It’s one of the most important fashion moments of the year: the Met Gala in New York. One world star after another walked the red carpet on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a controversial outfit last night. The dress code read: “In honor of Karl.”
Karl is Karl Lagerfeld, the designer who died in 2019 with a long track record at the largest fashion houses in the world. He worked for Chanel and Fendi, among others, and designed for his own label Karl Lagerfeld.
The German-born was a chameleon whose vision of fashion always remained relevant, even if it was not uncontroversial. For example, he regularly made sensitive statements about migrants, the #MeToo movement and about “ugly fat people”.
Lagerfeld’s many dimensions certainly gave the approximately 400 guests enough inspiration. For an army of photographers, Nicole Kidman, among others, shone in vintage Chanel and everything from suits to wedding dresses could be seen. Lagerfeld once closed his Chanel shows with wedding dresses.
Brand new outfits inspired by Lagerfeld’s work also passed by. For example, many a gala visitor wore a white shirt with the high collar characteristic of Lagerfeld.
First to strut the red carpet last night was Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, a close friend of Lagerfeld’s. Wintour has hosted the Met Gala since the mid-1990s. This year she was assisted by actress and Chanel ambassador Penélope Cruz, tennis champion Roger Federer, singer Dua Lipa and actress Michaela Coel.
However, an important guest was missing at the fashion festival. Choupette, Lagerfeld’s 11-year-old cat, said on Instagram that she was “staying peaceful and cozy at home” in Paris, despite the many invitations the animal had received from guests to walk the red carpet together. “But we are very honored that another day is dedicated to Daddy,” said the cat and her team.
Despite the absence of Choupette, these celebrities made sure that she was still there with their outfits:
Last year, the benefit gala raised $17.4 million. Proceeds go to the fashion department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Invitees will pay around $50,000 for a ticket and up to $300,000 for a table at the event. For many, however, the amount is met by a brand or company purchasing a table.
“Don’t know what Karl would think of this”
With all the money raised, major fashion exhibitions are set up in the museum every year. The latest exhibition is therefore dedicated to Lagerfeld, who can be drawn with his ponytail and dark sunglasses. Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty shows 150 of his creations using the original sketches (the designer was a gifted draftsman). It is a retrospective that the native German himself might not have wanted.
“Karl didn’t think fashion was art. ‘Fashion belongs on the street’, that’s what he said when I first met him,” says curator Andrew Bolton. “I don’t know what he would think of all this. I wonder if he would come to the exhibition.”
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