The Met Gala is the annual fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume. Each year the Institute hosts an exhibition based on a theme, and the Gala is the opening night for the exhibit.
This year's theme is Manus x Machina: Fashion in the age of technology. Now that's an exciting theme, isn't it? Technology plays an integral role in clothing production but at the couture level, technology is less present. This exhibit "will explore how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear." according to the exhibit home page
Anna Wintour chairs the Gala and determines everything from the guest list to guest arrival times; see this article
for an excellent description of what she does. People from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada are also involved in the event and therefore, many attendees wore Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Prada.
Many of the Gala attendees dress to the theme, although some choose just to wear a formal outfit. Many appeared to interpret the technology theme as either "futuristic" or "armour" and so there are a lot of silver sequinned outfits. Others clearly stuck to the "fashion" part of the theme, and many of those outfits sport a lot of feathers. Apparently nothing says "fashion" like feathers.
Regardless of the adherence to the theme, the outfits worn at this event were so interesting and unusual that I wanted to comment on them. I didn't include every outfit that appeared on the red carpet; a celebrity wearing a pretty dress is just not so interesting to me, especially when there are so many other interesting and unusual outfits to look at.
See the ones I included in this picture-heavy post after the jump.
|Bee Shaffer in Alexander McQueen|
She is Anna Wintour's daughter, apparently. There may not be an unusual amount of futuristic technology in the construction and embellishment of this dress but it's gorgeous nonetheless.
|Anna Wintour in Chanel|
The organizer and final arbiter of the guest list herself, looking sort of happy. The fringe at the shoulders extends across the back to form a sort of cape. I don't know that fringe has much to do with technology but it moves really well.
|Poppy Delevingne in Marchesa|
Each tier in the skirt is made of fringe. Silver fringe is apparently supposed to evoke technology and the future bur for me it reminds me very much of the futuristic Art Deco art and architecture of the 1920's/30s. It's interesting that our current idea of futuristic clothing is not so different from the Art Deco idea of futuristic clothing.
|Lilliana Vazquez in Pamella Roland|
I love this wet-look fabric, which is a fairly recent (well, within the last decade) development. Fiber and fabric development rely heavily on technology.
I do wish she'd chosen something a little more flattering; the embellishments on the shoulder make it look like she's tense and holding her shoulders up, and I suspect that she's on the shorter side for this dress.
|Elizabeth Cordry in Dolce & Gabbana|
Is there technology involved in the construction or embellishment of this dress? There may be, especially when it comes to placement of the embellishments.
Mostly I just think this dress is pretty because I like flowers and vines, although I wish the fabric wasn't so close in colour to both her skin tone and the carpet.
|Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton|
Her skin isn't wrinkled above the bust; that's sequins. I expect that this dress is much lovelier in person because the sequins would reflect light and would be much more interesting. High-heeled combat-type boots are something that we'll see on several outfits. I don't think they really evoke fashion or technology but maybe they're supposed to evoke an apocalyptic future?
|Anna Ewers in BOSS|
So.... futuristic technology means silver texture? I mean, the fabric is gorgeous and I love the texture because I am fascinated by pretty shiny things, but it's perhaps a safe choice for a futuristic look.
|Wendi Deng Murdoch in Christopher Kane|
Lovely lace and all, and a gorgeous dress, but not so technological. I guess this is one of the more "fashion" outfits - although perhaps there are technological components we can't see.
|Louise Parker in Chanel|
She kind of reminds me of Twiggy, here, what with the pixie hair and short dress. The dress is cute. What's interesting is that it's short - who wears a mini dress to a formal event like this Gala? Many women, as it turns out, including Louise Parker.
|Juno Temple in Erdem|
I'm sure technology was involved somehow. This dress has a 70s look to it with the long, poufy sleeves, easy fit, low neckline (with normal sized breasts!), and ruffles.
|Julie Macklowe in Philipp Plein|
"Technology" apparently means "futuristic" and what's more futuristic a multi-paneled sequinned jumpsuit.
|Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton|
Another minidress - this time, paired with another pair of high-heeled combat boots. They're the future, apparently.
|Uma Thurman in Tommy Hilfiger|
This is very pretty and very safe and kind of boring. Her Angelina Jolie stance (with the one leg out to the side to show off the leg slit) isn't showing off the leg slit properly. Also, the dress looks like it was recently shortened in the front and she then decided to wear high heels.
