Rihanna Won The Mostly Boring & Not-That-Offensive Met Gala
Last night’s Met Gala had the potential to be a complete and utter shit show, complete with fire-breathing dragons, gongs galore and chopsticks in places they have no business being. Thankfully, most of the celebrities kept it as classy. Some ignored the “China: Through The Looking Glass” theme completely and just showed up in whatever made them feel glam. Others took a big swing and struck out. And then there were those that knocked it the hell out of the park. We were thinking that this would be a racist, culturally appropriative disaster, full of famous people doing their best Mu-lan meets Shen Yun drag, but thankfully, everyone behaved themselves. We saw the gowns, darling, but what did we think of them? Here are some thoughts.
All the dudes who wore dragon print things on their body. I don’t care if Olivier Rousteing designed your jacket, Justin Bieber. That looks like Hot Topic couture. It looks like … Yeah. I dont know.
Rating: Three stale fortune cookies.
Julie Macklowe: Girl. A brief Google search leads me to believe that you have a lot of money and a tendency towards the obvious. I still don’t think that this turquoise and gold Orientalist nightmare of a look is okay. If you have a lot of money, buy something else! Figure it the hell out.
Rating: Leftover stinky tofu, set out in the sun and forgotten.
Chloe Sevigny: Instead of actually thinking this through, Chloe basically asked a designer to wrap her body in an ill-fitting collection of satin Chinoiserie and called it a night. Remember, if it came off the “expensive” rack at a Halloween store and you thought about wearing chopsticks to go with it, put it back.
Rating: 1 half-eaten order of sweet and sour pork from the takeout place down the street.
Sarah Jessica Parker: Let’s talk about this head thing. It was made by British milliner Philip Tracey, and upon first glance, seems off. The inspiration behind this, we think, is a phoenix crown, which is traditionally worn during weddings. But, just because there’s a reference doesn’t mean that it works. This isn’t a wedding! This is a ridiculous fashion event with a theme that was begging for people to stick their expensively shod feet in their mouths. That is what happened here.
Rating: The piles of tripe my mom always puts in the communal hot pot that I end up eating by accident.
Jennifer Lopez: Oof. Not insensitive, per se, but still not awesome. This Versace number is incredible, but I think that wrapping your body in nude illusion mesh and intricate beading meant to resemble dragons is still not quite getting it. The front of her dress looks like an abstract interpretation of Mu Shu, from “Mulan.” No thanks.
Rating: Three chicken feet, presented on a chipped melamine plate, that you have to eat before you leave the table.
THE ONES WHO DID JUST FINE
Those who wore dresses that whispered instead of yelled. These are two solid examples of a nod to the theme. Jennifer Lawrence’s dress is simple. Are those poppies? Peonies? It doesn’t matter! Emily Ratajowski’s dress is reminiscent of a qi pao without actually being one. These dresses look like something you could wear to any other event as opposed to costumes. That’s the trick.
Rating: All the pudding milk tea I can reasonably drink.
Everyone who wore red. Red is a safe choice! It’s an auspicious color. It’s probably the first thing most celebrities think of when they heard this theme, and aside from a few standouts who chose to accessorize their red dresses with ill-advised hints of brocade — ahem, Karolina Kurkova — this all passed muster without raising any ire.
Rating: A dinner date at P.F. Chang’s.
Kris Jenner: This look, for some reason, feels very Chinese, and not necessarily in an offensive way. If I were to dress my 80-year old ah-ma in this, it would work. Minus those horrible chandelier-windchime earrings, Kris is giving me full modern dowager, and I am not mad at it.
Rating: Two pineapple buns, fresh from the bakery, that you don’t have to share with your sisters.
Keri Russell: This feathered gown by Altuzarra is glamorous, unoffensive and makes her look like a particularly dangerous crow. I hate birds, but I think she knocked this one out of the park.
Rating: An egg custard tart all to yourself.
THE ONES THAT WENT NAKED
Kim Kardashian: I am intimately familiar with the shape of Kim Kardashian’s naked body. I feel like I know it better than my own. She is unreal. This thing ignores the theme completely, and instead pays homage to the dress that Cher wore to her first Met Gala, and I’m feeling it. Stay naked, Kim.
Rating: One unopened tub of rou song.
Beyonce: We waited an hour AFTER Rihanna for you to ooze down the carpet in this nude illusion-crystal-flower-ice-skater drama? Sure. You get it because you’re Beyonce, because I love you unconditionally, and because that ponytail is doing everything for me, but I’m sad that there was no direct adherence — or nod — to the theme. If anyone could have pulled it off, it would have been you, Bey.
Rating: A large order of hot and sour soup.
THE ONES THAT REALLY NAILED IT
Fan BingBing: Yes! Full dynasty realness. The dress itself could’ve stood on its own, but she had to throw the cape over it to show people how it’s done. I want to wear that cape to ever single event for the rest of my life
Rating: Five fluffy char siu bao.
Janelle Monae: Frog closures as an accent. Black and white color scheme. DAT CAPE. The woman in the background, scurrying out of her way. She did it.
Rating: One serving of shaved ice, extra red bean, hold the tapioca.
Solange: China is the future. Solange’s Gilles Deacon frock is the future. Therefore, Solange wins.
Rating: One large bucket of these lychee jellies that I can’t find anywhere.
AND THEN THERE WAS RIHANNA
She is the only star that did her homework. Here she is, clearing the red carpet in a handmade Guo Pei jacket. Here she is, wearing yellow, which, as pointed out by Esther Wang on Twitter, is a color traditionally reserved for royalty. Here she is sweeping away the mess of those that walked before her, underneath that gorgeous, canary yellow train. SLAY.
Rating: An entire meal of my choosing, home-cooked by my mother.
[All images via Getty]