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Cats were on the prowl at the Met

The theme of this year’s Met Gala, celebrated Karl Lagerfeld’s illustrious career. Given the late designer’s body of work, which incorporated stints at Chanel, Fendi, Chloé, Balmain and Patou, attendees were spoilt for choice in terms of runway inspiration. However, fashion fans also know that Lagerfeld was devoted to his Birman cat, Choupette, the pampered pet he loved so much she’s even been rumoured to have inherited his vast fortune. Hence why Doja Cat, Jared Leto, Lil Nas X and Janelle Monáe chose to deliver odes to the designer’s beloved feline friend on the night.

“It makes no sense for anyone to go as Karl’s cat more than Doja Cat,” stylist Brett Alan Nelson told Vogue of the rapper’s custom gown. Constructed by Oscar de La Renta’s co-creative director Fernando Garcia, the ivory hand-beaded gown included a plume train and a seductive backless detail. The look was completed with a face-framing hood and cat ears, as well as jewelry pieces by Messika. But what took the outfit to the next level were the prosthetics crafted by artist Malina Stearns, which delicately sculpted Doja’s face to feline perfection. “Meow,” the rapper said on the red carpet of her look.

Another tribute came in the form of a full-blown white cat costume, designed by Karl Lagerfeld’s eponymous label, which had the crowd questioning: who is that? Turns out, it was Jared Leto wearing a larger-than-life bodysuit that was entirely covered in faux fur and featured a removable head. Historically, the star hasn’t been one to hold back on making a statement at the Met Gala—he’s previously showed up carrying a replica of his own head, along with former Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 01: Jared Leto, dressed as Choupette, attends the 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Lil Nas X opted to wow with a barely-there ensemble comprised mostly of silver body paint, plus a bejeweled face-mask complete with pearls and whiskers, as well as a silver, crystal-encrusted pair of pants and platform boots to match. When asked for further details on his look, the rapper (like Doja before him) responded to red-carpet reporter Emma Chamberlain only with meows.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 01: Lil Nas X arrives to The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

Elsewhere, Janelle Monáe paid tribute in a head-to-toe Thom Browne look that included a holdall bag in the shape of Lagerfeld’s 11-year-old feline bestie. There’s always a lot of competition for the limelight at the Met Gala, but for 2023, Choupette might just have been the star of the show.

Image: Arturo Holmes/Getty

This article was originally published on Vogue US.

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