Behold! Fashion Notes, Met Gala edition are here! I’m breaking down the best and worst dressed stars from the red carpet.
For this year’s Costume Institute exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the late and great Karl Lagerfeld is being paid tribute. Lagerfeld died in February 2019 and I wrote about his legacy at the time.
I consider him the most innovative designer of the 20th and 21st centuries as he defied expectations during his tenure at Chanel and did not allow the limits of the fashion crowd’s narrow-mindedness dictate his artistry. He designed a world that lives in our imaginations. No one else has been able to create that vision quite like Lagerfeld.
For this reason, my standards for this year’s Met Gala are almost impossible to reach. Lagerfeld, himself, likely would have scoffed at most of the creatures on Monday evening.
But, there were a handful that nailed it. Let’s review, shall we?
Best Dressed: Jessica Chastain in Custom Gucci
Jessica Chastain debuted platinum blonde on Monday evening, a dye job she said that was “for Karl” and paired the shocking look with an all-black ensemble — custom-made by Gucci. It’s the fierceness and fearlessness of it all that makes this the top look of the night.
Worst Dressed: Jennifer Lopez in Ralph Lauren
Jennifer Lopez seemingly ignored Coco Chanel’s most famous line when she said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” Girl really threw everything on with this silk velvet halter gown with a hand-draped silk satin skirt.
If we remove the hat, take that stupid flower off her neck, scrap the gloves, and cut the velvet train, we may have something worth salvaging here.
Best Dressed: Nicole Kidman in Vintage Chanel
Nicole Kidman chose the gown that she famously wore in 2004’s Chanel No. 5 campaign, shot by Baz Luhrmann and styled by Lagerfeld. In that ad, Kidman was breathtaking running through the streets of Manhattan with flash bulbs going off.
Here, the gown revisits its original glory and is just as beautiful as ever.
Worst Dressed: Doja Cat in Oscar De La Renta
I understand Doja Cat was embodying Lagerfeld’s world-renowned cat, Choupette, but can we admit that she looks to be auditioning for Cats 2?
Best Dressed: Dua Lipa in Vintage Chanel
I was waiting for Lagerfeld’s most famed muse, the supermodel Claudia Schiffer, to arrive on Monday night but she later posted to her Instagram page that she would not be attending.
Schiffer, a German powerhouse like Lagerfeld, was the Chanel woman throughout the 1990s thanks to the late designer. She, along with Cara Delevigne, Inès de la Fressange, and Kristen McMenamy, came to be the face of the Lagerfeld’s dream world at one stage through his career.
That’s why Dua Lipa’s arrival in the final look from Chanel Haute Couture’s Fall 1992 collection is so spectacular as it was originally debuted by Schiffer. The Lucida Star Necklace from Tiffany & Co., worth more than $10 million, only adds to the spectacle.
P.S. — I’ve included a clip of Schiffer’s runway walk in this gown below!
Worst Dressed: Rachel Brosnahan in Sergio Hudson
My first thought when seeing this look was “Mrs. Maisel would disapprove!”
Best Dressed: Kate Moss in Fendi Couture
The doll-like quality of Kate Moss’s bespoke Fendi Haute Couture is what makes it one of my favorites of the evening. It’s reminiscent of Lagerfeld’s Spring 2002 Haute Couture collection for Chanel without being so obvious.
Worst Dressed: Kim Petras in Marc Jacobs
This Marc Jacobs ensemble worn by Kim Petras would have been great at a drug-fueled rave in 1994 at the Limelight. Wearing this outside of that setting, under all circumstances, is just … no.
Best Dressed: Penélope Cruz in Chanel
Penélope Cruz is a Spanish bridal beauty in this custom Chanel gown with its light blue shawl collar featuring silver sequins and a silver pearl-embellished leather belt. This is almost something I could imagine a fabulous woman of aristocracy wearing in the late 19th century.
For a tribute to Lagerfeld, it’s perfection.
Worst Dressed: Lil Nas X in … Nothing?
Did the Met Gala invite suggest it was clothing optional this year? This level of attention whoreness would have been so severely despised by Lagerfeld, himself.
