Known as the Oscars of the fashion world, the Met Gala 2019 was held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on May 6. It’s the biggest fashion fundraiser, which came into being in the year 1948 in order to encourage donations from New York’s high society. Eleanor Lambert, a publicist, founded this highly-anticipated fashion event. And yet again this year, the who’s who of the fashion, music, movies, and art industries have come together to celebrate the grand opening of the latest exhibition and support the noble cause of raising funds for the Met Costume Institute.
The Met Gala event is always based on the theme of the latest, new exhibition. A few of the themes from the previous years have been Manus x Machina, Punk: Chaos to Couture, China: Through the Looking Glass, and Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic imagination. The curator of the Costume Institute, Andrew Bolton decided the theme for this year’s Met Gala, which was Camp: Notes on Fashion. And needless to say, all the celebrities who’ve attended the event were dressed in their best and did total justice to the theme!
The day of the Met Gala event begins at the cocktail hour. Guests walk down the red carpet and stroll through the entire new exhibition and explore it, before sitting down for the performances. This is followed by a sumptuous dinner. Since 1995, Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief, US Vogue, has been chairing this event. She enlists other public figures, who serve as co-chairs. The Met Gala this year marked its 71st anniversary and was co-chaired by Priyanka Chopra, Nick Jonas, Serena Williams, Harry Styles, and Lady Gaga apart from Anna Wintour. In the past, this event has seen hosts such as Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Amal Clooney, Katy Perry, and Beyoncé.
Met Gala 2019 witnessed guests like Katy Perry, Janelle Monae, Ezra Miller, Lupita Nyong’o, Cardi B, Celine Dion, Alessandro Michele, Hailee Steinfeld, Zendaya, Jared Leto, Saoirse Ronan, Deepika Padukone, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Charli XCX, Lena Waithe, and Kerby Jean-Raymond. It also saw Gigi Hadid, Emma Stone, Gwen Stefani, Ciara, Nicki Minaj, Lucy Boynton, Cara Delevingne, Lana Condor, Lizzo, Billy Porter, Jemima Kirke and Lena Dunham, among many others.
Singer Joe Jonas and the Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, wore matching outfits to the event. Dressed in Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquière, the couple made their debut after their recent wedding in Las Vegas. Sophie’s hairstyle was sleek with glitter in her hair. Katy Perry walked down the red carpet dressed as a grand chandelier, designed by Moschino. For the after party, the singer decided to go all out and got dressed as a hamburger! Dressed in a silk, red long-sleeved gown encrusted with jewels and designed by Gucci, actor Jared Leto decided to carry his own fake, severed head to the event.
And Zendaya looked gorgeous as she showed up in a lit (literally) black-blue corseted, Cinderella gown. Designed by Tommy Hilfiger, the gown had puffy sleeves and a full A-line skirt and Zendaya completed her look with a pumpkin-carriage clutch, styling her hair in a French blonde twist and securing it with a headband. She also sported a black choker. What made heads turn was more than just this fairy tale look- the fact that she went all out! Zendaya’s stylist, Law Roach (here, her fairy godmother) used a magic wand and spun a wave in the air. This caused Zendaya’s entire outfit, including her clutch to light up!
Hailee Steinfeld arrived wearing the ‘No photos please’ outfit by Viktor & Rolf and a camera bag from Judith Leiber, styled with jewellery from Harry Winston. And Priyanka Chopra walked the red carpet with her husband Nick Jonas, all dressed in Dior. Priyanka was dressed in a spiky silver gown with grey-pink-yellow feather-like detailing. Her hair was in tight and frothy curls. Her eyes were lined with white eyeliner and her brows were painted grey. Her look seemed to be an inspiration of Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland. Nick Jonas looked like an Italian mafia, sporting a thin moustache. This was an amazing second appearance of the couple together at the Met Gala.
Deepika Padukone was a head-turner, dressed in a pink ball gown designed by Zac Posen. Her hair was big and puffy, with a pink hair band. She finished her look with chunky earrings and a bracelet, which was styled by her stylist, Shaleena Nathani.
Talking about the most major fashion event and not mentioning Lady Gaga would be a shame! Pop superstar, Lady Gaga was the showstopper, head-turner, and the talk of the evening as she showed up in not just one but four outfits, all of which she showed off one after the other while walking down the red carpet. She arrived in style with a team of suited male dancers who held umbrellas, wearing a pink gown designed by Brandon Maxwell, which included a massive 25-foot train and a huge bow on her head.
She shed the pink cape dress to reveal a strapless black gown beneath it and posed with a matching black umbrella. Next was a body hugging, pink gown. For this, she completed the look with a big, black cell phone bag designed by Judith Leiber. Post this, she had a quick makeup touch-up while still on the red carpet to reveal her last and final look, which was a black bra, underwear, fishnets, and high platform boots. She pulled a hot pink wagon filled with rosé and pink cowboy hat as she walked!
The theme of this year’s Met Gala was inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay that defined camp as “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration.” It is all about fashion that is over-the-top, which means it could be extreme in nature or humorous or just simply iconic – and who could’ve done this better that Lady Gaga herself!
Cardi B walked down the red carpet with an entourage of 10 people! Well, that’s how massive her train was! The rapper wore a huge feathered-and-quilted gown designed by Thom Browne. Kim Kardashian wore a skin-tight, nude latex Mugler dress that had sequins and beads that looked like dripping water. It apparently took eight months to make this dress! She went for a complete ‘wet’ look with even her hair styled in wet waves to match the dripping water outfit. Her husband, Kanye West looked simple and laid low in pants and a plain black jacket.
Kendall and Kylie twinned in their matching bright feather dresses that were designed by Versace and accessorised them with jewellery from Tiffany & Co. Kendall opted for Cher-inspired naked dress with bright, orange feathers, while Kylie went with a similar naked dress with lavender feathers. She chose to match her lavender gown with hair in the same colour. The fur stole, stole the show!
The Camp: Notes on Fashion which was opened to view for the public on May 9 at 1000 Fifth Avenue, will close on September 8. --- Zainab