The first Monday in May (2nd) saw the 2016 Met Gala unfold at New York’s Metroplitan Museum, where style icons of all sorts of celeb-statuses made their way, wearing the night’s theme: Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.”
There were some hits (Queen Bey, Claire Danes and Kendall Jenner), some red carpet misses (apologies, Lupita Nyong’o) and there were some ensembles that were just down right questionable (Kanye West. Madonna.) – but all had made an attempt to explore the theme; the contrast between machine-made and hand-made garments.
Take a look at the night’s sartorial statements here below and let us know who you think nailed it, and who stood out for the wrong reasons at the 2016 Met Gala.
Queen Bey came to slay in a nude Givenchy dress that touched the machine theme via a bit of robotic-style structuring to the sleeves, and contrasting hand-sewn bead detailing.
The look is somehow reminiscent of her gala gown from last year, but we were surprised to see the star in latex and the otherworldly, nude hue.
Almost outshining Beyonce (but you know, Beyonce) was Claire Danes’ dress, which literally lit up the red carpet.
Designer Zac Posen had lined the dress with mini battery packs and LEDs, meaning that Ms Danes’ Cinderalla-style gown could glow in the dark – a literal highlight of the whole affair and brilliant nod to tech and couture.
Singing star Zendaya continued her wardrobe’s winning streak in a glittery, one-shouldered look from Michael Kors.
Nailing the night’s dress code, the Covergirl ambassador looked divine in her metallic ensemble (machina vibes, obvs), and we love this short bobbed ‘do on her, too.
Another hit in Michael Kors came via model Lily Aldridge, who brought her abs to the red carpet with a few cutouts.
Love the sophisticated glitter look, and the contrast brought by that sleek ponytail. There’s something very Manus x Machina x Mermaid about the results.
It-girl model, Kendall came out in Atelier Versace and looked just super – as in, super svelte, and expensive, and every bit a supermodel.
We like the texture of this gown, the skinny cutouts and simple styling. It’s very much ‘machina’ with all those laser cutouts, and she doesn’t let us down as the poster girl for an industry obsessed with all things tech and digital.
Kendall also gets points for upstaging all the other Kardashians that night.
Love, hate, rate or debate her, Kylie Jenner definitely proved her stylist’s worth in her beaded Balmain gown, and wore hers better than the most famous Kardashian with a look that oozed class.
In a similar vein to Zendaya, Kylie’s black bob came as a nice touch, but really Mr Roustein deserves all the credit for this look – his genius dripping beads all over the design of the dress.
Also going for silver, handmade embellishment with a lot of sheer, singer Ciara came to steal the show wearing humble H&M.
The look almost didn’t make the best-dressed list, with the spray-paint silver ‘do battling for attention and making this a little
tacky less chic… But there’s something about this cagey column dress we like, so here it is on our hit list.
Willow & Jaden Smith
These two though… Super sleek, understated, and holding hands.
The utter confidence in their being is what helps her Chanel ensemble and his Louis Vuitton look stand up to the overwhelming expectation of the night; Willow and Jaden Smith being cool enough in their designer garms and locs to walk the same carpet as Beyonce and not look out of place. Rather, they almost look beyond/over the entire the event, in the best way possible.
When you’re too cool for the Met Gala, you know you’ve got ‘it’.
Wearing a highly embellished Prada gown, accessorised by long, leather gloves, singer Katy Perry brought her signature: playful dramatics.
We expect the embellishes were hand-sewn, therefore nailing the night’s theme (alongside her doll-like makeup look, which gave her true robo-beauty), and we do appreciate that while the star went for dramatics, she nailed it by keeping chic and not going OTT.
Treading the line between good and bad, Rita Ora’s feathery Vera Wang gown was a real showstopper indeed. That said, paired against Claire Danes’ dress, you can tell it was an odd sort of night for fashion, where looks leapt to every level of the spectrum.
Rita’s gown turned heads with its cutouts and trailing of feathers, which we expect took Vera’s team hours upon hours to sew.
Escaping tacky vibes with elegant hair and makeup, the Brit chick turned metallic bird and nestles here on our good side – the best dressed list.
But then this is how you do bird-like glamour on the red carpet at the Met.
Zoe Saldana in Dolce & Gabanna was a dream we never knew we had, realised in real life with peacock hues of teal, pink and purple. The star came out with the attitude to match, peacocking with her head high in the air, and having made sure her hair was sleekly pulled back to show off her bone structure, and let the dress (and those heavy gold earrings) do all the singing.
A beautiful piece of couture on a very beautiful woman.
Emily brought her beauty game to the fore in a figure-skimming dress by Prabal Gurung, avoiding the crowds of metallic in favour of a monochrome look with a thigh high slit.
