Tonight is the annual Met Gala aka the fundraising event benefitting the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute aka a Party Anna Wintour throws for celebs to show off their best interpretation of a given theme and have a lot of people criticize what they’re wearing (including us).
The theme of the gala goes along with that year’s Costume Institute exhibition, so for example, last year, the exhibit was Charles James: Beyond Fashion, based on the works of the British-American designer, known as “America’s First Couturier”. The exhibit featured plenty of his luxourious gowns from the 1940s, and at the Met Gala, there were plenty of white ties and flowing dresses worn by models and fashionistas alike.
While other past themes have encompassed Jacqueline Kennedy to Superheroes to Alexander McQueen to the punk music year, this time around it’s quite an interesting one. The exhibit itself is called “China: Through the Looking Glass”, juxtaposing fashion with Chinese artwork and historical costumes.
If you can imagine, this could go horribly wrong. America is already tense with what’s happened throughout the past year and currently in Baltimore, so race is even more of a touchy subject as of late. Will this year’s batch of celebrity attendees toe the line of offense or come up with brilliant takes on an ancient fashion and the “Chinese white tie” dress code? Here’s a few simple guidelines made up by me, an Asian with no real background in fashion besides the fact my secret party trick is I can tell an Alexander McQueen from a mile away.
Don’t wear chopsticks in your hair
This example in particular is especially rachet, since it looks like she stole chopsticks from her local China Dragons restaurant. These were a fad that came and went in the ’90s/early ’00s and probably stay there for good.
Don’t wear any sort of sexy kimono
Staying on the ’90s inspired fashion, don’t be like my girl Hilary and wear whatever this is. Not only is it not flattering, but it’s also a traditional Japanese garment, so get your Asian countries correct.
Know your Chinese influences
Along the kimono lines, just do your research. Stylists and celebrities, logically, should know the different between Japanese and Korean and Chinese fashion, or at least look into it if you’re dressing for the Oscars of the fashion world. Don’t make the headlines of the New York Daily Post with a faux pas.
Interpret the exhibit, don’t just take it face value
Don’t enter the Met Gala dressed like Mulan in the scene where she sings Reflection – the whole point of the event is to interpret the theme and infuse your own style into it. For the 2013 punk theme, the gorgeous Emily Blunt was subtle with her homage to rebellion, by donning a beautiful black Carolina Herrerra gown, but added a funky hairdo and bright pink eyeshadow that didn’t go too overboard, but also didn’t make her look like she came in a costume from her latest movie about CBGB. Chinese fashion and art is detailed, like the embroidery seen in the dress above. Expect this, or at least hope for this, at the gala.
Don’t Be a Geisha
Again, Mulan should not be your fashion inspiration for the night. In life, as a strong woman warrior, yes.
Celebrate a Chinese designer
If you don’t even want to touch a Chinese influenced dress, how about just support diversity in fashion by putting on a dress by a Chinese designer, like Alexander Wang, as seen above. And then somehow get said designer to be your date all night. You’ll get extra street cred.