At Large  May 3, 2023  Rebecca Schiffman

6 Looks that Nod to Fashion History at the Met Gala

Created: Wed, 05/03/2023 - 13:35
Author: rebecca
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Fifth Avenue entrance facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met Gala, the annual fundraising even for the Met Museum’s Costume Institute, was this past Monday. It is known for its extravagant and innovative fashion, and this year’s Gala did not disappoint. From Rihanna’s fashionably late entrance adorned in flowers, to Maude Apatow in vintage Chanel, to Anne Hathaway’s patchwork tweed ballgown, the looks were legendary, with many nods to fashion history and art history. 

The Gala coincides with the highly anticipated exhibition on the legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld, which opens to the public on Friday. “Karl Lagerfeld: Fashion in Motion” boasts that it will showcase Lagerfeld’s iconic designs and explore his impact on the fashion industry, showing designs from his first collections in the 1950s up until his final works in 2019. Over 150 garments will be on display alongside Lagerfeld’s sketches, highlighting the designers complex creative process and collaborative relationships.

But because the exhibition is not yet open, just as important is the star-studded red carpet spectacle that took place as gusts made their way up the famous Met steps. We’ve collected 6 of our favorite looks, take a look:

Anne Hathaway in Versace


Anne Hathaway stepped out on Monday evening in a sophisticated and scandalous gown made for her by Donatella Versace. The strapless gown was held together with safety pins in the most fashionable way possible. Hathaway channeled Lagerfeld through the materials: white tweed, pearl accents, and camellia flower details. A pair of fingerless gloves, platform heels, and Bulgari jewels completed the look.

Karlie Kloss’s Trompe L’oeil Loewe Look



A post shared by Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss)

Kloss debuted her baby bump in a gorgeous, form-fitting, black gown. The dress, designed by Jonathan Anderson, was inspired by a Lagerfeld look from 1983 for Chanel. Tromp l’oeil, an artistic term for tricking the eye, comes to fruition here through the optical allusion in the dress: the shiny black gown was embellished with strands of gold and yellow that were reinforced by the real pearl necklace and chain around Kloss’s waist.

Olivia Rodrigo in Thom Browne

Olivia Rodrigo channeled Old Hollywood in her Met Gala look. Designed by Thom Browne, the black and white gown had a bust full of flowers that looked as though the string unraveled through the entire length of the dress. Olivia’s styling helped make the look: she wore a sleek bun with micro-bangs that hark back to Chanel’s favorite model, Audrey Hepburn.

Olivia Wilde in Surrealist Chloé

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Wilde definitely did her fashion homework: this Met Gala look was a nod to Lagerfeld’s time at Chloé, where for their Spring 1983 collection which was entirely inspired by music, this look has a surrealist touch: a violin that accentuates the body of the model. Think Man Ray’s Violin d’Ingres. The design was updated by Chloé’s current designer, Gabriela Hearst. Hearst chose to make it white and gold and floor-length.

Michaela Coel in Custom Schiaparelli

Coel decided to go a different route for her look: jewels, chains, and gold sparkled in an homage to Karl and Chanel by Schiaparelli, set off by a sheer layer of fabric that clung to her body. She was a standout in a sea of black and white looks, while also referencing the theme of the night. The long-sleeve gown included 130,000 crystals embroidered onto a dark brown silhouette, including star-shaped adornments on her chest.

Jared Leto and Doja Cat Dress up as Choupette

A post shared by JARED LETO (@jaredleto)

Of course, Choupette, Lagerfeld’s beloved cat, was expected to inspire looks for this year’s Gala. Doja Cat and Jared Leto both channeled the blue cream Birman cat with their loks, transforming Coupette into a mix of camp, couture, and cat. Doja Cat wore a silvery hooded Oscar de la Renta gown and headdress with bejeweled cat ears, along with facial prosthetics that gave her a catlike look, complete with sharp talonesque acrylic nails. Jared Leto went another route: full on mascot. He wore a realistic feline costume of Choupette, even answered a few interview questions in broken French with the headpiece on, until he revealed himself as the wearer.

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