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The First Monday In May: The Legacy Of Karl Lagerfeld

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

It’s the first Monday in May, and you know what that means: fashion’s biggest night complete with excessive glamour and otherworldly luxury is officially back. This year’s theme, “In honor of Karl,” was a tribute to the life and legacy of Karl Lagerfeld. Lagerfeld was the transformative and controversial designer and creative director whose name became interchangeable with Chanel after taking the fashion house beyond the limits of conventional couture. Hollywood’s biggest stars paid tribute to the late designer in a sea of black, white, tweed and pearls in reminiscence of iconic Chanel designs. With a number of vintage Chanel looks and authentic redesigns, let’s take a look at some of the best-dressed celebs of the night.

Anne Hathaway in Versace

Miranda Priestly would be proud.

Anne Hathaway’s custom-made Versace gown was the ultimate tribute to Lagerfeld’s legacy and my number one favorite look from this year’s gala. The look features a strapless tweed gown held together with the iconic Versace gold safety pins in a silhouette that fits the actress like a glove. The look was classic Karl in a combination of white pearl details, tweed gloves and camellia flower accents emulating everything Chanel stood for in the 1990’s.

Dua Lipa in chanel

Dua Lipa pulled out all the stops as a co-chair of this year’s gala by stunning in an original Lagerfeld design during his time at Chanel. The popstar wore his famed Chanel Haute Couture bridal gown originally modeled by Claudia Schiffer as the closing look for Chanel’s fall/winter 1992 show. The gown displayed a fitted corset and voluminous ball gown skirt in cream tweed, a staple fabric of vintage Chanel. Details such as black trimmings and the massive Tiffany diamond the singer wore around her neck made for an elegant, yet extravagant Met Gala look.


Cardi B, you never fail to amaze me.

The rapper always embraces the Met Gala theme with her own twist, and this year was no different. Her collaboration with Chenpeng was tailored á la Karl with a billowing ballgown highlighting a black tie dress code. The top half of her look began with a fitted white collar and black tie, Karl’s signature look, before melting into a silver-studded bodice. The black skirt was cloaked in Chanel’s signature rosettes complete with black opera gloves and heavy pearl earrings. The details? The color? The accents? Absolute perfection.

bad bunny in JACQUEMUS

Bad Bunny, the man that you are. Most men invited to the Met Gala opt for the traditional, boring black and white tuxedo while walking the carpet. Bad Bunny did the complete opposite with this tailored white suit from Jacquemus. The unconventional look featured a backless blazer for a bit of a risqué moment in addition to the 26 foot long floral train the singer wore as an added accessory. The train was covered in dozens of white rosettes, an ode to Chanel’s classic design detail.

Ke huy quan in dior

Ke Huy Quan took the theme to the next level by channeling Karl Lagerfeld himself with this tailored striped suit. The late designer was known for wearing a classic black and white suit completed with fingerless black gloves and sunglasses. Quan’s custom Dior ensemble embraced the look with a gray striped suit and overly large white shirt collar in addition to fingerless leather gloves, silver jewelry accents and stunning Chelsea boots. Dressing as Lagerfeld is certainly a creative take on the theme, one Quan pulls off flawlessly.

jenna ortega in thom browne

Thom Browne was easily one of the best designers at the Gala this year, pulling out one stunning look after the other. Jenna Ortega’s look was the epitome of vintage Lagerfeld at his best at Chanel. The dress was goth opulence with a black corset over a sheer white blouse featuring the signature Karl white collar and black bowtie. The skirt is an homage to one of Lagerfeld’s iconic silhouettes: a shorter tweed skirt made of multiple black ruffles and extended into a matching train. A matching tweed bolero jacket tied the outfit together alongside trademark Chanel details like black bows, golden chains and white pearls. The entire outfit was a perfect blend of the late designer and Browne’s own extravagant touch.

SORA CHOI in thom browne

Thom Browne stuns once again as Sora Choi struts the runway in this sheer show of opulence. Choi’s entire look was made of tweed, Lagerfeld’s signature fabric featured in many of his designs for Chanel couture in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. This outfit was a two-piece display of a suit styled gown and long trailing cape. The black and white featurette was one of the most on-theme pieces of the night with all the identifying Chanel elements. White camellias were stitched across the suit and embedded in miniature on her cape. Gold chains and white fringe adorned her cape, and Lagerfeld’s iconic neckpiece and tie placed the finishing touches.

DIDDY in sean john

Diddy has never looked better than when he attends the Met Gala. The man nails it almost every time, and this year was definitely his year. Diddy’s look was cultivated from his self-launched fashion brand Sean John, marking the brand’s Met Gala debut. The rapper’s lavish suit was a twist on the motorcycle tuxedo fashioned in all black with a long, over-sized cape. Tiny details such as the 600 Swarovski crystals and black pearl detailing stitched onto the suit were in homage of Lagerfeld in addition to the 1,000 satin petals of the black camellias adorning his cape.

simu liu in versace

Versace stays winning with this custom-made suit for Simu Liu. The actor collaborated with the fashion house for a look emulating Karl Lagerfeld and his trademark style. Liu’s blazer was designed with Grain de Pudre wool with a strong lapel, Versace’s iconic Medusa buttons and white silk inserts. Liu wore the classic large white collar and black tie often seen worn by Karl in addition to leather gloves and small pearl detailing along his inner shirt.

A cultivation of vintage Chanel, pearls and tweed resulted in some of my all time favorite Met Gala looks of all times. Although I was initially worried about this theme, many designers pulled off flawless homages to Karl Lagerfeld by channeling his signature Chanel detailing and iconic silhouettes.

Megha is currently a third year global studies major with a passion for digital journalism at UCLA. She loves exploring the arts beyond writing, including photography, graphic design, and painting. In her free time, she loves reading classic literature, making jewelry, and learning new languages!