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Friday, June 21, 2024

Avenue Roundtable: The 2024 Met Gala

The Avenue selects the notable outfits of “fashion’s biggest night”

On a runway clad with whimsical florals and woodland imagery, decorated stars took to the stairs of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to attend yesterday’s 2024 Met Gala. 

Renowned as “fashion’s biggest night,” A-listers arrived at the coveted event donning unique haute couture inspired by “The Garden of Time” dress code. 

This year’s gala marked the opening of “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” the Costume Institute’s newest exhibition. Though the goings-on of the gala itself is kept secret — with a no-cell phone policy and a $75,000 ticket price acting as a lofty barrier  — the red carpet outfits set the stage for pop culture’s latest trends and conversation topics.

If you missed the star-studded succession of extravagant celebrities, don’t worry — The Avenue has got you covered. 

From the most show-stopping looks to the costumes that didn’t quite hit the mark, here are our writers’ top picks for the most — and the least — notable outfits of the night.

Most Show-stopping and (literally) Breathtaking Looks

By Sydney Johnson

Featuring sand and micro crystal studs pressed carefully onto plaster-shaped fabric, Tyla’s custom Balmain gown stole my attention. In a play on the 2024 MET Gala dress code “The Garden of Time,” the 22-year-old singer brought an unexpected elevation onto the tan-green ombre carpet. 

By elevation, I mean the South African popstar was carried up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art because of the gown's precise construction. Captured on the hundreds of cameras lining the museum steps, this moment was an accessory to the look which included an actual hourglass and a sand-dusted shoulder.  

In another video uploaded to Instagram by Olivier Rousteing, Balmain’s Creative Director, the floor-length gown is shortened into a mini-dress with a pair of fabric scissors. While this practice is commonplace for MG gowns — with Youtuber Emma Chamberlain also modeling a shorter version of her Jean Paul Gaultier Gown — this is usually not a process outsiders can see. 

This peek into the gown's malleability is reminiscent of sand and takes the “secret” out of the Met Gala’s fabled garden. 

Balmain’s sand-encrusted masterpiece was by no means the most intricate look of the night, however, the spectacle it created effectively presented Tyla with the title of the Met Gala’s most showstopping look. 

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In the coming years, time will be on the side of Tyla and her beautifully sculpted sand gown.

Kim Kardashian is no stranger to the Met Gala, in the same way that she is no stranger to giving little effort into the following night’s theme or dress code. Each year it seems Kardashian arrives in the same silhouette with little done to distinguish her newest look from that of the year before. 

Cinched into a Margiela Artisanal by John Galliano and draped in a gray cashmere cardigan, the entrepreneur gave a little less than expected with an incredibly small waist. 

Social media exploded with countless opinions on the corseted bodice, with some users even going so far as to call the look “self-mutilation” and “extreme.” 

The gown takes inspiration from Elizabeth Taylor’s love for ornate jewelry. It features a hand-wired silver metal skirt that creates an armor of metal lace cascading off of Kardashian's body and onto the floor. A concept seemingly more aligned with the 2021 Met Gala theme, “In America: a Lexicon of Fashion.”  

Contact Sydney Johnson at sjohnson@alligator.org. Follow her on X @sydajohnson15

Best Looks from First Timers and Returning Guests

By Sabrina Castro

While many attendees interpreted this year’s dress code to mean florals and foliage, Taylor Russell, star of the 2022 film “Bones and All,” took a different approach. 

Instead, she walked the red carpet in a wooden turtleneck bodice paired with an ivory skirt draped on the hips. The bodice was custom molded to Russell’s body and featured printed accents of flowers and birds. 

While many first-time guests dressed in more classic ensembles, her unique take on the theme made her stand out.

Last night also marked Kendall Jenner’s 10th Met Gala, and for this year’s look, she chose a 1999 Givenchy archival piece never before worn by a human. Having only been displayed before on a mannequin, the haute couture dress features thousands of sequins, a deep neckline and sheer cutouts on the backside.