|Grimes in Louis Vuitton|
Have you heard of Grimes? She's a Canadian musician whose music is... kind of weird. Interesting, but weird. It's no surprise that she's show up looking interesting but weird, with high-heeled combat boots. She could have gone weirder.
|Selena Gomez in Louis Vuitton|
Are mid-length bias skirts coming back? It's like I'm 25 again. How can combat boots be useful when the heels are so high?
|Elle Fanning in Thakoon|
This is pretty. I guess. It's like a wedding gown - add a beachy veil and you're done! You know, I saw a picture of someone traveling to this event in the back of a vehicle while standing up and hanging onto straps so that she didn't fall over, presumably not to wrinkle the front of the dress for pictures. I wonder if she was transported to the event that way?
|Rose Byrne in Ralph Lauren|
Who looks good in tight satin? No one. Not even Rose Byrne, and she's beautiful and fit and toned. The necklace is beautiful.
|Rita Ora in Vera Wang|
This may not be technological but it is interesting. The feather placement (including the transition from shiny to matte feathers) and use of illusion is not a trivial task. This is glorious.
|Sarah Jessica Parker in Monse|
Apparently someone suggested that she was dressed like one of the newsies from Hamilton, and that she wasn't dressed according to the theme. She responded that she was so dressing to the theme. I don't see it. Short jodhpurs, a belly-skimming top, and a jacket with tulle in the sleeves does not suggest fashion or technology to me.
|Ellie Bamber in Giles Deacon|
When I first saw this I thought she was pregnant, but she's not. The dress is just that poufy. Accomplishing that is a miracle of engineering but I don't know how much technology is involved.
|Kate Mara in Paco Rabanne for Julien Dossena|
This is cute, for sure, even if it is just a bandeau top, granny panties, and a dress of large sequins.
|Kendall Jenner in Versace|
Normally I wouldn't include anything by the Kardashian/Jenner family because I don't like giving in to their publicity machine. But this dress is so amazing that I had to include it. It was custom made and the blue areas are covered in something sparkly. Clearly the line placement was done by computer, but there are handmade components as well. This was an excellent interpretation of the theme.
|Ciara in H&M|
This is one sexy dress! The dress is covered in Swarovski crystals and the lining is an excellent match for her skin tone (I did think she was naked underneath the crystal mesh but it's lined). Pretty.
|Nicole Kidman in Alexander McQueen|
I admit it, I love this. It reminds me of very old glamour photos (from the 1900s) where the models would hold up gauzy, sparkly fabrics. There's a decadence here, too, what with all of the embellishments and the sun and moon them. To me this is an outfit that contains echos of the past.
|Demi Lovato in Moschino|
I think this would have been dazzling in person because the sequins would have been like a sea of light. In photos that effect is lost. This is one of those "technology" means "armour" dresses what with all the heavy gold embellishment and the armour effect on the bodice.
|Lady Gaga in Atelier Versace|
Technology needs circuit boards, and she's wearing one! Or a representation of one, anyways. And she's wearing armour so she's got that interpretation of technology covered, too. What isn't covered is her bum. And those are some crazy tall heeled combat boots. That heel is probably a deadly weapon all by itself.
|Lauren Santo Domingo in Giambattista Valli Couture|
Fringe! I imagine this would have been entrancing in person because the fringe would have caught the light the way sequins do. This is similar to armour... and it's fringey.
|Brie Larson in Proenza Schouler|
Another sequinned dress that's sort of armour-like. It's pretty, though. Have you noticed that there's a lot of very smooth hair tight against the head? I guess technology means the future means practical? What kind of future are these people imagining?
|Jennifer Connolly in Louis Vuitton|
I don't know why but I kind of like this dress. Maybe because it's sparkly? I wonder if they gave out high-heeled combat shoes at the gate?
|Karolina Kurkova in Marchesa (with help from IBM's Watson)|
This dress is amazing!! It looks like just a dress, right? Well, it's apparently a "cognitive" dress. Something or other monitored social media and the dress lit up in different colours (here, they're white) depending on the mood on social media. Now that's fashion and technology; this is an excellent interpretation of the theme.
