The Met Gala red carpet last night showed just how big this event has become. For a start, the build-up was almost Oscars-style in its intensity. But whereas the Oscars are fairly staid these days and other red carpet events (like those for the music industry) are frequently festivals of bad taste, this one treads a line between the two.
It’s sometimes all about the Cool Pool – seeing who can out-cool everyone else. But it’s sometimes more Bling Thing too as mega celebrities steal the spotlight from mere fashion celebrities. And this time? Well the latter won out – just. But given that Anna Wintour is on patrol, nobody would dare take bad taste to its extreme.
So last night was a celebration of shimmer, shine, bare flesh, dangerous curves and overall excess for many attendees, tempered by the fact that the shimmer was courtesy of some of the biggest luxury names on the planet and the wearer’s overall aim was to be admired rather than to just make a splash.
What last night wasn’t, for the most part, was a themed evening. While it was all ostensibly part of the Met’s special show Manus x Machina: Fashion in the age of technology, most people on the red carpet paid only lip service to the theme with a touch of sci-fi silver and maybe the odd harness contraption on a bodice. Thank goodness for that. Attempts to look ‘futuristic’ usually boil down to unlovable and unwearable looks that are instantly forgotten.
So, what were the big trends on the night?
Maybe it was the theme or maybe it was a great coincidence because silver’s such a key colour/texture at the moment but it was the power statement of the event. Think textural with tightly packed shimmering sequins or embellishment that toned-down the effect. In some cases (especially anything by Balmain) it felt almost like armour, albeit the kind of armour you might find in a sci-fi series or a comic book rather than on a real battlefield.
With Beyoncé, the Kardashian-Jenners and the Hadids out in force then curves were always going to be on the agenda. Red carpet dresses were cut to hug and outline every curve with the power shot of the night being a rear view with the barely-concealed bum pushed out just that little bit more for the cameras.
Slash ’n’ burn
Celebs sizzled in dresses with skirts slashed to the thigh, bodices slashed horizontally or necklines slashed to waist level. But despite all of that, this wasn’t about nudity. The see-through excesses of some red carpets were kept at bay as slashes concealed as much as they revealed.
Frothy dresses feel so over, but some still work if they’re done right. They can be OTT with a surfeit of feathers and frills or they can be more about finely gathered sheer silk. But the overall mood is for lightness and a feeling that parts of the dress could float away at any moment.
A low-key trend but one that made an impact, as much because of who was wearing it as anything else. Mixed florals, largely allover rather than the placements of recent seasons, felt fresh and powerfully on-trend. Celebs kept the dresses slim and ultra-simple – anything too frothy just wouldn’t have worked.
Pale is interesting
This wasn’t a night for dramatic colour statements. Instead, pale was the key direction with a selection of whites, almost-whites and nudes that felt very contemporary. It was all about slim cuts but nothing too in-your-face sexy. To add interest, dresses came with thigh slashes, textural effects, gold embellishment or shimmer. But throughout, simplicity was the key message.
All picturs taken from the Met Gala’s own Twitter or Instagram feeds