One of the most significant highlights on New York’s fashion calendar - some call it the "Oscars of the East Coast" - the annual Met Gala draws an exclusive guest list of A-listers from all over the world.
Increasingly, the event seems to indulge the fantastical, as celebrities seek to outdo each other on the red carpet and this year was no exception. Organised by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, 2018’s theme followed their Vatican-approved exhibit titled Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, which showcases the religion’s influence on fashion history.
Guests sported extravagant looks such as pope-inspired gowns, elaborately gilded capes, and numerous other garments featuring religious iconography. As predicted, many opted to wear designers renowned for their strong ecclesiastical aesthetic (think Dolce & Gabbana, Versace or Jean Paul Gaultier), while others decided to champion names lesser known outside of the industry.
Given the undeniable importance of this event, presided over by Anna Wintour, celebrity endorsement on the night is invaluable for designers. ORDRE looks at some of this year’s sartorial choices.
Gabriela Hearst worn by Uma Thurman
Launching her label in 2015, eponymous designer Gabriela Hearst combines utilitarian elements with equestrian inspirations, producing sophisticated collections. Hearst was named womenswear winner of the 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize and the label has since made waves at New York Fashion Week. The Uruguay-born designer combines technical innovation with quality craftsmanship, with wool remaining an integral cornerstone of the brand.
Actress Uma Thurman exuded vintage glamour in a puritan white off-the-shoulder gown and from a base of custom silk wool. The sleek, structured design included an elongated floor-length train, hand-embellished with more than 2,500 sweet water pearls that reflected the gala’s ‘Sunday Best’ theme.
Richard Quinn worn by Amal Clooney
Known for his exaggerated proportions and clashing wallpaper prints, Richard Quinn, a graduate of Central Saint Martins, established his London-based namesake label in 2016. He was propelled into the limelight recently when Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II attended his runway during London Fashion Week last February.
An unlikely pairing, human rights attorney and activist, as well as co-chair of the event, Amal Clooney chose Richard Quinn for her red carpet appearance. Her dramatic look included a silver foil bustier with a matching 4-foot Elizabethan-style train and streamlined navy cigarette trousers. Shrouded in floral motifs, a Quinn signature, the train offered a modern-day Mother Mary approach to elegant evening wear.
Off-White worn by Kendall Jenner
Off-White is impossible to ignore, and the brand’s meteoric rise to fame since 2013 has been due to the vision of Virgil Abloh, the man behind the brand. Bridging functional streetwear and high fashion, Off-White was immediately picked up by coveted stockists such as Barneys and Colette, catching the attention of A-listers including Jay-Z, ASAP Rocky, Rihanna and Beyoncé. In 2015, Off-White was an LVMH Prize finalist.
Given Abloh’s relationship with Kayne West, it’s little surprise that the rapper’s superstar sister-in-law Kendall Jenner opted to wear Off-White. She looked angelic in a white off-the-shoulder two-piece and elongated flared trousers accessorised with sheer white gloves. Her Instagram post of the look has already received almost 1.5 million likes.
Sies Marjan worn by Doutzen Kroes
Sander Lak spent five years at Dries Van Noten before launching Sies Marjan, debuting at New York Fashion Week in February 2016. Effortlessly chic, Lak’s collections explore soft colour combinations of ombré and degradé.
A nominee for the 2017 CFDA Fashion Awards, the brand has quickly found fans including Beyoncé and Zoe Saldana. It's little wonder Dutch model Doutzen Kroes opted for Sies Marjan for the event. Her ethereal, hooded gown in a gradient of red to purple, was a combination of geometric shapes and soft, heavenly drapes.
Gareth Pugh x Chrome Hearts worn by Bella Hadid
Though not entirely emerging, Gareth Pugh is yet to establish his name across the pond, but last night’s outfit worn by Bella Hadid is bound to change this. This collaboration with Los Angeles-based label Chrome Hearts, founded by Richard Stark was pure Pugh, in all his gothic glory.
Hadid wore a latex corset, long black skirt and leather sculpted bollero, embroidered with an intricate cross motif, topped with a dramatic floor-length headpiece weighing a staggering 10 pounds: enough to make any bishop blush.