Met Gala - Fashions Biggest Evening

All of our favourite looks from this years met gala

Elle Fanning, Tom Ford and Tyla at the Met Gala

We cannot quite believe it is already May! Whilst the weather is unsurprisingly (in the UK) drab, our day was certainly made a little glitzier, with coverage from this year's Met Gala. Arguable Fashion's biggest night out, the stars were out in force to celebrate the opening of the Costume Institute' latest exhibition, "Sleeping Beauty: Reawakening Fashion. In particular, attendees were asked to honour the "Garden of Time" theme with their looks - to varying degrees of success depending on how strict you are with the theme.

What exactly is 'The Garden of Time '?

A short story written by JG Ballard, The Garden of Time is a beautifully written dystopian tale. In it, we meet Count Axel and his wife who live in a beautiful, elegant villa within a vast plain of land. They spend their days reading, listening to music and enjoying each other's company. Surrounding them, is their beautiful garden where crystal-like time flowers once grew.

It has been many years since the time flowers grew - and as the years pass - the flowers are slowly dying and with them, so too, is their gentle, enlightened world. For an army is approaching the villa - kept back only by the time flowers. Each time a flower is cut, it briefly shimmers within the Count's hand before dying like a flame.

In dying, the time flower makes time go back, and the army recedes. However with years having passed since the flowers last bloomed, Count Axel is running out of time. With one flower remaining, the couple carefully put away their music and books - all the treasures of their life that will soon come to an end. As the last flower is cut, the army descends and all that remains is a stone statue of a couple surrounded by thorns.

How Can it be interpreted?

Many interpret the story as a metaphor for human history and the endless cycle of creation and destruction. We can also look at Ballard's threatening army as modern popular culture - mobs who descend upon historical sights with cameras and selfie sticks. It also deals with the the themes of beauty and decay - the sands of time, the burning sun and the withering frosts. 

Open to much interpretation, this as the theme for this year's Met Gala could also be a way of celebrating the popularity of vintage garments - the cycles of fashion and the desire to re-wear.

Bad Bunny in Margiela

Bad Bunny in Maison Margiela

One of the few male celebrities who aren't afraid to step out of their comfort zone and embrace a theme, Singer Bad Bunny was definitely on-theme with his Count Axel inspired look from Maison Margiela. We particularly like that the labels signature de-construction was evident within the look.

Tyla in Balmain

Making her Met Gala debut, singer Tyla stunned in this sculpted gown by Balmain. Literally embodying the sands of time, this was a simple but memorable look which perfectly referenced the theme of the night! Accessories were simple, with a stunning hourglass bag, gold choker and sand to the shoulder.

Tyla at the Met Gala 2024

Mona Patel in Iris Van Herpen

Entrepreneur Mona Patel was one of the only stars to incorporate tech into her look. Wearing a kinetic dress created by Iris Van Herpen in collaboration with Casey Curran, this gown was the unfolding of the garden of time. With a structured bodice and train in neutral raw fabric tone, what set this apart was the arms, adorned with butterflies which, as Patel walked, gently batted their wings.

Mona Patel in Iris Van Herpen

Phoebe Dynevor in Victoria Beckham

A first outing at the Met Gala for both Dynevor and Victoria Beckham, this gown, created with rose toned archival lace, featured 300 hand cut and sewn flowers on to a tulle base. Every inch the English Rose, it was ethereal and delicate.

Phoebe Dynevor wearing Victoria Beckham

Tom Ford in Saint Laurent

A man who can do no wrong in my eyes, Tom Ford stepped out as impeccably dressed as always in a tuxedo combination with deep red velvet smoking jacket. Dressed by Anthony Vaccarello, new creative director of Saint Laurent, a house Ford himself was once at the helm of. Describing his time there as miserable, Ford also spoke of his work there as among some of the best of his career. It was therefore a fitting passing of the torch for the recently retired designer and filmmaker who sold his own label in 2022.

Tom Ford in Saint Laurent

Kim Kardashian in Maison Margiela by John Galliano

It wouldn't be the met Gala without coverage of polarising attendee Kim Kardashian. Wearing a corseted gown in a floral chainmail, the look referenced both Dior's 1997 Fall collection (by Galliano) and Margiela's signature pilled knitwear. Whilst many took to the internet to ponder why Kim didn't ditch the knit, the more informed praised her dedication to the theme and the look's exploration of the use of materials as armour juxtaposed against the slow destruction and decay of fabrics over time.

It also marked Galliano's return as creative head of a house, with rumours swirling in Paris that he is likely to return to the LVMH group.

Kim Kardashian Met Gala 2024

Elle Fanning in Balmain

Another stunning gown from Balmain - this creation was a work of art and one that looked as if it was sculpted from glass. Sheer and ethereal with 3D birds to the shoulders, Fanning echoed the fragility of the flowers of time.

Elle Fanningat the Met Gala

What we wish we saw?

It's always interesting to look at the Met Gala year after year - it is perhaps the easiest way to see where power lies within the fashion industry as well as music and entertainment! However it is also for a great cause - an annual fundraising gala held for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in Manhattan.

With the theme always open to interpretation, we love seeing how celebrities and designers work together and the references and archives they draw their inspiration from, however we do feel that it was slightly lazy this year, with many translating a theme like 'Garden of Time' as ethereal floral! Whilst the passing of time was referenced, it would have been fun to see more tech - dresses decaying over time on the carpet, insects and bugs taking over as well as a fuller representation of glass and crystal like flowers.

The Exhibition - Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion

If you are lucky enough to be in New York, the Sleeping Beauties : Reawakening Fashion Exhibition opens to the public on May 10th 2024. A key focus for the institute remains the sensory immersion and exploration of the exhibition - through sight, sound and smell. While touch remains elusive, Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge, explains that the idea of it is very much alive.

Of the exhibition he says it, “makes you realize that actually your sense of sight is a way of touching…touching your feelings, touching your emotion, touching your memory. It’s always been a little bit frustrating when a garment comes into the museum and the only sense you are really left with is sight…you can focus on the construction, the technique, the embroidery. But I think by activating these other senses, you also realize that sight is much more complex than just looking at something.”

Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion