The late Karl Lagerfeld’s criticisms may have rubbed the mainstream media the wrong way, but in the fashion world, he continues to be admired for his work—hence the stars came out for the Met Gala once again, this year to celebrate his creative force and the Karl Lagerfeld: a Line of Beauty exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.
As creative director of Chanel and Fendi at the time of his death in 2019, Lagerfeld had risen through the ranks from an apprenticeship at Balmain, to designing at Jean Patou, Tiziani, Chloé, Curiel, and others. He took on the Chanel role in 1983 and launched his eponymous label in 1984.
Fashion and beauty editor Sopheak Seng rated Nicole Kidman’s look tops, as she wore her Chanel dress from the 2004 No. 5 campaign. A custom design, it is made of pink silk tulle with a 4 m train in circumference, embroidered with 250 pink feathers and over 3,000 silver crystals and sequins.
Next, he was drawn to Dua Lipa in the Chanel haute couture autumn–winter 1992–3 bridal gown, originally modelled by Claudia Schiffer, followed by Michaela Coel in Schiaparelli, with 135,000 crystal beads and 26,500 mixed stones. Coel was styled by Georgia Medley.
Phoebe Bridgers took her chosen look from Naomi Campbell’s appearance in the autumn–winter 1996–7 haute couture collection in a Tory Burch spaghetti-strap dress with pearl detailing that took its inspiration; Campbell, meanwhile, wore a pink Chanel haute couture spring–summer 2010 dress.
Anne Hathaway referenced both Versace and Lagerfeld in her custom Atelier Versace gown with Medusa safety pins; the gold thread French tweed and Swarovski crystals referenced Lagerfeld’s work at Chanel.
Sopheak rated the Thom Browne team, including Janelle Monáe, Olivia Rodrigo, Jenna Ortega, Pusha T., Teyana Taylor, and Alexander Skarsgård, among others. Both Jared Leto and Doja Cat dressed up as Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette; Doja Cat worked with stylist Brett Alan Nelson and Oscar de la Renta co-creative director Fernando García on the look, and wore facial prosthetics to complete her transformation.
Lagerfeld’s successor at Chanel, Virginie Viard, did not attend the red carpet but headed inside; also missing were Claudia Schiffer, Inès de la Fressange, Vanessa Paradis, and Diane Krüger.