And tonight, once again, we witness Kardashian & Kompany turn out of for fashion’s most garish, most opulent night- Anna Wintour’s annual Met Gala.
Of course, we always hope to see more than just Kendall and Kylie competing for highest slit in a sequined gown, but in recent years that’s sort of what’s happened to this event. The themes continue to remain quite highfalutin, but the guests and what they choose to wear and try to accomplish have seemed to wane in sophistication as of late. The Met Gala used to appeal to me as the very height of fashion on parade, the epitome of bougie-ness and unattainable class. Now it’s got more of a who’s-who-of-Snapchat flavor. But that’s what makes a celebrity these days I guess, and the times have undeniably changed.
The theme of this year’s Met exhibit is “Rei Kawakubo/Commes des Garçons: Art of the In-Between”. To make it clear, the exhibit is honoring revolutionary female Japanese designer and founder of Commes des Garçons, Rei Kawakubo. Her designs are known for being high concept, visually stunning, architecturally forward, and typically weird. And I mean really weird. Her craft is the definition of avant-garde. Kawakubo’s work has never seemed to be about making a flattering dress or celebrating the woman’s body as it is with some designers. It has seemed her work is more about her. “Pretty” isn’t what she goes for. Or at least, your definition of pretty. Give her a rule, and she’ll break it. The woman does what she wants, and so she has forged for herself a formidable career. To read more about her exhibit and see more of her work (and trust me- you want to), check out this Harper’s Bazaar article.
So what can we expect with tonight’s looks? Well, based on the theme, we can expect weird. And that’s good! Although, I wouldn’t have pulled a Solange Knowles and shown up in a puffer coat. But we’ll get to see what many celebrities define as “weird” or at least a little off the wall. A ball honoring Rei Kawakubo demands something far beyond the boundaries of a column gown. As always, my same rules apply when choosing favorites: dress/outfit, hair, makeup, and accessories must all work beautifully in tandem.
Most This-Is-What-I-Would-Do – Rose Byrne in Ralph Lauren
I talk a big talk when it comes to the Met Ball, but I know I probably wouldn’t be brave enough to actually wear one of Rei Kawakubo’s designs. Because they’re Charlie Sheen levels of crazy. However, this I can do. I like the wild hairdo. I love the architectural neckline of this dress in this bright shade of true red. I like the artsy jewelry. And the makeup is beautiful. This, I can do.
Most Not-On-Theme-But-Still-Fabulous – Jennifer Lopez in Valentino
Paging Betty Draper! Or Meghan Draper. Or Joan! Or all of them at once! Anything that makes me think of Mad Men is more than fine with me. The powder shade of blue, the chiffon, the cape, the high neckline, the incredible jewelry, and obviously the hair and makeup made this a stunner look straight out of the sixties. And thank you, J.Lo, for abstaining from a naked dress!
Best Model That Didn’t Try To Just Look Like A Model – Lily Aldridge in Ralph Lauren Custom Collection
Even though none of my favorites have worn Commes des Garçons (yet…), I still appreciate models like Lily for taking a risk and clearly pushing boundaries with the intent of paying homage to the design house’s outlandish creations. It’s interesting to see a lot of Ralph Lauren at this event; that’s a designer I would’ve guessed as too safe for the Met Gala. But the accessories and styling of this white gown have kept it from just looking like another skin-baring dress on a model. I love Lily’s crazy red boots (Balenciaga) and her fuchsia blush netting that she’s wearing across her face. Her makeup is also spectacular. I saw a lot of incredible makeup this evening regardless of what folks were wearing, with this being a particular favorite …
Now that is eyeshadow fit for the gods. Alright, now for my last pick …
Best Fantasy Moment – Zendaya in Dolce & Gabbana
This woman is such a chameleon. She wears anything she wants, and she does anything with her hair that she wants. It’s so evident that she loves fashion, and I love watching that. Her hair and makeup are gorgeous, and I already such a huge affinity for parrots- this is the dress of my dreams.
Most Perfectly-On-Theme-And-Still-Fabulous – Rihanna in Commes des Garçons
Ok, finally we have someone that interprets this year’s theme literally and wears Commes des Garçons! And of course it’s Rihanna. I love that she’s always such a team player when it comes to the Met Ball themes. Remember when she wore this insanity for China: Through The Looking Glass?! That gown was the creation of a legendary Chinese designer and there was no better opportunity to wear it. That’s what you’re supposed to do at the Met Ball. So yes, this dress … or outfit, whatever we’re calling it … is perfect for a Met Gala dedicated to Kawakubo. It’s one of her own creations, it’s a breathtaking-if-not-baffling work of art, it’s weird, and it’s Rihanna, who doesn’t seem to mind weird. And be sure to search close-up shots of her makeup. It’s incredible. Perfect.
There’s lots to still sort through from tonight’s extravaganza, but other honorable mentions go to: Dakota Johnson in some excellent Gucci, Kate Bosworth in Tory Burch that looked dangerously similar to Dakota Johnson’s Gucci, Jennifer Connelly in Louis Vuitton (because DUH I’m obsessed with her), Elle Fanning in some very Cinderella Miu Miu, Doutzen Kroes looking natural and relaxed in Brock Collection, Ruth Negga in a very avant-garde cape thingy, and Lupita Nyong’O in a gorgeous shade of orange.
Let me know what you think, if things got weird enough for you, or if they just couldn’t get weird enough. Anything goes at this party. But you know who didn’t go to this party? Taylor Swift. xo, MR
Photo credits in order of appearance: Instagram, Rex/Shutterstock, Rex/Shutterstock, Instagram, Getty, Getty/John Shearer
It is always so much fun to read you, McKenna!! I absolutely love the parrot dress (reminds me of Gone with the Wind – favorite time in fashion…but would have never been able to fit in the corsets haha). And the dress (or whatever you call that outfit heehee) that Rihanna wore…just had 1 question; how do you go to the ladies room in that? 😉
Love you, Karen