The Legacy of Karl Lagerfeld

Louis Park ’26 in Arts | May 12, 2023

The Met Gala, also known as ‘Fashion's Biggest Night,’ is regarded as one of the most prestigious and glamorous events in America. Hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, the Met Gala is one of the largest charity gala shows. Each year, Andrew Bolton, the chief curator of the institute, selects a dress code or theme that attendees must abide by. The most prominent celebrities from all over the world are invited to the gala, their display of unique and often peculiar fashion bringing fun and excitement to the lives of curious viewers. Which celebrities showed off their fascinating and eccentric styles at the Met Gala this year?
The theme of this year’s Met Gala was “Karl Lagerfeld: Line of Beauty” in memory of the genius fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who passed away in 2019. An icon in the fashion world, Lagerfeld worked as a chief designer for Chanel and Fendi. However, Lagerfeld has also been criticized for his harsh comments against immigrants and overweight people. Attendees took inspiration from Lagerfeld’s pieces but also his cat, Choupette, whom he cherished dearly. Actor Jared Leto, who appeared wearing a full-body fur suit and a large mask resembling Choupette's face, made the audience laugh. Leto wasn’t the only one with the cat theme. Lil Nas X was dressed in a tight silver bodysuit, along with a bejeweled cat mask. Living up to her name, Doja Cat also came as a cat, wearing a jeweled hood with pointy cat ears attached to her dress. 
Many celebrities spotted black and white, as Lagerfeld rarely designed pieces outside this binary color palette in his lifetime. Jennie from BlackPink, the global ambassador of Chanel, wore an iconic Chanel white dress with black ribbons and a hair band with white flowers, an outfit reminiscent of the classic Chanel 1990 FW collection. Celebrities like Margot Robbie and Dua Lipa also wore vintage Lagerfeld’s Chanel haute couture outfits from the early 1990s to honor his achievements. Other celebrities like Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Cardi B, and Bad Bunny exhibited their unique looks, adorning themselves in beads and faux flowers.
As such, the entrance fee for the Met Gala, which attracts attention from people all over the world, is over $50,000 and known to raise an average amount of $12 million every year. Currently, the proceeds benefit the Metropolitan Costume Institute. However, it might be a more valuable gala if the proceeds that sprang from the numerous contributors and attendees were used in more meaningful and diverse fields to aid other artists. For example, if the Met used part of its revenue as prize money to aid student designers, wouldn't its intentions and long-term impacts outshine the fancy clothes and jewels we saw at the Met Gala? Let’s all look forward to the next gala, which will surely shine even more next year.