Met Gala: Rihanna, Jared Leto as Choupette, Kim K. in Pearls

NEW YORK (AP) — Rihanna closed the Met Gala Carpet Monday, draped in white camellias on a jacket with a long dress with a train. Janelle Monáe dropped a thick coat to reveal a see-through cage and Jeremy Pope walked in a 32ft cape adorned with the face of Karl Lagerfeld.

In the spirit of Lagerfeld himself (he wasn’t often punctual), Rihanna and her Valentino couture had the carpet to themselves, except for her partner A$AP Rocky, who wore a red tartan skirt over crystal-encrusted jeans with a train of his own. They emerged far behind everyone else.

Around her neck she wore a short Bulgari necklace made of Akoya cultured pearls and pearl-shaped diamonds.

Lagerfeld was the guest of honor at the A-list gala with many in the crowd of around 400 in vintage looks from the fashion houses he has worked at over his 60+ year career.

But elegant wasn’t quite the hallmark of the evening. Jared Leto disguised as Choupette, Lagerfelds beloved fluffy cat. Lil Nas X was covered in crystals by Pat McGrath and Dior Men.

Bad Bunny showed up late in brilliant white from head to toe with a long cape also adorned with camellias, a Coco Chanel motif adopted by Lagerfeld. Monáe’s look, with a black glittery leotard underneath, was designed by Thom Browne.

Cardi B donned pink first, then switched to an all-black ball gown with, you guessed it, camellias. Upstairs, she said, “Gives Karl the house of Chanel and Karl at the same time.” It was a man’s shirt with a white collar and a black man’s tie. The outfit honoring Lagerfeld was designed by an up-and-coming British design house, Chenpeng Studio.

“The dress code for the Met Gala was ‘Honor Karl,’ and the guests definitely understood the brief,” said Alison Cohn, associate editor of fashion news at Harper’s Bazaar. “They referred to the many signatures that Karl Lagerfeld has developed over a career spanning more than six decades.”

Many used bouclé fabric (Teyana Taylor’s Thom Browne suit and Anne Hathaway’s Versace safety pin number). Also adorned with camellias were Emily Blunt in a Michael Kors blouse and Adut Akech in a Carolina Herrera dress.

Dua Lipa wore a white Chanel ball gown from the fashion house’s archives and Nicole Kidman chose a look that Lagerfeld himself designed for her 20 years ago.

And there were some bombshells: Serena Williams wore a flapper Gucci look when she announced it was her pregnant with her second child.

Lipa, co-chair of the gala, wore a Tiffany & Co. diamond around her neck. She called her cream Chanel 1992 dress “very, very special,” according to her mood boards.

Claudia Schiffer wore the dress for his runway debut, although hers had a matching hat. Lipa’s platinum necklace contained a diamond of more than 200 carats in the middle.

Nicole Kidman said it was Lagerfeld who sparked her fashion spark. She wore a pale pink dress that Lagerfeld designed for a Chanel No. 5 commercial in which she starred. It is adorned with 3,000 silver crystals for the Baz Luhrmann commercial.

“I’m very grateful to wear it,” she told the Associated Press. “He was such a part of my life as was his whole team. He was the one who really guarded me… in terms of my love of fashion.”

Kidman completed her look with Harry Winston diamonds.

“My favorite look was Nicole Kidman’s celestial Chanel dress with feathers and sequins. Stars typically wear new couture straight off the catwalk or have an individual look commissioned. It was a beautiful statement of sustainability, proving that beautifully handcrafted pieces never go out of style,” said Cohn.

Kim Kardashian, on the other hand, added bows and beaded bows to her Schiaparelli look. And Cardi B went big in pink, complete with a feathery headpiece. Brittney Griner wore a warm stone tone in a suit with a longline jacket by Calvin Klein, which her wife, Cherelle Griner, also dressed in an elegant, strapless column dress in white onyx.

Many in the crowd counted Lagerfeld among their friends or worked with him at Chanel, Fendi, Chloe or any of the other fashion houses where he created.

