The Met Gala 2023 was remembered for its customary blend of glitz, eccentricity, elegance, and, more so than ever this year, black and white, or, to use Anna Wintour’s phrase, “in honor of Karl.” We’ve been wondering for weeks what the numerous attendees of the fashion world’s most anticipated event will wear, and now we know: a lot of vintage. And there is no way it could be any other way given Karl Lagerfeld’s lengthy and successful career, which gave rise to a rich library that served as inspiration for the ensembles worn by Rihanna, JLo, Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, and other celebrities on the red carpet. Some, like Olivia Wilde, Margaret Zhang, and Maude Apatow, who wore some of the FW83 collection, preferred to go even further back in time and dig out some of the German designer’s attire from his time at Chloé; however, the majority, as could be easily guessed, opted for vintage Chanel pieces. Let’s start with Dua Lipa and Penelope Cruz, two of the co-hosts. The singer wore a white tweed wedding dress with a black bodice that featured a corolla bodice and skirt that had previously been worn by Claudia Schiffer on the FW92 Couture runway. Claudia wore it with a Tiffany & Co. diamond necklace that weighed more than 200 carats on the advice of her stylist Lorenzo Posocco. Another wedding dress also for Penelope Cruz, who gave new life to one of the creations from the Chanel Couture SS88 collection, complete with a veil covering the actress’ head.
The same fluffy pink feather dress that Nicole Kidman wore in the 2004 Chanel No. 5 perfume advertisement, an almost-real film directed by Baz Luhrmann that is one of the most expensive commercials in history due to the star’s participation and the romantic dress created by Lagerfeld, made a comeback on Nicole Kidman. Gisele Bündchen’s choice of an ethereal dress with a feather cape from Chanel Couture SS07, which the model had previously worn in a photo session for Harper’s Bazaar, was also self-referential. Cindy Crawford wore a one-shoulder dress with chain embellishment on the bustier that Karl Lagerfeld created for the Chanel Haute Couture SS93 collection as Margot Robbie strolled up the Met stairs.
Naomi Campbell, who is always elegant, arrived for the event wearing a Chanel Haute Couture SS10 pale pink satin sari with sequins, along with stiff bangles and metallic strappy sandals. BLACKPINK’s Jennie Kim wearing a look from the Chanel FW90 collection, Angèle wearing Chanel SS95, Marion Cotillard wearing Chanel Couture FW07, Kristen Stewart sporting a Chanel Resort 2017 jacket and tie, and Suki Waterhouse embracing Robert Pattinson while wearing a Fendi SS19 dress were some other highlights from yesterday.
As a result, numerous celebrities wore brand-new ensembles that were based on Lagerfeld’s designs rather than retro attire. Among them is Lizzo, who took her cues from Linda Evangelista’s beaded Chanel FW91 ensemble worn on the catwalk. Kim Kardashian, whose distinctive Schiaparelli style has a structured corset top and flowing skirt both adorned with 16,000 pearls, picked pearls as the focal point of her ensemble. On the other hand, Rihanna’s Valentino cape was adorned with camellias, the brand’s emblematic flower.
The most heartfelt tribute came from Amber Valletta, who wore a fan bustier made by Anita, the seamstress who spent 50 years interpreting Karl Lagerfeld’s vision. The black and pink evening gown designed by Harris Reed for Ashley Graham, which was modeled after a dress worn by Karl Lagerfeld’s model Inès de La Fressange on the Chanel FW87 runway, was sure to turn heads. No shortage of respects were paid to individuals who wore a black and white suit made unique by Lagerfeld’s favorite accessories, such as pearls, ties, and bows, or to Choupette, Lagerfeld’s cat, who did not walk the red carpet but was replaced by Jared Leto and Doja Cat.