Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Michelle Yeoh, singers Cardi B and Bad Bunny, WNBA superstar Brittney Griner and supermodels Gisele Bundchen and Kate Moss were also among the hundreds of guests at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The guest list has been carefully curated by Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor-in-chief who hosted the charity gala in the 1990s and turned it into one of the world’s biggest parties.
This year, the extravaganza – which is always on the first Monday in May, except for a change in schedule during the pandemic – celebrates Lagerfeld, opening an exhibition at the Costume Institute dedicated to the iconic designer, who died in 2019.
“Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” pays tribute to his decades in the industry at the helm of Chanel, Fendi, Chloe and his lines, while shaping the future of fashion.
And the celebs in attendance understood the style assignment, most wearing vintage looks from the stylish German-born designer or silhouettes that reflected his aesthetic.
Rihanna was dressed in white Valentino, with airy camellias — the flower synonymous with Chanel — adorning the hood of her coat.
Her white fingerless gloves mirrored those favored by Lagerfeld. Under? A sexy white dress with spaghetti straps.
The singer, who is pregnant with her second child, told reporters on the red carpet that she was “feeling good” as she entered the room an hour later than most of the guests.
“It feels amazing. I’m happy to be a father,” said his partner, rapper ASAP Rocky, when asked about the arrival of their new child.
Williams timed her second pregnancy announcement with the event, writing on Instagram, “So excited when Anna Wintour invited the three of us to the Met Gala,” meaning she, her husband Alexis Ohanian, and their new baby.
– Diamonds and cats –
Kidman wore a crimson Chanel dress with plunging feathers, the first dress she wore in an ad for the house’s No. 5 fragrance nearly 20 years ago.
“I’m so glad I can still wear it,” she told AFP on the red carpet.
Singer Dua Lipa wore a cream 1990s Chanel bridal gown accented with black polka dots and accessorized with a stunning Tiffany diamond necklace that she said came straight from the jeweler’s vault.
Actress Olivia Wilde stepped into another archive, wearing a Chloe “violin” designed by Lagerfeld in the 1980s.
Many of the attendees wore shades of black, white and cream, although a few pops of color (and a bit of silver body paint on Lil Nas X) did make an appearance.
And two guests appeared on Lagerfeld’s beloved cat Choupette: singer Doja Cat in makeup and actor Jared Leto in fur.
– ‘Incredible talent’ –
Of course, Lagerfeld is not controversy-proof – despite his public battle with his weight, he criticized curvy women. And late in life, he mocked the #MeToo movement and those who made allegations of sexual misconduct.
“The show focuses on Karl the designer, on his words rather than his work,” said Costume Institute Chief Curator Andrew Bolton. “We have not included any of his more controversial or offensive comments.”
Carla Bruni, a former model and former first lady of France, told AFP before the event that she remembered Lagerfeld for his “tremendous talent”, “creative power” and “fascinating charm”.
This year, Wintour has invited actresses Penelope Cruz and Michaela Coel, retired tennis legend Roger Federer and Dua Lipa to headline the gala.
The guest list was kept secret until the main event, but around 400 people are expected.
The ball is by invitation only, with single tickets starting at $50,000 and tables starting at $300,000.