Photo by Medhi Lacoste via vogue.com
The Met Gala has been given many names, all relating back to one commonality: the title of being the party of the year. The difference between the Gala and other award shows or high profile events is the simultaneous mystery and attention it receives. While the red carpet is live-streamed, with eyeballs across the world pinned on some of fashion’s biggest names, what goes on inside the Met is (for the most part) left unwitnessed by us outsiders. We see the arrivals and the waves and the smirks to the camera, but we rarely see pictures (as selfies aren’t allowed) from inside the night’s festivities. For that reason, the first Monday in May is probably the only Monday people look forward to.
This year’s gala honored Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo and her label Comme des Garçons. The label has been gaining attention and praise since it was founded in 1973 for her avant-garde vision which often strayed from the trends of the moment. Structure and the blending of both masculine and feminine style has been at the core of Kawakubo’s vision for CDG. Honoring the legendary designer for this year's exhibition, celebrities, models, and industry experts alike found themselves gracing the famous Met steps for yet another casual Monday night.
Even if you don’t follow the fashion world, it’s hard to escape the talk of events such as these. Especially when you have Kendall Jenner donning lingerie brand La Perla and Rihanna on the opposite end of the spectrum wearing, appropriately, Comme des Garçons. Or when you mix Cara Delevingne’s unconventional futuristic look with Hailey Baldwin’s homage to a modern ballerina in Carolina Herrera. All combine for one social media storm that you can’t help but become absorbed in.
As someone who has followed the Met Gala for the past few years, including watching last year’s documentary "The First Monday in May" and keeping up with Vogue’s happenings year round, I couldn’t help but appreciate the behind-the-scenes work that goes into this one night. As the Gala honored someone as innovative as Rei Kawakubo, it was interesting to see so many invitees stick to “the norm” of red carpet wear. People praised Zoe Kravitz in her Oscar de la Renta creation (adorned with real roses!) while looking quizzically at Bella Hadid’s sequinned bodysuit that, although stunning, didn’t quite scratch the surface of the CDG look.
But that’s the fun of the Met Gala. It’s exclusive, glamorous, mysterious, and glitzy... never disappointing us in the surprise category. This year was no different; showcasing the noteworthy vision of Rei Kawakubo and giving us the best red carpet of the year. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s opening night for the Costume Institute brings together fashion and pop culture in its finest form, making it truly the party of the year.