The Metropolitan Museum of Art once again saw its famous steps transformed into a red carpet for this year’s Met Gala – the grand opening of its latest exhibition, China: Through The Looking Glass. Hosted by Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, the Gala often sees some of the best, and the worst, dressed attendees as they pay tribute the annual theme. This year’s theme encompassed both high fashion and fine art, celebrating over one hundred years of Chinese influence. The exhibition itself featured 140 examples of haute couture and ready-to-wear pieces alongside Chinese art.
When considering the best dressed of the gala, it would be a mistake to overlook the hostess – who was dressed in Chanel Haute Couture. Anna’s dress was custom made from Chanel’s spring 2015 Haute couture collection. The fully dimensional dress had
all-over poppy embroidery, with subtle Asian influences. The dress had been originally showcased as a mini dress on the runway; however, it has been transformed into a full-length gown for the Gala.
Surprisingly, Justin Bieber’s first outfit for the gala proved successful in custom-made Olivier Rousteing for Balmain. Wintour herself also heavily praised the young singer as one of her favourite looks of the night. Justin wore a tuxedo with a golden dragon embroidered velvet jacket, asymmetric button-down silk shirt and black trousers. The velvet jacket – featuring Chinese dragons – reportedly took Balmain’s team a month to make, and the result is remarkable. He is pictured with Rousteing, his date for the night, who is also suitably dressed in Balmain.
Cara Delevingne denied the traditional gown for the second year in a row and wore a Stella McCartney cutout jumpsuit with embellished bust. Once again, the supermodel sported her strong brows, but perhaps more strikingly, she was covered in temporary Chinese-styled tattoos. The body art was an ingenious way to incorporate this year’s theme; some of the designs featured Chinese birds and blossoms, which reportedly took eleven hours to create.
Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian West, and Jennifer Lopez all wore sheer dresses leaving little to the imagination. Whilst the three dresses – equally beautiful and well crafted – are all similar in theory, they are vastly different from one another. Beyoncé arrived wearing a custom made dress by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy Haute Couture. The nude dress had strategically placed
multi-coloured crystals, an open back and a transparent train. Kim Kardashian west wore a Roberto Cavalli sheer gown with crystallised embellishment and a heavily feathered trail. This was one of Peter Dundas’ first dresses since returning to the Italian fashion house. Jennifer’s one-shoulder gown was also mostly sheer, but was heavily embellished with a crimson dragon, twisting around her torso. The Atelier Versace dress was the only one of the three dresses to fully incorporate the Chinese theme of the night.
Other notably well dress attendees include Rihanna in a traditional Chinese-yellow gown by Chinese haute couture designer Guo Pei. This dress took her two years to make,
which is unsurprising when considering the size of the train and it’s handcrafted detail. Rihanna has since been the focus of many Internet memes (the dress has been compared to an omelet) however; it has resulted in her being the cover of Vogue’s special Met Gala edition – for the second year. Jennifer Lawrence and Karlie Kloss also stunned the red carpet, Jennifer in a Dior cutout dress with embellished oriental flower top half and straight black skirt, and Karlie in a Versace full length back halter dress featuring a sheer lace skirt.
Whilst some guests embraced the theme very well, incorporating traditional Chinese colours of reds and yellows and oriental flower prints, others seemed to have ignored it completely. Despite this, the event showcased yet another beautiful collection of custom-made gowns, providing a fitting welcome for the Met Museum’s latest exhibition.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institutes’ latest exhibition China: Through The Looking Glass is available to see May 7 – August 16 2015, New York City.
Feature image: Associated Press