Met Gala, also known as the Oscars of the fashion world is the biggest event that combines fashion and fundraising. The Gala was founded by publicist Eleanor Lambert, the benefit was first held in 1948 to encourage donations from New York’s high society.
In the version of today, some of the most famous people in fashion, film, music and art come together to raise money for the Met’s Costume Institute and celebrate the grand opening of its latest exhibition.
The night is centred on the theme of the new exhibition, with previous themes encompassing everything from Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, to Manus x Machina, Punk: Chaos to Couture and China: Through the Looking Glass. This year’s exhibition theme was Camp: Notes On Fashion.
In a nutshell, in the words of writer Susan Sontag, the camp is the “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration… style at the expense of content… the triumph of the epicene style” — so timely with what we are going through culturally and politically that, “I felt it would have a lot of cultural resonance.”
Past hosts of the Gala have included Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Amal Clooney and Rihanna. The Met Gala 2019, which marks the event’s 71th anniversary, was co-chaired by Lady Gaga, Alessandro Michele, Harry Styles and Serena Williams.
This year’s Met Gala theme of ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’ resulted in one of the most outstanding and brilliantly creative red carpets to date. From Gaga’s multiple outfit changes to Cara’s rainbow Dior bodysuit, and Kardashian’s physics defying outfit here are some of the best looks of the night:
Kim Kardashian in Mugler
Kim Kardashian has made her grand entrance wearing a skin-tight nude dress that seemed fo defy the laws of physics. The dress, designed by Mugler made her waist nearly invisible, dripping in beads and sequins.
Before the event, Kim suggested on social media that her look was inspired by Sophia Loren’s damp yet sexy look in the 1957 film, Boy on a Dolphin. She even had her hair styled to match the soaked outfit.
She told US Vogue. “So to come and design this gown for me is such an honour. This is about eight months in the making. He (Mugler) envisioned me this California girl stepping out of the ocean, wet, dripping.”
The latex corseted dress clung to the reality star’s body and beaded crystals hung off her as if they were drops of water. Details were brought to detail, with droplets of water hanging from her nails and her shoes.
In order to get into the dress ― and to achieve that perfect hourglass silhouette ― Kardashian was laced into a corset made by Mr. Pearl, who’s been dubbed “fashion’s most notorious corset maker.”
Kardashian later explained that she had to stand inside her vehicle on the way to the party, and said the ensemble would basically make it impossible for her to pee during the gala.
Would you make such a sacrifice to make an impression? She was memorable, no doubt and that outfit is going down in the history of couture.
Celine Dion in Oscar de la Renta
Celine Dion stole the show as a ‘glittering goddess’. The 51-year-old took to the red carpet in a slinky, champagne-coloured bodysuit by Oscar de la Renta. Resplendent with silvery sequins in fish-scale patterns, sleeves adorned with 3,000 strands of floor-length fringe made from micro-cut glass bugle beads and a gold-tinted feather headpiece of peacock feathers by Noel Stewart.
When it comes to camp, one things seems certain: divas do it better. But honestly now – would you wear that if you were 51?
Anna Wintour in Chanel
The 69-year-old editor and co-chair of the gala opened the night in a pink crystal-embellished column Chanel gown with a pink and purple feathered cape. She topped off her look with jeweled necklaces that made her ensemble even more dazzling.
There’s a quote from Sontag’s Notes [on Fashion] that says ‘Camp is a woman walking around in a dress made of 3 million feathers’ so I think I might be taking inspiration from that,” Wintour revealed.
And she did just that in her colorful look as she walked the carpet with her daughter, Bee Shaffer Carrozzini, who chose a black suit with red swirl appliqué and long train.
Rihanna, who is arguably one of the queens of Met Gala fashion, has officially dubbed Wintour as “best dressed” at the 2019 Met Gala.
Wintour ran the show this year with Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele and teamed up with Harry Styles, Lady Gaga and Serena Williamsas co-chairs for the big event.
Janelle Monae in Christian Siriano
If some of this years gala attendees has some problems interpreting the camp theme, Janelle declared: “I am camp. It’s embedded in my DNA,”. Her outfit, designed by Christian Siriano was a balloon-hipped confection with a motorized blinking eye over one breast (a twist of gadgetry supplied by Smooth Technology). The special effects of the dress were inspired by her love of science fiction. The dress takes inspiration from one of her favourite artists, Picasso – she wanted to highlight Picasso’s African Period in the early 1900, referencing the years when the painter took inspiration from tribal masks to create his famously fragmented portraits.
For a woman who came out as queer last spring, that kind of fluidity, sartorial and otherwise, grounds Janelle Monáe—onstage and on the red carpet.
Cara Delevingne in Dior
“Camp is an expression of your most outrageous,” Cara Delevingne said as she walked the pink carpet last night, which is exactly how we’d describe her rainbow-striped Dior look, complete with matching glitter cane, platform heels and a custom-made headpiece.
Saoirse Ronan in Gucci
Saorise Ronan channelled Game of Thrones in her sequined Gucci dress, which featured dragon designs and flames spiralling out across exaggerated shoulders. The gown was custom-made for the actress by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, who was one of the night’s co-hosts.
Gigi Hadid in Michael Kors
It’s all too common for models to don the ubiquitous naked dress and flash as much flesh as possible at the Met Gala, but Gigi Hadid couldn’t have been more covered up in her Michael Kors outfit, which consisted of a catsuit, feather-trimmed coat and skull cap. “She’s dressed like the greatest camp, gay dinner party ever. It’s Liberace, it’s Cher, it’s Elton John, it’s a little Great Gatsby, a little Daisy Buchanan all together,” the designer said of Hadid’s look.
Naomi Campbell in Valentino Haute Couture
Naomi Campbell rocked a candy pink silk chiffon Valentino Haute Couture dress, paired with a cape embellished with feathers and sequins, designed for her by creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli. The supermodel finished her look with stacked bracelets, strappy sandals and lace tights.
Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell
Lady Gaga went above and beyond for this year’s Met Gala, performing a red-carpet strip tease to reveal four different custom-made Brandon Maxwell looks. At one point, she removed a voluminous fuchsia robe to reveal this strapless structured ball gown with exaggerated bustle.
Gaga, one of the co-hosts of the night, vamped on the red carpet in not one, not two, not three, but four different looks by Brandon Maxwell, which she alternately shed and donned as part of a playful routine that included a wagon full of champagne, dancers, umbrellas and a flirty striptease.
So, tell us, which of this year’s MET Gala impressed you the most?