In Honour Of Karl Lagerfeld, Here Are The Best Looks From The 2023 Met Gala

How does one even begin to honour a fashion force like Karl Lagerfeld? The man whose indelible genius still seeps into every atom of the fashion world even after his passing? Well, last night the whole who’s who of the star studded celebrity world descended upon the Big Apple for the 2023 Met Gala in Lagerfeld-inspired looks to celebrate The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s spring 2023 Costume Institute exhibition Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty – which will open to the public from May 5 – and it served as a perfect love letter to Lagerfeld’s legacy. The exhibition looks at his 65-year career in fashion, with gala guests being charged with dressing to the theme of the indelible man and the opulent echoes he’s left behind. 

A lot of the looks riffed on Lagerfeld’s signature black and white aesthetic – the white ponytail, dark glasses, high collar and tailored suit. Otherwise, attendees brought archival pieces to the table, designed by the Met Ball muse himself. Of course, Chanel hit a red carpet home run with a whole slew of Met Gala ensembles cropping up. Penelope Cruz brought it back to 1988 in a sheer, mint green gown with a bedazzled hood, pearl buttons and silver sequin embellishments straight off the 1988 Chanel couture spring/summer catwalk. Gisele Bündchen, on the other hand, shone in Chanel spring 2007 couture with an enormous ostrich feather cape draped over her glittering white gown. If Nicole Kidman’s Karl Lagerfeld-era Chanel haute couture gown looked oh-so-familiar, that’s because it was the same one she wore in a beloved Chanel No. 5 commercial directed by Baz Luhrmann circa 2004. Also, swimming in molten pink silk, Naomi Campbell’s spring/summer 2010 Chanel couture dress came alive with a shimmering silver sequin bodice and matching silver trim. 

It was a big night for Kim Jones and Fendi too, with the designer dressing Precious Lee, Christina Ricci, Kate and Lila Moss, and Gwendoline Christie. Mama and mini Moss coordinated pink pastel Fendi couture looks (Kate’s SS23, Lila’s from AW19), sporting a slinky lace-trimmed slip and frothy midi-frock cut with deconstructed corsetry that commemorated Lagerfeld’s eye for a feminine flourish and brought double the trouble to the red carpet. Elsewhere, Delfina Delettrez – Fendi’s artistic director of jewellery – wore a bespoke Fendi look inspired by Lagerfeld’s SS88 collection. The print depicts Anna Piaggi, the “mute movie star” who Lagerfeld sketched more than 250 times in the 1970s and used as a source of inspiration, and the dress took its shape from Kim Jones’ SS23 couture silhouettes. 

It wasn’t all about Kaiser Karl though, Doja Cat arguably made the most noise of the evening by channelling Choupette, Lagerfeld’s beloved white Burmese cat, with her sequin-spangled Oscar de la Renta gown. Meowing up and down the carpet, through interviews and probably the dinner too, it included cat ears on the hood, plus 350,000 silver and white bugle beads, a backless feature and a mermaid silhouette that cascaded into a white feathered train. Even her face was transformed into a full-on feline with unorthodox prosthetics. Then Janelle Monáe arrived on the red carpet in a dramatic crinoline gown wrapped in a removable, black-and-white tweed Thom Browne tuxedo suit with expressive cross-hatching and paired with white astronaut boots and a white leather quilted cat bag that similarly paid homage to Choupette.

Daniel Roseberry’s Schiaparelli also made its mark, appearing on Kim Kardashian and Michaela Coel. The latter wore a svelte, long-sleeved, gilded gown embroidered with 130,000 crystals on a dark chocolate underlay while Kim K combined draped Schiaparelli pearls with custom shapewear and a spooling ivory shawl. Straight from the SS23 couture catwalk, Kylie Jenner looked like a Piet Mondrian artwork in a custom-made Haider Ackermann for Jean Paul Gaultier asymmetric gown. In contrasting crimson and baby blue, it featured a two-in-one train that also doubled as a cape when worn wrapped around her shoulders. Gabrielle Union rocked up in a red-hot Prada dress and long leather trench coat beside her hubby, Dwyane Wade. Speaking of all things sanguine, Salma Hayek wore a glossy red Gucci ensemble made up of a red PVC bustier and voluminous ruffled skirt with matching platform pumps. 

