The Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute Gala (or Met Gala for short) always takes place on the first Monday in May and this year the theme was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Jonny McKinnell reviews his stand-out looks of the night…
Rihanna in Maison Margiela
Look, we all know Rihanna is the true queen of the Met Gala so anyone who thought she was going to do anything less than kill it, has not been paying attention. This year, she was rocking the hell out of a pope-inspired, beaded ensemble, that even had a mitre (a pope hat) to match. Her look perfectly matched the theme of the event and showcased the maximalist Catholic approach to fashion. Pope Francis is shook.
Jared Leto, Lana Del Rey and Alessandro Michele, all in Gucci
So, for the uninitiated, most celebrities that attend the Met Gala are guests of a fashion brand and this year Jared Leto and Lana del Rey were there with Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele. The trio showed up in complementary outfits featuring cream and light blue with gold detailing and it – was – EVERYTHING. The looks perfectly balanced Michele’s surrealist style with gothic artistry. Also, special shout-out to the Seven Sorrows chest-piece Lana was wearing.
Ariana Grande in Vera Wang
For her first Met Gala, Ariana wore a dress printed with the artwork from the Sistine Chapel, so she was certainly on theme. The light fabrics used brought a sense of innocence that exaggerated the catholic vibe however, the muted colour scheme held this look back from being one of the night’s best looks.
Lily Collins in Givenchy
Lily Collins is one of those odd celebrities that was never really a big deal but still gets invited to all the major red-carpet events. I guess everyone knows that she knows how to turn looks. I loved how her dress played with the demureness of monastic and conventual (that means nun-like) dress but was still really feminine. Plus, her makeup and her headdress added gothic-tragedy-style drama, which was cool.
Blake Lively in Versace
Blake Lively is a true red-carpet icon. Her gown for the Met apparently took around 600 hours to make and had a train so large she had to transported via party bus. It was easily one of the most extra looks of the night and if you know me you’ll know that means I loved it! If only Blake’s acting was as good as her fashion sense.
Zendaya in Versace
Honestly, where else but the Met Gala could you find a film star channelling a 15th century French freedom fighter with their gown? Zendaya was serving Joan of Arc realness with her look last Monday and it was equal parts unexpected and brilliant.
Chadwick Boseman in Versace
After the colourful celebrations of African fashion that were the Black Panther premieres, Chadwick Boseman had a pressure on him, but his white and gold tuxedo was a literal godsend amongst all the male mediocrity. His suit and cape exuded luxury and brought back the regality he wore so well as T’Challa.
SZA in Versace
At this point, I would just like to give props to Donatella Versace and her team for the amount of people they dressed for the Met, but I guess its unsurprising that Versace would be the brand of choice for a Catholic-themed event. Back to SZA though – she looked incredible. The pink/lilac hue of her dress complimented her skin tone amazingly and her gold halo combined with all the tulle made her look like a real-life angel. Oh, and an over-the-knee boot as well? You betta werk, gurl!
Greta Gerwig in The Row
Much like Lily Collins, Greta Gerwig chose to wear a dress that reflected the modesty and even dourness of monastic and conventual garments but in a much more conservative style. Her loose fitting, full-coverage look stood out on the red carpet but also communicated the drama of catholic ceremony so clearly; it was a complete success. Also, fun fact: The Row is the fashion house of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. Pity they couldn’t design something equally as good for themselves.
Tracee Ellis Ross in Michael Kors
Although I’m sure she doesn’t care at all, Tracee Ellis Ross had a lot to live up to in my eyes, as at last year’s Met Gala she was one of only a few people that showed up wearing Comme des Garçons (2017’s theme). However, this year I have to say I was disappointed. Now before anyone @s me, yes, I am aware she looked phenomenal, the bold pink of her dress complimented her perfectly and her big 60s hair reminded us of the strength of Ms Diana Ross’ genes. Yet, the name of the game was the catholic imagination and despite her claim that her cape was based on robes worn by cardinals at Easter, there really was no Catholicism in her look at all.
Shailene Woodley in Ralph Lauren
Apart from being one of the less memorable aspects of Big Little Lies, I’m not really sure what Shailene Woodley is doing to justify being invited to the Met Gala, and yet, she was there, and she did not look good. After several attempts, I think I have deduced that Shailene was also going for a Joan of Arc armour vibe, but the padding just made her look stiff and awkward and frankly, her boots were ugly.
Solange Knowles in Iris Van Herpen
Solange tweeted that she felt ‘heavenly in black’ in her Met Ball gown and she certainly looked heavenly too, although perhaps mixed with a little hell. With a durag and halo atop her head, Solange was certainly serving pious-chic, but the gloss black of her look also suggested a side of sinfulness. This play on heaven vs hell made for a memorable look.
Kim Kardashian-West and Kris, Kendall and Kylie Jenner in Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, Off-White and Alexander Wang
So, I’m not one of those people that hate this famous family simply to prove my own intellectual superiority, in fact, I actually have been known to keep up with the Kardashians on occasion. Yet, seeing them at the Met Gala does somewhat sway me towards the anti-Kardashian camp, as they always seem to put the least amount of effort into their looks. This year, the only one of them that was even slightly on theme was Kim but a gold dress with crucifixes is hardly ground-breaking, no matter how good she looked. The rules of the Met Gala are simple: either go hard or stay home.
Emilia Clarke in Dolce and Gabbana, Madonna in Jean Paul Gaultier, Darren Criss in Dolce and Gabbana, Francis McDormand in Valentino and Jordan Roth in Givenchy.
Katy Perry in Versace, Jaden Smith in Louis Vuitton and MSFTS, Selena Gomez in Coach and most of the straight men in their boring and predictable tuxedos.
– Jonny McKinnell