This year's exhibit theme was "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination," which added a level of controversy to the gala. Frustrated Catholics called the fashion parade heretical and claimed the Met was appropriating their culture. This is a hard point to argue, as the Met had support from the Sistine Chapel sacristy and the exhibit was a partnership with The Vatican. The goal of the exhibit was to "examine fashion's ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism," which feels pretty respectful to me.
It also might be mildly hypocritical to complain about a Catholic exhibit being cultural appropriation if you didn't also complain about the "China: Through the Looking Glass" exhibit a few years back.
And it's one thing to be confused or frustrated by the stars attending the gala, but it's another to criticize the exhibit itself, which is STUNNING.
Blake Lively in Atelier Versace
Wow. Wow. Wow. I just can't stop looking at this. From the headpiece to her hair and makeup to the bodice detail to the sheer panels to the embroidery to the MILE LONG TRAIN. She looks decadent, opulent, and completely on-theme without being obnoxiously over-the-top. This is everything that Met Gala fashion should be.
Rihanna in Maison Margiela
Okay, this might be what the staunch Catholics are questioning, and the hat might be a tad on-the-nose. But one simply can't argue with the craftsmanship that went into this look - the beading is incredible, and if Rihanna had shown up in anything less than this, I think we would have all been disappointed.
Ariana Grande in Vera Wang
This is the best Ariana has ever looked, and you truly can't get any more on-theme than putting the Sistine Chapel on your dress.
Amanda Seyfried in Prada
A lot of influences went into this look - some said it resembled a Renaissance-era Juliet, others said it had notes of Greco-Roman art. Whatever the intentions, the result was effortlessly romantic.
Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton
Emma has partnered with Louis Vuitton many times before and the results are always impeccable. Some thought it leaned a little too far into Michael Jackson territory, but whatever the inspiration Emma looks her best when she pulls out a good menswear look, and this was no exception.
Chadwick Boseman in Versace
Men often struggle with Met Gala fashion - they either just wear a basic tux or they swing too far into left field (i.e. Jared Leto dressing up like Jesus this year.) Chadwick hit all the right marks and is quickly becoming a red carpet favorite.
Lena Waithe in Carolina Herrera
Leave it to Lena to think 'Oh, the theme is Catholicism? I'll wear an LGBT flag as a superhero cape.' I appreciate the fact that she made a strong statement without disparaging anyone else. That's how you do politics on the red carpet.
Evan Rachel Wood in Altuzarra and Katy Perry in Versace
Katy's look is fine for the stage, but at the end of the day she looks like a pop star trying to be cool at the Met. Evan's longtime partnership with Altuzarra really shines, and her wings are far more effortless (can we just picture Katy trying to walk through a door with those cumbersome things?)
Lili Reinhart in H&M and Zendaya in Versace
This is a tie in my book. Zendaya was the perfect Joan of Arc, but Lili's dress portrayed romance and femininity within its strength. Both were styled to perfection and were a unique departure from a sea of gold gowns.
Gabrielle Union in Prabal Gurung and Jasmine Sanders in H&M
Supposedly Gabrielle wore yellow because it's the color of the Vatican flag, but unfortunately she looked like an out-of-place highlighter. Because she added the matchy-matchy shoe and the oddly contrasting silver jewelry, everything about the look was just off. Jasmine's gown, on the other hand, looked like molten metal and the draping was perfection.
Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren and Scarlett Johansson in Marchesa
Scarlett wore Marchesa to stand up for Georgina Chapman in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and to make the point that the sins of a man should not effect the career of a woman. I completely agree, and it's a gorgeous dress...for the Oscars. The Met Gala is all about bold statements, and this gown is so pretty and soft that it falls flat. Priyanka's dress is simple but daring, and the color couldn't be any better for her.
Sarah Jessica Parker in Dolce & Gabanna and Cardi B in Moschino
Sarah Jessica Parker is the queen of the Met Gala and often takes the theme VERY seriously. This year she went so far as to wear a nativity scene on her head. Even so, because of the shape of her gown, the look wasn't overwhelming and the styling was spot on. Cardi B's look was way too much of a good thing. I like the headpiece, but without the necklace. I like the sleeves, but without the gloves. I like the dress, but without the duvet-cover train. If she was trying to knock off Beyonce's maternity Grammy's look, it just wasn't successful.
I'm more than supportive of new media entering the high-fashion world, but this just gives YouTubers a bad name. Liza may have only been there as a correspondent, but her outfit looks like she picked it up at the last minute from Forever 21. Definitely not Met Gala worthy.
Frances has become everyone's favorite wack-a-do this year. Outlandish is par for the course at the Met Gala, but I simply can't get behind wearing a salad on your head.
There were a lot of gold sequins at the gala this year, and they all just felt like a cop-out. Shiny gold doesn't equate to being on-theme, and the the crosses on Kim's gown look like she got iron-on patches from Urban Outfitters and slapped them on as a last-ditch effort.
This might work for Met Gala Barbie, but pink and purple ombre in real-life doesn't have the same effect.
Okay - but is she pregnant?!? If you're trying to hide a pregnancy, putting on a blatantly obvious maternity dress doesn't help much. If you're not pregnant, putting on a blatantly obvious maternity dress doesn't help much.
Tracee Ellis Ross
This look was supposedly "inspired by the robes Catholic priests wear on Laetare (Rejoice) Sunday to mark the joyous half-way point to Easter." That may be true, but it's a loose interpretation at best. They're both pink, but there are no other similarities, and Tracee's look is more Hairspray-esque than anything else.
His date is his album. His DATE. Is his ALBUM. And he's wearing sneakers to the Met Gala. NO. Everything about this is very, very wrong.