The Costume Institute Gala, casually known as the Met Gala, is an annual fundraising gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. The Met Gala marks the grand opening of the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibition. Each year, the annual theme is celebrated, and the exhibition sets the tone for the formal dress code of the night, as celebrities are expected to choose the appropriate outfits to match the theme of the exhibit. Moreover, some celebrities are selected to serve as the event chairs for the Met Gala.
The Met Gala is an extended fundraiser that often runs for a couple of months at a time. Following the event, the exhibition runs for several months. The China: Through The Looking Glass exhibit ran from May 7 to September 7, 2015. Accordingly, the Met Gala is widely regarded as one of the most exclusive social events in New York. In addition, it's one of the biggest fundraising nights in the city, posting $9 million in profit in 2013 and a record of $12 million in 2014.
The Met Gala is one of the primary sources of funding for the Costume Institute. The gala has been held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1948. It's considered to be the fashion industry's leading annual red carpet event. Many red carpet suits and dresses are photographed, reviewed, critiqued, and emulated. The Met Gala is a rival to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Hollywood, California. The annual guest list consists of 650 to 700 people.
Here's a countdown of the 10 best (and five worst) celebrity outfits from the 2017 Met Gala.
15 Best: Ashley Graham In H&M
Ashley Graham is a plus-size model who made headlines when she appeared in a risqué Lane Bryant commercial that received more than 800,000 views on YouTube. She told the New York Post that she was shocked that ABC couldn't handle the beautiful bust that she flaunted in the commercial. Apparently, the television network couldn't handle bigger boobs on a normal-sized woman.
Ashley often sticks to spaghetti-strap, low-cut, high-slit silhouettes in neutral colors so it was a pleasant surprise when she made her Met Gala debut in a custom H&M corset dress that was inspired by Rei Kawakubo's interest in revealing the inner working of garments. She completed her look with an updo and a red lip. The dress absolutely looks fabulous on her, and just like in her fashion magazine covers, she looks very comfortable with her body in general.
Ashley not only teaches young women about body image and body acceptance, she also finds the right looks that work for her body type.
14 Worst: Haley Bennett In Dolce & Gabbana
Haley Bennett is a Floridian actress who made a dramatic entrance to this year's Met Gala in a gorgeous Dolce & Gabbana dress. Not only that, she matched a floral headpiece with her lace floral-print dress. She also wore Olympia shoes and Namiwaka jewelry.
Haley shouldn't play it safe on her head because the entire outfit had way too many flowers. This is the Met Gala, not a tea party. Matching headpieces with the dress you're wearing isn't always the right way to go about fashion. Flowers are beautiful and in full bloom, but there's no need to wear more than one floral-print item at a time.
Haley's dress was awe-inspiring, but she should've opted for a plain-colored headpiece or ditched the hair accessories altogether for a classic, timeless hairstyle. Either that or she could've worn the floral headpiece with a plain-colored dress. The girly and flirty can be overwhelming on the eyes if not done correctly.
13 Best: Zendaya In Dolce & Gabbana
Zendaya is a Californian actress, singer, and dancer who arrived at the Met Gala in a surprising new look. She rejected the Met Gala's theme, but ended up having one of the best looks of the night. The former Disney Channel star wore a Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda ball gown covered in a tropical parrot print. It was much more than a colorful gown. It combined two of the hottest trends at the moment—an oversized print on a voluminous silhouette—and became a knockout.
Zendaya rocked the boldly-colored, patterned dress with a natural Afro even though that combination isn't the norm when it comes to the Met Gala and its annual theme. But she managed to look pretty as the tight curls of her Afro rightfully framed her face. In addition, her makeup was just as stunning because the coral lip color added some pizzazz to an already glowing face.
12 Best: Cara Delevingne In Chanel
Cara Delevingne is an English fashion model and actress who shared a futuristic beauty look at this year's Met Gala. As a result, she won the award for "Best Beauty Look" in the Met Gala.
Cara achieved her look by shaving her head and sprayed her hair silver. She rocked her bold pixie cut with a plunging silver suit designed by Chanel. The suit was immaculately tailored, but that's not the only suit that people were buzzing about. Her recent haircut was equally tremendous. It was the perfect complement to the sensational suit.
It's been two years since Cara graced the red carpet at the Met Gala. She missed the event last year, but made waves the previous year with her gorgeous yet temporary Cherry Blossom tattoos all over her body. That look nearly broke the Internet, but this year's look is arguably her most memorable ensemble so far. She looks like a beautiful robot from the future.
11 Worst: Nicki Minaj In H&M
Nicki Minaj is a Trinidadian-American rapper who made a Bang Bang at this year's Met Gala. She showed up to the event in an H&M gown featuring a satin kimono that was cinched with a belt showing the face of the designer Rei Kawakubos. She finished her look with lavish bracelets and rings along with Versace platform heels and a bright red lip.
