Follow Vogue Arabia

Met Gala 2013 Review

Watching last night’s Met Gala Livestream, seeing the stars walk the red carpet, and pause for 10 seconds of commentary with Co-Hosts model Hilary Rhoda or writer William Norwich, audiences around the world were left to deduce one of two possible theories. Theory one: high society, in all fairness, does not give a damn about punk. Theory two: If celebrities do care about punk, perhaps they should have been invited to a sneak-peek of the exhibition before getting dressed. And while there’s no official rule, it’s widely understood that Met Gala guests try and are judged by the press for their fashion interpretations of each year’s theme.

The theme of the night, as all are aware, was Punk: Chaos to Couture. Punk edits, its history, and interviews on the subject made headlines for weeks, even months prior to the Costume Institute Ball, a yearly event led by Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour in honor of the opening of the New York’s Metropolitan Museum’s exhibition. Punk, from a fashion standpoint (as opposed to a punk attitude), is an extraordinary concept, as the fashion, in itself, is veritably anti-fashion, anti-chic, anti-couture—in fact, it is anti-everything that the vast majority of the guests who attended the Met Gala stood for. According to society’s standards, punk—the real grit of it—is about dressing in a manner that is visually offensive with the intention to make others feel uncomfortable and unnerved. But why would anyone attending the Met Gala want to risk looking like a fashion pariah?

And so, from chauffeur-driven limousines, out exited fashion’s high society; down the red carpet they tumbled, smiling, posing, and almost all assuring, “I never actually had a punk moment.” Andre Leon Talley arrived wearing a stunning Tom Ford cloak that took three weeks to embroider. “I skipped punk and went straight to couture,” he said. Actor Eddie Redmayne, ever dapper in a Dior suit and looking like he just arrived from a Great Gatsby premiere, deadpanned, “I was told I was going to a punk party—but to wear a tux.” Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence, said of her Dior dress choice: “We went to lunch, Raf [Simmons] told me to wear this dress, and I wore it.” before adding, “I never had a punk phase.”

While Anne Hathaway turned heads with her new shock of platinum hair, her attitude was anything but punk. Attending the gala on the arm of Valentino, it sounded like she was still begging forgiveness for wearing Prada to the Oscars, as she told co-host Rhoda, “Valentino was my ONLY choice.”

One couldn’t help but cringe when actress, Hailee Steinfeld, quoted pop singer Avril Lavigne and alternative band Green Day as her favorite punk musicians. Or feel confused when stylist Rachel Roy, a woman who makes a living by creating an image for others based on external inspirations, went on about how the essence of punk is about being unique and in the next breath stated that she likes to work with accessories because they have the power to make people who consider themselves to be outsiders “feel like they are part of a group.”

Like Roy’s commentary, the entire show was a walking contradiction that ultimately made for an entertaining evening—and a fantastic Twitter read—which will certainly have people talking for months to come. Today, everyone will comment on who looked the prettiest, not who worked the punk theme the right way. And, in any case, are there truly any punk authorities still standing, anyway?

As for punk attitude, if there was an award to be handed out, it would go to Met Gala Livestream Co-Host, William Norwich. When he had the honor to interview the doyenne, a veritable founder of the punk culture, Vivienne Westwood, and she pressed for more airtime with a, “Wait! I still have something to say!” He unapologetically cut her off. Touché.

If last night’s Met Gala red carpet showcased one thing, it is that punk fashion culture seems to mix like oil and water—and today, more appropriately belongs in a museum. What we saw transpire last night, at least on the red carpet, looked more like “Punk and Celebrity: Impossible Conversations.”

Enjoy the exhibition and the gallery of chaotic couture above.

View All
Vogue Collection