Red Carpet Worthy | China : Through The Looking Glass | Met Gala 2015:
Good luck trying to crown an empress at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala. The theme of China: Through the Looking Glass provided guests with the option to channel either the structure of traditional Chinese garments—see Lady Gaga in a multifold Balenciaga by Alexander Wang gown—or their louche counterparts. Jessica Chastain slinking by in gold Givenchy is an apt picture here. Other guests ran the gamut of every style in between, largely managing to address the subject of chinoiserie without overdoing the cultural homage. Still a high point for any fashion fan would have to be Donna Karan and Calvin Klein eschewing the dress code and walking side-by-side up the staircase—nobody tells two legends how to dress, we suppose. Those experimenting with Chinese structure did so mostly in shades of crimson, including Amal Alamuddin Clooney, who wore an elaborate Maison Margiela gown by John Galliano, and Karolina Kurkova in an architectural mini by Tommy Hilfiger. Other adherents to the red state were Jessica Hart, Reese Witherspoon, Helen Mirren, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, and Banks, though Linda Evangelista, in a one-shouldered crimson Moschino number, was unfazed by the competition. “There’s a lot of red here, but there’s lots of ways to do it,” cooed the super. Another hit in the rouge department was Rita Ora, who strutted by with Tom Ford in a style similar to his creations in the exhibit. In menswear, the two most exciting takes on the Chinese white-tie dress code were Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow of Public School, who said, “We made up our own traditional Chinese white tie.” What they wouldn’t talk about? Plans for DKNY. “It’s a little too early,” began Osborne, while Chow stressed the importance of “a little bit of mystery.” Elsewhere the men’s dress code ranged from gilded (Justin Bieber in Balmain) to all-American (Mickey Drexler in an ivory J.Crew bow tie) to downright chivalrous (Colin Firth, who strutted up the carpet with an extra pair of white gloves). The most exciting clique of the night were the eccentrics. FKA twigs stole the show, not only with her rare public appearance with fiancé Robert Pattinson, but also thanks to her risqué Christopher Kane number. Indeed, nudity had it’s own boldfaced contingency with Miley Cyrus in Alexander Wang, Jennifer Lopez in Versace, Beyoncé Knowles in custom Givenchy Haute Couture, and Kim Kardashian West in Peter Dundas for Roberto Cavalli, leaving very, very little to the imagination. Georgia May Jagger was the lucky girl chosen to show off Gucci newcomer Alessandro Michele’s vision on the red carpet, and Chloë Sevigny and Lauren Santo Domingo sported custom silken looks from J.W. Anderson and Proenza Schouler, respectively. Co-host Jennifer Lawrence chose a sparkling Dior number—which she very carefully stepped up the staircase in. Marc Jacobs brought with him the festive crew of Jamie Bochert, Adriana Lima, Xiao Wen Ju, and none other than Cher in his latest Fall 2015 frocks. Gigi Hadid, who turned up in a cherry Diane von Furstenberg look, explained the pressures of dressing for the Met: “I’m just trying to be at least 1 percent of what everyone else here is.” Hadid’s favorite look? “Kim’s, for sure.” Kardashian West, however, found some stiff competition in the wow department from Sarah Jessica Parker, who appeared in an over-the-top headpiece (Philip Treacy, of course), explaining to fascinated crowds that the real story was the dress she helped design with H&M Conscious collection. “They basically have dug up every piece of old fabric they could find in Sweden, and it’s all been incorporated into this! I knew I wanted poppies all over, so we found somebody in New York to hand-embroider these. It’s been a total fascinating and interesting experience,” she cheered.
Still, the ladies who seemed to be having the most fun were the ones who arrived in their jammies. Early in the evening Grace Coddington waltzed by in blue silk pajamas. “I’m actually on my way to the airport, and I’m just coming for the cocktail, and Anna said, ‘why don’t you get yourself a pair of pajamas and then you can sleep on the plane,’” she explained. Others who got the message: Diane Kruger in a loose tunic-and-pants combo from Chanel Haute Couture, and Jenna Lyons in a sparkling J.Crew pajama set. Even Anne Hathaway’s elegant shimmery golden dress had an air of loungewear about it, with its wide hood resting lightly on the crown of her head. A fitting finale for the evening—or so most thought before Beyoncé and Jay Z made a surprise last-minute entrance—was Rihanna in a gigantic yellow robe by the Chinese couturier Guo Pei. Clutched sumptuously to her bosom, it was the epitome of languor and luxury—two concepts absolutely integral to chinoiserie.
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