Zendaya returned to the Met Gala last night after five years of absence, this time as a co-chair. All eyes were on the actress as spectators anxiously awaited to see what new red carpet risk she and the celebrity stylist, Law Roach, had in store for the night.   

She stepped out in not one, but two outfits for the occasion. The first one was a deep blue-and-green custom one-shoulder gown from Maison Margiela with accents of grapes, hummingbirds and flowers. Her second look was a black off-the-shoulder corset dress with a long train and a large, floral headpiece. 

Both Jenner and Zendaya have had memorable looks at Met Galas past, with this year being no exception. The two made history last night with Jenner’s iconic archive pull and Zendaya’s legendary outfit change. 

Contact Sabrina Castro at sabrinacastro@ufl.edu. Follow her on X @sabswurld

Best Dressed Men

By Carlos Alemany

Outside of the music charts, Bad Bunny never fails to deliver for the Met Gala.

Co-chair to this year’s Met Gala, Bad Bunny strutted a custom-made Maison Margiela Artisanal look by designer John Galliano. From head to toe, the Puerto Rican artist turned heads with an Elizabethan flair balancing an homage to fauna amid this year’s flora-dominated theme.

Underneath it all, Bad Bunny reportedly dawned a custom black satin corset, as a base to the midnight blue barathea wool smoking jacket. Accompanied by black leather gloves and a striking midnight blue foam hat, the red silk ribbon inseam drew eyes to the spats on top of the custom-made leather Tabi boots, completing a stunning look fit for a co-chair to this year’s theme.

There are those who understand the assignment, and there are those who become the assignment. This year, Wisdom Kaye, otherwise known as “Tik Tok’s Best-Dressed Guy” reminds us what makes an outfit Met Gala worthy. 

The Nigerian-American model managed to capture idiosyncrasy and radiance embodied in a singed, rose-petal-tailored red suit, calling into question the creative weight of influencers in an event dominated by some of the most elite members of high society and fashion.

Staying true to this year’s theme, Colman Domingo displayed a bold, touching tribute to two esteemed Black icons — the late Chadwick Boseman, renowned for his role in “Black Panther,” and André Leon Talley, a celebrated fashion journalist and Vogue aluma. 

Boseman, who passed away in 2020, and Talley, who passed away in 2022, both left an indelible mark on their respective fields. Domingo dawned a custom Willy Chavarria creation featuring distinct black calla lilies on a white suit, embodying the bouquet of white lilies held in his hand.

Contact Carlos Alemany at carlosalemany@ufl.edu. Follow him on X @clos_alemany

Least Effort Looks

By Noor Sukkar

While some celebrities pulled off an effortless look, others appeared to lack the effort. One thing is to try to fit the theme and miss the mark, but these stars don’t look like they tried at all. 

Doja Cat wore what seems to be a white, wet T-shirt dress reaching the floor. The singer’s signature buzzed hair was almost unnoticeable as the star could barely avoid the sheerness of the wet cloth. 

Glittery hues of gray and silver makeup dripped from her eyes. Her fierce smokey eye contrasted her look’s simplicity. 

While the intentionally wet look is a trendy decision, she appeared to be unintentionally drenched. Lacking a floral hint to the piece, she was also off-theme.

Compared to her feline ensemble last year with prosthetics and some meowing, this is not the most effort she can put into a red-carpet look. 

Matt Damon’s black tuxedo could have been missed on the carpet. Many male celebrities opted for a unique suit, deviating from the traditional color and fit of a standard tux. 

The actor stayed true to his bow tie. While Damon’s outfit was Dior, the suit seemed to be no different from any other sitting in his closet. 

Not to mention, he could be convicted of being an outfit repeater on red carpets.    

Luciana Barroso’s accompanying silver gown made for a great date-night look as a pair. His minimal effort was confirmed in a People Magazine interview where the star said it took him about five minutes to get ready. 

Contact Noor Sukkar at noorsukkar@ufl.edu. Follow her on X @noorsukkarr

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