According to our old friend Merriam-Webster, the definition(s) of gilded: covered or tinged with gold or a golden color; having a background of wealth and luxury.
Clearly many of the attendees at Monday night’s Met Gala didn’t look that up—or aren’t viewers of the stunningly costumed but astonishingly boring HBO series The Gilded Age. The red carpet supposedly called for a “gilded glamour” dress code, but have celebs ever been able to abide by a Met Gala theme? Even one as easy as this seemed to elude most of them. (Why so many see-through black gowns? Why, we ask?)
Here are the ones who got it right, came very close, or at least put their own really fabulous spin on gilded glamour.
The star of The Good Fight and the aforementioned The Gilded Age celebrated her 70th—yes, 70th!—birthday by putting pretty much every other woman to shame in a Thom Browne tuxedo-gown hybrid. (After wearing all that froufrou every week on The Gilded Age, no way was she going to show up in a petticoat last night!) We love it all: the sequined cape, the corset styled like a tuxedo shirt…and, of course, the art deco jewels. We are not worthy.
We just have one question: How did she play the flute with those nails? Because, yes, her trusty flute was more than just an accessory last night—she played a few bars for reporters and fans on the red carpet. The “Good as Hell” singer—who looked beyond good as hell—told Vogue that her Thom Browne coat took 22,000 hours to make. And her gorgeous hand-forged, high-polish, and satin-finish brass choker is a statement piece (pictured above) by New York–based designer Lorraine West. “The choker,” West told us in an email, “is a culmination of individual neck bangles in varied lengths to create taper and adjustability for form and comfort.” There were 37 neck bangles in all.
The costar of Michaela Coel’s emotional HBO miniseries I May Destroy You, Essiedu rocked a sweet velvet Off White tuxedo and an array of amazing accessories: jewels by genderless brand Veert, and a matching timepiece by Hublot. (FYI: Do yourself a favor and hunt down his Hamlet, which was filmed for the Royal Shakespeare Company. It’s absolutely incredible.)
Oh, Timothée Chalamet, what hath thou wrought? Are we in for a yearlong parade of shirtless tuxedo-clad men? Should we simply stop complaining? The retired Miami Heat player attended with his wife, Gabrielle Union, and they both brought it. Wade piled it on—a Tiffany & Co. diamond necklace, a couple gold rings, and the Schlumberger Bird on a Rock brooch, plus a Vacheron Constantin watch. We certainly have been seeing a lot of that Bird on a Rock lately, haven’t we? Just a couple months ago, the Los Angeles Rams’ Odell Beckham Jr. wore it on his jacket on Super Bowl Sunday!
As on Oscar night, when she won the best actress trophy for her star turn in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Chastain turned to Gucci for not only her gown—duchesse silk with sequin embroidery, a crystal snake, and a hair accessory—but also her jewelry. And once again she chose some spinels! We’re loving this collaboration.
You just knew the Bridgerton cast was going to nail the dress code, right? Ashley, who plays the very independent Kate Sharma in season 2 of the Netflix hit, took the “gilded” instruction rather literally with a metallic bustier by Moschino (but kept it very modern by baring her midriff!). The jewels—from De Beers’ latest high jewelry collection, The Alchemist of Light—are edgy but supercool.
As Turner-Smith was doing interviews on the red carpet, we were basically hypnotized by all the sparkle. People might have quibbled that the look—a custom Gucci crystal chain bra, fringed miniskirt, and chiffon open skirt—wasn’t exactly gilded age–era, but there’s no denying that it was stunning. Her jewels were, naturally, Gucci as well.
The country singer usually dresses a little too big-hair and Barbie for our taste. But she totally nailed it at the Met Gala. Even with the bow at the bust, her embellished Prada gown wasn’t too precious, and the De Beers diamonds, including a multicolored diamond necklace, were spot-on. She gave us butterflies!
Top: Behold, the queen of the Met. No one could outshine Blake Lively, one of the night’s cochairs, resplendent in a custom Versace gown (copper and green to evoke the Statue of Liberty), and jewels by her longtime collaborator Lorraine Schwartz. Lively’s tiara combined roughly 100 cts. t.w. nude and bronze diamonds and paraiba tourmaline. The earrings featured 90 cts. of nude diamonds and fan-shape mint-green Colombian emeralds (photo: James Devaney/GC Images).
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