American Vogue boss Anna Wintour had the pleasure of dining with Karl Lagerfeld on the eve of the first Sunday of every Paris fashion week for many years. They would sit for hours, talking about everything and anything but fashion. The pair’s friendship extended beyond the beautiful Chanel tweeds in candy hues that have become Wintour’s go-to. Lagerfeld even built a tennis court on his property at Biarritz to make the Wimbledon-regular Editor feel at home when she would visit. And it’s no secret that when the first Monday of May rolls round the corner, Lagerfeld is Anna’s first port of call. And in memory of their long-term friendship, we remember the best Wintour x Lagerfeld custom Met Ball moments.
Co-chair for the annual Met Gala for the past 24 years (the Costume Centre of the Met Museum now carries her name), Wintour herself hasn’t necessarily followed each year’s theme. She is Anna Wintour after all – setting the rules for the rest and breaking them herself. At the 2013 Ball themed Punk: Chos to Couture, Miley Cyrus appeared near nude in a fishnet Marc Jacobs gown, hair spike like Sid Vicious. Meanwhile, Wintour went in a Chanel SS13 Couture gown, her bob thankfully without any VO5 gel. Even when the Met celebrated all things Comme des Garçons in 2017, Wintour forewent Rei Kawakubo’s signature lumps and bumps in favour of a floor-length custom Chanel gown in a shade of champagne gold, trimmed with white ostrich feathers. It was a delightful number based on Chanel Spring couture collection of the same year.
Yet thats not to say the Vogue Editrix-in-Chief hasn’t had her wild moments too. Who could forget the Superhero theme in 2008? Anna wore a custom Lagerfeld silver moment, appliquéd with what looked like mesh fossils? The category is: Palaeontology Realness.
From Marvel couture to exploring the east in 2015 at China: Through The Looking Glass, Wintour looked her most daring in a red poppy-inspired number taken from Chanel’s SS15 Haute Couture collection. The floor-length dress, entirely embroidered with salmon pink and cherry-red sequins, the shoulders broad, appliquéd with giant red poppies. Our absolute favourite moment from the pair? It must the outing at last year’s Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Karl took Wintour’s title as the high priestess of contemporary fashion quite literally with a crystal embellished, ‘Cardinal Chanel’ gown, high at the neck and accented with a crucifix of course.
As we approach this year’s Met Ball, we wonder what will the choice be? The theme is Camp: Notes On Fashion, and we expect nothing but a masterful homage to the legacy of Karl Lagerfeld from Miss Wintour. Will she delve deep into the Chanel archive for a more ditsy number? Or will she keep it classic Karl and wear a signature bouclé two-piece suit? Whichever the case, Wintour is coming and she’s wearing Lagerfeld.