At the heart of the Met Gala is this year’s Costume Institute exhibition, “Rei Kawakubo / Comme Des Garçons: Art of the In-Between.” The display of avant-garde styles and unusual silhouettes shaped the evening, which paid tribute to Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, founder and creative director of Comme des Garçons.
To state it best, for Kawakubo, “the whole point of clothes is to challenge the established notions of beauty,” as The Guardian reports.
And as the New York Times further points out, “ … she refuses to accept any of the rules that govern normal clothing design: that clothes need to be flattering, for example, or that they need to have armholes. Instead, she is interested in challenging our ideas about what defines beauty, identity and gender.”
For reference, scroll down to see Tracee Ellis Ross actually wearing Comme des Garçons. (Rihanna and a few others were, too). Is it fashion I’d wear? Probably not. But I can respect the style for its artfulness and the boundaries it’s pushing. Like the New York Times says, it is, perhaps, not dressing to be beautiful or sexy and not necessarily to accentuate your body type or gender.
Katie Holmes looked grand and elegant in Zac Posen, but it’s not the soft, billowing gown you first expect. On closer inspection, it’s structured and almost rigid. It’s fashion that takes what you expect and alters it slightly, and that, to me, is key to last night’s “avant-garde” theme.
It might be the Costume Institute’s gala, but I never fully enjoy the over-the-top costumes some guests wear. This year, though, I can see more and more that I appreciate the stars who take black-tie glamour one step further, altering their look slightly with an interpretation of the evening’s theme.
The 150-foot red (err, blue) carpet and grand staircase lend themselves to a lineup of gorgeous trains. There were feathers galore and leggy slits Angelina Jolie-style. Black-and-white-and-silver was a clear favorite, as seen on Cara Delevingne in a Chanel pantsuit, as well as Chrissy Teigen and Halle Berry, who added a sheer element to the monochromatic trend. Janelle Monae went extra bold in her go-to uniform of black and white.
What’s one look I can’t get over? Blake Lively’s golden Versace dress that bursts into a mermaid-blue feathered train. (Nicki Minaj was a fan of her look, too.)
Here are my 10 Best Dressed ladies from the 2017 Met Gala. Who topped your list?
Blake Lively, wearing Versace, with husband Ryan Reynolds
Reese Witherspoon wearing Mugler
Cara Delevingne wearing Chanel
Katie Holmes wearing Zac Posen
Diane Kruger wearing Prada
Zendaya wearing Dolce and Gabbana, via Getty Images
Hailey Baldwin wearing Carolina Herrera
Fei Fei Sun in Alberta Ferretti Limited Edition, via Vogue.com
Stella Maxwell in H&M, via Vogue.com
Tracee Ellis Ross wearing Comme des Garçons
Photos by Benjamin Norman for The New York Times unless otherwise noted.