Met Gala: How A-listers like Rihanna tackled avant-garde event
A little black dress won't cut it at the Met Gala so from naked dresses to metallics here are the looks from the quirkiest fashion event of the year
On Monday night some of the biggest names in Hollywood walked the carpet at this year’s annual Met Gala. Dubbed the Super Bowl of Fashion, the Met Gala trounces the Oscars, Baftas and Golden Globes in the style stakes. The biggest event in the fashion calendar signals the opening of the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute’s annual show, and is orchestrated by Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
It’s by the fashion industry for the fashion industry, qualifications for inclusion have to do with buzz and achievement and all invitees must be approved by Wintour. No wonder the style stakes are high. A little black dress and an up-do just won’t cut it, this is fashion with a capital “F.” While the event has always being an antidote to cautious dressing and boasts the most daring and directional outfits - this year is particularly adventurous thanks to its Red Kawakubo-honouring theme.
The big question hanging over the Met Ball’s red carpet ahead of last night’s event was how much guests would tackle the tricky sartorial theme. If getting to grips with smart-casual gives you sartorial anxiety, try navigating a dress code of avant garde in homage to the museums latest exhibit Rei Kawakubo/Comme De Garçon: The Art of the Inbetween. The queen of conceptualism, Kawakubo founded Comme de Garcon in 1969, and has been a figurehead of unconventional structural designs ever since.
The Costume Institute’s curator-in-charge, Andrew Bolton, said: “Rei Kawakubo is one of the most important and influential designers of the past 40 years. By inviting us to rethink fashion as a site of constant creation, recreation and hybridity, she has defined the aesthetics of our time.” And so influential, Kawakubo comes the second living designer to have an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, following Yves Saint Laurent in 1983.
The A-list navigated the ambitious dress code in a number of ways - the first was to dress like a person attending a party. As demonstrated by Gisele Bundchen, honorary chair member and first to hit the carpet, in a beaded body-con sustainable Stella McCartney design that divided opinion on live feeds that it wasn’t avant garde enough.
Echoing the metallic theme was chair of the gala Anna Wintour with a feather and sequin Chanel number, her go-to designer for the Met Gala.IT girl, Alexa Chung chose an underwhelming polka dot gown designed by newly appointed creative director of DVF, Jonathan Saunders, a far cry from her dazzling sequin suit she worn in 2016.
Katie Holmes and Miranda Kerr seemed to have confused the theme opting for a more Hollywood Glamour rather than avant garde ensembles.
Last year the naked dress reigned supreme, Kylie Jenner brought it back into the spotlight in a nude embellished Versace design that echoed Beyonce’s 2016 Met Gala look.
Pushing the boundaries in terms of skin-baring rather than fashion, Kendall Jenner kicked it up a notch in a slashed front/high-cut La Perla couture gown while Joan Smalls, Adriana Lima, Selena Gomez, Natasha Poly and Gigi Hadid all opted for thigh-spilt dresses.
IT model Bella Hadid, while covered up, showed off her enviable figure in an Alexander Wang catsuit.Kim Kardashian debuted her new anti-bling style in a white off-the-shoulder Vivienne Westwood dress that fitted her curves perfectly.
The second way that A-listers navigated the tricky theme was to embody the exhibition itself, step forward Katy Perry channeling the avant garde hallmarks in a dramatic piece of Maison Margiela couture that set twitter alight early into the red carpet.
Straddling the line between goth and princess was actress Lily Collins in a candy coloured tulle skirt replete with a black corseted, finished off with a dark blunt bob and black lipstick. While Priyanka Chopa and Solange Knowles doubled up their outerwear and evening-wear in a Ralph Lauren trench coat gown and Thom Browne puffa jacket dress.
Cara Delevingne was one of the few attendees that suited up, choosing metallic Chanel ensemble complete with a metallic do, that might have been more suitable for last year's theme.
Embracing the go bold or go home motto, Lena Dunham, Zendya, Laura Osnes, Celine Dion, Janelle Monae and Cassie dominating the blue carpet in their oversized gowns.
Dressing in a tasteful and interesting take on the theme was Irish actress Ruth Negga, again choosing Valentino which she wore at the Oscars in February.
Pastel dresses scattered the carpet with Zoe Kravtiz getting the millennial pink memo in Oscar De La Renta, Jennifer Lopez in Valentino, Felicity Jones in , Jessica Chastain in yellow Prada, and Elle Fanning in a Cinderella blue gown.
But the standout colour was red, although not reflected in the carpet choice, it was the colour of the night with Rose Byrne wearing a scarlet Ralph Lauren Collection bodysuit and ballgown skirt combo, Emma Roberts in DVF, Ashley Graham in a corset top and crimson skirt with cascading flowers, Doutzen Kroes in an off-the-shoulder Brock Collection gown and Rita Ora dressed wrapped up in bow.
Honouree Rei Kawakubo’s designs didn’t prevail with only a few choosing to don the designer including Rihanna who won the Met Gala in a Comme De Garçon look, straight off the autumn/winter 2017 runway that was an architectural wonder.