Designers / Diamonds / Fashion / Industry

2023 Met Gala: Black and White All Over


Ah, the Met Gala, the one night a year that Anna Wintour removes her sunglasses. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit always draws a wide range of celebrities, from Hollywood to Broadway to the NFL, all attempting to capture the annual theme through their apparel and accessories. Last year, it was “Gilded Glamour” (who can forget Blake Lively as a coppery Statue of Liberty?); this year, it was “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.”

The late designer—who worked at Balmain, Patou, Chloé, Fendi, and, most famously, Chanel—is best remembered for dark sunglasses, oversize starched white collared shirts with black suits, fingerless gloves, and his beloved cat, Choupette. (He’s also remembered for a slew of controversial and offensive comments that require an entirely separate article; this New York Times piece at least scratches the surface.)

As far as Met themes rendered in red-carpet fashion, Karl + celebrities yielded a cavalcade of black and white. So much black and white. Some boring, some creative, with cheeky references to Lagerfeld and his classic designs added in here and there.

Here are a few of the looks we thought were the most on-theme:

Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway 2023 Met Gala
Anne Hathaway (photo: Sipa USA via AP)
Bulgari coin necklace
Bulgari high jewelry Monete necklace in yellow gold set with silver coin (Lucania, Velia, 400–350 B.C.) and 34.85 cts. t.w. pavé-set diamonds

How do you make tweed look sexy? Go to Atelier Versace, who designed this custom gown for Hathaway. The fabric might say classic Chanel—there’s also a matching blazer—but the silhouette, slits, and cutouts are all Versace. And the embellishments—safety pins (Versace) and pearls (Chanel)—are a terrific mix of both. Plus: Look at that bangin’ Bulgari statement necklace!

Michelle Yeoh

Michelle Yeoh 2023 Met Gala
Michelle Yeoh (photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Cartier Surnaturel high jewelry transformable diamond necklace
Cartier [Sur]naturel high jewelry transformable necklace in platinum and diamonds
Cartier Surnaturel high jewelry diamond earrings
Cartier [Sur]naturel high jewelry earrings in platinum and diamonds

Etourdissant Cartier high jewelry diamond onyx ring
Étourdissant Cartier high jewelry ring in 18k white gold with diamonds and onyx

Yeoh’s chic tuxedo-ballgown hybrid—with modern details including a portrait collar and knee-length voluminous organza sleeves—is actually from the Karl Lagerfeld label. The actress kept the black-and-white theme going with her Cartier jewels (diamonds and onyx) and with her watch (Richard Mille, of course).

Julia Garner

Julia Garner 2023 Met Gala
Julia Garner (photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Belperron Corne Earclips
Belperron Corne earclips in 22k virgin gold
Belperron Couronne Cuffs Emerald
Belperron Couronne cuffs with emeralds in 22k virgin gold

The Ozark star called on one of Lagerfeld’s favorite jewelry designers, Suzanne Belperron, for earrings and cuffs to accessorize her glam Gucci menswear-style velvet cape and collared silk gown (note the pearls on the collar!). Among the other attendees who picked Belperron pieces: Rihanna, actor Jonathan Bailey, and designer Zac Posen.

Ke Huy Quan

Ke Huy Quan 2023 Met Gala
Ke Huy Quan (photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Fred Leighton rings
(Clockwise from top) Fred Leighton 14.41 ct. cushion-cut black diamond and diamond ring in platinum; Fred Leighton art deco platinum and diamond ring, early 20th century; signed Fred Leighton onyx and diamond wide stripe eternity band in 18k white gold
Kwiat rings
(Clockwise from top) Kwiat cobblestone band ring with diamond accents in blackened 18k white gold, Kwiat stackable ring with fancy-shape diamonds in 18k white gold, Kwiat 4 mm stepped-edge platinum band

And the award for Lagerfeld look goes to…Ke Huy Quan. The Everything Everywhere All at Once Oscar winner suited up in Dior Men and piled on a trio of Fred Leighton necklaces (an oval rose-cut graduated diamond invisible link chain, a black and gray diamond bead chain, and an antique sterling silver filigree chain); a brooch/tie pin; fingerless leather gloves (all the better to reveal those rings); and, yes, sunglasses.

Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa 2023 Met Gala
Dua Lipa (photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Tiffany white diamond necklace
Tiffany & Co. 200+ ct. diamond necklace in platinum (photo courtesy of Tiffany & Co.)
Tiffany diamond rings
Tiffany & Co. ring with 9+ cts. t.w. diamonds in platinum, Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger 16-stone ring with diamonds in platinum (photos courtesy of Tiffany & Co.)

If that necklace looks familiar, it’s no accident: The large diamond drop was cut in the same proportions as the famous Tiffany Diamond, the yellow cushion cut now set in the Lucida Star necklace that’s been worn by Beyoncé in Tiffany advertisements and by Lady Gaga at the 2019 Oscars. The 2023 Met Gala marked the debut of this white showstopper on Lipa, one of the event’s co-chairs. For her gown, the singer went into the Chanel archives and picked a fall-winter 1992 couture gown originally worn by Claudia Schiffer.

Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain 2023 Met Gala
Jessica Chastain (photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Gucci Solitaire imperial topaz diamond ring
Gucci Solitaire ring in 18k white gold with imperial topaz and diamonds
Gucci Dionysus diamond ring
Gucci Dionysus ring in 18k white gold with diamonds

The platinum blond wig, the sunglasses…clearly an homage to Lagerfeld, who wore those signature shades everywhere. And all black, naturally. Chastain selected a custom black strapless gown and black tulle gloves from her go-to brand, Gucci, plus high jewelry—massive rings and a diamond-covered Horsebit necklace—and eyewear from the house.

Rihanna and A$AP Rocky

Rihanna and ASAP Rocky 2023 Met Gala
Rihanna and A$AP Rocky (photo: DPRF/STAR MAX/IPx)
Belperron Fleur chalcedony pearl earclips
Belperron Fleur earclips in white chalcedony with South Sea and Tahitian pearls
Belperron Bouton pearl diamond earclips
Belperron Bouton earclips with pearls and diamonds
Verdura black and white Fulco enamel anniversary cuff
Verdura black and white Fulco 80th anniversary cuff with diamonds, pearls, and ivory enamel
Bulgari high jewelry pearl diamond multistrand necklace
Bulgari high jewelry necklace with 24.98 cts. t.w. pear diamonds, 38.93 cts. t.w. round diamonds, 11.91 cts. t.w. fancy-shape diamonds, 118 akoya cultured pearls, and pavé diamonds in platinum
Boucheron Wladimir the cat stud earrings
Boucheron Wladimir the Cat diamond and tsavorite stud earrings
Boucheron Wladimir the cat ring
Boucheron Wladimir the Cat ring with diamonds, tsavorite, black sapphires, quartz, and mother-of-pearl in white gold
Boucheron Ruban Diamants belt
Boucheron Ruban Diamants white diamond and white gold belt, from Histoire de Style Art Déco high jewelry collection

Rihanna drew inspiration from Coco Chanel’s infamous camellia via her Belperron Fleur earclips and capacious Valentino silk cape, which opened to reveal a stunning multistrand Bulgari pearl and diamond necklace layered with a vintage Belperron necklace. She added more pearls with a Verdura cuff (black and white again!) and another pair of Belperron earrings. (Her Fendi fur, which she wore while leaving her hotel, was from 1997, reported Vogue, designed by Lagerfeld.) Inspired by a kilt that Lagerfeld wore in 2004, Rocky’s look was all Gucci—except for the blinged-out Boucheron belt and the jewels that subtly nodded to Lagerfeld’s famous feline, Choupette. We do love a subtle nod. You also might have noticed Jared Leto, who wore a white cat costume that looked more Times Square than Met Gala.

Top: Rihanna and A$AP Rocky (photo: DPRF/STAR MAX/IPx)

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By: Melissa Rose Bernardo

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