It is the globe’s biggest night for fashion. The Met Gala guest lineup is the showcase of the latest trends and revolutionary designs of the season. This year, the annual Met Gala celebrates its latest exhibit “Rei Kawakubo/Commes des Garçons: Art of the In-Between.”
The Met Gala was started by publicist Eleanor Lambert in 1948 as a New York society philanthropic party. The gala has grown into a fashion Mecca of its own. Celebrities of all types attend, and even President Trump proposed to First Lady Melania at the 2004 Met Ball.
Yet, this is only the second Met Gala to honor a living designer; the first was Yves Saint Laurent in 1983. Ms. Kawakubo, the 74 year-old Japanese designer celebrated this year, founded Comme des Garçons in 1969. Her label, as this year’s gala title alludes to, is centered around disrupting fashion norms. As Metropolitan Museum of Art curator-in-charge Andrew Bolton told The New York Times, Ms. Kawakubo’s favorite colors are black, red, and gold shown in monochromatic outfits to emphasize silhouettes. “She likes the idea of blurring the boundaries between the dress and the body,” Bolton said. Ms. Kawakubo is also known for her use of traditional patterns such as tartan and polka dots in fresh shapes. “Ms. Kawakubo is continually fascinated by the idea of fusing garments together — layering dress on top of another, or fusing male and female elements together,” Bolton said.
The “Art of the In-Between” gala was hosted by Anna Wintour, husband and wife Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, Katy Perry, and Pharrell Williams. Honorary chairs included Ms. Kawakubo and Caroline Kennedy, the former U.S. ambassador to Japan.
Co-chair Anna Wintour was the first to arrive. The Vogue editor-in-chief and Conde Nast art director wore a cream and gold Chanel dress. When asked by The New York Times when the last time she wore Comme des Garçons, Ms. Wintour replied, “Sometime back in the ’80s.” Ms. Wintour has been the chairwoman of the Met Gala since 1999.
Katy Perry, this year’s prominent co-chair, donned the most theatrical ensemble. Ms. Perry wore a custom Margiela gown by John Galliano, with a red veil with “witness” written in spiderwebs across her forehead.
Ms. Perry had donned pieces from the latest Comme des Garçons “Invisible Clothes” on this week’s cover of Vogue, describing her new look as “more androgynous [and] architectural lately.” Ms. Perry also joked about the theatrical elements of the outfits, asking for editors to let her know “when Zoolander 3 starts shooting.” But Ms. Perry acknowledged the luscious gaudiness of the collection. “These clothes, honestly, are walking pieces of art,” Ms. Perry said. “It’s the redefinition of sex; the sex of the mind.”
Alternate chair Gisele Bundchen opted for a “sustainable” Stella McCartney cutout waist long sleeve shoulder-padded liquid light grey gown.
The 2017 Met Gala was sponsored by Apple, Conde Nast, Farfetch, H&M, and Maison Valentino. The invite-only event of the year strictly permits only 600 attendees. Tickets were $30,000 apiece, with tables available for approximately $275,000. Ticket sale revenues go directly into the Costume Institute. Last year, over $13.5 million was raised.
But the stars were the ones to watch as they arrived on the red carpet. Rihanna took the unofficial avant-garde theme to heart with a strikingly voluminous textured Comme des Garçons floral abstract dress and thigh-high lace up red suede stilettos. Jennifer Lopez channeled Grace Kelly sophistication in a high-neck baby blue Valentino gown with a stunning one-shouldered train. Favorite couple John Legend and Chrissy Tiegen chose a white and black ensemble, with Legend’s white tux glowing beside Teigen’s feathered gown with a sheer train. Madonna wore a classically tacky camouflage dress with long black leather gloves. Met Gala staple Julianne Moore shimmied in a fun confetti feathered mini-dress that accentuated her cardinal hair. Comedian Amy Schumer extended her “Leather Special” to the Met Gala with a black leather off-the-shoulder gown detailed with roses along the shoulder trim that extended into a red train. The Weeknd aka Abel Tasfaye with Selena Gomez had one of their first red carpet appearances as a couple, with the Weeknd sporting a retro flat top haircut and Gomez in a lingerie-inspired soft pink Coach gown.
Kim Kardashian posed with shoulder-length black hair in a conservative corset-waisted white off-the-shoulder Vivienne Westwood ankle length dress. Kylie Jenner looked more like Kim from years past, with a blonde bob and a ornate Versace gown. But the real standout was sister Kendall, who went full-supermodel in a revealing, perfectly draped La Perla sheer sequined dress.
As usual there were a few shocking headline-catching ensembles. Model Cara Delevigne chose to channel the Tin Man with short slicked-based silver hair and a celestial grey sequin suit. Jaden Smith, also donning a new short haircut, used his former dreadlocks as an accessory, toting them like a clutch.
The Met Gala was a great success this year in terms of fashion risks. The beauty and style emphasized by the attendees accentuated the sophistication of the Met Gala’s storied history.
Special thanks to photographer Mike Dote