With the Met Gala 2017 and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute exhibition for spring dedicated to Commes des Garcons’ founder and conceptual designer Rei Kawakubo, there was bound to be drama on and off the red carpet. The Met Gala has fast earned the reputation of being fashion’s annual fancy dress ball. Hollywood’s hautest and fashion’s finest, who descended on the New York museum on Monday night, didn’t disappoint.
“Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between”, on view from May 4 through September 4, will showcase 150 Kawakubo creations that demonstrate her fascination with the space between boundaries. The 75-year-old Tokyo-born designer is celebrated for her vision that “challenges conventional notions of beauty, good taste and fashionability”. She is the only other living designer to garner a Met tribute — Yves Saint Laurent received the honour in 1983.
“By inviting us to rethink fashion as a site of constant creation, recreation, and hybridity, she has defined the aesthetics of our time,” says the Costume Institute’s curator-in-charge, Andrew Bolton. The Met Gala red carpet accordingly sought to recreate some Kawakubo-ish magic. Just like the title of the exhibit, “Art of the In-Between”, some celebs seemed to be caught in an in-between conundrum — whether to play it safe or go all out in keeping with Kawakubo’s brand of unconventional. Here are some red carpet highlights:
Kawakubo’s fascination with red formed the inspiration for many a fashionista, including the event’s co-chair Katy Perry, who wore a dramatic Maison Margiela Artisanal custom gown by John Galliano. Others courting the colour were Thandie Newton (Monse), Rita Ora (Marchesa), Miranda Kerr (Oscar de la Renta), Rose Byrne (Ralph Lauren) and Ashley Graham (H&M). But none wore it with the dramatic flair that Rihanna exhibited in an architectural floral Comme des Garcons number that defied gravity and imagination.
Various versions of Kawakubo’s trademark bob were seen on different celebrities, who experimented with choppy bangs, longer lengths and softer shapes. While Lily Collins took a literal approach, Scandal star Kerry Washington went with a blunt bobbed wig, Bella Hadid and Naomi Campbell kept it sleek and Karlie Kloss and Kylie Jenner went blonde.
If Beyonce, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid and Kim Kardashian can do it, why can’t Priyanka Chopra? Sport an ensemble with a flashbulb popping and never-ending train, that is. The Quantico star wore a Ralph Lauren Collection trench coat with a train so long that she confessed she needed three people to get her into a limo. While she might’ve been playing to theme, we weren’t impressed. People.com compared her look to animated cartoon character Inspector Gadget and we have to agree. Deepika Padukone, on the other hand, played it far too safe in a Hilfiger Collection slip gown.
Serena Williams not only debuted her baby bump in an emerald Atelier Versace gown, she also made her first red carpet appearance with entrepreneur fiancé Alexis Ohanian. Roger Federer sported a Gucci tuxedo jacket with a crystal cobra, describing the look as “business in the front, party in the back”. We felt no love for that one.