There was a lot of speculation as to which stars would get it right and wrong at this year’s Met Gala, with the theme focused on historic Chinese art and design. While some found creative and culturally appropriate ways to pay homage to the rich culture, others were slightly off-centre and ran the huge risk of being insensitive to the evening’s celebrated heritage.
Without a doubt, Rihanna hit all the cultural notes right on the head, one of the few attendees to wear a Chinese designer and embrace the theme. Nevertheless, the artist received a lot of backlash from the Internet, which reduced her Guo Pei dress to ‘pizza or scrambled eggs.’
However, I believe the outfit to be a red-carpet winner. It ticked all the boxes of the brief: culturally-appropriate aesthetic, wise choice of an Asian designer and a historical precedent for her use of colour. In Imperial China, yellow was reserved exclusively for the Emperor and is considered a symbol of good luck; fortunate, then, that Rihanna was the only guest to rock up in the daring shade on the night. In an interview with Vanity Fair on the red carpet Rihanna admitted that she had been “researching Chinese couture on the Internet and found it. It’s handmade by one Chinese woman and it took her two years to make.”
She also admitted to having copious amounts of trouble walking in the dress, although it was worth it. Well done Rihanna: 10/10.
Whilst Rihanna was the clear standout, other attendees did well in dressing to theme appropriately. Karolina Kurkova chose to honour the culture through a Chinese-inspired mini dress from Tommy Hilfiger with a keyhole cutout at the bodice. The choice of red, a cultural representation of good fortune and joy, was popular on the night, but few pulled it off with Kurkova’s elegance. Gorgeous.
Regal Lady Gaga, complete with crown, wore a Balenciaga coat by Alexander Wang. The Chinese-influenced piece consisted of 14,000 sheared feathers and rhinestones and certainly did not disappoint.
There’s always an expectation of outrageous choices to reflect an East Asian influence, but some of the attendees completely missed the mark.
Whilst there’s no argument that Beyoncé is one of the most stunning human beings on the planet, her choice of dress was truly incompatible with the 2015 theme. Leaving little to the imagination with strategically-placed embellishments, her floor-length Givenchy gown was barely there. The look appears to be inspired by I Dream of Jeannie, right to the top of her high ponytail. Bit far off the creativity mark, Bey.
There were several other naked attempts by celebs to flaunt more flesh than fabric.
Kim Kardashian wore a “naked” dress by Roberto Cavalli she said was inspired by the outfit Cher wore to the first ever Met Gala. Hmm, I didn’t hear China in any part of that sentence Kim.
Jennifer Lopez also turned heads, her booty embraced by dramatic cutouts in a red Versace number. Perhaps we can spare J. Lo for going with the culturally-significant red, but beyond this subtle nod to the evening’s theme we can put her alongside Kim and Bey as celebrities who missed the point.
Oh, Katy. Perry was not only off-centre for the theme, she actually looked dreadful. Appearing on the red carpet in a graffiti dress, matching gloves and a spray paint can for a bag, her Moschino-designed look definitely failed to impress, topping the night’s worst dressed list.
And then there was Miley, who came in like a wrecking ball and destroyed the cultural homage. Cyrus flaunted an Alexander Wang dress seemingly inspired by punk rock. Her blue-grey hair paired with a dress covered in studs, cutouts and a collar was not elegant, attractive or appropriate for the theme of the Gala. It’s hard to believe this was the same designer who dressed Lady Gaga so well for the same event. Oh well. I guess that’s why Wang is the man for any job.
So, like any Met Gala, there were more than a few hits and misses. Be sure to give us your opinions on who made their outfits work best.