Met Gala 2020: Met Gala Challenge goes viral with DIY epiphany
The first Monday in May is usually synonymous with the haute couture frenzy triggered by the Met Gala in New York, which kicks off the Met Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit. However, due to the global pandemic, this year’s soiree, themed, “About Time: Fashion and Duration” was postponed. On April 22, Broadway actor Billy Porter announced the Met Gala Challenge, which has had fashion lovers re-creating their favourite Met ball ensembles with easily accessible and often sustainable materials sourced from their homes and posting them on Instagram. Think queen size comforters, trash bags, light fixtures and tinfoil. While most of us are working from home in our comfy PJs, these red-carpet enthusiasts have broken the internet by creating some of the memorable Met imagery of previous years. For instance, blogger Sanja Nestorovic, who hails from Williamsburg has posted five Met ball re-creations on her Instagram. Her refreshing take on Rihanna’s 2018 John Galliano for Maison Margiela dress, stood out the most as it was almost entirely made out of newspapers.
Actor Mindy Kaling re-fashioned Jared Leto’s creepy-meets-campy Gucci ensemble (including the floating head) from the 2019 out of a tarp, string lights, and a beard. She posted a litany of photos showing the original look compared to her homemade version. “Recreating one of my favorite Met Gala looks ever with the help of a tarp, some Christmas lights and packing tape,” said Kaling.
The challenge was all about making a strong statement and repurposing mundane materials into irresistible images. For instance, New York based makeup artist Patrice Pugh recreated Solange’s 2015 Giles Deacon sculptural number out of a photography paper. She poured multiple hues of acrylic paint into one cup and pour it out to unleash a visually sumptuous marble effect.
When one thinks of Met, Rihanna’s infamous omelette dress (made by Chinese couturier Guo Pei in 2015) comes to mind and American figure skater Adam Rippon reimagined it by wearing two queen size comforters sewn together. He even posted a video on his Instagram captioning, “Thank you @badgirlriri for inspiring me...”
Also worth applauding is LA-based costume designer and performer Karlo Jacobs, who had Beyoncé’s diaphanous and beaded Givenchy naked dress from 2015 on his mind. He recontextualised the look which took two weeks and 15 pounds of crystals and gems to craft.
Designer Matthew Reisman merits kudos for reimagining Katy Perry’s Versace angel wing outfit (seen in 2018) by creating paper wings using glue and tape. And wait till you hear this. Instagrammer Shay reignited Lady Gaga’s Brandon Maxwell pink outfit moment using pink bedsheets, laundry baskets, cardboard and a fannypack. Her father held the umbrella and her mom filmed her as she imitated Gaga’s dramatic waving at the paparazzi in her garden.
London fashion stylist Natasha Vinnikova took a daring stand and re-created Katy Perry’s epoch-defining Jeremy Scott chandelier headdress from 2019, by standing on a chair under the light fixture to make it appear as though it was a headpiece. She finished off the look with tinfoil, vintage pearls and earrings.
Indian designer Swetha Raju paid homage to Deepika Padukone’s Zac Posen look using 12 chart papers, tape, a headband and silverstones. All in all, easily the best and often hilarious imagery to come out of this gloomy quarantine!