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The Met Gala is basically the biggest night in fashion. Every year on the first Monday in May, Vogue Magazine puts on a charity dinner at Lincoln Center in New York City, supporting the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. This year, the hosts were Penélope Cruz, Michaela Coel, Roger Federer, Dua Lipa and, of course, Vogue's Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour.
The costume exhibition theme was “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” honoring the legacy and aesthetics of late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld with over 150 of his pieces. The dress code for everyone attending was “in honor of Karl.”
The German designer worked with iconic fashion houses like Balmain, Chloé, Fendi and Chanel, plus his own self-titled brand. But his legacy doesn’t come without its downsides. During his life, Lagerfeld made offensive statements about marginalized groups and public figures, criticized the plus-sized fashion movement and was known for also being misogynistic. On Sunday, the model safety and advocacy group the Model Alliance hosted a protest of this year’s theme outside of the Met Gala steps.
“The choice to honor Lagerfeld embodies the dissonance of an industry that claims to be progressive, that celebrates body positivity and survivors on the one hand, and then reveres figures like [Lagerfeld] without even acknowledging their regressive views,” Sara Ziff, the founder of the Model Alliance, told Jezebel.
There were a few notable absences from this year’s event, especially from Met staples like Lady Gaga and Blake Lively, though it’s not entirely clear why they didn’t go.
Some of the designers assigned to attendees took a tongue-in-cheek approach to the theme. A noted pink-hater, Lagerfeld once said, “Think pink. But don’t wear it.” There was a lot of pink on the red carpet last night, from Viola Davis in magenta Valentino, Quannah Chasinghorse in ballet-slipper Prabal Gurung, Sidney Sweeney in peach Miu Miu, Naomi Campbell in carnation Chanel to Ashley Graham in blush Harris Reed.
Not everyone went the ironic route for the theme. Other standout on-theme looks were: Jeremy Pope in custom Balmain, Gigi Hadid in Givenchy, Lil Nas X in Dior Homme, Devon Aoki in Jeremy Scott, Anok Yai in Paral Gurung, Brian Tyree Henry in a piece by Lagerfeld, Sora Choi in Thom Browne, Bad Bunny in Jacquemus, Anne Hathaway in Versace, and David Burne with a Budnitz-brand bike.
And, let’s not skip past the odder tributes – mainly to Lagerfeld’s beloved cat Choupette – with Doja Cat rocking Oscar de la Renta and prosthetic cat features. And, of course, Jared Leto terrorizing the red carpet in a giant Choupette cat costume.