The biggest fashion night of the year included lots of vintage pieces from Chanel and some of the other fashion houses where the late Karl Lagerfeld worked.
NEW YORK — Janelle Monae shed a voluminous black and white coat to reveal a sheer, plaid dress on The Met Gala carpet on Monday and Jeremy Pope lit up the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Grand Staircase in an oversized coat emblazoned with Karl Lagerfeld.
Lagerfeld was honored at a gala ceremony with 400 attendees dressed in vintage looks from the fashion houses he worked for during his more than 60-year career.
But elegance was not exactly the hallmark of the evening. Jared Leto dressed as Choupette Lagerfeld favorite furry cat. Lil Nas X went full cat, covered in crystals from Pat McGrath and Dior Men.
Bad Bunny showed up late in head-to-toe bright white with a long floral cape. Monáe’s look with a shiny black leotard underneath is by Tom Brown.
Dua Lipa came out in a Chanel ball gown from the archives of the fashion house, and Nicole Kidman chose for her an image created 20 years ago by Karl Lagerfeld himself.
And there were some bombshells: Serena Williams wore a Gucci look when she announced she was pregnant with her second child.
Lipa, who co-chaired the gala, wore a Tiffany & Co. diamond around her neck, which she described as “very special.” The singer’s 1992 cream Chanel dress was also “very, very special” because it was on her mood boards, she said.
Claudia Schiffer debuted this dress on the runway, though she had a hat to match. Lipa’s platinum necklace included a diamond of over 200 carats in the center.
Nicole Kidman said it was Lagerfeld who ignited her fashion spark. She wore a pale pink dress created by Lagerfeld for the Chanel No. 5 commercial in which she starred. It is decorated with 3,000 silver crystals for advertising Baz Luhrmann.
“I’m very grateful to be wearing it,” she told the Associated Press. “He was a big part of my life, as was his entire team. He was the one who really helped me… in terms of my love for fashion.”
Kidman completed her look with Harry Winston diamonds.
Kim Kardashian, meanwhile, went with hoops and loops of pearls all over her Schiaparelli look. And Cardi B went big in pink with a feathered headdress. Brittney Griner wore a soft blush suit by Calvin Klein, who also dressed his wife Cherelle Griner in a sleek strapless dress in close to the same color.
Many in the 400-strong crowd considered Lagerfeld friends or worked with him at Chanel, Fendi, Chloe or one of the other fashion houses where he designed during a career spanning more than 60 years.
Many A-list guests wore black to walk the extraordinary carpet in a line. It was a color worn almost exclusively by Lagerfeld. There were also many black and white combinations.
Gigi Hadid wore Givenchy in black with feathers, a dropped belt and a sheer tulle train. It took more than 300 hours to make. Kendall Jenner was also in black, without pants. She wore a glittery long-sleeved leotard that featured train detailing. On her feet were fancy tall black boots, all courtesy of Marc Jacobs.
Jenner’s high white collar became the hallmark of those worn by Lagerfeld. Her hair was pulled into a high ponytail.
Among them was Rita Ora in a stunning sheer look by Prabal Gurung. It was black silk tulle with corset detailing and a sexy silk chiffon drape. One shoulder dropped.
Margot Robbie, who starred in this summer’s Barbie, wore the black Chanel look from 1993 that Cindy Crawford first wore on the show. Robbie said she was the last Chanel ambassador chosen by Lagerfeld.
“I feel really great in it. It’s an honor,” she said.
The The gala is by invitation only earned $17.4 million last year for the museum’s Costume Institute, a self-funded department whose budget depends on the A-list case. The cost of admission has risen this year to $300,000 per table and $50,000 for a single ticket.
Guests from fashion, film, music, theater, sports, technology and social media were asked to dress “in honor of Karl” by Anna Wintour, a close friend of Lagerfeld who first signed up for the event in 1995 and took over the helm in 1999.
The party, which fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert invented back in 1948, coincides with the Costume Institute party. a blockbuster spring show: “Karl Lagerfeld: The Beauty Line.”
American fashion was last year’s mood. He was accompanied by gilded glamor and a white tie. The theme of 2019 was camp, producing what is considered to be one of the silliest fashion shows among the celebrity crowd.
Lagerfeld has worked for Chanel, Fendi, Chloé, Jean Patou, Balmain, his own brand and others.
This year’s five hosts include, as usual, Wintour, as well as Mikaela Coel, longtime Chanel ambassador Penelope Cruz and recently retired tennis superstar Roger Federer.
Cruise looked like a bride in a see-through hood in her white belted Chanel gown with silver detailing from the spring/summer 1988 couture collection.
Asked how he came to co-chair the Met Gala, Federer said it helps to know Wintour. He said it makes sense for athletes to attend the gala because they have become a big part of the fashion world in recent years.
“I think athletes are becoming more and more fashionable,” Federer told the AP. “We’re lucky to be on the covers a lot more often. Before, there were always models, beautiful people, not athletes.”
Fendi, where Lagerfeld worked for more than 20 years, was also represented. Suki Waterhouse wore Fendi 2019 by Lagerfeld in silk tulle and delicate flowers and birds on sheer panels.
“Abbott Elementary” creator Quinta Brunson knows her fashion and studied before this, her first Met Gala. The writer and actor said her dress was inspired by a piece from Lagerfeld’s 1992 collection, and her hair was inspired by one of his 2003 shows.
When asked how she felt about attending her first Met Gala, Brunson said, “I’m just at a loss for words. I’m just very happy to be here.”
Lagerfeld’s cat, Choupette, was rumored to be in attendance, but her folks took to Instagram to say the 11-year-old cat was staying in Paris. A Doja Cat hood with cat ears on a sparkling white dress with silver beads was an ode. She wore prosthetics that gave her a feline face and claws.
Chloe Fineman carried a bag in the shape of a cat, while Emma Chamberlain carried a light blue ‘Choupette’ by Lagerfeld. James Corden also appeared in the shadows.
As for Leto, he’s traded in his cat suit for a black cape.