Celebrities Speak Up About 2023 Met Gala Theme

Helena Carroll, Staff writer

The Met Gala, an event that takes place the first Monday in May, is staged on the famous carpeted stairs of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is one of the largest fashion events of the year, raising money for The Met and the Costume Institute Benefit. The museum invites those of influence, picking among a select group of individuals in the public eye to attend and display true works of fashion. The outfits range in simplicity but are often composed of the utmost detailed, outlandish designs of the year. The goal of the Met Gala is to be bold, and to share a message through the art that celebrities wear. 

Every year a theme is assigned to honor an aspect of culture, history, or a particular person within the industry. This year’s theme was “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.” Lagerfeld, designer of luxury brand Chanel, had a life full of designing with other top fashion brands such as Patou, Balmain, Chloé, and Fendi. After his death in 2019, Lagerfeld’s legacy was carried on by the current designer of Chanel, Virginie Viard.

When announced that this man would be the element of focus for America’s biggest fashion event, there was an immediate response of mixed reactions. Some of the designers and models that worked alongside him spoke with great enthusiasm and admiration for the late designer. In contrast, there was also a monumental amount of backlash. 

Lagerfeld was a man of single mindedness. He had a stubborn opinion of the way people should look, wear, say, think, and believe. He often expressed questionable ideals publically, making a large ripple effect throughout the media. Lagerfeld was a memorable designer, but he also was a fatphobic, anti-immigrant, homophobic, and misogynist who discriminated against a large percent of the world’s population. 

Lagerfeld has also spoken out against and criticized the Me Too movement, a movement that fights against and brings awareness to victims of sexual harassment, assault and rape, as well as many other worldly events. This has brought many questions forward regarding why he was chosen for this honor in the first place. He shared his ideas about plus-sized people, claiming that “nobody wants to see” models of that size walking down a runway, and issues in history such as the Holocaust, stating that “it was the greatest thing that Germany invented.”

In response to these negative attributes of the late designer, many influential figures attending the Met Gala spoke out against this theme and/or used their clothing, the main attraction of the night, to proclaim their views. Environmental activist and model Quannah Chasinghorse attended the carpet wearing pink, a color Lagerfeld infamously hated. Many others also appeared wearing this color, to appropriately “honor an unhonorable man.” When the theme was announced in late 2022, body positivity activist Jameela Jamil shared her view about how there are so many brilliant designers in this world, yet the Met Gala themes are often picked among the worst to honor.