Kawakubos' gown provided plenty of spectacle in a negative way. It looks like H&M spent all their time on Nicki's cape, realized at the last minute that they had nothing to attach it to and sent a panic-stricken PA announcement out to the storeroom for the employees to find whatever they could.
Nicki had success pulling off the super villain look as she showed plenty of cleavage and thigh in her ensemble, but the revealing gown looked a little too much out of a comic book. In this case, it's better to play it safe and not appear to be anti-fashion.
10 Best: Claire Danes In Monse
Claire Danes is an American actress based in New York City. She didn't have a Rihanna moment at this year's Met Gala, but she should've had one. She slid on a frilly white blouse with a sharp neckline, a gap carved out at the right shoulder, and a floor-length cape. She professionally completed her look with black slacks with slitted hems folded slightly upward. It'll likely take you a minute to appreciate the thoughtfulness behind the Monse ensemble, but once you understand how major the look is, you'll consider the outfit to be feminine. After all, Monse is the child of fashion designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia.
Claire wore a look that was hot off the runway. Although her blouse was frills galore, many people adored it, saying that it was a bold move that turned heads in a good way. Meanwhile, her husband, Hugh Dancy, played it safe and stuck to a simple black tuxedo for the Met Gala.
9 Worst: Lena Dunham In Elizabeth Kennedy
Lena Dunham is an American actress, writer, producer, and director from New York City. She rewrote the rule book on life as a 20-something female in Manhattan. She was devastated when the golden rule was broken when Joe Jonas turned up to the Met Gala in the same outfit. After seeing his outfit, she threw her hands up in despair.
Lena hoped to stand out at the Met Gala and picked out a puffy one-shoulder Elizabeth Kennedy gown that appeared to be made out of maroon tartan fabric. She also wore a silver bangle and a messy top knot with loose bangs. She ended up photobombing one of Joe's pictures with her hands behind her head. That's not cool at all.
Lena eventually mustered up the courage to take a picture with Joe and Jenni Koner. But the night apparently didn't end well, as she was reportedly rushed to the emergency room after the Met Gala for undisclosed medical reasons.
8 Best: Kerry Washington In Michael Kors
Kerry Washington is an American actress from the Bronx. She's best known for starring in the ABC drama Scandal as a crisis management expert named Olivia Pope. On top of that, the Scandal star totally dominated this year's Met Gala as she donned a black and silver dress designed by the one and only Michael Kors. She also rocked a 1920's-inspired bob.
The theme at this year’s gala was "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between," and as you may already know, about 75 percent of the celebrities in attendance ignored all the rules and decided to wear whatever they wanted. On the other hand, Kerry wore something that actually consisted of artfully-placed cutouts to celebrate the vague adjective "in-between" and deserves credit for sticking with the theme. Even though the price tags for the designer dress weren't disclosed to the general public, it was really expensive and would break the bank for most customers.
7 Best: Gigi Hadid In Tommy Hilfiger
Gigi Hadid is a Los Angeles-born supermodel who currently lives in New York City. There wasn't much of a contest between her and her sister, Bella, at this year's Met Gala. Like a lot of 20-year-old women, Bella didn't plan out her outfit and showed up in a basic black leotard that was designed to show her butt cracks. Gigi, on the other hand, deserves huge props for wearing a nude, asymmetrical Tommy Hilfiger dress. She truly dazzled in the dress and even showed off her leg, which was a plus.
We would've never have pegged the dress as Tommy Hilfiger, but it tackled the theme in an indisputable way. The dress defined construction, color, and contrast. Gigi looks like the vixen who came in seeking help from a powerful man.
It was unfortunate that her boyfriend, Zayn Malik, wasn't with her at the Met Gala, but it was understandable. He suffered a foot injury on April 30. He visited her apartment in a wheelchair a day before the gala. So it's apparent that nothing, not even an injury, can keep him away from his love.
6 Best: Selena Gomez In Coach
Selena Gomez is a Texas-born actress and singer. She rose to fame as Alex Russo of the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place after appearing on the children's television series Barney & Friends.
Selena and her boyfriend, The Weeknd, made their red carpet debut as a couple at this year's Met Gala. They reportedly made a strong bid for the cutest public display of affection in front of the cameras. That wasn't the only sweet thing during the gala, though.
It's not a surprise that Coach dressed Selena for the gala. The multinational luxury fashion company explained why she was the perfect fit for the label, saying that her spirit, beauty thoughtfulness, and philanthropic interests are similar to those of Coach. She showcased her natural and playful demeanor in a white-lace dress with embellishments sprinkled throughout. Her look was paired with a choker and rosy pink eyeshadow.
