Ah, the Met Gala, one of my favorite days of the year! This years theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”, guaranteed a lot of reds and golds, plenty of medieval and renaissance aesthetics, a decent amount of punting on the theme, and perhaps a little bit of controversy. With Donatella as one of this years gala chairs, Versace delivered on all counts. It’s no surprise that Donatella was behind more gowns this year than any other designer – if anyone knows their Catholic iconography, it’s the House of Versace.
Before we begin, a fair warning. Being Jewish, I am bound to miss things and get details wrong about the iconography, symbolism, and general history of the Catholic church. I’m going to do my best, but correct me when I’m wrong and chip in about references I may have missed!
Donatella VersaceEmbed from Getty Images
Let’s start with the woman of the hour. While she didn’t save her best for herself, she looks great. Blue and gold is one of my favorite color combinations and she reps her brand very well. She looks exactly as we’ve all come to expect her to look, and that’s not a bad thing.
Gisele BundchenEmbed from Getty Images
This is weak. It looks like Donatella forgot about Gisele and had to slap together something at the last minute. It’s bunchy and boring, it’s making her boobs look lopsided, and it has little to nothing to do with the theme.
Chadwick BosemanEmbed from Getty Images
I don’t usually cover menswear on the blog, but this is too good to ignore. The worlds reigning superhero wearing a man-cape covered in religious iconography? Bow down.
Katy PerryEmbed from Getty Images
YES. Clearly Katy was inspired by her recent trip to the Vatican to make up for past missteps at the Gala. This is an absolute work of art and the exact kind of exuberant commitment to theme I’m looking for at the Met Gala. When she chaired last years event, she went so over the top it drowned out any hope of sartorial excellence. This year she redeemed herself. Was her interpretation too on the nose? Too literal? Sure, but I will take that over punting on the theme any day.
Blake LivelyEmbed from Getty Images
It was hard to pick one shot of this gown, it looked so regal ascending the staircase. The sheer panels aren’t my favorite and neither is the fact that they almost make this look like pants. But the train is undeniably great. This is 100% what a Cardinal who was REALLY into his bedazzler would wear. Blake was quoted as saying this was her favorite dress she’s ever worn. Hard to argue with that.
SZAEmbed from Getty Images
There wasn’t a lot of pink on this years red carpet – it’s not the obvious choice, like red or gold. But the cloud-like tulle and delicate halo make for a lovely angelic and virginal vibe.
Laura LoveEmbed from Getty Images
A bit on the nose and a bit casual, but it’s hard to argue with this. This also looks way more comfortable than Katy’s wings or SZA’s stabby crown.
ZendayaEmbed from Getty Images
Once again, Zendaya pulls off my favorite look of the night. Her “Joan of Arc” is impeccable. It’s on theme, but not obvious. It’s incredibly well executed so as not to be overly costumey. The detailing is absolutely exquisite and it’s on brand for her – adventurous, creative, bold. It’s pretty fucking flawless. Bravo to her and her stylist Law Roach for nailing one of the toughest red carpets for the second year running.
Gigi HadidEmbed from Getty Images
In a shocking twist, I am totally on board with what both Hadid’s wore this year. In the past they picked heinous nude bodysuits and boring, theme-less gowns, but this year they both got creative with the theme and were hardly naked at all! Gigi looks fabulous in this stained glass inspired gown. Another example of Donatella’s mastery of subtle detailing.
Kim Kardashian WestEmbed from Getty Images
And yet another surprise – Kim looks great! The fit is flawless, the theme is front and center, and there’s nary a nipple or a butt-cheek in sight!
Cindy CrawfordEmbed from Getty Images
I mean, this is obviously lovely, and red is thematically appropriate, but she could have worn this on any red carpet. There’s nothing that makes it special enough for the Met Gala.
Irina ShaykEmbed from Getty Images
Again, this is beautiful, but other than the color, feels irrelevant to the event.
Mary J. BligeEmbed from Getty Images
I had to do a double take with this one to make sure she hadn’t actually worn this before. It is so within her wheelhouse that it feels a bit tired. Far from her best, or Donatella’s. She has been working with Law Roach, and I’ve come to expect more from him, but I guess there is only so far you can steer a client out of their comfort zone.