Through The Looking Glass

     Last night celebrities and donors alike flocked to the New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2015 charity Met Gala, one of the most epic nights in fashion.

     The Met Gala, formally called the Costume Institute Gala and also known as the Met Ball, is an annual fundraising gala for the New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. It marks the grand opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit. Each year’s event celebrates the theme of that year’s Costume Institute exhibition, which sets the tone for the formal dress guest are expected to choose for the evening as their fashion to match the theme of the exhibit. Following the event, the exhibition runs for several months. Attended by personalities from the arts, fashion, high-society, film and music, the Gala is widely regarded as one of the most exclusive social events in New York and one of the biggest fundraising nights in the city. The affair has been held at the Met since 1946 and is considered to be the fashion industry’s premier annual red carpet event. 

     Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine and chair of the event since 1995, oversees both the benefit committee and the guest list. 

Gown on Exhibit at the Metropoliatn Museum of Art Costume Institute's "China: Through the Looking Glass" 2015 exhibit
 Gown on Exhibit at the Metropoliatn Museum of Art Costume Institute’s “China: Through the Looking Glass” 2015 exhibit

     This year’s theme, “China: Through the Looking Glass” is dedicated to Chinese fashion. The inspiration for this year’s theme was drawn from the spring 2015 Costume Institute of the same name. It showcases Chinese art and rare artifacts as well as garments (dresses interpreting Chinese designs) from Western designers like John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Laurence Xu, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Tom Ford. The exhibit which incorporates paintings, decorative arts, and filmic representations of China is quite possibly the biggest the museum has ever put together!

Chinese Designer Huishan Zhangs four piece capsule collection for Barneys in commemoration of this years Met Gala

     This year’s theme was the inspiration behind Chinese designer, Huishan Zhang’s four piece capsule for luxury retailer, Barneys New York. The intricacy and delicate attention to detail exhibited in his deigns tie strongly to his cultural roots, as well his tenure as a former student at Central Saint Martins and his internship at Dior’s Haute Couture atelier. The collection available at the the retailer on their website is the perfect blend of East-meets-West style.

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Anna Wintour in Chanel, Jennifer Lawrence in Dior, Gong Li in Roberto Cavalli, Marissa Mayer in Oscar de La Renta and Wendi Murdoch also in Oscar de La Renta at the Met Gala 2015

     The $25, 000 per-ticket evening hosted by Hong Kong billionaire Silas Chou along with co-hosts; Anna Wintour, who stunned in a Chanel number that clung to the theme with it’s color and intense detail; Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence, Gong Li who stunned in a bordeaux colored velvet gown complete with black lace detailing by Peter Dundas of Roberto Cavalli, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who kept it safe within the required theme by choosing a color from the chosen era, and Wendi Murdoch also in Oscar de La Renta; promised to be one of the hottest and most fashionable social events of the year.

     The evening’s annual guest list included only 650–700 people and touted the likes of celebrities like:

Rihanna in Chinese designer Guo Pei at the Met Ball Photograph: Karwai Tang/WireImage
Rihanna in Chinese designer Guo Pei at the Met Ball
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Alicia Keys in Jean Paul Gautier, designer Stella McCartney and model Cara Delvigne in Stella McCartney, Maggie Gyllenhaal in Roland Mouret, and Maggie Q in Tory Burch with fiancee Dylan McDermott at The Met Ball
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Katy Perry in Moschino joined by designer Jeremy Scott, Kendall Jenner in Calvin Klein Collection, FKA Twigs in Christopher Kane with finacee, Robert Pattinson in Dior Homme, Andy Cohen in Ralph Lauren and Sarah Jessica Parker in SJP shoes, H&M dress and Phillip Treacy headpiece at The Met Ball
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Model Miranda Kerr in Louis Vuitton, Resse Witherspoon in Jason Wu, Spike Lee and his wife, Tornia Lewis Lee, Tory Burch and Melanie Laurent in custom designed Tory Burch at The Met Ball
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Lady Gaga in Balenciaga, Mark Ronson and Josephine de la Baume, Miley Cyrus and Zoe Kravitz both in Alexander Wang at The Met Ball
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Beyonce and Jay-Z both in Givenchy, Chloe Grace Moertz in Coach, Kristen Wiig with designer Prabal Gurung, Rose Bryne in Calvin Kleain joined by Bobby Cannavale at The Met Ball
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Constance Jablonski in Theory, Kerry Washington in Prada, Lorde in Calvin Klein with designer Francisco Costa who dressed Italian blogger, Chiara Feraggni and Lou Doillon at The Met Ball
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Fei Fei Sun in Michael Kors, singer Grimes, Director Lee Daniels and super model Naomi Campbell both in custom made Burberry, Selena Gomez in Vera Wang at the Met Gala 2015
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Emily Blunt in Prada, Chinese actress Fan Bingbing in Christopher Bu, Anne Hathaway in Ralph Lauren, Jennifer Lawrence in Dior at The Met Ball
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Katie Holmes in Zac Posen, Lily Collins in Chanel, Mary Kate and Ashley in vintage Jean Paul Galliano, Solange in Giles Deacon at The Met Ball
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Allison Williams in Giambattista Valli Couture and is pictured with the designer, Carey Mulligan in Balenciaga, Taraji P. Henson in Balenciaga by Alexander Wang, Zendaya Coleman in Fausto Puglisi who was also on hand with the star on the red carpet at the Met Gala 2015
Kim Kardashian in Roberto Cavalli and Kanye West, Julianne Moore in ..., and Jessica Chastain in... at Met Gala 2015
Kim Kardashian in Roberto Cavalli and Kanye West, Julianne Moore in Givenchy Haute Couture by Ricard Tisci, and Jessica Chastain in Givenchy at Met Gala 2015
Alexa Chung in Erdem, Chrissy Teigen, Tom Ford, Rita Ora and Madonna in at the Met Gala 2015
Alexa Chung in Erdem, Chrissy Teigen in St. John Knits with husband John Legend in Gucci, Tom Ford, Rita Ora in Tom Ford and Madonna in Moschino at the Met Gala 2015
Donatella Versace and Jennifer Lopez in Versace and George and Amal Clooney in John Galliano for Maison Margiela and rapper Common in Prada at the Met Gala 2015
Donatella Versace and Jennifer Lopez in Versace and George and Amal Clooney in John Galliano for Maison Margiela and rapper Common in Prada at the Met Gala 2015
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Emma Roberts in Ralph Lauren, Hailee Steinfeld in Michael Kors, Josha Jackson and Diane Kruger in Chanel Couture at the Met Gala 2015
Poppy Delvigne in Marchesa with husband James Cook, Emily Weisz in Chanel, Dave Franco with Alison Brie in Prabal Gurung an Ariana Lima in Marc Jacobs at the Met Gala 2015.
Poppy Delvigne in Marchesa with husband James Cook, Emily Weisz in Chanel, Joel McHale and Alison Brie in Prabal Gurung an Ariana Lima in Marc Jacobs at the Met Gala 2015
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Ivanka Trump in Prabal Gurung, Dame Helen Mirren in Dolce & Gabbana, Model Irina Shayk in Atelier Versace, British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Atelier Versace at the Met Gal 2015
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Jaime King in Jason Wu for Hugo Boss, Jenna Lyons in J Crew pajamas, Elizabeth Banks in Michael Kors, Diddy with Cassie in Zuhair Murad at the Met Gala 2015
Colin Firth in Tom Ford joined by Livia Guiggioli in Antonio Berardi, Ruth Wilson in Oscar de La Renta, Matt Bomer in Armani and Alexi Ashe in Carolina Herrera with Seth Meyers in Brunello Cucinelli at the Met Gala 2015
Colin Firth in Tom Ford joined by Livia Guiggioli in Antonio Berardi, Ruth Wilson in Oscar de La Renta, Matt Bomer in Armani and Alexi Ashe in Carolina Herrera with Seth Meyers in Brunello Cucinelli at the Met Gala 2015
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Jessica Alba in Kenzo, models Karen Elson in Dolce & Gabbana, Joan Smalls in Roberto Cavalli, and actress Jennifer Connelly in Louis Vuitton at the Met Gala 2015
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Jourdan Dunn, Sophie Turner and singer James Bay all in Burberry, Sienna Miller in Thakoon, Uma Thurman in Atelier Versace at Met Gala 2015
Eddie Redmayne with wife Hannah Bagshawe both in Valentino, Sofia Vergara in Marchesa, Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz in... at the Met Gala 2015
Eddie Redmayne with wife Hannah Bagshawe both in Valentino, Sofia Vergara in Marchesa, Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz both in Valentino at the Met Gala 2015
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Lily Aldridge also in Carolina Herrera, Olivia Munn in ombre J. Mendel, Kerri Russel in Altuzarra, Olivia Wilde with Jason Sudekis both in Prada at the Met Gala 2015
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Lisa Bonet in Valentino, Justin Beiber in Balmain was joined by Olivier Ruesting, Karolina Kurkova in Tommy Hillfiger, Kate Beckinsale in DVF at the Met Gala 2015
Model Liya Kebede in Phillip Lim joined by the designer, Singer Janelle Monae in, actress Lizzy Caplan in... at the Met Gala 2015
Model Liya Kebede in 3.1 Phillip Lim joined by the designer, Singer Janelle Monae in custom H&M, actress Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan Atelier at the Met Gala 2015
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Kate Hudson in Michael Kors, models Zhu Zhu and Sofia Ritchie decked in Stella McCartney, Dwayne Wade in Versace with wife Gabrielle Union in Zac Poesen, Dereck Jeter in custom made Rag & Bone suiting with girlfriend Hannah Davis in J.Mendel at the Met Gala 2015
Diana Argon in, Hailey Baldwin in. Grace Coddington in, Gigi Hadid in DVF at the Met Gala 2015
Diana Argon in Tory Burch, Hailey Baldwin in Topshop. Grace Coddington in, Gigi Hadid in DVF at the Met Gala 2015
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Kris Jenner in Balmain, Neil Patrick Harris and Hubby Daivd Burtka both in Ermenegildo Zegna, Chloe Sevigny in J.W. Anderson, and Larry Davis in at the Met Gala 2015
Claire Danes in, Cher in Emily Ratajkowski in, Ella May Jagger in at the Met Gala 2015
Claire Danes in Valentino, Cher in Marc Jacobs, Emily Ratajkowski in Topshop, Ella May Jagger in Gucci at the Met Gala 2015
Bee Shaffer in Alexander McQueen, Amanda Seyfried in, Elson Algort in, Dakota Johnson in at the Met Gala 2015
Bee Shaffer in Alexander McQueen, Amanda Seyfried in Givenchy wh was joined by boyfriend Justin Long, Elson Algort in Tom Ford, “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Dakota Johnson in Chanel at the Met Gala 2015
Chinese actress Ziyi Zhang in Carolina Herrera seen with the designer, singer Miguel in Michael Kors and Usher in a Calvin Klein suit and Louis Leeman Shoe at the Met Gala 201
Chinese actress Ziyi Zhang in Carolina Herrera seen with the designer, singer Miguel in Michael Kors, Usher in a Calvin Klein suit and Louis Leeman Shoe, and Liu Wenn in Michael Kors at the Met Gala 2015