|Katy Perry in Prada|
This has an armour look to it as well, doesn't it? I do love black velvet and the gold sequin embellishments are nice.
|Madonna in Givenchy|
Is this fashion? Is there a technology component? Or is this one of those outfits that say "look at me! I'm in my 50s and I can show off my breasts and put my bum in a sling and hold my head up high!" Apparently she wore this outfit for political reasons. Sure.
|Kim Kardashian in Balmain|
I dislike the Kardashian/Jenner family as a whole because of their manufactured celebrity but I figured I had to include this dress because if that bodice doesn't evoke armour, I don't know what does. Also, am I the only person who's a little tired of this Angelina Jolie stick-your-leg-out-of-the-slit pose?
|FKA Twigs in Versace|
I think the corset thing is supposed to evoke bondage which in turn evokes armour. She looks kind of like a warrior princess attending a formal banquet who can't quite give up her armour.
|Beyonce in Givenchy|
Someone called this a condom dress and they're not far wrong. This is an embellished latex dress. It's a technical achievement, making a latex dress that can actually be worn out in public.
|Solange Knowles in David Laport|
She's Beyonce's sister but I find her more interesting, in a way, because she's not as in the spotlight as Beyonce. This is intersting from a design and a technical perspective; getting pleats to stay like that isn't easy.
|Naomi Watts in Burberry|
The sequins on this dress are apparently chainmail sequins, whatever that means. They were fitted together like chainmail, maybe? If so, that's tedious and time-consuming. The effect is nice, if a bit armour-like.
|Zendaya Coleman in Michael Kors|
There's something armour-like about the fabric, although the design could not be mistaken for armour. I don't think that colour could work on many people but it works for her and the design suits her.
|Lorde in Valentino|
I never pictured Lorde in something like this, all frothy and confection-like. Apparently she didn't use enough double-sided tape on the bodice because one side slipped during the red carpet, exposing her nipple. That neckline would definitely be prone to that kind of slippage if you moved. Or breathed the wrong way.
|Lupita Nyong'o in Calvin Klein|
The sheer green train and sequins remind me of the 20s for some reason. This dress, and the other two by Callvin Klein, are eco-friendly and made of recycled and/or sustainable components. Now that's fashion in the age of technology!
|Emma Watson in Calvin Klein|
I don't quite understand what's happening at the waist but I like thiat this is pants with a skirt over it topped with an asymmetrical bodice. Also, this was made with eco-friendly, recycled and/or sustainable components.
|Margot Robbins in Calvin Klein|
This is... a basic dress. But what's really special is that it, like the preceding two, is made with eco-friendly, recycled and/or sustainable components.
|Zayn Malik in Versace with Gigi Hadid in Tommy Hilfiger|
He's definitely wearing armour (on his arms - although those some would say the chest needs the most protection but what do I know?) and she's got a breastplate armour thing going on. I love the neck attachment to this dress as well as the sequinned bodice.
|Nicki Minaj in Moschino|
Beaded belt things and embellished buckles over a sheer skirt makes for an interesting outfit. I love her style because it's quirky and unusual and this fits in with her style. There's a fashion component and I suppose the bondage effect evokes armour (all those buckles!) which in turn somehow evokes technology.
|Agyness Deyn in Kenzo|
Even though it looks like she's dragging curtains behind her, I love this dress. The design is unusual; the bodice and sleeves are interesting, and the colour is gorgeous. To me this says "fashion".
|Allison Williams in Peter Pilotto|
There's soemthing about this that I really like. The style is sort of interesting but what I really love is the fabric... it's just so gorgeous. And I do love the colour.
|Dakota Fanning in Nina Ricci|
Oh velvet, how I love you. And velvet and lace is a classic combination. This doesn't look too technological but it is pretty.
|Queen Rania of Jordon in Louis Vuitton|
More feathers! Maybe we're all going to turn into birds in the fiture? I think this would have worked better with a nude illusion on the bodice.
|Mackenzie Davis in Altuzarra|
Another sheer, sparkly, sequinned cape with Art Deco overtones. I love it, of course. I love the geometric designs formed by the sequins, and I kind of love the cape.
|Liu Wen in Iris van Herpen|
One of the more unusual outfits. Is there a technological component? Maybe. I don't know how this was constructed but I can imagine technology playing a major role here.