Best Dressed: Gisele Bündchen in Vintage Chanel Haute Couture
Gisele Bündchen, like Nicole Kidman, made a smart choice in bringing back a vintage Lagerfeld gown that no one has seen in over a decade.
In particular, this silk tulle gown embroidered with sequins and feathers from Chanel Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2007 collection was first worn by Bündchen when she posed for Harper’s Bazaar at the time. Lagerfeld shot the image.
It’s only fitting she’d wrestle it from the archives and breathe new life into it.
Worst Dressed: Lily Collins in Vera Wang
I had a friend FaceTime me from the Met Gala so naturally I asked “Who did you see?!” He mentioned the beautiful Lily Collins, seemingly always a staple on this red carpet.
When I searched for her look, I loved it instantly. The Moulin Rouge of it all, she could have just stepped out of a high fashion whore house in Paris, France. It’s the dreaminess and vision that sets it apart from others.
Then, she turned around to reveal the corny “KARL” emblazoned on the train of this Vera Wang creation. That’s when she ended up on my worst dressed list.
Best Dressed: Naomi Campbell in Vintage Chanel Haute Couture
Naomi Campbell must have known everyone would arrive in black, white, navy, tweed, and gold — the color palette of Lagerfeld’s world. So, in true supermodel fashion, she arrived in this sequin and glass-beaded pink draped silk satin gown from the Spring/Summer 2010 collection for Chanel Haute Couture.
What’s so recognizable about this collection? It set itself apart, as Lagerfeld described at the time, as being his first to not include any navy, black, or gold buttons.
Worst Dressed: Glenn Close in Custom Erdem
This was Glenn Close’s opportunity to arrive dressed head to toe as Lagerfeld, himself. She has the silver hair and cheekbones to pull off such a masculine risk.
Instead, she chose these glorified curtains, custom made by Erdem.
Best Dressed: Amanda Seyfried in Oscar De La Renta
When Amanda Seyfried stepped on the red carpet in this custom gold and platinum draped bugle bead embroidered dress from Oscar De La Renta, it was as if she’d stepped off the set of 2002’s Chicago.
That’s when I started questioning, “Did Lagerfeld design the costumes for Chicago? It would make sense but how did I not remember this?” Those short and strappy numbers in black and white for Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zellweger could have easily been ripped from Lagerfeld’s Chanel runway.
Lagerfeld did not, in fact, create the costumes for Chicago (that was Colleen Atwood), but his recognizable vision surely has played a role on movie sets for decades.
Worst Dressed: Lizzo in Thom Browne
I would love to see the initial sketch from Chanel’s current creative director Virginie Viard for this custom gown she made for Lizzo. Whatever it was, it couldn’t have been this sad, disheveled end result.
Best Dressed: Anne Hathaway in Atelier Versace
Anne Hathaway stunned in his Lagerfeld-inspired Atelier Versace gown featuring those famous gold safety pins originally worn by Christy Turlington in 1993 and, later, by Elizabeth Hurley. It’s a bombshell look that is brought to next level status by her tossled beehive hair.
As stunning as this is, I genuinely wanted Hathaway to arrive in the Chanel-clad look from Devil Wears Prada where she is famously asked “How did … are you wearing the Chanel boots?” to which she responds, “Yeah, I am.”
Clip posted below for those who don’t know the reference!
Worst Dressed: Florence Pugh in Valentino
I feel like I’ve written this before but Florence Pugh is the embodiment of the TikTok generation — failed attempts at edgyness without any understanding of what being edgy is about. She reportedly shaved her head for the occasion, I guess so she could wear the feathered mohawk?
But … was this supposed to be daring? There’s nothing really daring about it except that a nip-slip moment could happen any second. And even then, Janet Jackson already did that.
Best Dressed: Cara Delevingne in Custom Karl Lagerfeld
In true muse fashion, model Cara Delevingne wore a custom plunging white menswear-inspired shirt mini dress with black thigh-high heels, fingerless leather gloves, and a shag silver wig inspired by Lagerfeld’s 2013 Cruise collection for Chanel — one which Delevingne starred in the season’s ad campaign.
It’s all oh so Karl, a look he would have put together.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.
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