The first Monday in May annually brings together those from the realms of fashion and film for the Met Gala, the annual fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.
The greatest question on that Monday night was: what does it mean, as the invitation requested, to dress “Avant-Garde”?
Tracing its history from Dada through Situationists to postmodern artists such as the Language poets circa 1981, the avant-garde pushes the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo. It include works that are unorthodox and innovative.
Founded and designed by Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garçons was the brand being celebrated at the event, the subject of the exhibition the party was honoring, and the inspiration for the dress code itself.
Some celebrities paid homage to CdG and Kawakubo by taking bits and pieces from the CdG oeuvre and trying to make them their own. The exhibition itself is titled “The Art of the In-Between”; the ethos of the evening seemed to be “In Between Rei and [insert brand name here].” The results ranged from radical to unoriginal.
Drawing inspiration from Kawakubo’s “Roses and Blood” 2014 collection, red was the color of the evening. The yin and yang of shredding and exaggeration were the design strategies.
Without further ado, Timeless Trademark™’s favourite looks of the evening:
I. ADWOA ABOAH | CONNER IVES
Aboah chose to support an unestablished designer still making his mark on the world with her Met Gala dress. Conner Ives is a 21-year-old student at Central Saint Martins in London.
Initially inspired by the debutante balls of the American South, Ives’s creation draws from the culture of society swans. “The coat is a duchess silk satin duster worn on straps that hold it around the waist. I wanted it to look as if she was wearing her date’s tuxedo off the shoulders, but then make it resemble the gowns in the debutante balls. The tails of the coat are then meters long and form the train. The entire thing is then appliquéd with ivory satin swans that spiral down each tail of the coat,” said Ives.
II. ZOEY DEUTCH | TORY BURCH
Deutch looks as elegant as ever, opting for an ivory Tory Burch gown with exaggerated fluted sleeves.
III. GWYNETH PALTROW | CALVIN KLEIN BY APPOINTMENT
Paltrow’s dress is classic as can be.
Gwyneth has worn her fair share of Calvin Klein’s slip dresses and minimalist staples. So it’s only natural that the 44-year-old star would take things full circle at the Met Gala this year. Sporting an austere look by new creative director Raf Simons, Gwyneth returned to the event after a four-year absence, and picked up right where she left off.
With its matte sequins and baby pink color, Paltrow’s Met look channels the energy of her retro style with a modern twist, while staying true to Simons’s minimalist aesthetic.
IV. NATALIA VODIANOVA | DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
Natalia’s floor-length dress is cut from silk double-face charmeuse in a soft rose color for the body and sleeves, and in gold for the lapel. It is fastened with a waistband cut from heavy silk charmeuse in peach with a separate gold silk chiffon sash tied into a bow.
V. HAILEY BALDWIN | CAROLINA HERRERA
Hailey Baldwin chose a look best described as “futuristic ballerina”: a tiered tulle skirt and bustier-style crop top dreamed up by Carolina Herrera, both in a soft shade of petal pink.
The designer’s challenge was to interpret the CDG spirit for Baldwin’s youthful style; the model is more often seen in streetwear than in princess gowns. “Designing for the Met Gala is alway fun, especially this year for Rei Kawakubo because she’s a real modernist,” Herrera told Vogue. Perhaps she found inspiration in Kawakubo’s Fall ’95 “Sweeter Than Sweet” collection, which featured big tulle skirts in sugary pastels.
This tiered skirt looks like a dainty cupcake or possibly the skirt the ballerina inside our childhood jewelry boxes wore. Either that, or she’s giving us Carrie Bradshaw vibes.
VI. MIRANDA KERR | OSCAR DE LA RENTA
Miranda was the belle of the ball as she twirled in her Oscar de la Renta structured strapless gown. The gown displays heavy folds and a floral metallic texture.
VII. GIGI HADID | TOMMY HILFIGER
Hadid arrives wearing a asymmetrical nude Tommy Hilfiger dress, that, dare I say, looks strikingly similar to am armful of swatches from the Urban Decay Naked2 palette. Hadid carried on the tan theme by coloring her hair a soft caramel. The beige look was unique in a room full of color to honor CdG’s avant-garde and colorful palates.
The asymmetrical cuts, soft and warm color, and sleek fabric made this one a favorite. The fishnets could have gone without.
VIII. LILY-ROSE DEPP | CHANEL
It is only fitting that as the closing model in Chanel’s SS17 Haute Couture Show, Lily-Rose Depp chooses to wow at the Met Gala in a hot pink, sequined rose-embellished Chanel gown that steals the spotlight.
IX. ELISABETH VON THURN UND TAXIS | SIMONE ROCHA
Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis wears a belted dusty rose coat with floral embellishments designed by Simone Rocha.
X. JENNIFER LOPEZ | VALENTINO
Jennifer Lopez opts for an Old Hollywood look, resembling a ’60s-era Elizabeth Taylor, who often opted for a loose, chic caftan. The powdery gown is a brightened version of a Spring 2017 Valentino couture piece, featuring a sheer tulle overlay, turtleneck, and long train.
XI. EMMY ROSSUM | CAROLINA HERRERA
Emmy Rossum offers a refreshing twist on the classic monochrome ensemble, with black pants paired with a giant white bow at the hip.
XII. TRACEE ELLIS ROSS | COMME DES GARÇONS
Tracee Ellis Ross was one of only a handful of people who wore Commes des Garcons to the event held in the designer’s honor. She managed to land on all of the motifs of the theme. The vintage piece has an odd, dream-like quality to it; like the fractured memory of a dress.
XIII. EMMA ROBERTS
Emma Roberts makes the list purely for her pink fur stole.
XIV. ANNA WINTOUR | CHANEL
With her perfectly coiffed bob and classic gowns, Anna Wintour likes to keep it simple.
As chair of the gala, Wintour is the woman of the hour. And yet, despite running the show — and despite the night being known for interesting dress codes — Wintour’s look on the Met Gala red carpet almost always remains understated and chic.
Wintour kept things decidedly toned down again this year, despite the Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons theme. Even with a license to go wild, she didn’t let the theme tear her away from her go-to chic look. Wintour wore a sparkly, short-sleeved gown with a fabulous fuller tulle towards the bottom. The look was classic Anna Wintour in every sense of the word, but the mixed fabrics throughout gave the look a modern and layered feel.