The Met Gala 2019 is upon us, and we are beyond ready. Some of the famous faces we know and love will take to the iconic staircase, but before they enter the venue, our eager eyes will be watching. At the Met, occasion dresses have the power to break the internet, and the biggest statements made are the ones we remember most. We do love a bit of outrage though, here’s a selection of celebrities who have shaken proceedings up with their outfit choices.
An all-American beauty, Madonna Louise Ciccone made her presence known in a male-dominated music industry in the 1980s, and she went on to produce some of the most famous singles of all time. Her rise to stardom was unprecedented, inspiring young women to express themselves with her empowering anthems and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. She is no stranger to controversy, often mixing religious ideology with sexual innuendos in her music videos – her single ‘Like A Prayer’ for example, went as far as upsetting the Pope at the time. Madonna has embraced scandal throughout her career, and she continues to turn heads. She took the 2018 Met Gala by surprise with a shock performance, wearing antiquity inspired clothing to channel the divinity of the theme of the event, ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’. However, her figure-hugging black lace ensemble back at the 2016 Met Gala was dismissed by many, but she used it as an opportunity to deliver a message to her critics. She repurposed fashion, making her statement about more than just clothes, with true Queen of Pop conviction. In an era where popstars emerge all of the time, Madonna continues to reign above the one-hit wonders.
Any fashion related thoughts will never fail to conjure up an image of the iconic platinum haired uber bronzed Donatella Versace. The artistic director and vice president of the fashion powerhouse which bears her own namesake is also a mother, model and muse. Madame Versace is a walking embodiment of couture, and she has carved her impressive career despite having no formal fashion education. In fact, Donatella had set her sights on becoming a teacher prior to becoming heavily involved with her late brother Gianni Versace’s thriving business. Her creative mind has pushed the boundaries of fashion throughout the decades. So much so that after the iconic Jenifer Lopez 2000 Grammy’s appearance, Google were prompted to create their image search feature, to deal with the demand for people looking to set their eyes upon the dress Donatella designed. Her garments have graced red carpets across the world worn by a whole host of famous faces, including Rosie Huntigdon-Whiteley, Serena Williams, Gisele Bundchen and Blake Lively. Despite this, Donatella can’t sew, and she has never produced a piece herself. Yet her breath-taking portfolio boats unrivaled extravagance, and it has secured her place as a leading force in the world of fashion.
A teenage Marc Jacobs started out in the fashion industry and he hasn’t stopped since, reflected by the success of his eponymous brand. Known as the ‘boy wonder’, he led the grunge era which decorated the pages of all major glossy magazines throughout the 1990s. Often, Marc Jacobs has spoken about the influence that his grandmother had on him, encouraging him to grow his hair long and learn to knit. He commends her for allowing him to pursue all avenues of self-exploration, and he once said ‘’No one ever said you can’t be a fashion designer […] No one ever said, ‘You’re a boy and you can’t have long hair,” and Jacobs has continued to live by this sense of freedom. Unknown to many, Marc Jacobs is also the creative director at Louis Vuitton, achieving a gross revenue of $5 billion, by branching out into luggage, accessories and a new clothing range. At the 2012 Met Gala, he paired white boxer shorts with a collared black lace dress, breaking the mold
of the usual tailored male outfits. He stated that his outfit choice was made in order to avoid being boring, and the Comme Des Garçons dress was far from lacklustre. Jacobs may have downplayed the statement himself, but the dress threw convention out of the window.
Rihanna (real name Robyn Fenty) is pop royalty, with a staggering nine Grammy awards and seven MTV Video Music prizes in tow. Rihanna was discovered by Jay-Z during his time as president of Def Jam Records and offered an on-the-spot contract by the music mogul. After being crowned the winner of Gilette’s Venus Breeze competition in 2007. She insured her legs for $1 billion, showing Rihanna’s tendency to never do anything in small measures. Her fashion choices mirror this all-out attitude, whether she is dressed in stunning gowns or traditional Caribbean festival wear, hailing from the island of Barbados, she always captures adoration from onlookers. Her outfit at the 2017 Mer Gala was another Comme Des Garçons creation, designed by Rei Kawakubo who was part of the inspiration for the overall event, ‘Art of the In-between’, paired with thigh-high tie up stilettos. No one does avant-garde like ‘Bad Gal RiRi’, and she followed in her own outrages footsteps from the years gone by in 2015 she wore a canary yellow cape and exquisite headdress, celebrating the ‘China: Through the Looking Glass’ dress code. Bold is brilliant in the eyes of the unstoppable hitmaker.
The flair or Rei Kawakubo’s pieces were admired once again, by rulebreaker Helen Lasichanh, wife of R&B legend Pharrell. Despite her preference to lead a private life, she has shone in the spotlight from time to time, wearing some vibrant pieces to express her unique style. She and her husband are quite the duo, their choice to wear coordinating plaid pieces to their own wedding in 2013 set a daring, experimental tone in their attitudes towards fashion. She and her husband are known to have twin wardrobes, with a shared love for UGG boots and Sacai duffle coats. Alongside setting trends, Helen Lasichanh is a mother of four, showing us all that you can do both. Her outfit choice at the 2017 Met Gala may have made her into an overnight meme queen, but despite
dividing opinions, she made a statement that was difficult to miss. Her Kawakubo garment was designed so that she couldn’t use her hands while wearing it, but she certainly captured the theme of the evening. The outfit blurred the lines of fashion as we know it, abandoning the classic silhouette in favour of an abstract, post-modern inspired figure.
Marked by outrage
The Met Gala is the one evening where all the stops are pulled out, and there are no rules. It is a regular feature in the calendar of all famous faces, and every arrival onto the red carpet is a spectacle in its own right. The media waited four hours to get a picture of Jay-Z and Beyoncé in 2015, taking to the grand staircase more than fashionably late. Outfits go beyond clothes at the Met, as proven by Cara Delevigne’s 11 hours’ worth of body art which she sported at the event in the same year. The event was also the backdrop to one of the most famous mirror selfies ever. Instagram queen turned entrepreneur Kylie Jenner captured seventeen guests in the infamous shot in 2017. Anna Wintour’s efforts to enforce a social media and photography ban flopped, and Kylie and the gang broke the rule in style. With an approved list of 600 guests, how could the Met Gala not be outrageous? The evening is filled with fashion statements and bold characters expressing themselves, but controversy will not be glamorous, and we can’t wait for this years’ installment.