Contributor Priya Raj dissects this years Met Gala red carpet looks.
And just like that, the first Monday in May has rolled back around again - when the world's rich and famous get together to do well, we don’t actually know. The annual Met Gala ball takes place on the first Monday of May at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Its purpose is to mark the opening of the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibit, and this year's theme was ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’. The details of what happens at the inside Met Gala are often subject to what we can put together from the dribs and drabs of Instagram posts from our favourite celebrities. What we do know is that it never fails to provide plenty of red-carpet looks to swoon over in the group chat (or not).
Rihanna in Valentino Haute Couture
Rumour has it, she was late, but boy was it worth it. Pregnancy has never stopped fashions resident bad-gal from making a statement, and for this years Met Gala - she brought the showstopper in the form of a floral appliqué [Camellia to be exact] hood and dress by Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino. Styled by Jahleel Weaver, the multi-faceted celeb gave the carpet a show by removing the hooded jacket to reveal a form-fitting dress to show off her bump.
Doja Cat in Oscar de la Renta
She’s not afraid of being different; we saw that at the Schiaparelli Paris Fashion Week show, and now during her interesting interview with Vogue’s Emma Chamberlain. Doja Cat made her Met Gala debut by channelling Karl Lagerfeld’s most treasured cat, Choupette, with the use of prosthetics by Marina Stearns to give her a fiercely feline face. And if that wasn’t enough, styled by Brett Alan Nelson in a hooded backless Oscar de la Renta gown complete with cat ears! Meow.\
Jared Leto in cat suit [literally]
The 30 Seconds to Mars heartthrob is reportedly lined up to play Karl Lagerfeld in his upcoming biopic, so it was safe to say his 2023 Met Gala appearance wouldn’t be a dull moment. Like Doja Cat, Leto single handedly participated in the most memorable red carpet moment to date, walking the red carpet dressed as Choupette!
Naomi Campbell in Chanel Couture Spring Summer 2010
It’s not Campbell’s first rodeo, and it shows. The supermodel swanned through the red carpet in a pink draped gown from Chanel’s Couture Spring Summer 2010 collection. The dress features a heavily sequined bodice with sleek fabric draped over it and fits her status as a veteran attendee perfectly.
Alia Bhatt in Prabal Gurung
The 2023 Met Gala was this Bollywood actress’ first, and what a way to start. The star wore a pearl-beaded voluminous white gown by Prabal Gurung, and as she took to Instagram to say it was “made in India. The embroidery made with 100,000 pearls is a labour of love”. Karl Lagerfeld never shied away from his love for India [like when he did a Paris/Bombay cruise collection in 2011] - and clearly, India’s best wasn’t shy in returning the love.
Nicole Kidman in Custom Couture Chanel
Remember Kidman’s Chanel No. Advert? Depending on your age, you might not. The three-minute advert first aired 19 years ago, featuring Kidman in a breathtaking blush pink gown adorned with ostrich feathers, crystals, sequins and a long train - designed by Lagerfeld himself. It’s reportedly one of the most expensive advertisements ever made, and Kidman thought it a statement enough to bring the gown out for the first time in almost 20 years in honour of the man himself.
Penelope Cruz in Chanel Couture Spring Summer 1988
Cruz is one of few celebrities who had a personal friendship with the man behind the label, and not only did she attend the 2023 Met Gala, she was asked to be co-chair alongside Dua Lipa, Roger Federer and Michaela Coel. In a red carpet interview, she said, “I looked at a lot of looks…and had the privilege to choose, but at the end of the day, this is the one that I fell in love with”. The ‘one’ was a stunning light blue Chanel Couture hooded gown from 1988 - one of few vintage looks we’d already seen on the carpet.
Michaela Coel in Custom Schiaparelli
Saving the best ’til last, and it’s a goodie. Michaela Coel, with the brains of her stylist Georgia Medley, stepped out in an ensemble to reflect her background. Her custom Schiaparelli heavily embellished gown was paired with jewels from London-based jewellery Emefa Cole - whose gold can be traced to West Africa [both Coel and Cole are of Ghanaian heritage]. This truly is what the space between fashion and art represents and is what platforms like the Met Gala red carpet are for; telling the story which needs to be told in a way that can be heard and understood by the masses.
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