A$AP Rocky gave Kendall Jenner a solid ass grab. Pharrell’s wife Helen Lasichanh wore a pillow-like full body suit that pinned her arms down (but how did she drink Dom Perignon vintage 2006 with no arms?!). Jaden Smith held a bundle of his chopped-off dreads as an “accessory,” and Diddy lay down on some stairs like a tired Gretl from The Sound of Music. This, and so much more, happened in one night.
The Met Gala - also known as the “Oscars of the East” - is many things. It’s a celebration of the opening of the Costume Institute’s Spring exhibit, a fundraiser for the curatorial department and of course, one of the most coveted annual events in the fashion world.
This year’s exhibit and theme for The Met Gala was “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between.” The title couldn’t be more fitting. Rei Kawakubo, who is the founder of Comme des Garçons and Dover Street Market, has always straddled the fence between fashion and art, and it's the second time in history that the Costume Institute has dedicated an entire show to a living designer since Yves Saint Laurent in 1983.
The Japanese designer certainly has a knack for empowering others with her own sense of rebellion and fearlessness. If the red carpet at the Met Gala is anything to go by, it’s that there’s something about Kawakubo that emboldens others; that unlocks a confidence that has ironically been hidden by conventional, everyday fashion.
Celebrities lined this year's 150-foot red carpet with looks that ranged from the beautiful to the bizarre. Kim Kardashian West kept it simple in a white Vivienne Westwood dress, and Anna Wintour - the event’s chairwoman - kept it classic in Chanel, while other attendees took the theme and ran wild with it.
Katy Perry wore a sparkling red Maison Margiela look complete with a floor-length veil with the word “Witness” scribbled across her forehead; Nicki Minaj looked like a seductress-superhero in a hotpants-and-cape ensemble by custom H&M; and Rihanna slayed - as she does without fail every year at the Met Gala - in a floral Comme des Garçons masterpiece.
In a red carpet interview with Vogue, when asked what her definition of “avant-garde” is, RiRi responded with, “I love art, and I think it’s such a free range of expression... It gives you that freedom, that space, to be whatever you want, however you want, wear whatever you want, sing whatever you want.”
More often than not, Kawakubo’s pieces are neither practical or even pretty - and more often than not, her designs aim to fascinate rather than to flatter. Instead of following the shape of the body, Kawakubo has spent her career flirting with the idea that the human form is merely an illusion, and rather than allowing it to guide her designs, her outlandish silhouettes and textures have stretched and challenged fashion's perception of the human figure. For Kawakubo, more is more, and it’s never enough.
Check out all the looks from the 2017 Met Gala in the gallery above.
Photos by: The New York Times