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Has the Met Gala broken away from traditional fashion trends?

Furry cat designs and bedazzled bodies were amongst the nuttiest outfits on the Met Gala carpet last night, begging the question - has the Met Gala broken away from traditional fashion treads, taking a more creative costume approach?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Manhattan’s Upper East side. (Credit – Flickr, from GPA Photo Archive)

Extravagant outfits and a star-studded guest list are de rigueur for the annual Met Gala fundraisers. With 2023's theme focused on honouring the late fashion icon and designer Karl Legerfeld.

The fashion world's biggest night out takes place every year on the first Monday in May in the heart of New York City. Which coincided with May 1 this year.

Several stars such as Dua Lipa, Hugh Jackman, Ke Huy Quan and host Anna Wintour took to the carpet on the Met steps, showcasing outfits inspired by Lagerfeld’s designs and personal style.

The late fashion icon’s much-loved and pampered Birman cat, Choupette led a life of luxury by the designer’s side and many of the celebrities on the carpet made efforts to capture her in their outfits.

One standout was Jared Leto, who went on the red carpet dressed as Choupette in a full fursuit, prancing around anonymously, before taking off the fursuit head to reveal blue eyeshadow mimicking Choupette’s bright blue eyes.

Leto’s outfit choice was a trending topic on Twitter, with some users such as @Sighphi tweeting “It’s a Halloween costume.” While @calista_toner disagreeing and writing “You could say it’s ‘pur’fect”.

US rapper Doja Cat paid homage to both her namesake and Lagerfeld, by sporting facial prosthetics to give herself cat-like features whilst wearing a stunning Oscar de la Renta glittering silver dress, with a ruffled train.

To carry the performance further, Doja stayed in character during her carpet interviews and answered journalists and other celebrities’ questions by purring and meowing.

(Credit –@Dojacat on Instagram)

Putting in the question, has Met fashion gone too far?

The Met Gala started as a fundraiser for the costume institute, as well as an event to mark the opening of its annual costume exhibit.

From traditional fashion, such as suits and ball gowns to chandelier inspired dresses and severed head replicas walking the carpet.

Others were even more restrictive, such as Kim Kardashian's custom latex Thierry Mugler dress in 2019 even leaving her with indentations and causing pain.

“The only thing about the Met that I wish hadn’t happened is that it’s turned into a costume party,” – Tom Ford

Fashion designer Tom Ford previously expressed his concerns to former New York Magazine editor Amy Odell during her research for her book, suggesting that the Met has turned into a costume party.

“You didn’t have to look like the 18th century, you didn’t have to dress like a hamburger, you didn’t have to arrive in a van where you were standing up because you couldn’t sit down because you wore a chandelier,” Ford said in Odell’s book

The Gala has turned into a more extravagant event associated with popular culture through the immense publicity and press coverage, although it was not until the 2004 theme, “Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century,” that the Met became an event with more elaborate costumes.

This was evidenced by model Amber Valletta wearing a corset by Maggie Norris Couture and Skirt by John Galliano, supporting an 18th century hairstyle, Mixing punk rock with a Marie Antoinette twist.

Other themes over the years include “In America: An Anthology of Fashion”, “Camp: Notes on Fashion” and “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”. All themes which saw elaborate costume-like designs hit the carpet.

(Credit Wiki – Creative commons)

A New Age for the Met

Outfits from the likes of Doja Cat and Amber Valletta have unlocked a new wave for the Met, both taking from tradition and opening a door for designers to develop elaborate, dazzling creations that have turned the Met into beyond just another fashion event, but a runway of fashion that people wait eagerly to see year in year out.


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