For film buffs it’s the Oscars, for sports fans it’s the Super Bowl, but for us style savvy, one of the most prestigious events on the A-list calendar is the Met Gala and the Costume Institute Benefit.
Fashionable stars of the film and music industry turned up in their droves to the Costume Institute Gala, an annual fund-raiser for the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute, which has a hefty ticket price of US$25,000.
The event combines art with fashion and entertainment and Vogue editor Anna Wintour issues the dress code. This year’s theme was China: Through The Looking Glass, the same title as the showcasing spring exhibition at the institute.
The exhibition, which is on view to the public from May 7 to August 16 is presented in the Museum’s Chinese Galleries and Anna Wintour Costume Center. It explores how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries, resulting in highly creative distortions of cultural realities and mythologies. A museum spokesperson said: “In this collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Asian Art, high fashion will be juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art, as well as films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery.”
As such the celebrities hit the red carpet in a plethora of Far East-inspired ensembles, some which ticked every sartorial checklist and some that should never have seen the light of day. Here are some of the most notable looks of the night.
She may have arrived late but Rihanna made a dramatic entrance with her impressive effort, wearing a couture fur-trimmed yellow cape with floral swirls of gold and a train so long it required three people to carry it. The piece, which was a showstopper on the iconic grand staircase was by Chinese designer Guo Pei.
Beyonce made her first ever appearance at the Met Gala, attending with Jay-Z. While her rapper husband looked dapper in a tuxedo, Beyonce wore Givenchy though we aren’t too sure how the bejewelled (or rather ‘vajazzle-style’), barely-there dress met the dress code.
In contrast, Met Gala regular, and one of our favourite style icons, Sarah Jessica Parker never misses a beat when it comes to following the rules, but she does so with flamboyance. She off-set her simple one shoulder gown – a dress from her collaboration with H&M, embellished with a large red flower and patchwork runner – with a gigantic Philip Treacy custom headpiece, which sent the Twitterati in a frenzy with new memes featuring her hat sweeping across social media.
Keeping it simple yet demure was Jennifer Lawrence, who is one of the Met Gala co-chairs alongside honorary Chair Silas Chou and other co-chairs Gong Li, Marissa Mayer, Wendi Murdoch, and Anna Wintour. As ever, she wore a Dior couture dress, Roger Vivier shoes, and Cartier jewels.
The evening’s golden girl, literally, was Anne Hathaway, who looked stunning in a custom-made hood dress by Ralph Lauren.
Determined to give Anne a run for her money, Kate Hudson also opted for the metallic hue in a form-fitting Michael Kors gown with a decadent train.
Amal Clooney (nee Alamuddin) made a star out of formerly disgraced designer John Galliano, wearing a strapless, layered gown with a sequin covered bodice by Maison Margiela.
Anna Wintour, who usually keeps her look relatively simple, opted for loud, embellished and blooming Chanel gown and she certainly pulled it off, looking half her age as she posed next to daughter Bee Shaffer (wearing Alexander McQueen) on the red carpet.
Taking cue from Beyonce, Kim Kardashian West oozed sheer (pun intended) confidence in a Roberto Cavalli number.
Cara Delevingne was slightly off the dress code with her Stella McCartney jumpsuit but made up for it with her oriental-inspired body art.
Her new BFF Kendall Jenner dazzled in Calvin Klein, putting the recent vandalism embarrassment behind her – Kendall’s NYC Calvin Klein billboard was attacked by a graffiti drone.
Fellow Brat Pack member Justin Beiber managed to scrub up too, in a theme-appropriate Balmain jacket.
Stepping from under her sister’s shadow and in to the shadow of her unique Giles Deacon gown was Solange Knowles. Statement? Yes. Are we a fan of it? Hmm, let us get back to you.
What we were a huge fan of was Sienna Miller’s Thakoon outfit complete with a Rau Wolf bag. This British star is certainly getting the right attention in Hollywood.
Another Brit getting the American vote is Alexa Chung who proved her model credentials in a structured, purple Erdem gown out-set with embellished teal shoes. A true style icon….
Speaking of which, our red carpet favourite Diane Kruger looked like a beautiful China doll in her Chanel Haute Couture. This lady can do no wrong when it comes to fashion.
China: Through The Looking Glass exhibition, explores China’s influence on Western fashion. As well art, fashion will be high on the agenda with a style showcase of haute couture from Dior, Valentino, Alexander McQueen and Saint Laurent, among other houses. Roberto Cavalli’s Ming-vase-patterned gown and Ralph Lauren’s back-plunging dragon dress will also be on display. The Met Museum exhibit will run until August 16.