The simple contoured makeup look and heavily lined eyes is what brought everything together, and though the results weren’t as ‘exciting’ as say Zoe’s, Rita’s or Claire Danes’ (at least not from the front, which hid the daring, backless feature of Emily’s dress), the outcome made our hit list of good looks from the night.
Another safe but simply gorgeous look came from supermodel Naomi Campbell, who reminded us that yes, she can still bring out her abs.
Wearing a glittering, flapper girl-inspired Cavalli Couture gown with cutouts, Ms Campbell hit the read carpet and headed straight onto our best-dressed list.
Bond girl, Naomi Harris also looked beautiful in her Burberry dress, with the high points pinned to the embroidered floral pattern.
We like the fit of this gown and how it was styled with flowing locks, sublte make up, a drop necklace and a simple box clutch.
FKA Twigs & Robert Patterson
So FKA Twiggs could have nailed this theme in her sleep, wearing nearly any of her performance ensembles and bringing those mini machine feels, but then that would be what we’d have expected.
Keeping us guessing, the petite singer scaled it back with a nude dress and smattering of jewels to the face, but since we know she moves like a sexy robot on the stage – the techy vibes being intrinsic to her celeb persona – we weren’t disappointed she didn’t go full throttle on the theme. Plus, with her beau’s minimal Dior Homme attire, she looked like a total goddess too. Hence, hit list for her.
Bella Hadid & The Weeknd
Model Bella and her boyfriend Abęl Makkonen Tesfaye, (aka, The Weeknd) came out sleek in matching all-black ensembles.
The mood of their looks (Bella’s gown by Givenchy) was very right for the night, and though the skipped any obvious nods to the theme, sartorially they looked like one very well-oiled machine.
That advice about checking the mirror before leaving the house, and taking off just one more accessory applies heavily here, with Will.I.Am needing to have removed that plastic visor.
But bar that, the suit, with its flower embellished sleeves, and interesting shirt, brought all the right feels – and you know how we at SPICE feel about a guy who plays with his style. So, on balance, Will made our best-dressed list.
Not overly playful, but still committing to style with his outfit, actor Idris Elba stepped out in a tux and had us swooning.
We liked the pin to his lapel and how classy the guy looked at this event too – so much that we couldn’t care less whether it was hand made or created by machine.
Top model Alessandra looked gorgeous in her woven ensemble, bringing the machina vibes with the structured detailing of the Balmain dress and cinching metal belt.
We love the contrast between the complicated textures, as well as how understated the model went with her hair and makeup.
Since it’s Solange, and we get the girl, the artist, we will just leave this look here on our hit list – but we accept, you may not quite agree.
True, the yellow PVC, footless leggings and Perspex shoes are a little hard to take in, and those details – even without being in canary yellow – would stand out on a red carpet like this, or in fact any where. We’ll also join your disappointment in the fact this dress is sort of (mood-wise) similar to her famed metallic look last year.
However, this is Solange damn Knowles, who does what she damn well pleases, and we’ll be damned if we don’t give her props for the fact and for pulling off this bright yellow David LaPort ensemble like nobody’s business.
Another star teetering on the edge of hit and miss, Lady Gaga did her usual theatrical thing on the red carpet, wearing Versace as her costume of choice.
We can see the machina elements in her metallic bodice and sequined jacket, which contrastingly could be handstitched. But more interestingly, we’re feeling some 80s Prince vibes (note the hair, the attitude, the purply-hued platforms), and since we love and miss the late star so much, we’ll have this one on our hit list.
& The Misses…
We’re disappointed to say that the hair here – usually the actress’ crowning glory on the red carpet – kinda killed the look. We loved the shimmery Calvin Klein gown and her Jimmy Choos, but the sculptured hair ‘do, despite being inspired by “women of the continent” and the extravagant ‘dos of Nina Simone, was executed way too closely to something we saw Edward Scissorhands do once. And together with the green, also gave us Grinch/Who People vibes.
Maybe, Lupita’s team were taking the ‘age of tecnology’ to mean ‘the future’, and decided to do Nina Simone via The Jetsons? We can’t say what they were thinking, but we also can’t say we like it. Sorry Lu.
Kim’s body is to die for, and the chance to pull off another figure-hugging look to show it off was inevitably going to be taken. But this dress (by Balmain, another inevitability)? It just didn’t make the most of the moment in which we expected something bigger.
In fact, it fell kinda flat (as did the makeup, due to those faded brows) and wasn’t as glam as we’d expected.
Or maybe it was the choice of accessories – namely Mr West, her blue-eyed husband? His distressed denim and distressing blue contacts maybe didn’t help the situation.
We so wanted this to be on our best-dressed list, but couldn’t quite excuse how #cray the whole look is.
