Red Carpet: Closing Out the Met Gala

And just like that (after a week and a half of very hard work…) another Met Gala has come and gone. Let’s close this thing out, move on to Cannes (and the Royal Wedding!!!), and actually go see the “Heavenly Bodies” exhibit!

Lena Waithe in Carolina Herrera

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This is a fucking triumph. First of all, the iteration of the LGBT flag used by Waithe and Herrera here is straight out of Philly! To quote The Philadelphia Inquirer: “The rainbow cape that queer black actress Lena Waithe wore Monday to the Met Gala in New York included black and brown stripes, mirroring the pride flag in Philadelphia, which last year became the first city to add black and brown stripes atop its pride flag to represent LGBT people of color”. Second of all, this is such a beautiful and subversive statement. The cape itself is stunning, but it’s also a commentary on the Church’s legacy of discrimination against queer communities. It not only adheres to the theme, but it takes it a step further – making a powerful statement about the Church’s past and future. I would never have thought of Lena and Carolina as potent partners in fashion, but the work they did here together is brilliant and moving.

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Red Carpet: Models at the Met Gala

The models were a mixed bag at the Met Gala this year – some real highs from unexpected candidates (looking at you Hadid’s) and some expected lows from repeat offenders (Jenner’s…you know who you are).

Bella Hadid in Chrome Hearts Official x Gareth Pugh

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Like I said when I covered Gigi’s gorgeous stained glass inspired Versace gown, I was very impressed with both of the Hadid sisters this year. If Gigi was delicate, heavenly stained glass, then Bella is definitely a somewhat sinful nun. She looks about ready to break out of the convent to join a coven.

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Red Carpet: Prabal Gurung Debuts Bespoke Line at Met Gala

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Prabal Gurung has been hit and miss for me lately. He has created red carpet magic in the past, particularly with his frequent muse/collaborator Diane Kruger. These two looks are still two of my all time favorites on Diane. He’s also done incredible work with Issa Rae and Sarah Paulson.  But, he also did this. And this.

This year, he used the Met Gala to debut his bespoke atelier line. All of the designs worn by the eight women he dressed are now available for custom orders. Taken together, it becomes clear that he was much more focused on creating a collection with wide appeal and using the Met Gala as a great big advertisement, rather than designing to the theme.

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Red Carpet: H&M Does Surprisingly Well at the Met Gala

For years now, H&M and various other fast fashion designers (mainly Top Shop) have been making a play for red carpet prominence. The results have been…mixed. H&M has largely done better, with their popular “Conscious Collection” which exclusively uses sustainable materials, and their increasingly high-end collaborations with designers like Erdem, Moschino, and Balmain. However, often their work looks like it came from “high street” – it’s shoddily constructed, basic, and un-inventive. This year, H&M presented five looks at the Met Gala, and overall did better than they have in a long time.

Alex Wek

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The back of this is gorgeous. The details are stunning and the construction is really good. I don’t love the front as much – that slit is DANGEROUSLY high. But overall, this gets an A from me.

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Red Carpet; Classic American Designers Take On The Met Gala

When I think of classic American designers, I think of Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. But when I think of opulence and the Catholic church, I definitely DON’T think of either. Interestingly, a lot of celebrities went with these two designers, with varying results.

Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren

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Priyanka totally killed it at last years Met Gala in a Ralph Lauren trench coat gown. This year their partnership produced equally wonderful results – this maroon velvet gown looks spectacular on her and the intricately jeweled headdress is a real work of art.

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Red Carpet: Crowns, Hoods, Veils, and Halos at the Met Gala

Headgear ruled the night on Monday, and thankfully not the kind I used to wear at night to correct an appallingly bad overbite. From Pope hats to veils to halos, interesting head pieces were the accessory of choice for stars to demonstrate their dedication to the theme.

Rihanna in custom Maison Margiela by John Galliano

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Bow down, bitches, because Rihanna just won the Met Gala. Again. This is exquisite, hilarious, extravagant, clever, and downright holy. She is literally dressed as a sexy pope, but this isn’t a tacky Halloween costume. As much as I am iffy on Galliano (even though the ADL apparently has forgiven him…) you can’t deny his handiwork here. Now that we have Cool Pope, can we have Rihanna Pope next?

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Red Carpet: The Italians Take on the Met Gala

Italy. The home of the Catholic Church, the mecca of Catholic art, and the birthplace of some of the fashion houses most equipped to take on this years theme. Let’s take a look at how they fulfilled or flaked on that promise.

Also, a side note: this is our 100th post here at Fashion Wonk! I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for reading, commenting, and encouraging me to keep this thing going! It’s been a joy talking fashion with you all, so thank you very, very much.

Lana del Rey and Jared Leto in Gucci

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Well then. This is not subtle. As I understand it, this is an ode to “Our Lady of Sorrows”, a.k.a the Virgin Mary and the suffering she experienced. And obviously Jared Leto is dressed as Jesus. Which is pretty much a regular Monday for him.

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