EVERY year, celebrities save their most outlandish fashion choices for one night: the Met Gala.
According to an expert, big names like Kim Kardashian and Gisele Bündchen underwhelmed last night, while Rihanna and others maintained a sterling style record.
In an exclusive interview, image consultant Tavia Sharp told The U.S. Sun how last night's red carpet event was full of surprises.
This year, the gala honored late designer Karl Lagerfeld, so Sharp expected plenty of Chanel and signatures like sunglasses and tweed.
"Not a lot of people pushed it as far as costumes, which surprised me," the expert said, "because this is where you do it."
Typically, she said, the Met Gala is fertile ground for wild looks, lots of jewels, and theatricality.
But in 2023, the style palette was somewhat muted.
"This is where you go crazy," Sharp said. "I was surprised to see so many calmed-down looks."
One celebrity lived up to her own name, and Sharp's hopes, by paying tribute to Lagerfeld's cherished feline companion Choupette.
Along with an Oscar de la Renta gown, the singer wore a hood with ears, claw-like nails, and facial prosthetics to transform into a cat.
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"Doja Cat has really been pushing the envelope," Sharp said, pointing to the jewel-encrusted look Doja Cat wore for Schiaparelli earlier this year.
"If anybody's going to go there, it's this lady," Sharp said, adding that the incredible gown balanced the animalistic elements.
"She wanted to represent the cat, and this was a more elegant way to do so," Sharp said.
Many celebrities fell into the "trap" of wearing vintage Chanel with no modern twist or customization.
Dua Lipa, one of the gala's co-chairs, wore a Chanel bridal gown from the 1992 collection.
"Obviously, she looked great. But it was plain," Sharp said. "It was just a piece from their collection, but it didn't stand out in any other way."
On the other hand, Anne Hathaway showed up to the party with Versace.
She stepped out of The Mark Hotel with Donatella Versace next to her and a custom Versace gown on her body, and Sharp said she may have won the night.
"Her look nailed it," Sharp said. "There were parts of the Versace brand, but it had a Karl twist. You could see the signatures of both."
Along with all-over tweed and pearls, both Karl Lagerfeld's calling cards, Hathaway's dress had a decidedly Versace silhouette.
She also wore a camellia flower (popular all evening) from a '90s Versace runway show, to represent both of the fashion houses.
"It was perfectly executed, and it fit her like a glove," Sharp said.
Rihanna nodded to Lagerfeld's signature white florals as well, though in a more direct way, cloaked in a massive hood made of flowers.
"It was very her, very signature Rihanna," Sharp said, noting that the star managed the showstopper look while heavily pregnant.
Another highly-anticipated arrival on Monday night was Kim Kardashian, who favored pearls over flowers to honor Lagerfeld.
On social media, the dress drew comparisons to her 2007 Playboy photoshoot, her 2019 Met Gala "wet look," and last year's hand-me-down from Marilyn Monroe.
Sharp wasn't moved by the dress and found herself a little confused by the custom Schiaparelli number.
"It wasn't the most flattering for her," Sharp said, summing up her response in one word: "Eh."
The stylist noted that the dress, which dazzled with thousands of real pearls, looked awkward thanks to the placement of the beads.
"It was too much in certain places, it didn't look quite right on her hips," Sharp said. "The part underneath her breasts looked like just a bra."
It's no secret that the Skims founder loves a lingerie-inspired look, but this didn't feel intentional, Sharp said.
"The interpretation wasn't that well-executed, especially being her, when you know people are waiting to see what she's going to wear," she added.
Jennifer Lopez and Vanessa Hudgens, who sported similar gowns, both accomplished what Kim could not, showing just the right amount of skin.
Two small details took Lopez's look over the top: a huge flower at the base of the neck, and an elegant hat with netting.
And Janelle Monae pulled off a classic Met Gala stunt – the red-carpet transformation – while remaining on-theme down to her underwear.
"The shape of the jacket, oversized and asymmetrical, and in the black-and-white, was signature Lagerfeld," Sharp said.
When the coat came off, Monae had on a sheer petticoat that showed a sparkly bikini peeking through.
The tented, transparent dress highlighted small touches, like Monae's jewelry, that screamed classic Lagerfeld.
"Down to the shoes, every little detail was perfect," Sharp said. "That's why you watch the Met Gala."
The theatrical reveal was also a major factor in the outfit's success, she said. "It was costumey, but where else would you wear that?"
Rounding out the bottom of Sharp's list were Rachel Brosnahan and Gisele Bündchen, who both played it "too safe."
That might seem like an off-the-mark description for Brosnahan's sheer look, which showed off her entire torso.
But aside from the mesh material and some carefully-placed beading, Sharp said the dress didn't give audiences much else.
"The whole top half is sheer, and the bottom half is just hanging there," Sharp said. "I love her, but this look just didn't do it."
"They could've spread the beading across more surface area," she noted. "It was a little strange-looking."
Sharp compared the beading around the breasts to "two bulls-eyes."
"There's nothing else for your eye to look at," she said.
Meanwhile, Bündchen technically met the assignment's parameters, wearing a vintage Chanel gown and feathered coat.
But as Sharp pointed out, the end result didn't evoke Lagerfeld and runway couture.
"As soon as I saw it, I thought, 'Victoria's Secret angel,'" Sharp said.
The vertical stripes on the dress and the massive white wings felt like a nod to Bündchen's past, not a tribute to Lagerfeld.
"It didn't feel like it stood out for this event," Sharp said. As a general rule, she added, a successful Met Gala look should be immediately identifiable.
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A Met Gala look falls flat, Sharp said: "If you look at the picture, and say, 'Where is she going?'"
"People pay $50,000 for a ticket," Sharp said. "So they have to think about dressing for the moment."
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