What's more important, the iconic red carpet look or the social media storm it creates? The Met Gala is the most exclusive and anticipated fashion event in the calendar. Following the devastating cancellation of the 2020 Gala due to COVID, lets take it way back to 2019’s theme, ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’ and how it caused a storm on Instagram.
The growing influence of social media gives ordinary folk like you and I access to all areas of The Met Gala – even the afterparties. Apart from the A-listers lucky enough to get an invite, we, as avid Instagram users, are provided with that first snapshot of the all important look.
But how does this affect the fashion industry? Big names like the Kardashians, for example, no longer create looks that send a message and represent individualism, they simply want to take the media by storm and ensure all eyes are on them.
Why we celebrate the Met Gala? Not just a social media hijack
The Met Gala is the fashion world’s equivalent to the Oscars, held on the first Monday of May each year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is a showcase of Fashion and individuality, a place where there are no boundaries or trends to restrict you.
It is a place and time when fashion is celebrated; not just for its extravagant appearance but also the not so obvious benefits of fashion on an everyday level.
Clothing has an immense effect on how we feel and our outlook on life. Unsurprisingly negative mental health and wellbeing are coupled with the fashion world, as many of us are overwhelmed by the expectations that the industry can present.
Clothing gives us drive and motivation and the confidence to step outside of our comfort zone, but it can also cause immense pressure and make us feel vulnerable. Does the takeover of social media surrounding big fashion events help or hinder us? Lets take a look at some iconic looks that took over the gram…
Kylie causes a colourful storm on Insta
With the 2019 theme of ‘Camp’, represented by visual décor, extravagance and individuality, Kendall and Kylie Jenner really did take it in their stride and create a colourful masterpiece. Despite the no social media rule beyond the red carpet, fans behind the screen waited patiently for the all important first snap of their icons – and it didn’t disappoint. Racking up a very generous 8.6 million likes, Kylie Jenner took over the platform and left everyone talking.
Was this Kylie’s main goal when choosing her purple feather number, paired perfectly with her purple hair? Taking into account the Kardashian’s reality TV background, they are no stranger to media attention and have had their fair share of scandals thrown their way.
Fashion on the red carpet is just another way to get their face in the media, but what does mean for the Met Gala, a place for creativity, individuality and an appreciation and celebration of fashion? And how was Kylie’s iconic look received by the masses?
Kim K’s simple but striking ‘wet’ look
Next let’s look at another famous Kardashian who took the internet by storm at the 2019 Met Gala. Kim Kardashian’s ‘wet look’ created by Thierry Mugler sparked controversy over whether it fit the theme of ‘camp’ or was just another chance for Kim to display her snatched waistline.
Mugler came out of retirement specifically for this piece and when questioned by vogue Kim responded, “He envisioned me as this California girl stepping out of the ocean, wet, dripping”. However Instagram went crazy and people questioned what Kim was really achieving by her look.
Perhaps an unrealistic body image for devoted fans to strive towards? Or the promotion of waist trainers and surgical enhancements such as getting your ribs removed? Whilst it has never been confirmed, we can all assume that Kim K was most definitely not comfortable squeezing her waist into that dress.
What message does this send about fashion? Are we celebrating it or promoting extreme and unattainable body aspirations?
‘He envisioned me as this California girl stepping out of the ocean, wet, dripping’ Kim Kardashian to Vogue
It wouldn’t be a Met Gala without some controversial looks that spark debates on social media and the Kardashians aren’t alone. To name but a few, Madonna wore a revealing sheer Givenchy number in 2016 and Rhianna’s very yellow masterpiece in 2015 is arguably the most iconic of all time.
Whilst these stars get the world talking on social media, lets not forget the real importance of the fashion event. Its about having fun with fashion to create something reflective of the individual and to make a statement.
By taking over the social media world, The Met Gala gets creates conversations about and engaging in fashion, encouraging all of us to be bold and stand out from the crowd.