May 18th, 2024

Met Gala in full bloom with Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Mindy Kaling among the standout stars


By Leanne Italie, The Associated Press on May 6, 2024.

FILE - Zendaya attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the "Camp: Notes on Fashion" exhibition on May 6, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – It’s Met Gala time and the fashion parade of A-listers Monday included a swirl of flora and fauna looks on a green-tinged carpet surrounded by foliage. Jennifer Lopez went for silver leaves in a second-skin goddess gown and Zendaya was all vamp and fantasy.

Both are co-chairs of the annual fundraiser at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. And both received cheers from the crowd of fashion enthusiasts packed behind barriers outside.

Flowers were everywhere, in line with this year’s theme: “The Garden of Time.” Lopez (in Schiaparelli) was all va-va-voom in a near-naked gown that hugged like a second skin. She’s got the Meta Gala down: It’s her 14th.

This year’s theme is inspired by J.G. Ballard’s 1962 short story of the same name.

Zendaya put on her fashion face in hues of blue and green, with a head piece to match and leaf accents.

It’s been five years since Zendaya last attended the Met Gala. Her look, in peacock colors, was by Maison Margiela. Lopez went with Tiffany & Co. diamonds, including a stunning bird motif necklace with a diamond of over 20 carats at its center.

Mindy Kaling is sure to make the best-dressed lists in sand-colored swirls that towered over her head at the back. No worries about dinner. The back was removable. Her look was by Indian couturier Gaurav Gupta.

FASHION KINGS AND QUEENS … AND A GOOD WITCH

Gigi Hadid brought the drama in a look by the drama king himself, Thom Browne. her white look was adorned with 2.8 million microbeads with yellow flowers and green thorns. She was high glam in a wavy bob and crimson lips.

If there’s a queen of the Met Gala besides the evening’s mastermind, Anna Wintour, it’s Sarah Jessica Parker. The long-time attendee takes each year’s theme seriously, researching every detail. This year she was in an Alice in Wonderland dress with a lavender overlay and a Philip Treacy topper on her head. The dress was by Richard Quinn. Her long hair tumbled behind her back in beachy waves, a look that built into a beauty trend of the evening.

Serena Williams took metallic gold to another level in a shining one-shoulder statement look. Ariana Grande was all Glinda the Good Witch, making the most of her pale-colored strapless look with 3D eyelashes at the side of each eye. She arrived with her “Wicked” co-star Cynthia Erivo, dressed in black with pink petals in a darker, edgy look.

Cardi B., who has THE most fun at the Met Gala, struck a pose or three in statement black with a huge tulle train. She paired the look with green jewels and a high black turban. She needed multiple helpers to move her dress up the stairs

CHANNELING SLEEPING BEAUTY AND THE GARDEN

Penelope Cruz, meanwhile, went goth in black by Chanel. It had a bustier top and a Sleeping Beauty-like off-shoulder silhouette. There was another Sleeping Beauty-ish guest: Kendall Jenner in a Givenchy look done by Alexander McQueen in 1999.

Kendall’s sister, Kylie Jenner, was more Old Hollywood than storybook in a chic low-cut strapless look, a white bloom in her clicked-back updo and a train behind. Oddly, older sister Kim Kardashian tightly covered up her gorgeous silver corset look with a leaf motif by Maison Margiela with a lumpy gray sweater.

Dua Lipa was a whole different kind of princess. She went full rock “˜n’ roll in black by Marc Jacobs, who accompanied her.

The princess vibes were in apparent reference to the Met’s spring exhibition that the gala kicks off. It’s called “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” While it doesn’t actually have to do with Disney, or even princesses, some of the 400 guests went there.

Demi Moore stuck to the garden in a Harris Reed look with huge wings encircled by arrows and handpainted with pink and white blooms.

Diesel broke through on the gala red carpet on Dove Cameron. It was about as unlike Diesel as it gets, also going for the garden. The look had sleeves attached to her train.

FINDING DEEPER MEANING IN THE THEME

Lily Gladstone went for black by Gabriela Hearst.

“We wanted me to feel draped in the power of my ancestors,” she said. “For Kiowa and Blackfeet, our ancestors are the stars, that’s where we come from. … I feel like it’s so long overdue that we have so much Indigenous representation and this sort of upper echelon world of high luxury fashion, because that is our aesthetic, you know, Natives have always loved luxury.”

FLORAL LOOKS AND A SPECIAL PLUS-1

Colman Domingo donned a white jacket with a cape and extra-wide trousers, holding a bouquet of white calla lilies, while Tyla chose a gown made to look like sand using actual sand on the fabric. She needed help with the hourglass she held as she made her way up the museum stairs. Domingo’s designer was Willy Chavarria.

Sam Smith wore silver and gold metal roses tucked into the waist of a jacket, and Jack Harlow also channeled florals, but subtly with a silver and pearl floral boutonniere.

Wintour wore a black coat adorned with multicolored flowers. Her fellow co-chair Bad Bunny donned all black. A pregnant Lea Michele wore Rodarte, inspired by the brand’s 2012 spring/summer collection.

“I’m honored to be here and bring my baby with me,” Michele said. “”I don’t think I was allowed a plus one, but I’m bringing” one, she said with a laugh. “I’m so grateful. I feel really beautiful, you know, in this pregnancy.”

Looking to follow along? Here’s a quick primer on what you need to know about the palooza of A-list celebrities from film, fashion, music, sports, politics and social media.

Among those who had way BIG fun with the nature and garden theme was Lana Del Rey. She walked up the museum steps as an actual tree, her face shrouded by fabric held up by her branches.

HOW TO WATCH THE MET GALA

That’s tricky. Vogue has the exclusive livestream, which starts at 6 p.m. Eastern at Vogue.com. The feed will also be available on Vogue’s digital platforms, including TikTok and YouTube.

Tons of other media will be on site, too. Catch the action on E!, also starting at 6 p.m., with livestreams on X, TikTok, Instagram and Peacock.

The Associated Press will be live outside the Mark Hotel, where many celebs get ready before heading to The Metropolitan Museum of Art for their walk up the grand staircase. That livestream will begin at 4:45 p.m. Eastern and will be available on YouTube and APNews.com.

Only the event’s stacked red carpet is watchable – the gala’s cocktail hour and dinner are notoriously private events.

WHAT’S THE

POINT OF THE MET GALA?

It’s a party, for sure, with cocktails and dinner for about invited 400 guests, but it’s also a huge fundraiser for the Met’s Costume Institute, the only department at the museum required to pay for itself. Last year, the gala raised about $22 million. Wintour, a Met trustee for whom part of the institute has been renamed, organizes the whole shebang. No phones are allowed, adding to the allure.

It also promotes the museum’s exhibit, which this year is called “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” It includes 250 items from The Costume Institute’s permanent collection, including some garments very rarely seen in public and so fragile they need to be under glass. Curators wanted to engage all the senses, including smell.

The exhibit opens to the public Friday and runs through Sept. 2.

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Associated Press Writer John Carucci contributed to this story.

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Follow the AP’s Met Gala coverage, including live updates and live video, at https://apnews.com/hub/met-gala

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