Kim Kardashian, Michaela Coel And More Celebrate The Beauty Of Embellishment At The Met Gala
Forget pointe de venise lace, layers of French tulle, and PVC leather - the usual costume institute party fare - because at last night’s Met Gala 2023 an abundance of bejewelled, crystal-embellished and pearl-encrusted looks dominated the red carpet.
On Monday night, ‘fashion’s biggest night out’, otherwise known as the Met Gala, took place to raise funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City under the theme ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’ to pay tribute to the late designer, who was a regular guest at the benefit.
While the likes of Rihanna and A$AP Rocky, Suki Waterhouse and Robert Pattinson, and Sabrina Dhowre Elba and Idris Elba were dubbed ‘couples of the night’, and Jared Leto’s Choupette-inspired feline costume dominated conversations across the globe, a new fashion hero emerged - jewels.
Rapper Lil Nas X walked the catwalk covered in silver body paint and sparkly rhinestones, in addition to pearl detailing around his neck and face. His silver thong was accessorised with a belt made out of pearls, while make-up artist Pat McGrath placed a staggering 5,000 stones and 218,784 round flatback Swarovski crystals on his face.
‘Lil Nas X approached this year’s Met Gala with a vision to create a beauty look that was as daring and transformative as his personality,’ McGrath said in a press release.
Feline-inspired attire was also the choice du jour for Doja Cat, who slipped into a figure-hugging Swarovski-crystallised custom Oscar de la Renta gown, topped with cat-shaped and a prosthetic-augmented face.
Others took a more muted take on the jewel trend, such as new mother Keke Palmer dressed in a custom-made strapless column gown made of pastel tweed by designer Sergio Hudson, and covered in over 12,000 Swarovski crystals and pearls.
Kim Kardashian swapped her SKIMS for pearls on the night too, dressed in custom Schiaparelli Haute Couture by Daniel Roseberry, which was made of a blush satin and a molded corset. Over the corset, the entrepreneur wore a top consisting of 50,000 freshwater pearls and 16,000 crystals. According to Schiaparelli, the ensemble took experts more than 1,000 hours to create, with each strand of pearls strung and draped to the mother-of-four’s body. Kardashian styled the look with a choker necklace, pearl drop earrings, sleeves, and ivory-hued heels.
‘This year I just wanted to feel glamorous. I really didn’t feel the pressure,’ the star told Vogue of her look, noting that she opted to wear a pearl-covered look to pay tribute to Lagerfeld.
Serena Williams took the opportunity to announce her second pregnancy on the night (as did model Karlie Kloss), by choosing to wear a black Gucci dress, with a skirt and train made of white tulle at the bottom, layers upon layers of pearl necklaces, diamond jewellery and a pearl-encrusted headband.
Fellow pregnant star Rihanna left The Carlyle Hotel before the event wearing an archival fur coat from Fendi’s fall 1997 collection, diamond necklaces and a pair of camellia earrings, once loved by Coco Chanel. For her red carpet moment with her partner, she switched out of the look to slip into a bridal-esque custom Valentino silk faille dress, which featured a cape covered in 30 giant camellia appliqués made of 500 petals.
For Michael Coel’s first Met Gala as a host, the actor was ‘dripping’ in gold, dressed in a gilded semi-sheer Schiaparelli gown styled by ELLE UK’s very own Contributing Editor Georgia Medley. The long-sleeved dress featured 130,000 crystals embroidered onto a dark brown silhouette, as well as star-shaped, pearl and gold leave adornments across the chest, abs, and arms. Medley styled the look with a diamond-and-gold necklace, chunky gold earrings and rings, gold heels with toe-shaped detailing, and a Emefa Cole’s coral branch headpiece in single mine origin gold.
Meanwhile, new style icon Anne Hathaway opted for a Swarovski crystal-embellished dress by Versace styled with a coin necklace by Bulgari.
‘For Anne I wanted to create a gown to celebrate a conversation between Karl and Versace,’ Versace told Vogue. ‘I remember listening to Gianni and Karl talking and laughing over dinner one evening and this dress reminds me of that moment. Karl celebrated women and craftsmanship. I learned so much from his work. The dress is a tribute to our shared 1990s experience—tweed, pearls and camellias mixed with safety pins, slashes, and a corset. Anne looks powerful, feminine, stunning and of course iconic. Exactly like Karl made women feel in his dresses.’
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