Dressed to impress: The hits and misses of “Fashion’s Night Out”

by Naomi Bashan and Olivia Berard

The Met Gala, a fundraising ball for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, is often referred to as “fashion’s night out”. The event, hosted by Vogue Editor Anna Wintour, brings together the industry’s brightest stars. This year’s theme honored Karl Lagerfeld, a controversial fashion icon who passed away in 2019. Lagerfeld was known to make polarizing comments, leading some to question whether he should’ve been honored at the Gala. However, his fashion genius remains undeniable. Lagerfeld notably created an “off the rack” line that sold in department stores, allowing people without high-end budgets to shop high-end clothing. His signature designs often included black and white, pink tulle, and pearls. Lagerfeld did not shy away from glitz and glam. Some people approached the “A Line of Beauty” theme well, but others seemed to fall flat. Let’s get into the best and worst ensembles at the 2023 Met Gala.

American actress Anne Hathaway did not come to play at the Met Gala. Hathaway, the new face of Versace, topped several best-dressed lists. She wore an Atelier Versace gown, paying homage to Karl Lagerfeld with her tweed-covered ensemble. The daring dress featured several slits, held together by gold pins and pearls. Her hair was impeccably styled half-up half-down, and she accessorized with bold fingerless gloves. She looked gorgeous. Hathaway’s look seemed to fit her like a glove. It was her Met Gala, for sure.

The 27 year old pop-star Dua Lipa showed no mercy on the carpet. Lipa arrived in a jaw-dropping white and black tweed ballgown from Chanel. The design paid homage to Claudia Schiffer’s 1992 dress. What is even more spectacular about Lipa’s outfit is the stunning diamond that laid upon her chest. The diamond was over 100 carats and had 82 facets. Lipa looked absolutely stunning, as always. She understood the assignment, and aced it. The only critique we do have is her hair; a high bun would have completed the outfit perfectly, but other than that, we have nothing but envy for Lipa.

Prominent British-American actress Lily Collins made headlines for her Met Gala look. Collins was dressed in a Vera Wang gown that featured a long black train with sequins that spelled out “KARL” Some would call it cheesy, but taking risks is part of what makes fashion fun. Collins pulled it off very well, sporting a beautiful Cartier necklace. Her hair was beautifully styled into a 1950s bob. Collins mixed up different eras of fashion: adding more antiquated puffed sleeves and a very trendy corset style top. This combination, despite seeming awkward, turned out to be exquisite.

Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny made a fabulous appearance at the Met Gala. He wore an all white tweed, backless suit to the event. The suit sleeves had a beautiful flower design that extends to an incredibly long train. The silhouette was very masculine, as it accentuated his shoulders, but the bouquet that falls from his sleeves added a bit of femininity. Fashion today has men adding girly aspects to their clothes, and we are all for it. Bad Bunny was right on theme with the all white tweed suit as he strutted down the carpet.

Euphoria actress Sydney Sweeney arrived at the Met Gala wearing a stunning light pink beaded and embellished Miu Miu gown. Accessorizing with a big black bow tied up in her hair, Sweeney’s look was flawless. For this being only her second Met Gala, she did a fantastic job. Sweeney’s makeup was kept simple, and her hair was teased for volume. She looked awesome!

To put into words how we feel about Lil Nas X’s look is nearly impossible. We can’t even call what he wore an outfit because there was barely any actual clothing. Karl Lagerfeld is rolling over in his grave. Lil Nas X attempted to capture Lagerfeld’s love of glitter, but executed it incredibly poorly. We’re all for self-expression, but showing up to an event as elegant as the Met Gala almost nude doesn’t sit right with us. Time and place should have been taken into consideration.

Famed model and reality television star Kendall Jenner ascended the Met’s steps wearing a Marc Jacobs sequined bodysuit with a collared neckline and long sleeves that dragged on the ground behind her. She accessorized with giant platform boots, towering above other attendees. There was both too much and not enough going on with her look. The bodysuit was definitely too much: it appeared unflattering and costume-like, not to mention outdated with a silhouette straight from 2016. Jenner’s hair was fashioned into a boring ponytail. If she would have committed and done something wild with the rest of her look, maybe the bodysuit would have flowed better. She played it too safe and the bodysuit was too shimmery. It’s a no from us.

Like her older sister, Miss Kylie Jenner was a major disappointment. Someone as rich as she is should have showed up in a more extravagant outfit than she did. The gown was designed by Haider Ackermann for Paul Gaultier. The train transformed into a two-toned robe as well. As much as we think this dress and idea of the robe is amazing, it didn’t serve what it should have. We were hoping for more of everything: sparkles, glitter and glamor. This dress feels like one to wear to a movie premier or a runway show. But, this is the Met Gala so, Kylie, what happened?

Singer Doja Cat stepped onto the carpet in a look that was weird at best, and disturbing at worst. She wore a hooded Oscar de la Renta gown that included blinged-out cat ears. That’s not the worst part: she opted for face prosthetics in order to pay homage to Lagerfeld’s famed cat, Choupette. Next time, she should have ditched the cat transformation, and chosen something more elegant. Instead of making a daring yet tasteful fashion choice, Doja Cat looked like a kid who got caught red-handed with face paint. This look would be better suited for a costume party, not Anna Wintour’s Met Gala.

While some stars sparkled and shined on the blue-and-red striped carpet, others dwindled out. The Met Gala is not for the faint of heart. Let’s hope everyone brings their A game to the 2024 Gala!