The first Monday in May only means one thing in the fashion industry: the Met Gala! Hosted every year at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, this fundraising benefit brings together almost every prominent figure you can think of, from chart-topping singers, A-list actors, elite athletes, and many more. The event’s creative themes always spark quite outrageous fashion choices from guests, making the Met Gala one of the most prominent pop-culture events of the year. However, this year’s Met didn’t honor an artistic concept (which has been typical in past years), but rather an individual: Karl Lagerfeld.
“Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” was the theme for this year’s Met Gala, which sparked controversy, to say the least. Lagerfeld, who passed away in 2019, is known for fulfilling the position of the creative director for Chanel for over thirty years. However, it seems as though his success and status got to his head, as Lagerfeld repeatedly made a plethora of offensive remarks towards women, immigrants, and other marginalized groups up until the last years of his life. Lagerfeld never seemed to show any remorse for his actions, as he never publicly apologized for his hateful comments.
So, why is “fashion’s biggest night out” honoring an individual that seemed to lack a moral compass? Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue and the head chairperson of the Met Gala, has told media outlets that she believes the work that Lagerfeld has created over his long-spanning career deserves celebration, since he was a major creative force behind not only Chanel, but other fashion powerhouses such as Tommy Hilfiger and Fendi. Lagerfeld’s techniques gained international fame, as many of his decisions revived past trends that many would have considered to be lost forever. After the revelation of this year’s Met theme, Wintour also stated that Lagerfeld would often make shocking comments to get a reaction out of people; not everything he said correlated to what he believed in, which only added to his complex personality.