What was the Met Gala’s theme again?
t was hard to tell at first sight, but the theme of this year’s Met Gala was an homage to Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo, even though it seems that the color blue could have been the theme instead, with no less than 14 celebrities dressed in the color – not to mention the fact that they were walking a blue and cream carpet, rather than the traditional red one.
While attendees have come under fire from commentators for not following the theme, many of the blue garments actually made subtle references to the designer. A main shade of blue was sky blue. Aymeline Valade, dressed by Marni, along with Blake Lively and Emily Ratajowski, all wore sky blue paired with metallic (green for Valade, and gold for Lively and Ratajowski). Both Valade and Lively also hinted at the gender transcendence that Kawakubo is known for; Aymeline wore a pantsuit, and Lively sported strong shoulder pads.
On the other hand, a paler version of sky blue was also paired with airy and fairytale-like silhouettes, as was the case for Elle Fanning, Felicity Jones in Erdem, and JLo in Valentino. Both Fanning and JLo’s dresses had no link whatsoever to Kawakubo, but Jones’ dress was clearly vintage-inspired, referencing the ‘past/present/future’ category of the Kawakubo exhibition at the Met.
Rather than referencing the past, others decided to reference the future, such as Valade with her green metallic embellishments, or Evan Rachel Wood, who wore an Altuzarra midnight blue dress that opened in the front to reveal pants underneath. This idea of new clothing shapes is key to Rei Kawakubo’s aesthetic. Thierry Mugler, whose Fall 2017 collection prominently featured the color blue, also picked up on this by dressing Reese Witherspoon in a futuristic navy blue dress accented with metallic blue. Similarly, Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea wore a jacket with spiraling pieces of fabric and shorts made out of different materials and prints, most of which contained navy.
Navy was also often present in the form of sequins, even though Kawakubo rarely uses sequins; both Emily Ratajowski and Mindy Kaling opted for fully-sequined dresses that were the complete opposite of the Comme des Garçons aesthetic, but Evan Rachel Wood had a few silver sequins on her navy dress that made the eccentric shape of her outfit stand out.
A major element of the Comme des Garçons aesthetic, however, is dramatic sleeves, and both the cape-like ensembles of Stella Tennant and Tracee Ellis Ross featured them. Sarah Paulson‘s sleeves also featured wide cuffs with a daring pop of red and black fringe. These dresses were all some variation on a navy or royal blue which, along with their respective uses of velvet, brocade, and silk materials, brought an element of classicism that balanced out the eccentric sleeves.
The various shades of blue either helped designers balance out the nontraditional Comme des Garçons aesthetic, or was simply the color of choice for many a designer this season. It just goes to show what we already knew from our Blue Issue: everyone loves blue!
Images courtesy of Vogue and Lainey Gossip.
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