After months of rumours and conspiracy theories about everything from the guest list to the celebrities’ outfits, fashion fans are finally feasting on the lavish display of costume and style that’s the Met Gala. This year, both the party, which raises funds for the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute, and the exhibition — opening May 5 — honour the late designer Karl Lagerfeld, who's credited with reviving the houses of Patou, Chloé, Fendi, Balmain, and Chanel throughout his 65-year-long career.
This leaves ample opportunity for guests to celebrate Lagerfeld’s work, as well as his signature style of fingerless gloves, tight jacket, and tie. Some themes are on display though: the modernist spins on Chanel’s house codes, the bohemian silhouettes he constructed at Chloé, and the Roman-inspired garments he made for Fendi.
Although tonight’s Met Gala is met with excitement, it’s also one of the most controversial in its decades-long history. While Lagerfeld was a celebrated designer, he’s also remembered for fatphobic, classist, and misogynist remarks he made to the press throughout his life. Some of these include calling Adele “a little too fat” in The Guardian in 2015 and disapproving of allegations made by models against the former creative director of Interview amid #MeToo movement, saying, “If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model!”
Critics, including the actress Jameela Jamil, have argued that the designer’s offensive comments outweigh the celebratory nature of the exhibition and gala, while Grazia editor-in-chief Hattie Brett told The Daily News that if Lagerfeld were still alive “he would be called out for some of the problematic comments he made, and rightly so.” Meanwhile, Vogue editor-in-chief and Met Gala co-chair Anna Wintour, who was a close friend, responded to Lagerfeld’s comments in a recent interview with CBS News, saying, “Karl was a complicated man.”
With guests like co-hosts Dua Lipa, Roger Federer, Penélope Cruz, and Michaela Coel walking the Met Museum’s stairs tonight, take a look at some of the best looks of the 2023 Met Gala so far.