A look into the 2023 Met Gala’s high fashion

Aanika Sawhney

The Met Gala, an annual fundraiser, and fashion collective for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is always adorned with celebrities and covered across social media platforms. This year’s invitees were welcomed with the theme, “in honor of Karl” to highlight the museum’s new “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” exhibition. Controversy arose around honoring Lagerfeld’s work considering his problematic presence as a public figure, but others considered his notable impact as the creative director of fashion powerhouse Chanel, and his undeniable influence on fashion more important. Many people were inspired by his designs and thus the looks on 2023’s first Monday of May did not disappoint.  

Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway was a vision at The Met. In a chic Versace dress coupled with an updo and unattached sleeves, Hathaway’s outfit reinvented the use of tweed. As a signature fabric of Chanel under Lagerfeld, tweed was an overdone interpretation of this year’s theme. Yet, the recognizable texture juxtaposed with the gold and pearl hardware throughout the modern structure of Hathaway’s dress body. Specifically, the cutouts on Hathaway’s dress separated the look from a traditional fully covered tweed silhouette in a tasteful way reflecting new, modern styles. Mirroring the fashion expert Hathaway plays in her role as Andrea Sachs in the 2006 ‘Devils Wears Prada,’ she doesn’t break norms, but alternatively, interprets the theme personally and sophisticatedly. 

Simu Liu

Often, masculine looks at The Met Gala are overshadowed and underachieving. From afar, Simu Liu may seem to fall into this category, however, up close, his custom Atelier Versace had an elevated approach to typical men’s fashion. The ribbed and sleek fabric on the front of the suit jacket added a simple texture to the otherwise flat outfit. Additionally, the brooch pinned to his tie and the high neck collar resembled the style Lagerfeld himself often sported. Although understated, the details across the silver buttons, crocodile embossed leather gloves and boots tied everything together. Liu was styled appropriately for the event and embodied Lagerfeld’s legacy. 

Grace Elizabeth

Model Grace Elizabeth worked with Lagerfeld in the past and stood out on The Met’s stairs as one of the few wearing color for the evening, in the style of Christopher John Rogers. Elizabeth’s dress had a high-halter top and a full skirt. Possibly confusing this year’s theme with 2019’s “Camp,” Elizabeth ironically dressed in one of Lagerfeld’s widely known least favorite colors. The pink itself didn’t clash, however, the top’s outdated geometric pattern raised questions. Somehow, the layered ombre pink ruffles on the skirt refreshingly complemented the femininity in Chanel’s style. The light pink accents in her makeup carried into her detailed hair and underscored the spring season. Unfortunately, combined with the unflattering bodice and unclear physical connection to the theme, Elizabeth’s outfit fell flat of the lofty Met Gala standards.

 Gigi Hadid 

An icon in the industry, Gigi Hadid incorporated youth into her look as a high fashion version of the current corset and mesh trending pieces. Monochromatic in black, the sheer fabric draped around Hadid exuded the edgy elegance characterizing Lagerfeld’s impact. The extravagance of the long cape, like a veil across her shoulder, interrupted the casualness of the other parts of her outfit. Her pearls didn’t add much to the overall presentation and instead were a safe jewelry choice. The sharp toe of Hadid’s heel juxtaposed the softness of her hair completing the look. Hadid was dressed in Givenchy Haute Couture and preserved unique elements associated with the theme and also appeals to a younger, more experimental vibe. 

Devon Aoki

Noteworthy as one of Lagerfeld’s muses, Devon Aoki’s first appearance at The Met under his theme commemorated their work together as she walked the runway twice as his Couture Bride. Wearing a custom Moschino by Jeremy Scott and matching alongside the designer, Aoki’s black and white dress accented with outlined wings on her shoulders and sequences on the skirt hinted at her own impact in the 2000s fashion scene. The white train crisscrossed at her waist and off-the-shoulder sleeves were delicate details that accentuated her presence on the carpet. Her side-swept hair and simple glam allowed the gown to shine. Although not a favorite look of the night, the dynamic silhouette suited her well and previewed Aoki’s re-entrance into the fashion world.

The 2023 Met Gala will be remembered through its reflective lens bringing back timeless trends of Lagerfeld’s time. While not included above, honorable outfit mentions include Doja Cat in her Met Gala debut dressed as Choupette, Lagerfeld’s cat, Dua Lipa in an archival 1992 Chanel bridal gown and supermodel Anok Yai in an inventive Prabal Gurung piece.