Imagine showing up to a Halloween party in a Black Swan costume you meticulously crafted from a vintage black feathered tulle skirt, winged eyeliner you finally mastered (only after spending the better part of your evenings hunched over your bathroom mirror watching YouTube tutorials), and pointe shoes you can hardly walk in (but they make the look), and your friend walks in in a black American Apparel leotard and calls herself a ballerina. That’s bullsh*t, and we’re betting that’s how Rihanna felt glancing around the Met Gala last night.
She was the black swan queen of the Costume Institute Gala, paying homage to the avant-garde Rei Kawakubo theme in a true Comme des Garcons masterpiece, even while others dressed down or maybe even completely ignored the gala theme altogether in minimalist looks from the likes of Calvin Klein (Gwyneth, we’re looking at you). No, there’s nothing actually wrong with the pretty looks — most of them would land these stars on the best dressed list of any other event — but please, not to the Met Gala. It makes me think of that moment in the Sex and the City movie, you know, when Carrie wears a bird in her hair and Big can’t even show up to the altar. She put a bird on her head and wore it with a Vivienne Westwood gown — and he didn’t even get out of the car. It’s exactly like that (minus the whole jilted bride thing).
Rihanna boldly embraces the theme in something sculptural — and no doubt, hard to sit in — and Elle Fanning waltzes down the carpet in a soft strapless Miu Miu gown. Nope, not today, Elle. Of all the times to play it safe, it’s certainly not when you’re a celebrity who actually gets invited to participate in one of the most exciting red carpets of the year. If the dress code said black tie, would you show up in jeans?
Still, it happens every year. Despite the theme, which is obviously open to much interpretation, there are a majority of stars who just don’t take their style cues from the invite, or barely look like they’re trying. I get the risk involved in putting on feathers or wearing a mask, or doing any number of things outside your comfort zone (and Comme des Garcons fashion can certainly take people outside their comfort zones), but come on — Helen Lasichanh didn’t even have access to her arms. (Could she even eat? Or go to the bathroom?) That’s commitment, people. Sure, the outrageous isn’t the “prettiest” or the “sexiest” of the night, and there’s certainly the threat of the “worst dressed list” to consider, but isn’t being memorable something, too? And even more so, when did we stop having fun with fashion — especially when the event practically begs us to? At the very least, what about just showing up and putting it all out there with winged liner, a veiled headpiece, a tufted train, and a knowing smile that says, “I nailed it.”
Elle Fanning wore a seriously understated Miu Miu gown.
Pharrell may have kept it cool, but his wife Helen Lasichanh took the theme to heart in a red sculptural Comme des Garcons look.
Rihanna was the belle of the ball in an avant-garde look from the Fall 2016 Comme des Garcons collection.
Cochair Katy Perry embraced the theme in a bold Maison Margiela by John Galliano look.
Gwyneth Paltrow looks gorgeous, but would you know she and Katy were headed to the same party?
Image Source: Getty / Dia Dipasupil