     Also on the list for the evening’s festivities were James Corden, Harvey Weinstein, Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Dancy, Ethan Hawke, Spike Jonze, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Baz Luhrmann, Marcus Mumford, Matthew Broderick, and Florence Welch.

     Amidst the celebrity faces and donors were also several of the designers who dressed many of the evenings attendees and featured some regulars like:

Actress Kristen Wiig in Prabal Gurung alongside the designer, Siena Miller with Thakoon, Michael Kors and Kate Hudson at the Met Gala 2015
   Actress Kristen Wiig in Prabal Gurung alongside the designer, Siena Miller with Thakoon Panichgul, Michael Kors and Kate Hudson at the Met Gala 2015
Olivier Reusting of Balmain with Justin Beiber in Balmain, Taraji P. Henson in Balenciaga alongside creative director and designer Alexander Wang, and singer Cher in Marc Jacobs with the designer at the Met Gala 2015
Olivier Reusting of Balmain with Justin Beiber in Balmain, Taraji P. Henson in Balenciaga alongside creative director and designer Alexander Wang, and singer Cher in Marc Jacobs with the designer at the Met Gala 2015
Kate Mara in Diane Von Furstenburg alongside the designer in DVF, Vera Wang in her own design, Keeth Cole in his own design, Desiner Zac Posen and Katie Holmes
Kate Mara in Diane Von Furstenburg alongside the designer in DVF, Vera Wang in her own design, Keeth Cole in his own design, Desiner Zac Posen and Katie Holmes

     Other designers also invited : Christopher Bailey, Sarah Burton, Georgina Chapman, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, Peter Copping, Domenico Dolce, Stefano Gabbana, Alber Elbaz, Alberta Ferretti, Valentino Garavani, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Lazaro Hernandez, Dee and Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Karl Lagerfeld, Derek Lam, Ralph Lauren, Alasdhair Willis, Jack McCollough, Tamara Mellon, Gilles Mendel, Marcus Wainwright, Miuccia Prada, Raf Simons, Riccardo Tisci, Dries Van Noten, David Neville, Jason Wu, and Stuart Vevers.

     Added to this year’s list, Anna Wintour’s favorite blogger and “it-girl” The Blonde Salad‘s Chiara Ferragni, who was featured as Vogue‘s April cover girl, also announced she would be in attendance.

Blogger Chiara Feraggni of the Blonde Salad on the red carpet with designer Francisco Costa at the Met Gala 2015
Blogger Chiara Feraggni of The Blonde Salad on the red carpet with designer Francisco Costa at the Met Gala 2015

     Although there was limited social media interaction from the events attendees as organizers of the ball enforced a ban on all forms of social media from the event, that didn’t stop model Behati Prinsloo from taking one of the most epic bathroom selfies, (check it out on the ‘gram). Vogue was allowed to create a documentary that will give a behind-the-scenes look at the gala.

     While I enjoyed catching up on these looks from the event one thing did stand out like a sore thumb. In lieu of this year’s theme I was expecting greater support of Chinese designers. Understandably it is not easy to adapt the style without accusation of cultural appropriation hence the many outfit playing it safe, I still believe there were several possible outfit choices that would have blended both western and Eastern fashions.

     I cannot deny that although there were one or two pieces from the likes of Christopher Bu, Huishan Zhang, Guo Pei, there was little else hailing from the land which has inspired this year’s gala. I know whenever people see and think of “Made in China”, for some only the terms “cheap“, “fast fashion” and “poorly made” come to mind, however there were fine examples to the contrary crossing the red carpet.

     Despite there not being as many Chinese designers on the red carpet, I so hope that this year’s gala has opened the door for a whole new array of designers, whom I for one am eager to learn about.

     What are your thoughts on this year’s Met Gala? Do you guys have any favorite looks? Let me know in the comments.

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