And many guests walked in black across the unusual linear design carpet. It was a color that Lagerfeld wore almost exclusively. Black and white combinations were also plentiful.

Kristen Stewart wore the color duo in a suit with a cropped white jacket. And Cara Delevingne honored her old friend Lagerfeld with a ruffled white shirt that looks cropped in the front with a train at the back. Ruffled shirts were among Lagerfeld’s favorites.

The classic colors were not for Viola Davis. She wore a stunning neon pink strapless dress with long feathers on the bodice.

Frenchye M. Harris, CEO and founder of online fashion site The Black Fashion Movement, had one word for Davis: “Wonderful!”

She called Anne Hathaway’s Chanel-inspired but Versace-created look with the pins and camellias on the bust “super cool and a great connection between the brands”.

Gigi Hadid wore Givenchy in black with feathers, a dropped waist and a sheer tulle train. It took more than 300 hours to make. Kendall Jenner was also in black, sans pants. She wore a glittering long-sleeved leotard, parts of which doubled as a train. On her feet, she wore fancy, high-heeled black boots, all courtesy of Marc Jacobs.

Jenner’s high white collar was a nod to those worn by Lagerfeld. Her hair was in a high ponytail.

Rita Ora was also in black, one hell of a peekaboo look from Prabal Gurung. It was silk tulle with corset detailing and sexy chiffon draping. A shoulder was lowered.

Margot Robbie, who stars in this summer’s live-action film Barbie, wore a black 1993 Chanel dress, which Cindy Crawford wore for the first time on a catwalk. Robbie said she was the last Chanel ambassador to be handpicked by Lagerfeld.

“I feel really great in it. It’s an honor,” she said.

The invitation gala earned $17.4 million for the museum’s Costume Institute last year, a self-funding department with a budget dependent on the success of the gala. This year’s entry fee has increased to $300,000 for a table and $50,000 for a single ticket.

Guests from fashion, film, music, theatre, sports, tech and social media were asked to “honor themselves” by gala mastermind Anna Wintour, a close Lagerfeld friend who first signed up for the event in 1995 and took over von Karl” to dress in 1999 at the top.

The party coincides with that of the Costume Institute Blockbuster spring exhibition: “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.”

American fashion was the mood of the past year. Gilded glamor and white tie followed. Camp was the theme of 2019, Producing what is considered by the celebrity crowd to be one of the craziest dress shows.

Lagerfeld has worked for Chanel, Fendi, Chloé, Jean Patou, Balmain, his own brand and more.

This year’s five hosts As usual, they include Wintour, as well as Michaela Coel, longtime Chanel ambassador Penélope Cruz and recently retired tennis superstar Roger Federer.

Cruz looked like a bride with a sheer hood on her belted white Chanel dress with silver detailing from the spring/summer 1988 couture collection.

When asked how he came to be co-chair of the Met Gala, Federer said it helped to know Wintour. He said it made sense for athletes to attend the gala because they’ve become a bigger part of the fashion world in recent years.

“I think athletes have become more and more fashionable,” Federer told the AP. “Fortunately, we get to cover a lot more these days. It used to be the models, the good looking people, not the athletes.”

Fendi, where Lagerfeld worked for more than 20 years, was also represented. Suki Waterhouse wore a 2019 Fendi design by Lagerfeld in silk tulle and delicate flowers and birds on sheer panels.

It was rumored that Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette would be attending, but her people posted on Instagram earlier in the day that the 11-year-old cat stayed in Paris. Doja Cat’s cat-eared hood atop a sparkling white and silver beaded gown was an ode to Oscar de la Renta. She wore a prosthesis that gave her a cat-like face and claws.

Chloe Fineman carried a cat-shaped bag and Emma Chamberlain wore Choupette Blue, a light blue shade created by Lagerfeld. James Corden also appeared in the shadows.

As for Leto, he swapped out his cat costume for a black cape look.


Associated Press writer John Carucci contributed to this report.


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