Jul 20, 2017 | By Samuel Trotman
The 2016 Met Gala has come and gone. The annual event officially fetes the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, but has evolved into a tentpole cultural event for the fashion world, where celebrities and designers are eager to show off clothing that tries to interpret the theme of each year’s exhibition. This year’s theme: “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an age of Technology,” tries to reconcile fashion’s handmade past with its probable machine-manufactured future.
On the red carpet, that manifested in pieces like Zac Posen’s showstopping fibre-optic ballgown, worn by Claire Danes, and Willow and Jaden Smith’s rather futuristic-looking formalwear from Chanel and Louis Vuitton. While women channelled the theme with plenty of metallics and intricate patterns that called towards robots, Star Wars, and streamlined medieval armor, the men on the red carpet more often than not eschewed the trend in favor of more classic menswear.
Men like will.i.am interpreted the trend with an embroidered floral jacket and a visor that looked like a virtual reality device. Artist Tyga emulated the womenswear trend with a metallic jacket worn over an otherwise black outfit.
And then of course there was Kanye West’s outfit, the rapper showed up in a bejewelled denim jacket by Balmain, tobacco brown suede Chelsea boots, and a white t-shirt tucked into a pair of heavily-distressed jeans. Some found the outfit inappropriate for a black-tie event like the Met Gala, but WGSN Denim Editor Samuel Trotman begs to differ.
“A fabric of the rebel and outsider, denim is all about breaking the rules and Kanye did just that when he rocked up on the Met Gala last night in double denim,” he says. “Just as Bing Crosby threw out the rulebook when he wore his denim tuxedo back in 1951, Kanye decided to forsake the dress code and do things his own way.”
West also sported a pair of silver contacts to accentuate his and his wife’s shimmery Balmain outfits When asked about them on the red carpet, he simply replied: “Vibes.”
Zayn Malik also tried to mix the trend into an otherwise classic tailored tuxedo, wearing metal plates over his arms that got comparisons to everything from Robocop to the Winter Soldier, a metal-armed anti-hero that features heavily in the upcoming film Captain America: Civil War.
— Telegraph Fashion (@TeleFashion) May 3, 2016
Meanwhile, artists like Wiz Khalifa skewed towards the classic, wearing a white tuxedo from Rag & Bone.
Nick Jonas collaborated with Topman on a patterned double-breasted jacket in a subtle electric blue with a hidden placket, resulting in a look that lived in the past, present, and future all at once.
— Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) May 3, 2016
Idris Elba went for an all-classic look in a conservative Tom Ford tuxedo with tails and a white bow tie.
New York hip-hop legend Nas wore an equally classic look from lauded New York menswear designers (and current DKNY creative directors) Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School.
Public School managed to channel the trend in a creative way when they put New York Knicks star basketball player Carmelo Anthony in a 3D printed bow tie.
Not one to be outdone, Jared Leto showed up in an all-cream tuxedo from Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, replete with a cane. The look certainly didn’t speak to the technological theme, but it certainly suited him well.
— UpscaleHype (@UpscaleHype) May 3, 2016
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