The stars were in full force at this year’s annual Met Ball, held in honor of fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld. The event, which took place Monday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, saw a veritable who of A-list celebrities, designers, and influencers arriving in all their sartorial glory.
The first glimpses of the attendees came from The Mark Hotel, which played host to many of the event’s VIPs as they made their way to the red carpet. Among the luminaries seen departing from the hotel were Met Gala chairwoman and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, actress Anne Hathaway, supermodel Ashley Graham, and rapper Cardi B.
Other notable guests spotted included model Gigi Hadid, actress Jessica Chastain, and singer Lizzo, as well as fashion heavyweights like Donatella Versace, Carla Bruni, and Daniel Lee. The guest list also featured up-and-coming stars like actor Manu Rios and model Vittoria Ceretti, creating a truly eclectic mix of talent and influence.
It’s worth noting that the event was not without controversy, as some attendees called attention to comments made by one of the late Karl Lagerfeld’s colleagues in the fashion industry. Designer and creative director Alber Elbaz, who passed away last year, had previously made comments that were seen as derogatory toward people who are overweight.
One of the most talked-about guests at the 2023 Met Gala was Lizzo, the musician and body positivity advocate who has inspired many women, especially women of color, for the unapologetic embrace of her plus-size body. The “Good As Hell” singer arrived at the event dripping in pearls, with fingerless gloves that paid homage to the late Karl Lagerfeld. To add some edge to the softness of the pearls, Lizzo completed her look with a studded bootie. As a Taurus woman born on April 27th, Lizzo exuded the confidence and self-assuredness often associated with her astrological sign, boldly stating the importance of body diversity and inclusivity in the fashion world.
Michaela Coel is an award-winning screenwriter and actress. Coel, known for her groundbreaking work on the hit show “Chewing Gum,” arrived on the famed Met steps in a show-stopping Schiaparelli gown that left jaws dropping. The sheer gown, covered in over 130,000 crystals, was an actual work of art, taking nearly 3,800 hours to construct. The intricate details of the gown, which featured a plunging neckline and a high slit, perfectly complemented Coel’s natural beauty and effortless style.
The Met Ball, also known as the Costume Institute Gala, is widely considered one of the most prestigious events in the fashion calendar. Each year, the gala has a different theme, with guests expected to dress per the chosen theme. This year’s event paid tribute to the late Karl Lagerfeld, who passed away in 2019 and was a longtime creative force in the industry.
Some of the standout looks included Kerry Washington making a statement at the 2023 Met Gala with her bold lace two-piece ensemble. The delicate skirt and bralette combination was perfectly balanced with a structured jacket, creating a stunning and sophisticated look. And let’s remember those enviable abs that were on full display!
Actress Yara Shahidi, who recently landed the role of the new Black Tinkerbell, made a statement at the Met Gala with her choice of attire: a Gaultier gown. Shahidi drew parallels between the challenge of embodying the Tinkerbell character and interpreting the Met Gala’s theme, stating, “I think that’s even the task of the Met. You get a theme and you try to make it your own.”
Anok Yai made a dramatic statement on the Met Gala red carpet in a Prabal Gurung gown that was a true masterpiece of structure and design. The metallic bodice flowed seamlessly into a fringed skirt and tulle train, creating a stunning silhouette. Anok completed the look with a nude netted eyepiece that perfectly matched her gorgeous skin, adding an extra touch of drama to her already show-stopping ensemble.
Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade have always made an unforgettable entrance they attend. At the 2023 Met Gala, Union stunned in a fiery red Prada outfit that included a calf-length coat and a slip dress. The elegant ensemble was complemented by her long wavy braids, which added to the overall chicness of the look.
While the 2023 Met Ball did have a diverse guest list that included many prominent African American and POC figures, the fashion industry still has a long way to go regarding true inclusivity and representation. Despite the progress, very few people of color are still in positions of power and influence within the industry. Let’s hope that the Met Ball guest list, filled with diversity, wasn’t purely for optics – because that’s a whole other level of cultural appropriation perpetuated by White people for far too long. However, the fact that the Met Ball is trying to showcase diversity and celebrate marginalized voices is a step in the right direction. With such a high-profile event, it will start conversations and inspire change within the fashion world.
The 2023 Met Ball theme, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” highlighted American fashion and diversity. Let’s hope it’s more than just a catchy tagline for a press release.