The Met Gala 2017: Honoring Designer Rei Kawakubo

Since 1946, the first Monday in May has been highly regarded as one of the biggest events of the year. What’s the occasion? It’s called The Met Gala. Formerly known as the Costume Institute Ball and also known as The Met Ball, the event serves as a high profile fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum Of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City and celebrates the opening of their Fashion Exhibit. Every year, the Museum honors the work and influence of a high profile fashion designer and the style of that particular designer sets the tone for what the theme for the Met Gala will be. This year Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo was honored for her contributions in the fashion industry.

Rei is the founder of Commes des Garcons and Dover Street Market. Her aesthetic has influenced the work of many designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Donna Karan. Rei has been widely known for her “anti-fashion” fashion pieces. She believes in challenging the standards of beauty that have been set forth by creating very Avant Garde pieces that are deconstructed or unflattering. Her drive as a fashion designer since her debut in 1973 has been to confront ideas of what we think about beauty, identity and gender. What might seem like a fashion mistake from far away, is definitely an intentional work of art and this is why Kawakubo is revered in the fashion community. It is this type of innovation that influenced the title for The Met’s Fashion Exhibit in honor of Kawakubo: Commes des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between.

Kawakubo, in Tokyo this year.
Photo Courtesy of Vogue Magazine

This year’s guest list contained some of Hollywood’s most influential stars including; Rihanna, Janella Monae, Halle Berry, Celine Dion, Nicki Minaj, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Lopez, Jaden Smith, P. Diddy, Naomi Campbell, Rami Malek, Donald Glover, Pharrell Williams and Ruth Negga just to name a few. Fans from all over the country wait anxiously for their favorite celebrity to grace the red carpet and see what creative, jaw dropping look they will showcase in honor of the theme. But this year was a bit of a disappointment. Guests were told to think “Avant Garde”  but many celebrities and Hollywood influencers who were expected to turn heads, like Bella Hadid or Kim Kardashian, decided to play it safe and arrived on the carpet in simple body suits and “plain jane” dresses. News flash, showing skin doesn’t always have to be a go-to fashion moment. This year’s theme had a call-to-action to think completely outside the box but many failed to rise to the occasion. Following the theme isn’t necessarily a requirement but creating these unforgettable red carpet moments, like Rihanna’s 2015 look, is what makes the Met Gala such an exciting event to witness.

Of course, you did have celebrities that made it their mission to step on the Met’s blue carpet and stop hearts with their looks. Some amazing fashion moments included Rihanna wearing a dress designed by Kawakubo’s company Commes des Garcons, Zendaya in Dolce & Gabbana, Blake Lively in Versace, and Priyanka Chopra wearing a highly exaggerated trench coat by Ralph Lauren. Where is Carmen San Diego? She’s at the Met Ball getting LIT!

VANITYFAIR
Photo Courtesy of Vanity Fair

As a community of geeks, it’s always great to see our favorite celebrities, whom we admire, show up to events like these and owning the night. We might know them for fighting with lightsabers or shouting “Flame On” before battling a super-villain in the negative zone, but despite how high their geek meter may be they recognize that fashion is an important component of the culture as well. The same designers who attend the Met Gala are the same ones who have designed, or directly influenced the designs, for cult classic films like The Fifth Element and Star Wars. Even today, the designers that are honored have directly influenced the costume designs for some of our favorite films such as Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Alice In Wonderland. 

Unfortunately, for us The Met Gala has a ‘No Cell Phone’ rule. So once attendees leave the red carpet and get inside the event, they aren’t allowed to film or post on social media. Their only option is to mingle and have a good time with their fellow peers. They walk through the Museum to experience all of their exhibits, attend a cocktail hour, enjoy a catered dinner and turn up to surprise celebrity performances. Other than that, your guess is as good as ours as to what goes on inside the event. But if you paid $30,000 for a ticket, all of the rules and guidelines seem worth it in the end if it means drinking champagne and dancing the night away with Migos, Kendall Jenner and Zoe Kravitz. This year’s Met Gala was hosted by Vogue Magazine Editor-In-chief, Anna Wintour along with Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen, Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams. In the end, it doesn’t matter that Solange showed up looking like an air mattress from Wal-Mart or that Madonna decided to channel her love for Call Of Duty by wearing a gown made with camouflage print. What matters is that The Met Gala is a day to celebrate fashion in all of it’s creative, abstract, and awe inspiring glory. See you next year on the first Monday in May!

What was your favorite look at this year’s Met Gala? Who do you wanna see attend the event next year? Let us know in the comments below. You can see all the looks from the Met Gala blue carpet here.

SOURCE: The New York Times, Vanity Fair, NY Mag

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