It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala in New York is one of fashion’s biggest nights. In fact, some might argue that the Met Gala is the biggest night in fashion. Unlike award shows where the angst over who will walk away with the golden statuette at the end of the night is pending, the Met Gala is a big party put on by American Vogue’s editor Anna Wintour. And it’s the only red carpet in America, where the fashions worn can be avant garde and over-the-top enough to be praised for detail and brilliance.
Actors, singers, athletes, dignitaries, and every other possible important person in New York and beyond were invited to the Met Gala. The list wasn’t as large as some might think. Anna Wintour oversees every aspect of the gala, including (especially) the guest list. Those that did make the list were made aware of the theme – China. How that would be interpreted left much to the imagination until Monday when society’s highest version of themselves walked that large red carpet and steps leading up to the museum.
There would be a fine line that attendees would need to walk in order to interpret the theme without insulting the culture. Some fared better than others.
Red on a red carpet – it’s been done before. Though somehow, these attendees did something different to make it fresh and exciting. At the top of the list is Allison Williams
in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture with Fred Leighton jewels. She has the perfect tiny frame for this kind of gown which was tight at the top and big at the bottom. The trim on the neck, shoulders, and torso give it a bit of edge, making it totally appropriate for the
turned heads in her Diane von Furstenberg gown that fit her like a glove. But of the most daring in this category is Sienna Miller
in a beaded fringed suit by Thakoon. This kind of look was perfect for Sienna who has had more than a few Vogue covers and is known for taking fashion risks. This one paid off. In contrast, Reese Witherspoon
in Jason Wu is the perfect example of simplistic chic – something she does very well. The slit along the leg gives it that something extra.
This trend was one of the most talked about for the night. The sheer trend is having a moment in fashion having had a big presence on all of the runways and red carpets. For the Met Gala, what won were sheer frocks and gowns with intricate embroidery, beading, and feathers. One of the best for me, and certainly most talked about, is Beyoncé
. The singer wore Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci, who also dressed her husband, rapper Jay-Z for the night. With jewels and crystals that cover all of the hot spots, Bee went sexy for the night and did it effortlessly. Kim Kardashian West
wore a sheer white gown by Peter Dundas. The dress was epic not just because it’s her best Met Gala look thus far (she’s only attended twice prior to Monday’s gala), but also because it is Dundas’s first as creative director for Roberto Cavalli. The gown left a large impression with beading, lace overlay, and embroidery throughout the entire garment. A small feathered train at the bottom gave it an Old Hollywood nod. But one of the most on-theme girls in this trend was Jennifer Lopez
in Atelier Versace. The one-strap gown had some impressive beadwork throughout and the hombre-colored cranberry train looked amazing on her.
All of the fur, leather, and feathers make for the most exciting Met Gala looks. It’s that rare moment where it would be a bit too much anywhere else, but here, it’s just right. That’s why Rihanna
tops my list. She wore a long and exaggerated yellow cape with fur trim and oriental print by Guo Pei. Memes of her cape with pizza’s attached and skillets with bacon and eggs popped up all over Instagram, but given the theme, we’d argue that Rihanna was the most authentic – not to mention, her wearing Guo Pei, a Chinese couturier is one of the truest tributes to the gala and the new exhibit. One of our favourites of the night included Keri Russell
in an emerald and forest green Altuzarra feathered gown. It looked very Snow White and the Huntsman, but in the best way.
Florals in the spring (cue
perfect Chanel dress. The silhouette reminds me a little of what Coco herself was doing for the brand in the 30s. The most exciting part of this gown was the floral appliques at the shoulders. It was a Met Ball gown – one that only a host could wear. One of the biggest surprises of the night was Cher
who was Marc Jacobs’s plus one. No one knew that he was bringing the icon. Her dress, a Marc Jacobs’s of course, was dark and reminiscent of what Jacobs would be doing if he were in the mix during fashion’s ultra-glam 70s era. Another favourite was Taraji P. Henson
in Balenciaga by Alexander Wang. The Empire actress is having a major moment with the success of the FOX show and her appearance at the Met Ball is going to push her as a fashion girl for the next few seasons. At first glance, the gown looks like a basic column dress with floral print. But there’s so much more to this dress than meets the eye – and photos don’t do it justice. It’s a white silk crepe with black floral that’s made entirely of embroidered black beads and rhinestones with chain links. Bravo!