The stars have had their night at the museum, and the red carpet is rolled up for now, but if this year’s gala is anything to go by, then the fashion moments are likely to reverberate into tomorrow morning and beyond. While many touched on the theme, “China: Through the Looking Glass,” only a few embraced a larger-than-life idea of chinoiserie. One stylish attendee who took cues from the impressive Ming-floral vase sculpture in the Met’s great hall? Ivanka Trump whose exaggerated train mimicked the iconic blue and white ceramics.
Ultimately the majority of guests channeled the aesthetic in a less literal way, by wearing red, and it came in every shade imaginable; scarlet, auburn, and vivid ruby. Amal Clooney even managed to bring some of the grandeur of last year’s Charles James theme with her Maison Margiela couture look.
The best floral motifs of the night were elegant and restrained, like those worn by Bee Shaffer (hers was by Alexander McQueen) and Marissa Mayer. Jennifer Lopez, Reese Witherspoon, and Gigi Hadid led the way for old-world glamour in glittering body-skimming dresses, and Sienna Miller showed that tomboys can do sparkles too in her embellished trouser suit.
And speaking of wearing the pants, pajama dressing took on a new life thanks to Jenna Lyons, and Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School. Elsewhere, Liya Kebede and Diane Kruger eschewed diaphanous dresses for trousers, as did Lady Gaga. Naturally the rule-breaking pop star put her own spin on the idea though, finishing off her look with a lattice-like cape. And she wasn’t the only one to go the superheroine route: Janelle Monáe, Lisa Airan, and Hannah Bagshawe wore capes as a dramatic alternative to the straightforward floor-length gown.
Some of the most daring red-carpet wins of the night alluded to the skin in unexpected ways. Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian West both glided in wearing frothy, ethereal, and undeniably sexy confections that relied on carefully placed sequins and feathers—Givenchy and Roberto Cavalli by Peter Dundas respectively. In a gorgeous Calvin Klein Collection dress that had intricate lacing up the side, Kendall Jenner showed that the very notion of a plunging neckline might have shifted for good.