Every year on the first Monday in May, everyone who is anyone gathers at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Costume Institute Benefit, better known as the Met Gala. The black-tie fundraiser is known for its high quantity of Young/Rich/Fly/Famous A-listers and extravagant couture. Models, designers, artists, actors, athletes, and socialites dedicate weeks in preparation to land a spot on Vogue’s “Best Dressed” list.
“The Oscars of the East Coast”, as some dub the Gala, follow a theme coinciding with the Institute’s exhibition. With Apple as its sponsor, this year’s exhibition showcased “Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology”. Thus, predictably yet marvelously, hostess Taylor Swift entered the red carpet in a silver Louis Vuitton getup, setting the tone of gothbot-meets-sexy popstar.
“Manus x Machina” celebrates and highlights the intricate relationship between the physical, human world and the technological world of precision and cutting-edge designs. It is not just about who wears the fashion creation, but also the coexistence between the designer, his or her creation, and the wearer.
The looks varied from light and elegant to sleek, to classy and bold, to sharp and eccentric. Some attendees chose to dress to the theme and succeeded wildly (for the most part), while others marched to the beat of their own drum. Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the modern edge haute couture seen on fashion’s most prestigious red carpet.
When Vogue’s best dressed couple Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West arrived in daring silver looks from Balmain and Fear of God, respectively, it was evident that the fashion would be one of a kind. Kanye sported a relaxed coat which was strategically dressed up with silver and gold embellishments. While the ripped jeans and Chelsea suede boots he chose to pair it with were too casual even for Mr. West himself, his other half shone in a silver, shimmering Balmain gown. It accented her famous figure with a train that spoke elegance and prestige. She encompassed scandalous and sexy yet chic and classy.
Picture-perfect couple Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid took the theme a bit more literally. Zayn looked dashing in Versace with silver robotic arm plates to accessorize – something only a former One Direction superstar turned up-and-coming R&B artist could successfully pull off. Model Gigi turned heads in a charcoal, metallic Tommy Hilfiger number.
Claire Danes lit up New York City in an illuminating Zac Posen gown. Posen artfully crafted a Cinderella-esque dress that required thirty battery packs to glow gracefully down the red carpet. Other highlights from the evening included my two personal favorites; a stunning, elegant Marchesa number worn by Karolina Kurkova and a beautiful Alexander McQueen masterpiece worn by Nicole Kidman. Kurkova looked breathtaking in the Marchesa, adorned with white flowers and light tulle with a swan tail. The deep sweetheart neckline was a classic Marchesa touch. Kidman donned the McQueen like a true red carpet veteran. It resembled a starry night sky complete with a black base, silver embellishments, and moon-like designs at the bottom. A bold yet graceful sheer cape trailed the dress, giving it a chic edge.
I was awed by the appearance of men’s couture as well. The gentlemen’s attire ranged from classic black tuxedos to silver and gold embellished jackets for the theme. A prominent trend this year was the navy tux in traditional wool, daring velvet, or sleek satin. The red carpet also saw many long coattails and peaked lapels. Will.i.am took the cake in an all black Gucci getup decorated with white flowers up the sleeves.
Thus, we conclude another evening of flawless composure, sweeping gown trains, and taking risks in the name of haute couture. Here’s to the Met Gala, the Costume Institute, and keeping fashion alive. Until next year, NYC.
Written by Rachel Silberman
All photos belong to their rightful owners.