to the golden age of fashion; it makes perfect sense that his work popped up on the Met Gala carpet. Carey Mulligan wore a beautiful Schiaparelli gown, channeling opulence to the event.
We can only hope everyone looks just as beautiful and finally gets the memo for next first Monday in May.
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