2023 Met Gala Theme Explained: See the Stars Who Understood the Assignment

2023 Met Gala Theme Explained: See the Stars Who Understood the Assignment

May 6, 2023
By Katerina Katakalides

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We finally made it to the first Monday in May and we all know what that means! The annual Met Gala is officially over and we can finally end the speculation over who’s attending and what they’re wearing. Let’s get the answer everyone is waiting for out of the way: no- the Kardashian-Jenners weren’t all uninvited. In fact, Kim Kardahsian, Kylie Jenner, and Kendall Jenner were all in attendance to pay tribute to Karl Lagerfeld. Now, you might be wondering, why were they paying tribute to the late German fashion designer? That’s because everyone was!

The 2023 Met Gala, themed “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” was held as a tribute to his life and legacy. Karl Largerfeld’s impact on the fashion industry is undeniable and there’s no better way to celebrate this than dedicating fashion’s biggest night to the fashion icon, himself. Karl Largerfeld’s legacy, however, isn’t as pristine as one might assume. In fact, both his personal and professional life is riddled with controversy.

What was the 2023 Met Gala Theme?

The theme of the 2023 Met Gala was “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.” This theme was chosen to celebrate the impact that Karl Lagerfeld had on the fashion industry over the past several decades. The sponsors of this event included Chanel, Fendi, and Karl Lagerfeld, the brand.

Who is Karl Lagerfeld?

Karl Lagerfeld was a German fashion designer who began his career in the 1950s. He served as the Creative Director of Fendi, Chanel, and his own eponymous fashion label. These roles allowed him to oversee all aspects of creative output, from designing fashion collections, to overseeing advertising campaigns, to creating store displays. Lagerfeld held these roles until his death in 2019.

Why was Karl Lagerfeld Controversial?

Karl Lagerfeld faced numerous controversies during his career and was accused of being Islamaphobic, fatphobic, and of opposing the Me Too movement. He also faced criticism from animal rights activists for supporting the use of fur in fashion.

Accusations of Islamophobia started when Lagerfeld incorporated a verse from the Qur’an into his 1994 couture collection for Chanel. Although he later apologized, explaining that he thought the verse was from a love poem, Lagerfeld made additional Islamaphobic comments over two decades later. In a May 2018 interview, Lagerfeld mentioned that he was contemplating giving up his German citizenship due to the influx of Muslim immigrants living in Germany. Unlike the previous occurrence, Lagerfeld never apologized for making these comments.

Having previously made negative comments about Heidi Klum’s appearance and status, referring to her as “insignificant” in 2009, Lagerfeld created international uproar on February 9, 2012 after calling the singer Adele “a little too fat.” Adele was quick to comment back at the fashion powerhouse, stating that she is proud to look like a majority of women. After seemingly not learning his lesson, Lagerfeld criticized Pippa Middleton, the sister of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, for her looks less than six months later.

Lagerfeld’s insensitive comments didn’t end with fatphobic criticisms, as he later went on to criticize the entire #MeToo movement. This harsh criticism occurred during a 2019 interview with French magazine Numéro, when Lagerfeld expressed, “If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model. Join a nunnery, there’ll always be a place for you in the convent.” This dismissive statement was reminiscent of the “victim-blaming” mentality plaguing many in the fashion and entertainment industries. As a massive fashion icon, Lagerfeld held a major influence over the industry, making the weight of his words even stronger.

What Was Karl Lagerfeld’s Signature Look?

Every fashion icon is known for their appearance and Karl Lagerfeld was no exception. Lagerfeld was recognized for his eye-catching white hair, black sunglasses, fingerless gloves, black ties, and high, detachable collars. Lagerfeld’s own fashion taste was often incorporated into his designs and creations.

High Collars

As a world-famous fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld had a few different aspects to his signature look. A force in fashion needs his own signature look, after all! High, detachable collars were one of the more prominent aspects of Lagerfeld’s looks. What better way to pay tribute to an iconic fashion designer than by incorporating one of his iconic accessories into your Met Gala look!

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Black Ties

It didn’t take a close eye to notice that there were dozens of black neckties being worn at the Met Gala. And no- we aren’t counting security! Karl Largerfeld would usually pair his high collars with bold, black ties. This sophisticated combination gave Lagerfeld the attitude needed to dominate the fashion industry.

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Black and White

Black and white is one of the most classic color combinations you’ll find on any red carpet. This was especially true during the 2023 Met Gala, as countless celebs chose to wear black and white during the big night. While this might just seem like an obvious choice, it was actually a nod to Karl Largerfeld’s designs! Lagerfeld was known for using black and white prints in his work and for creating elegant black and white outfits. This made black and white an obvious color choice for those who want to honor his designs!

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On the other side of the spectrum, there were a few attendees who wanted to walk the Met Gala carpet without directly honoring Karl Lagerfeld. Who can blame them after learning about all the controversies he’s been through! As much as he loved the colors black and white, Lagerfeld hated the color pink. He was even quoted as saying “Think pink, but do not wear it.” By wearing pink to the Met Gala, these celebs threw a bit of shade at Lagerfeld’s legacy.

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Taylor Swift isn’t the only celebrity who’s known for loving their pet cat! Karl Lagerfeld also had a famous pet kitty affectionately known as Choupette. While all pet parents love their fur babies, Lagerfeld’s love for Choupette reached another level. He even stated that he would marry his cat if it were legal! Even though Lagerfeld’s love for Choupette was…interesting…a few celebs decided to honor her legacy at the Met Gala. Both Doja Cat and Jared Leto arrived at the ceremony in purrfect Choupette cosplay!

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Karl Lagerfeld is best known for his work as the Creative Director of Chanel for 36 years. His creative direction truly transformed the brand and solidified its place in modern day luxury fashion. While many assumed that Chanel would fade with time, Lagerfeld elevated it into the chic elegance that it’s known for today. It’s no surprise that many celebs chose to wear Chanel to the Met Gala as a direct tribute to Lagerfeld’s legacy with the luxury fashion house.

Blog image on Queenly

Bridal Vibes

Why walk down the aisle when you can walk down the Met Gala carpet? During his time at Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld designed countless wedding gowns and staged dozens of wedding-themed collections. This is why some celebs decided to honor his hard work in the bridal industry by wearing literal wedding dresses to the Met Gala! How “on-brand” is that?!

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How much does a ticket cost to the 2023 Met Gala?

A ticket to the 2023 Met Gala costs approximately $50,000. This ticket is $15,000 more than the ones sold in 2021 and 2022, making it the most expensive Met Gala ticket to date.

When was the 2023 Met Gala?

The 2023 Met Gala was hosted on May 1, 2023 in New York City to launch the “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” exhibition.

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