|Rachel McAdams in Valentino|
The writing circling the skirt are lines from Dante's Divine Comedy. The bodice definitely has an armour look to it but at least the dress isn't silver like all the other armour components.
|Cindy Crawford in Balmain|
Yes, this dress looks like silver armour (like so many other gowns at this event because technology means armour, somehow) but I love it anyway. There's something about the skintone stripes (which are made of illusion net) and the shoulder cutouts that works really well on her. This is a dress that has been perfectly designed for her.
|Zoe Saldana in Dolce & Gabbana|
This dress reminds Ian of the garbage people from Fraggle Rock. He has a point. There's no question that there's a strong fashion component to this dress and it is striking.
|Eva Chen in Christopher Kane|
Now that's a crazy amount of fringe! The overlapping pieces are interesting and unusual. Was technology involved in creating this dress? Probably. But it doesn't matter because it's definitely fashion.
|Ming Xi in Michael Kors|
This is cute what with the oversized placket, silver sequins, and feathers. The combination of the collar and short skirt remind me of dresses from the 60s.
|Jourdan Dunn in Balmain|
This dress design definitely evokes armour. I love the geometric lines of the sequins and the ombre effect on the skirt. However, I find the triangular mesh at her crotch to be a bit distracting.
|Jourdan Dunn (back view)|
The back of this dress, shown in this photo sourced to instagram
but pulled from Daily Mail
, is stunning. I think I might prefer it to the front view; she looks statuesque and strong and well-armoured and beautiful.
|Thalia in Tommy Hilfiger with Tommy Mottola|
Is she armoured, or a cyborg? Either way, this dress looks futuristic which is one of the interpretations of the theme. Note also that we can see the back of Jourdan Dunn's dress is a less posed photo, and it's just as lovely as the posed photo above.
|Michelle Monaghan in Rosie Assoulin|
I don't know what fabric that skirt is made of but I like it. I also associate unusual fabrics with technology because technology is needed to create them. The bodice does have a bit of the armour look to it, which works with the skirt. This dress is a good representation of the theme.
|Danai Gurira in Giambattista Valli|
Does this say technology? Well, not especially, but it is gorgeous. The sleeves, bodice, and high neck suit her.
|(L-R) Este Haim, Danielle Haim, and Alana Haim, all in Rodarte|
These three are sisters and form the band HAIM. Is there something technological about these dresses? Not really. I like them anyway; I'm especially fond of the embellishment on Alana's dress. All three dresses have an ethereal, flioaty, romantic look to them that I love.
|Kate Bosworth in Dolce & Gabbana|
This is definitely one for the technology-means-armour group. That bodice is completely encrusted and I'm sure could protect her. This dress may be more attractive in person but in the photo it looks heavy and over-embellishmed. However, we can see Alana Haim in the background so this was a picture worth keeping.
|Blake Lively in Burberry|
Sometimes a pretty dress is just a pretty dress. This is pretty. I almost like the underskirt except that it's sheer; it would be better if there were two layers of that fabric, I think. I do love the back draping and the flower embellishments because they're pretty.
|Amber Valletta in custom H&M|
This dress looks fairly simple but it uses recycled sequins and paillettes as well as petal things that have been laser cut and then heat treated with a reflective vinyl. That definitely uses some technology right there for this fashionable dress. In other words, it's a great representation of the theme.
|Keltie Knight in Christian Siriano|
The dress silhouette would be fairly basic if not for the shoulder/bodice embellishment. That embellishment is more like jewelry than clothing and I guess it has a technological "look" to it because it's got unusual shapes.
|Miranda Kerr in Louis Vuitton|
Another armour effect in that bodice but at least this one isn't silver sequins; instead, it's got some interesting colour blocking going on.
|Adriana Lima in Giambattista Valli|
Was technology involved? Maybe in the planning stages. That skirt is very 50s. In the background is Jennifer Hudson wearing what looks like a tight wedding dress by H&M. I didn't include a separate image of her because that style of dress is kind of boring (and yet here I am talking about it anyways).
|Huma Abedin in Altuzzara|
Sparkly! And too long. If it were me I'd be tripping over the skirt in front. The bodice has a slight armourish effect but the panels and black border add interest and soften the armour look.
