The Met Gala, fashion’s most popular event was held last night in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the theme was an ode and celebration to the late Karl Lagerfeld. The event, coined Karl Lagerfeld: The Line of Beauty sparked controversy since Lagerfeld was known to stand firm in his outdated and harmful beliefs on size inclusivity, the LGBTQ community, and the #MeToo movement. Lagerfeld was a problematic figure whose legacy must be held accountable, and yet, he was a central figure in fashion and through his work as the creative director of Chanel, his timeless designs and creative innovation are undeniably a part of fashion history. It was incredible to see so many big, Black, and/ or queer celebrities interpret the theme in their own unique ways and even though Lagerfeld would have probably disapproved of the diversity on display, they celebrated their impact on fashion — including Chanel’s legacy (Black women have been rocking Chanel expertly for decades). Black celebs were celebrated for the very things Lagerfeld hated, and that — instead of honoring a problematic figure with archaic views – should be the legacy of last night’s Met Gala.
There’s no surprise that the Costume Institute knows how to get people talking but in years’ past, the event has been a fashion disappointment. In the past two years the themes didn’t live up to the hype. In 2021, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion highlighted BIPOC designers in the exhibition but not enough were included on the carpet (which is where the real exposure is) and in 2022, the Gilded Glamour theme was confusing, very underwhelming, and felt performative. .
Thankfully, this year brought out the best A-list celebs (we were just missing our girl Zendaya) who graced the carpet with inspired interpretations of Lagerfeld’s many eras, including his time at Chloé, Fendi, and of course Chanel. Our only note would have been to see more designers tap into specific archival collections and color themes so that everyone didn’t wear the same two colors: black and white. I had the pleasure of attending the Met for Unbothered. Over in the media pit at the top of the iconic Met stairs, Unbothered patiently waited for everybody Black to walk by and snag the chance to chat with them. Some of my favorite moments included Janelle Monaé telling me what she loves about Black women and herself as a non-binary person, Teyana Taylor giving some body rolls, Usher posing and showing the details of his fit, and last (but fashionably late) Rihanna & A$AP Rocky shutting down the carpet. Here are the Black celebs who slayed the Met and left no crumbs:
Quinta Brunson in Prabal Gurung
Abbott Elementary creator and star Quinta Brunson graced the Met Gala carpet for the first time and she did not disappoint. Her gown centers the camellia flower which is a nod to Chanel. We love that she opted for a colorful gown underneath the sheer instead of white. The real moment of Brunson’s look that stole the show was her laid baby hairs and natural updo.
Kerry Washington in Michael Kors
We live for a sheer moment! Although this look was not much of a risk for Kerry Washington, the look made me think back to Chanel’s 1993 haute couture runway show. This look is a modernized nostalgic moment. This outfit single-handedly encouraged us to wear more sheer clothing with details this season.
Halle Bailey in Gucci
Our little mermaid Halle Bailey was breathtaking in Gucci. Every time she is on a carpet we’re instantly asking ourselves how she does it (seriously, can we get a behind the scenes on how her locs are tucked away?). With her red hair and sea-green ruffled cape and lace gown, she truly embodied Ariel.
Keke Palmer in Sergio Hudson
Baby, it’s Keke Palmer!! Palmer was one of the few celebs to wear a Black designer on the carpet. Her look reminded us of old Hollywood glamor in the 70s. We love that designer Sergio Hudson let the tweed gown speak for itself without over accessorizing, opting instead for simple, dangling earrings. The only thing that was missing was our girl hosting the carpet. We missed Keke’s energy and needed more of it throughout the night.
Janelle Monae in Thom Browne
One thing we can always count on is Janelle Monae owning the red carpet. Yesterday was no different. Monae, who has worn Thom Browne numerous times in the past, elevated her look this year by stripping it down. She literally shed layers as she arrived on the carpet. ”From the big reveal tux to now, this is my evolution, I wanted to honor who I am now and what I’ve done,” Monae told us on the carpet, as she lifted her skirt to show her toned body.
Rihanna in Maison Valentino
Two things we can always count on when it comes to Rihanna: she’s always very intentional when it comes to her fashion and that she will be late (but it will be worth the wait). We waited an hour and a half for the Met gala queen herself to grace us with her presence. After leaving her hotel in a fur coat, Rihanna did a switcheroo into an off white Maison Valentino gown. Her cape’s detail emphasized the iconic Chanel camellia flower and she paired the gown with lashes on top of her sunglasses (yes, you read that right). Her overall look paid tribute to the modernized and classic details of Lagerfeld’s designs at Chanel.
Michaela Coel in Schiaparelli
Michaela Coel stunned the carpet in a sheer Schiaparelli gown beaded from head to toe. The crystals and pearls were exactly what we were looking for most on the carpet; Lagerfeld was known for layering chunky accessories. On the live stream with Lala Anthony, Coel said, “I’d been wondering why I was asked to be co-chair … and Anna [Wintour] said, ‘What I like about you is that you’re unafraid to be yourself.’” Coel is definitely that girl!