In case you didn't know, Selena was named the face of Coach last December and reportedly signed a $10 million deal with the company.
5 Worst: Kendall Jenner In La Perla
Kendall Jenner followed her sister's Met Gala footsteps this year. In 2015, Kim Kardashian-West made headlines for covering her curvy body with some well-placed crystal beads. Then, Kendall opted for a barely-there La Perla dress, which wasn't surprising at all. It's clear that she frequently collaborates with the Italian lingerie company. The question isn't why is a lingerie brand making naked dresses, but why is a lingerie brand even making dresses at all?
The silver lining is that Kendall was able to show off her sassy arse and killer legs, but she was basically naked at the gala. Of course, there were other celebrities who made risky outfit choices, but she left fans with little to the imagination.
Kendall is also contradicting herself. She's an advocate of #FreeTheNipple and routinely wears sheer tops and even talking about how she's not here for people s*xualizing female's breasts. She has also said that she didn't see anything wrong with women showing their boobs. But this dress belonged in a Victoria's Secret fashion, not a formal gala.
4 Best: Janelle Monae In Ralph & Russo
Janelle Monae is a Kansas-born singer, songwriter, and actress who makes good music. This year, the 31-year-old ascended the steps of the Met Gala with her signature style. She stepped out in a Ralph Russo gown that featured a lacy white tank top and a voluminous white tulle skirt. She wrapped her neck with a black feathered accessory and showed off her slender physique with a thick black belt. The look was nothing short of heavenly as she looked like she was on cloud nine.
Janelle wore her dark hair in a sleek hairstyle that was adorned with pretty little clips. She finished her look with Brian Atwood shoes, Tiffany & Co. jewelry, and a Jimmy Choo clutch. She even shared the spotlight with Australian model Miranda Kerr at one point. Miranda was the belle of the ball in a strapless floral metallic Oscar de la Renta gown. Both ladies were very pretty but Janelle had a slight edge, and she reportedly said that she felt great wearing Ralph Russo that night.
3 Worst: Katy Perry In Maison Martin Margiela
The Met Gala has become the signature event for its A-list guests to get brave on the red carpet, but California-born pop star Katy Perry led the way for the worst-dressed celebrities at this year's gala. She served as one of the gala's co-chairs, but decided to go avant-garde with a Maison Martin Margiela dress that was dubbed as "wearable art." The red tulle and chiffon dress was designed by Gilbraltar-born British fashion designer John Galliano. It was topped with a red embroidered wool coat covered in tulle flowers and beads along with a red silk tulle veil.
Katy also sported red Tabi boots with split toes appearing like crimson hooves under her layers. That's a whole lot of red. In addition, the outfit was kind of Lady Gaga-ish when the degree of difficulty is considered. But this outfit appeared to eat her alive as she looked miserable trying to wrangle it around the red carpet during the entire event. It just wasn't a worthy risk to take.
2 Best: Gisele Bündchen In Stella McCartney
Retired Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen and her five-time Super Bowl champion and New England Patriots quarterback husband, Tom Brady, turned heads on the red carpet at this year's Met Gala. They also served as two of the gala's co-chairs.
Gisele stunned in a metallic sequined Stella McCartney gown featuring a cutout back. In an attempt to keep the focus on her sculpted back, Gisele kept her accessories minimal by wearing a pair of diamond drop earrings and putting her hair in a high ponytail. Meanwhile, Tom cleaned up nice in a dark velvet suit jacket, tuxedo shirt, black slacks, and a black bow tie.
As usual, Gisele and Tom showed off their hot, steamy public display of affection while posing for photos at the event. After all, this was the first time the power couple attended the event since 2014, so why not? Gisele still has a famous body, despite retiring. She's always been a stunner.
1 Best: Rihanna In Comme des Garçons
Rihanna never fails to impress at the Met Gala. This year, the 29-year-old Barbadian singer, songwriter, and actress stole every ounce of thunder on the red carpet with a Comme des Garçons dress by the evening's honoree, Rei Kawakubo. The Fall 2016 dress was dotted with colorful scraps and petals of fabric. She wore red gladiator heels that wrapped all the way up to her thighs. She completed the artsy look with intense red eyeshadow and a sky-high bun.
Let's face it. Rihanna's dress looks like it was sculpted from random scraps and construction paper specifically used to inspire Fruit of the Loom grapes, but it doesn't look silly on her. In fact, it's an impressive look that doesn't defeat her appearance. Her dress is also the perfect salute to Kawakubo, who is skilled at creating fashion-as-art and contributing creative ideas to prove that fashion is a modern form of art.
Rihanna is beautiful and always has been. Let's see what she has in store for next year's gala.
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