Some years the Met Gala theme fails to inspire terrific heights of costumery, and some years—like this one—we get a highly enjoyable parade of battiness from celebs and their designers.
There was always a risk of lots of Mother Superior type habits, but who knew we’d get Solange as a space-age octopus nun? Who knew we’d have more Olde Worlde icons than a Renaissance faire? All praise to Frances McDormand for having more fun than a person dressed as a flock of circling blue swallows should rightly have. Whee! But also - huh?
I know the theme of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" came with the get-out-easy clause of Sunday Best dress code which Gisele Bündchen obviously loved (“Oh good, I’ll just throw on something silk then and look hot because I can”), but let us all give thanks to those who took that religion theme and ran with it … not necessarily straight to the pulpit.
OK, maybe we could have predicted Katy Perry would be an avenging angel and Rihanna would be a super-fun mini-pope at Carnivale, but still, scrolling through the photo galleries this year delivers blessing after blessing.
I don’t want to come down too hard on dull dressers. Maybe they were tied to their designer’s vision. But here’s my general costume theory: when someone throws you a theme it really is best to jump in with both feet, both hands and your whole head. Don’t go halfway. Even if everyone else has underinterpreted, own your fully whacky head-to-toe colour bomb and be the star of the show.
It’s one of Blake Lively’s most endearing characteristics. She’s so earnest about everything she does. Not for her a simple shift with a virginal headpiece. Nope – the full brocade, the headdress, the giant train … boom.
Possibly she takes as her inspiration the two patron saints of Met Gala barminess, Sarah Jessica Parker and Madonna. This theme played right into their practised hands, and I'm glad of it.
So well done, theme-thinkers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Praise be upon you and your bonkers fashion accolytes.