Fashion

Met Gala 2019: 7 thoughts on last night’s pink-carpet extravaganza

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Billie Bhatia
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The first Monday in May brought with it the most spectacular red carpet fashion moments 

Last night’s Met Gala was undoubtedly the grandest night in fashion this year. Often hailed as the ‘East Coast Oscars’ or ‘Super Bowl of Fashion’, the Met Gala has made a name for itself as playing host to the biggest names in entertainment and fashion around the world.

The first Monday in May kicked off the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s forthcoming exhibition: ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’ - based on Susan Sontag’ 1964 essay, ‘Notes on Camp’ – which meant the red carpet (or rather in yesterday’s case, the pink carpet) took on some of its most outrageous and memorable moments… and I have a few thoughts I wanted to share with you. 

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1. Forty, Fierce and Fabulous 

Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Better Midler, Donatella Versace, Naomi Campbell, Anna Wintour and Dee Hilfiger. Take. A. Bow. 

Not only did they fully embrace the theme of the evening (I am still not over Celine Dion) they it with a sense of style and a lack of inhibitions that the younger generation could really learn from. Perhaps it comes with an inner confidence that they know who they are and aren’t afraid to show it, but in a climate where that age category is very often overlooked or dismissed for the hypersexualised version of youth, these women were a sight to behold. 

Met Gala 2019: Celine Dion
Met Gala 2019: Celine Dion 
Met Gala 2019: Jennifer Lopez
Met Gala 2019: Jennifer Lopez 
Met Gala 2019: Joan Collins
Met Gala 2019: Joan Collins 

2. Let’s hear it for the boys 

We have long been accustomed to seeing men in a perfectly lovely well-cut tuxedo be reduced to little more than an accessory at the Met Gala. That was until last night when the men of fashion, film and music dug their heels in hard for this year’s theme (well, everyone except for Kanye). Of course there are those male attendees who are more familiar with camp than others: Harry Styles and his perfect pearl earring, Jared Leto and his second head, Billy Porter’s phenomenal gold wings, Hamish Bowles purple feathered cape and Ezra Miller’s painted face. 

However, those men who we have come to know for more classic fashion takes stepped outside the box and it was a wonderful display of style and expression.  We are looking at you Cole Sprouse, Henry Golding, Shawn Mendes, Benedict Cumberbatch and a personal favourite, Frank Ocean, who wore a Prada nylon zip up jacket looking more like a bouncer than an attendee. 

Met Gala 2019: Billy Porter
Met Gala 2019: Billy Porter 
Met Gala 2019: Harry Styles and Alessandro Michele
Met Gala 2019: Harry Styles and Alessandro Michele 
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Jared Leto is seen arriving to the 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

3. Pretty Boring 

When the rest of the pink carpet have gone hell for leather with this year’s theme - with no regard for how ‘pretty’ they look - it really shines a light on those who put ‘pretty’ on a pedestal above all else. And those that value pretty above all else didn’t commit to the theme. In fact, I don’t think they even considered the theme, which is sad because, in my humble non-Met-Gala-attending opinion, this year was the best theme yet.

So *to* all those women who only see value in looking pretty, be brave and get stuck in. (Or be more like Hailey Bieber who nailed pretty-camp with her thong Alexander Wang dress).

Met Gala 2019: Hailey Bieber
Met Gala 2019: Hailey Bieber

4. All a Flutter 

Feathers were the most popular accompaniment to last night’s looks (or rather lewks). They came in an array of adornments: capes, head pieces, neon bags (see Amber Valetta) even boots. But feathers alone will not help you master camp. They have to be carried off in a camp-like way. See Naomi Campbell for how to do feathers and Taylor Hill how to not. 

Naomi Campbell at the 2019 Met Gala.

5. Serena’s Sneaks 

Trainers with dresses might not be a ground-breaking concept but neon yellow Off-White x Nike trainers worn with a floor length floral Versace dress by Serena Williams at the Met Gala is pretty ground-breaking. The tennis player and co-chair of the event took on what night be considered controversial but as the night was about embracing personality, extravagance and glamour it seemed all the more fitting that this was Serena’ shoe of choice. Plus comfort is king, or rather, comfort is queen. 

6. Sorely Missed 

2019’s Met Gala may have inundated us with opulence, brilliance and campness, but there was still something lacking. It couldn’t help but be noticed that reigning Met Gala queen, Rihanna, was notably absent from the colourful affair, along with other regular attendees Blake Lively and Beyoncé. 

Whilst I am sure they all have virtuous reasons to not grace the red carpet with their splendour on fashion’s biggest night, we are sad to have missed them. Lucky for us, there’s always next year. 

Met Gala 2018: Rihanna
Met Gala 2018: Rihanna 

7. Make It Count 

Fashion is fun. Fashion is also political and serious and has the power to say something we are unable to express so eloquently with words. Lena Waithe (an American screenwriter) showed us just that by wearing a lavender pin stripe suit by emerging talent Pyer Moss with the words, “Black Drag Queen Invented Camp” emblazoned across the back. 

Unafraid of a statement or sparking a conversation – last year she chose a huge LGBTQ+ rainbow cape to accompany her outfit – Waithe remineded us that our clothes can be our most powerful tools. 

Met Gala 2019: Lena Waithe
Met Gala 2019: Lena Waithe 

Images: Getty