The Met Gala is one of the most anticipated fashion events of the year. Formally called the “Costume Institute Gala”, the event brings together many celebrities from the fields of fashion, music, film and entertainment. The event, also known as the Met Ball, is a fundraising gala that benefits the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. The ball also marks the grand opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit.
Each year, the event, which among fashion aficionados is also called “The Anna Wintour Party”, has a theme according to which the attendees are expected to dress. Of course, it is not mandatory to dress up according to it, but it is appreciated.
This year’s theme was “China: Through the Looking Glass”, with the official dress code being “Chinese white tie”. Vogue Social Editor Chloe Malle put it best before the gala, as she said that she was not sure “anyone really knows what that means, so it will be interesting to see how guests interpret it.”
The theme itself, as well as the guests’ outfits caused a bit of a controversy in the media world, especially in social media outlets, as they were interpreted as racist.
Of course, the controversy around a fashion event that set out to celebrate Chinese culture rises the meta-question “what is racist?”
While some people might have interpreted the theme in a wrong way, we believe that we need to be able to make the difference between “celebrating cultural particularities” and “racism”. While it is true that stereotypes are a bad interpretation of cultural particularities, it cannot be said that anything that relates to a group’s aesthetic is automatically racist. Racism can happen by ignorance (for example considering any Asian aesthetic and element Chinese), which is in no way an excuse, and it can also happen by bad intent. Of course, the ways in which people celebrate a certain culture are a matter of taste and, by extension, interpretation, and intent is the only thing that actually differentiates racism from celebration.
If you are wearing typical Chinese (or any other) motifs, it does not make you a racist, unless you wear them with a negative, derogatory connotation that is discriminatory or that reinforces stereotypes, such as relating the Chinese culture only to Chinese food.
Even though there was a lot of controversy around the event, on Monday the 4th, the gala opened its doors in New York City.
Dozens of celebrities and the designers who create their clothes walked the red carpet into the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s launch of their newest exhibit.
Even though most people comment and look at the ladies’ dresses, which were of all types, let’s take a moment and focus on the best dressed men at the 2015 Met Gala.
Actor Matt Bomer came to the event wearing a very classic outfit. The well-tailored suit, accessorized with a bow tie, and a noticeable pocket square makes for a timeless outfit that goes well to any event that is located on the dressier side. His look is a great fashion lesson of how to dress to any upscale event.
One of the evening’s surprises was Justin Bieber who came to the Met Ball wearing a great jacket paired with a fancy pair of sunglasses. Of course, his good look does not necessarily mean that he is mature by any means, but we did dig it without a doubt, we hope he learned something from it and wish the Beebs the best!
Chinese actor Wu Yifan showed up wearing a fabulous white jacket paired with a great white shirt and a black tie. Gentlemen, if you wish to still look classic but to draw the eye as well, a white suit or just a white jacket or pair of pants is the way to go.
Probably the most present surprise of the evening was Marc Jacobs. The fashion designer fulfilled one of his long-time dreams and showed up at the event with none other than Cher. While in other years Marc has went for outlandish looks, this year he chose to wear classic attire and looked great wearing it!
Basketball player Dwayne Wade wore a series of beautiful accessories that made him look simply outstanding. His look goes to show how adding simple jewelry pieces or other accessories, such as the red band, can change the whole look of his outfit.
The Twilight actor also gave everyone a lesson of how you can look simple yet sophisticated at the same time. His neck accessory was really the star of his outfit, which, without it, would have looked rather bland and could have gone absolutely unnoticed. Of course, the cut of his pieces is great, but the neck piece made the whole look.
To conclude, it can be said that, even though these men did not sport very Chinese-looking outfits, they managed to wear classic attire in such a way that it was appropriate for a fashion event such as the Met Gala.
Adding an element of surprise to an outfit, such as a great accessory, an interesting pattern or an unexpected color can have great sartorial results if done with taste and elegance. A classic look can work just as well, as some things are not only timeless, but universal as well.
Now take the poll:
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. What did you think of this year’s Met Gala? Whose look did you like best? Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook or Twitter!