“It’s all about taste. If you are cheap, nothing helps.” – Karl Lagerfeld
After a few years of Americana-themed Met Galas, the 2023 Met Gala had the theme ‘Karl Lagerfeld – A Line of Beauty’. This was in memory of Lagerfeld after his death in February of 2019.
Despite being the most specific theme in several years (a refreshing change from the all-too-often misinterpreted themes of the last four years), it has also been criticised for supporting Lagerfeld, who was well known for his islamophobia, antisemitism, rape and sexual assault apologism, misogyny, fatphobia, hatred of sweatpants, and complicated relationship with the colour pink.
Regardless of the controversy, the celebrity guests this year provided some of the best looks since 2018’s ‘Heavenly Bodies – Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’, though nothing is ever likely to beat the outfits we saw then, is it?
Anyway, here are my verdicts on some of the outfits we saw on this year’s strangely-patterned Met Gala carpet.
I’ve seen a lot online about Anna Wintour’s Met Gala outfits usually being disappointing, but I have to disagree with this. The grey really suits her, the cream leopard-print-esque pattern complements her hair, and the long pencil underskirt keeps the outfit in line with Wintour’s usual, modest approach to fashion. This is a winner in my book.
This year, Dua Lipa was one of the co-chairs of the gala, and she very nearly had an amazing outfit too. This dress was originally seen on Claudia Schiffer at the Fall/Winter 1992 Haute Couture show, where it was worn with a matching jacket, matching hat, and a lacy neckpiece. Without these pieces (and with a boring hairstyle and a necklace that isn’t even worth mentioning) there’s an inescapable feeling that the outfit is missing something, especially as Lagerfeld was known for his use of accessories.
Proving that Lagerfeld didn’t completely hate the colour pink, everyone’s favourite supermodel wore a pink vintage Chanel dress from when Lagerfeld oversaw the brand. The draped pink fabric is reminiscent of a roman toga, with the shiny silver spirals resembling a breastplate, asserting Campbell as one of the most famous models ever.
The dress-wrecker is back again, though this time she’s wearing something from Schiaparelli rather than something from Marilyn’s wardrobe. This marks the third time that Kim has worn a neutral-coloured dress covered in beads, rhinestones or other accoutrements since 2019, and I’m getting bored now. It can be fun when celebrities self-reference, but this is getting ridiculous now.
This is utterly grotesque. Something about the combination of the slicked-back, greasy looking hair, the fact that you can see his knees, and the tomato trench coat is absolutely disgusting, and the whole thing is giving me second-hand embarrassment.
This was definitely the most fun outfit of the night. Arriving dressed as Karl Lagerfeld’s beloved cat Choupette, Jared Leto shocked us all once again. Is it as good as the time he showed up holding his own fake severed head? No. Is it fun and memorable? Yes. I also feel the need to mention that the outfit was made by Karl Lagerfeld’s own brand. Can you imagine calling them up and saying, “You know what, I just really want to dress up as his cat”?
Continuing the feline theme, Doja Cat continued her streak of wearing crazy outfits to events (remember the red rhinestone outfit for Schiaparelli at Paris Fashion Week?) with an ode to Choupette, complete with feline facial prosthetics and ears on top of the dress’ hood. In true Doja Cat form, she also responded to Emma Chamberlain’s interview questions solely by meowing. I love how seriously Doja took this outfit, and I love that she took inspiration from both Choupette and her own stage name. If nothing else, committing to the bit never goes out of style!
Knowing that vintage Chanel would be the single biggest source of inspiration for the outfits this year, it’s no surprise that a tweed dress or two walked the Met Gala carpet. Anne Hathaway, however, did it better than everyone else because of how her Versace dress reinvented the classic Chanel concepts. This contrast between tweed, a formal and stereotypically ‘modest’ fabric (Think Jackie Kennedy’s pink tweed suit, which was made by Chanel), and the multiple slits going all the way up the dress creates the perfect subversive twist on a Chanel staple.
Lil Nas X
I don’t really know where to start with it, to be honest. I don’t think the Met Gala has ever seen an outfit quite like this, with much more body paint and Swarovski crystals than fabric, but the sheer originality (and Lil Nas X’s confidence) cements the look as one of the most daring yet. My main concern is how cold it would be – I hope he brought a jacket.
If you’ve seen that video of the cockroach walking up the carpet while the photographer is almost simultaneously trying to photograph it and kill it, then you’ll know that this cockroach was the most iconic person to show up all night, and easily outsold all your faves.