The Metropolitan Museum of Art held its annual gala to benefit its Costume Institute Monday night. Here are the highlights you missed.
Some were really mad about the theme
Originally, this year’s theme was “Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film and Fashion.” That eventually changed to “China: Through the Looking Glass.” Jezebel predicted a host of badly appropriated Chinese fashion back when the details were released in September.
“The Met’s Department of Asian Art is celebrating its 100th anniversary and the ball will partially take place in the Chinese Galleries,” Kara Brown wrote. “I’m excited by the idea of Chinese fashion designers getting some shine on a huge platform, but I have little to no faith that this won’t turn into one big appropriation and cultural insensitivity parade.”
Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton explained the theme choice to Women’s Wear Daily as “the influence of Chinese aesthetics on designers,” but while conveying “how costumes and decorative arts crystallize centuries of cultural interchanges between the East and the West.”
But Brown’s prediction appeared to be right-on when a celebrity showed up with chopsticks in her hair: Emma Roberts Instagrammed a picture of herself with said hairdo, and a dragon-embroidered clutch.
More than anyone else, though, Sarah Jessica Parker bore the brunt of criticisms that her Philip Treacy headdress and a gown she designed in collaboration with H&M were anything but Chinese.
“While some found Sarah Jessica Parker’s Phillip Treacy headpiece to be the night’s dramatic pièce de résistance, in my eyes, I saw blatant racism: the spot-on Asian Dragon Lady stereotype,” wrote Mashable fashion scribe David Yi. “Parker probably didn’t realize, then, that she was setting Asian women back 75 years to the 1930s to the first derogatory ‘dragon lady’ portrayal. The original term was used to describe strong Asian women but was a pejorative that made them into villains.”
Parker famously attends every year dressed to interpret the corresponding themes. Last year, she wore a memorable and dramatic Oscar de la Renta down when the Costume Institute was honoring Charles James, and the year before that, she wore a mohawk headdress as a nod to the evening’s punk motif. But this year, she appeared to be failed by a theme that many interpreted as ill-conceived.
Jason Derulo did not fall down the stairs.
Sometimes, Twitter is just wrong. All the way, completely wrong.
Not only did Derulo not fall down the stairs at the Met Gala, he wasn’t even there.
The picture that was circulating last night was of some unnamed person who fell down the stairs at Cannes.
“I’m at rehearsal in LA,” he tweeted. “F– ya’ll lol!”
Rihanna: Bananarama Queen? Possibly. But also Queen of the Meme.
Once again, Rihanna proved that she is quite possibly the most Internet-savvy celebrity of her generation — she and Taylor Swift can duke it out for the title. However, Rihanna gets bonus points for her masterful trolling. Not content to settle with the discussion set off by her sugar-spun pink Grammys gown that was practically visible from space, Rihanna showed up to the Met Gala in a bright yellow, fur-trimmed concoction with a massive train, which immediately drew comparisons to pizza. And Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.” And SpongeBob.
Maybe she’ll show up at the BET Awards this summer in a dress that reminds us of Sandy Squirrel, just to complete the trifecta.
Beyoncé was basically naked
Beyoncé had a tricky mission this year if she was going to show up to the Met Gala. How would she give people something to talk about that wouldn’t remind them of last year’s infamous elevator scene? Consequently, she deployed one of the oldest — and yet still massively effective — tricks in the book: the naked dress.
When in doubt, just call on your inner drag queen and let her do the driving while also letting her put to rest any pregnancy rumors.
Meanwhile, Jay Z’s face said “I’m just here” the entire evening.
Speaking of distraction dressing, Solange, who is generally regarded as the more fashionable of the Knowles sisters, was significantly more covered in a dress by Giles Deacon.