Deliberately costume-y, yes – and with elements that we like: the glittering bracelet, laced headpiece and feathery shoes. Just altogether? And with ruffles that look like fairy wings? We’re not sure we see the style icon Zoe usually is.
Sarah Jessica Parker
Now, many people will disagree with SJP’s place on the miss list, but Team SPICE were just a tad underwhelmed.
After last year’s dramatic fire hat look, the actress and style icon turns up looking a little bit lost and a lot like she was on her way to the premier of the new Pirates of the Caribbean film – and if she was, she’d have scored points for the sea salt-spritzed, wind swept hair.
The look (by Monse) is certainly chic, but swash-bucklingly so, and also sort of out of place at this event where people tend to go more glamourous.
So Amandla is basically our hero, and we could talk about how she talks about natural hair and diversity for days. But her beautiful fro couldn’t save her from failing to meet our high hopes for the red carpet at the 2016 Met Gala, as the outfit was a little drab and drowned her ever so slightly.
The look was also perhaps a little lost on the tech vs traditional theme, which presented the opportunity to ‘go there’ in either or both directions.
Having chosen an outfit reminiscing 90s music videos, we’re not sure where to place Amandla on the Manus x Machina scale, and while she doesn’t look bad, we are placing her on our miss list.
Actress Alicia Vikander has a beautiful frame, which is the highlight of this look, but doesn’t quite make up for the fancy dress costume she brought to the red carpet.
The Louis Vuitton ensemble just seemed too similar to something you can pick up at your local dress-up store, when it’s your bestie’s bday and you’ve decided to go out dressed like slutty Roman soldiers, or something.
Sorry, but true story.
Picking up where our thoughts on Alicia Vikander’s look left off… Taylor Swift’s outfit is a case of good girl gone wrong in the wardrobe department, having picked out a look that appears a little cheap…
We’re sad to say this is another Louis Vuitton look, but note that the dress itself isn’t so bad – just the way it was paired with those strappy heels and black lipstick.
The results are less glam for a glam event, more ‘teenager heading to student night down the local.’
Wearing Moschino by Jeremy Scott, we’re not surprised that Nicki Minaj’s ensemble was a tad gimmicky – the designer known for his over-the-top playfulness.
The issue here is that Nicki had seemed to ‘outgrow’ that sort of styling, and also, could have really nailed this theme with her now ‘grown and sexy’ staple attire. But to step out saying ‘the age of technology’ is about belts? Or not even belts, but lots of big, bedazzled buckles?
This was a miss we’re afraid, and judging by her expression, maybe Ms Minaj knows it.
Well, here’s a sight we can’t un-see – yet another show of Madonna’s ass cheeks, and breasts.
Wearing Givenchy Haute Couture, the singer flashed herself along the red carpet, which we aren’t exactly surprised about (this has been her brand for a minute) but we aren’t especially impressed by, either.
Do you remember when the star did ‘sartorial phases’… We’re just wondering when this one will end.
Ah, Kerry… We love you, we love your figure and your wardrobe, usually. But this outfit? It’s closer to the ’80s than it is inspired by the ‘age of technology’ – and adding purple hair in an attempt to make the thing fresh just didn’t cut it.
Unless you’re saying that in the age of tech, fashion should make another return to 80s-inspired ensembles, where folks had their Nan make their outfits for prom? In which case, ok – concept nailed.
Usually seen doing great things on the red carpet, actress Kristen Stewart’s style went amiss on the night.
The Chanel gown she chose looked too bulky for her body, and made her look bigger than she really is, especially around the shoulders and hips.
And the shoes? They just weren’t a flattering companion for the dress. We won’t even talk about the beauty.
Supermodel Cindy looked beautiful, yes; her figure was also on fire. But the outfit? We think she could have done better, with this look by Balmain looking a tiny bit too safe, and dare we say…somehow dated?
Perhaps had the hair been pulled into a sleek pony, or a voluminous ‘do, the outcome might have been different. As it stood, we just weren’t sure.
We wanted to like this, but the fit sort of prevented us. Well, the weird bodice area that bulged a little at the sides, and then also the makeup.
We do like the idea of the dress, but aren’t sure H&M pulled it off, pulling JHud – who’s usually on the money with her red carpet looks – down with them.
So in the case of Zayn, it’s just a little too try hard. Like, lose the metallic arms (or even just one) and there’d be nothing bad to say about the Versace look.
The guy looks sharp and has one of the hottest models on his arm… It’s just a shame she’s clinging to a metal bicep that looks super uncomfortable – or rather, that Zayn himself looks super uncomfortable wearing.
But what do you think? Were there better or worst looks on your list? Tell us who stood out for you at the 2016 Met Gala, by tagging us online @SPICETVAFRICA.
Image source: Popsugar.com, Vogue.com, Cnn.edition.com, Telegraph.co.uk, Usmagazine.com