There’s no sense in burying the lede this time: The obvious winner of my prestigious Best Dressed/Wear What You Want combo award for last night’s Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute ball is Rihanna, who wore a Fall 2016 Comme des Garçons look. It took her an hour to get into those shoes!
Her hair and makeup? Perfection.
But there are so many good runners-up because, despite this funny tweet from Dazed, Rihanna was far from the only attendee whose outfit paid tribute to the gala’s honoree, designer Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons.
— Dazed (@Dazed) May 2, 2017
… major Comme des Garçons fan Michèle Lamy …
… my old friend Tracee Ellis Ross …
… and Helen Lasichanh (this tweet still made me laugh).
Other guests gave the creations of more conservative designers an impressively avant-garde spin, often with the help of hair, makeup, and/or accessories. Kerry Washington wore a Rei Kawakubo bob with a surprisingly edgy Michael Kors patchwork dress.
If model Lily Aldridge had gone with run-of-the-mill accessories, her cut-out Ralph Lauren would have been a typical red-carpet sex-bomb dress. Red thigh-high Balenciaga boots and a fuchsia veil whipped up by hair stylist Bryce Scarlett kept Aldridge from falling into that rut.
Solange always comes through fashion-wise. Her Thom Browne puffer coat with train recalled past Comme des Garçons designs, and the ice-skate shoes were a nice bonus. (Shout-out to the funny Instagram commenter who wrote, “Why she look like someone paid for priority shippin tho.”)
Janelle Monae’s Ralph & Russo Couture gown had Kawakubo-worthy skirt volume. Monae’s usual black-and-white palette, plus the feather neck piece, and her signature hair adornments guaranteed she didn’t come across as a Disney princess.
I wouldn’t expect to see a Valentino gown suitable for this event, but Ruth Negga found one. It was good from the front …
… and even better from the back.
Two guests found bold ways to work with a lack of hair. Model/actress Cara Delevingne, who recently shaved her head, painted a silver pixie ‘do on her scalp, with rhinestones glued on for good measure. (MrB unexpectedly described this as “adorable.”)
Meanwhile, Jaden Smith carried his own cut-off dreads as an accessory. (I liked his vampire teeth too.)
A special Best Dressed/Wear What You Want couples award is hereby bestowed upon Cassie and Diddy. “Manus x Machina,” last year’s Costume Institute exhibit, included Gareth Pugh pieces made out of individual, black drinking straws. Cassie’s On Aura Tout Vu gown with black straws worked just as well this year as it would have last year. Diddy’s Rick Owens suit and cape were eye-catching too. They looked especially fabulous when Diddy photobombed Cassie’s solo turn in front of the photographers by reclining on the Met’s stairs, creating the most high!larious! and memorable tableau of the event.
Jewelry-wise, I appreciated Cassie’s Lynn Ban ear cuffs.
I also liked the layers of ice worn by the Versace-clad group Migos — even though the chains are an all-the-time thing for them, rather than a Met Gala style choice.
I could go on! Maxwell’s skirt/trouser hybrid from Dsquared2 is worth a glance, while Bella Hadid’s sewn-on-the-body Alexander Wang catsuit was the first time something sheer has looked original to me since Rihanna owned the naked look in 2014. There were other Comme des Garçons wearers as well. If you want to keep browsing, check out Vogue’s slideshow.