As the night went on, South Sudanese-Australian supermodel Adut Akech arrived wearing a multi-tiered Carolina Herrera gown; its black and white layers looked like blooming camellias – a Chanel signature – while the pearl plastered sweetheart corset entered into opulence. Also in monochromatic colours, Liu Wen wore a delicate Tory Burch design with a sensual, off-the-shoulder neckline and – another nod to Lagerfeld – with camellias at the hem. Ice Spice wore a body-hugging Balmain gown paired with an off-kilter accessory: a bedazzled digital camera; Anok Yai turned up in a striking Prabal Gurung gown dripping in layers of circular sequins in gold and silver ombre; Cardi B’s Chenpeng Studio sculptural ball gown began with a white shirt collar and skinny tie before slipping into a fitted black sweetheart bodice adorned with silver studs and full black skirt featuring a quilted overlay a la Chanel’s Boy Bag. In a Marc Jacobs bodysuit dipped in sequins, Kendall Jenner made a case for bottomless dressing with little else than a split cape that trailed behind her as she walked. Also in Marc Jacobs, Brazilian singer Anitta’s structured sweetheart gown was followed by a floor sweeping silk train and paired with strappy platform heels.

Eventually, Elle Fanning arrived looking like a woodland nymph in a lacy Vivienne Westwood gown worn under a black bolero jacket. With a fresh flower crown over her loose, wavy locks, and a bouquet in hand, the look was inspired directly by what she wore for the photoshoot when she first met Lagerfeld at just 13-years-old. Keeping on with the bridal vibe, Stranger Things star Maya Hawke worked with Prada to create a beautiful, ornate bridal mini shift adorned with exquisite flowers, delicate gazar bows and an equally embellished ivory cape. 

Elsewhere, in a feathery black and blue Burberry gown, Jodie Comer soared, just as Tems made her Met Gala debut wrapped in a corseted Robert Wun design with a black upper and flowing regal white finish. FKA Twigs stayed on the simple side of things in a black and mottled grey Maison Margiela dress, and shrouded by layers of lace and tiers of tulle, Billie Eilish stepped out in a repurposed, gothic black gown by Simone Rocha

Anne Hathaway may not have been stomping around in thigh-high Andy Sachs Chanel boots, but she was utterly breathtaking in a strapless safety pin dress by Versace designed à la Lagerfeld. The marriage between Versace and Chanel emerged with gold-threaded white tweed, pearl adornments and even more camellia flowers for the detailing. 

Euphoria starlet Sydney Sweeney looked like a porcelain doll in a baby pink Miu Miu gown embellished with transparent jewels, huge silver sequins and a big black bow along the bottom – with one in her hair to match. JLo rocked a sensual Ralph Lauren number ready with a rose coloured mermaid skirt and barely-there black top crossing artfully across her bust, that came paired with Piferi heels, long satin opera gloves, an adorable box clutch and a funeral-esc veiled fascinator.

In a surreal white dress festooned with camellia flowers, queen of the red carpet Rihanna was the last to ascend the steps in custom Valentino Haute Couture with Valentino Eyewear by Akoni Group to boot, alongside her beloved baby daddy, ASAP Rocky. They looked spectacular. 


Penelope Cruz in Chanel
Gisele Bündchen in Chanel
Nicole Kidman in Chanel
Naomi Campbell in Chanel
Kate and Lila Moss in Fendi, pictured alongside Kim Jones
Delfina Delettrez in Fendi
Adut Akech in Carolina Herrera, pictured alongside Carolina Herrera creative director, Wes Gordon
Doja Cat in Oscar de la Renta
Janelle Monáe in Thom Browne
Michaela Coel in Schiaparelli
Kim Kardashian in Schiaparelli
Kylie Jenner in Haider Ackermann for Jean Paul Gaultier
Gabrielle Union in Prada pictured alongside hunsband Dwayne Wade
Salma Hayek in Gucci
Liu Wen in Tory Burch
Ice Spice in Balmain
Anok Yai in Prabal Gurung
Cardi B in Chenpeng Studio
Kendall Jenner in Marc Jacobs
Anitta in Marc Jacobs
Elle Fanning in Vivienne Westwood
Maya Hawke in Prada
Jodie Comer in Burberry
Tems in Robert Wun
FKA Twigs in Maison Margiela
Billie Eilish in Simone Rocha, pictured alongside brother Finneas O'Connell
Anne Hathaway in Versace
Sydney Sweeney in Miu Miu
Jennifer Lopez in Ralph Lauren
Rihanna in Valentino
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