The 2023 Met Gala — a PR dream for celebrities, high fashion brands, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art — glittered with designs honoring Karl Lagerfeld, a late designer who most notably directed and designed Chanel from 1983 until his death. The body is a canvas, and last night, it was art. Today, I will impose my opinion on the best and worst dressed celebrities of the night to celebrate fashion (in no particular order), while ignoring his controversies. Read the upcoming editorial to learn more about Lagerfeld’s problematic past.
Janelle Monáe: Monae’s transformation, from delightful and high-fashion tweed coat to sexy and playful bikini, will live in my memory forever. In particular, the Thom Browne coat — with its artful contrast, mismatched textures, and adorable Choupette bag — makes me want to hug something. Anything. I feel an emotional response to this acute and cohesive transformation.
Jared Leto: By far my favorite look of the night, Leto burst onto the (non) red carpet in a furry costume of Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette (@choupetteofficial). The huge, and freakishly realistic, animal prowled about anonymously before ripping its head off to reveal Leto’s smaller one. (It’s important to ridicule ridiculous things like the Met Gala.) As iconic as this look already is, Leto’s caped ensemble — the sleek black and varied textures — also dazzled the night with its intricate details and silhouette.
Jenna Ortega: Embracing her signature goth style and Lagerfeld’s high-collar Chanel, Ortega’s Thom Browne corset dress is artfully accessorized with gold chains, interlocked pearls, and white accents. It’s both vibrant and dark. Paired with a minimally adorned hairstyle, Ortega looks like the fallen angel of dark academia. I would definitely sell my soul for her.
Conan Gray: The art deco fan, pearl details, crisp silhouette, and heeled leather boots. Every element of Gray’s outfit harmonizes with the others, flowing from his dark curls to the sequined coat train. No polyester in sight.
Anne Hathaway: In line with modern trends towards “reconstructed” pieces (like Janelle Monáe’s Thom Browne), Anne Hathaway’s pearly and intricate Versace gown was love at first sight. The deep slit between sleek panels of fabric, held together by gold safety pins, exude a vintage elegance. Her Bulgari necklace also softly balanced the outfit’s top and bottom heavy design.
Kendall Jenner & Kim Kardashian: I’m honestly impressed by the Kardashian family’s ability to look cheap, tacky, and still hot, based solely on physique. Every year, they dress as the vapid and lifeless roles they occupy in pop culture. Whether or not they are to blame for their image, Jenner and Kardashian never seem to try for anything artistic.
Bradley Cooper/Tom Ford/Hugh Jackman/Seth Meyers: Every year, a slew of A-list celebrity men attend the Met Gala in straight black suits. With the resources of powerhouse designers and overwhelming fame, they continue to dress like Andover students on Casino Night. A low pass, at best.
Jack Harlow: Hey, Jack. Are you okay? You can’t roll up to the red carpet in a too-small tweed almost-suit and expect the (admittedly elegant) red peek-a-boo to carry your outfit to the bare minimum, let alone fashion.
Maude Apatow: Maude Apatow might be attending the Met Gala, or the fitting room of a strip-mall Macy’s. The neckline, hairstyle, and diamond-crusted cutouts scream of Disney-extra-at-prom.
Jimin: Oh, Jimin — BTS pop star who dashed the dreams of so many Army fans when he skipped the party. But who knows, maybe the Met Gala is exactly what it looks to be on screen: a flashy marketing bonanza by the filthy rich for the disgustingly beautiful. Basically, not such a loss for an international sensation like Jimin. (Although, to be clear, I would wholeheartedly sell my kidney to attend the Met Gala.)
Doja Cat: High fashion [expletive].
Anok Yai: In her Prabal Gurung mini gown, Yai glows in the most literal way possible. Her glistening body makes it difficult to blink, but upon a closer look, the actual dress appears confused about its own silhouette.
Michelle Yeoh: Almost a white button-down, Yeoh’s voluminous gown cascades in elegant panels and layers. The drama of her sleeves and her thick diamond jewelry only elevate the already classy and graceful outfit. All except the boots, which I’m still trying to understand.
Editor’s Note: Tina Zeng is a Commentary Editor for The Phillipian.