Met Gala Madness: A Fashion Feast Fit for Pajama Critics

Met Gala Madness: A Fashion Feast Fit for Pajama Critics

It’s that time of the year



The Met Gala AKA fashion’s biggest and boldest night, held annually on the first Monday in May, has finally come and gone. What started in 1948 as an event to raise money for charity, specifically for the conservation of archival and historical fashion pieces, has evolved into a cultural phenomenon, a convergence of haute couture and philanthropy, where luminaries from the realms of film, music, art and fashion converge in the halls of Metropolitan Museum of New York. 



For us viewers, the Met Gala offers a different kind of spectacle; this is the one night in a year where we get to play the role of Miranda Priestly (Devil Wears Prada) and Joan Rivers (Fashion Police), while enjoying the comfort of our humble abodes, donning our finest sweatshirts and PJs, all while sharing our not-so-humble opinions and critiques of the attendees’ outfits. With that said, gird your loins and let’s get into it.


This year's exhibition theme is titled “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” which aims to showcase the ephemeral nature of sartorial clothing. Its main goal is to present garments that, while once resplendent, are now slumbering in a state of fragility and disrepair. These “Sleeping Beauties” are considered unwearable by the ravages of time. Amongst the 250 pieces, some of the clothes displayed inside the Met are even placed flat on the surface, as they can no longer be exhibited on a mannequin due to their fragile state. Laying in dormancy, most of the pieces have degraded because of their delicate materials, like silk or satin. Others slumber due to intricate craftsmanship, weakening as they age, with their once-vibrant hues muted by the gentle patina of time.



Now here is where it gets confusing: This year, the Met Gala’s exhibit and attire theme, while synonymous in nature, are completely different in execution. Given the delicate nature of the clothes showcased at the museum, which can no longer be touched—let alone worn—attendees would have had a difficult time pulling archival looks, tailoring clothes and wearing fragile pieces. Last February, Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief & Global Editor of Vogue, announced “The Garden of Time”—based on the short story by J. G. Ballard—as the dress code to accompany the exhibition. It aims to encourage guests to slip into thematic fashions that pay tribute to the natural world.


The co-chairs for this year are Zendaya, Bad Bunny, Jennifer Lopez and (you would never have guessed it) Chris Hemsworth. Despite all the confusion with the theme, most celebrities showed up with their A-game to showcase their best attempt at serving show-stopping look after show-stopping look.




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A post shared by Maison Margiela (@maisonmargiela)


Among the best dressed celebrities, to no one’s surprise, was Zendaya. She recently starred in two of the biggest films of 2024 (Dune: Part Two and Challengers), and opted for two John Galliano designs, styled by the impeccable Law Roach. Making two arrivals at the carpet, her first look was a custom Maison Margiela reimagined dress based off Galliano’s original creation for Dior’s 1999 haute couture collection. Zendaya was draped in sage lamé and blue organza, embellished with fruits and birds resembling an enigmatic fruit tree, topped with a matching headdress by Stephen Jones for Margiela.



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For her second look, which included both a costume and makeup change, Zendaya opted to walk the carpet again in a vintage masterpiece: a John Galliano for Givenchy “look 8” black taffeta gown from the 1996 collection. Boasting a staggering 12-foot train, it marks the first time this archival piece had made its grand entrance on the carpet. Fun fact: this dress is as old as Zendaya herself! Roach styled the gown with a breathtaking rose bouquet headpiece by the legendary Philip Treacy, originally crafted for Alexander McQueen’s 2007 collection.


Barry Keoghan


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Every year, the joke makes its rounds on social media of how boring the expected male attendees would be. But not to Barry Keoghan. Styled by Ilaria Urbanati, he proved that he’d done the research and read the story of J.D. Ballard by drawing inspiration from Count Axel (lead character in The Garden of Time) by arriving in a tailored Burberry three piece olive-colored velvet suit, inspired by the style of the Victorian-era. Keoghan also sported three Omega watches (yes, three; one for each wrist and a pocket watch), complete with a poplin shirt, black wool top hat and oxford boots. Fellas, take notes!



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Pictured above is Keoghan with his long-time rumored girlfriend Sabrina Carpenter (who is wearing a custom Oscar De La Renta gown). This marked their relationship’s first-ever joint appearance on the red carpet.


Bad Bunny


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A post shared by Maison Margiela (@maisonmargiela)


As one of the co-chairs, Bad Bunny, showed up in a custom all black Maison Margiela ensemble carrying a bouquet of Flor de Maga, the national flower of Puerto Rico. He completed the look with a black leather Tabi boots by Christian Louboutin for Margiela, resembling goat hooves and a ‘reverse swatching’ hat.


Ariana Grande


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Ariana Grande, who recently released her comeback with the Eternal Sunshine album, marked her return to the Met Gala as one of the musical performers for the night. Serving whimsicality in her custom Loewe dress, the bodice was made of actual mother of pearl, a draped drop waist and a flowing, pleated skirt and train.


Elle Fanning


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Of course, the theme wouldn’t be complete without the actual Disney princess, best known as Sleeping Beauty, making an appearance. Elle Fanning, who starred as Princess Aurora in 2014’s Maleficent, looked ethereal on the carpet with her custom Balmain bustier gown that was hand-covered with four layers of resin for a trompe l’oeil glass effect.


Lana Del Rey


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Lana Del Rey marked her third Met Gala attendance. Fresh from headlining April’s Coachella, she brought the dark and romantic vibes on the carpet with her custom Alexander McQueen’s dress by the house’s newest creative director, Seán McGirr. Inspired by the fall 2006 collection of McQueen, McGirr created a tan corseted dress in silk, all hand-embroidered with hammered bronze-bullion hawthorn branches. Twigs extended above her head and held a draped piece of tan tulle in place like a veil.


Gigi Hadid


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Never one to miss the Met Gala, Gigi Hadid walked the steps in a custom, off-the-shoulder, white Thom Browne dress. It was accentuated with yellow roses, which took 70 people a total of 5,000 hours and 2.8 million beads to make.


Mindy Kaling


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A post shared by Gaurav Gupta (@gauravguptaofficial)


Actress and comedian Mindy Kaling proved her naysayers wrong while looking glamorous in a custom Gaurav Gupta sculptural gown. Aptly titled The Melting Flower of Time, which aims to signify a bud and a blossoming flower that is wilting due to the passage of time.


In the year when the usual best-dressed Met Gala attendees (like Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Billy Porter) chose not to attend, we were still able to satisfy our cravings with the looks brought about by the biggest celebrities in the world.


Who’s your favorite celebrity look at this year’s Met Gala?



Words Charles Boswell 

Art Alexandra Lara

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