|Eve Hewson in Monse|
Who looks good in loose satin? She does. Although there is something towel-like up in the way the fabric is draped at the bodice, I still love the overall effect. It's pretty.
|Kate Hudson in Versace|
This is kind of crazy, isn't it? The cutouts and the attached things and the armour-look on the breasts and the basic wedding-dress slhouette add up to something unusual. It almost certainly needed some unusual methods to put together, but I kind of wish it didn't look so much like an unusually-embellished wedding dress.
|Alexa Chung in Thakoon|
When I see this, I think two things: first, I wonder if it's itchy or if it's soft like fur; and second, her feet look really, really long. Actually, I had a third thought: the white parts look kind of like something out of the Matrix.
|Allison Sarofim in Giambattista Valli|
I don't quite know why, but I definitely love this outfit. Not just because it's green with a giant feathered cape, or because it's a tunic and bell-bottom pants, or because the fabric is awesome, but because of all of these things.
|LaLa Anthony in Nicholas Jebran|
Who doesn't love ombre? The technological aspect of this dress is how her breasts wound up at her collarbone.
|Alessandra Ambrosio in Balmain|
Somehow I don't think macrame armour would be very effective at repelling attacks. Maybe the big silver belt is magic.
|Lisa Maria Falcone|
This is an interesting dress. It's not exactly attractive, true, but the placement of each of those round sequins was determined by an artificial intelligence
. That's definitely using technology in fashion, and is a great representation of the theme.
|Alex Morgan in Christian Siriano|
In the future, we're all going to turn into cyborgs with metal arms. That what this dress says to me.
|Saorise Ronan in Christopher Kane|
More feathers! Does this say fashion in the age of technology? Errrr, no. But it's still interesting, right? The collar and feather embellishment that somehow extends to the hem is unusual.
|Saorise Ronan afterparty dress in Christopher Kane|
The best part about her afterparty dress is that it's almost exactly the same dress, with the exact same embellishment, as the red carpet dress but it's much shorter! Interestingly, I think this dress works in both lengths.
|Taylor Swift in Louis Vuitton|
This has a sort of futuristic look what with the cutouts, black accents, snakeskin pattern formed by sequin placement, and gladiator-style shoes. And yet it's demure and kind of girly - just like many things she wears. Apparently she co-hosted this event.
|Riley Keough in DVF|
Well, it isn't light silver... instead, it's kind of a smokey/khaki colour. It's a safe choice for this event but it suits her.
|Dakota Johnson in Gucci|
Not everyone would choose to wear a black slip dress with big colourful lace stars all over it. Then again, if you can pull it off (and she can), why not wear it?
|Florence Welch in Gucci|
Her style is so unusual and I'd expect her to wear something more outlandish. This is a very 70s-inspired dress with the long sleeves, high collar, lace bodice, and long skirt. The sequin colour, which is an opalescent, is definitely not from the 70s, though - that kind of directional sheen hasn't been available that long. In that sense, technology made this dress possible.
|Joan Smalls in Balmain|
There's definitely an armour look on that bodice. I imagine that when she was picking her dress, she figured that fashion in the age of technology was sort of futuristic and what's more futuristic than armour? To be fair, she's not the only one that appeared to think this way, and at least she didn't pair this with high-heeled combat boots.
|Claire Danes in Zac Posen|
This is my absolute favourte dress of the night. It isn't just that it's a Cinderella-style dress with a super-full pleated skirt, but of course she looks amazingly elegant in this style. It isn't just that the colour looks gorgeous on her. No, what I love the best about this dress is that the fabric is a fibre optic textile which isn't just the perfect marriage of fashion and technology but absolutely super-cool. And it glows in the dark. Really! Check out the following pictures..
Claire Danes in Zac Posen
These pictures from news.com.au
show the dress in the dark. It glows. I love it - I love that the edges glow more brightly (which I'd expect given the fibre optic textile) but I especially love that the whole dress glows..
Unless otherwise specified, all pictures are from www.zimbio.com. All photo copyrights remain with their respective sources. Text is copyright me.
entertaining and fun fashion post, as always! loved Eve Hewson's dress because it looks like mercury... and Florence Welch's gown is just gorgeous
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