If you were tasked with paying homage to a designer as epic as Rei Kawakubo for the red carpet, do you think you'd be up for the challenge? The reclusive Japanese designer commands as much attention with her anti-celebrity persona as she does for the anti-fashion clothing that she creates, which made her the perfect subject for this year's Costume Institute exhibit. For the Met Gala's red carpet (which is actually off-white with blue trim this year), how would celebrities and designers honor a single designer's work, when the talent in question has deliberately tried to be anti-pretty, anti-establishment, and anti-approachable — common themes of traditional red carpets — for her entire career? Some were up for the challenge. And some, as you'll see, had a hard time breaking out of the box.
From co-chair Katy Perry to Met Gala queen Rihanna, attendees celebrated the spirit of Kawakubo's extraordinary vision in a few different ways. Some decided to do their homework, and wore grand, theatrical Comme des Garçons archival pieces, straight from the runway. And others referenced her motifs, including polka dots, red, workwear separates, and lots of tulle. For a theme that's this much of a departure from your standard-issue red carpet, the results were definitely unconventional, to say the least.