Two weeks ago the annual MET Gala stirred people up a bit by having a unique theme that started conversations, Twitter fights about religion and cultural appropriation. This year’s theme was ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’. Controversial topic for some, I, however, was looking forward to seeing all the creativity it inspires. The Vatican approved of the subject matter, what’s more, they loaned some pieces to the Metropolitan Costume Institute, so I don’t think there was anything controversial about it. The desire to see how fashion can take inspiration from hundreds of years worth of Catholic art sounded intriguing to me despite me not being religious.
This theme could have gone horribly wrong and backfire on the organisers but I have to say we were spared anything distasteful and almost all the celebs did well with the theme. While on other red carpets celebrities might go for safer options, the Met Gala is the time to make a statement. Since Anna Wintour took over the chairmanship of the event of the annual affair, she always makes sure she has a theme that will ensure some iconic fashion moments that go with some handsome donations to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in time for its annual fashion exhibition.
This is the biggest red carpet of the year, so for hair and makeup artists, stylists, designers the MET Gala is like the Wimbledon for the tennis world. This is the time to show off talent, imagination and creativity. Disappointingly so, this year the decadence of the gowns, headpieces and accessories resulted in less exciting and adventurous makeup looks and some of my ‘best of’ regulars did not do well at all in the makeup department.
Here are my absolute favourites and some of the misses from the night:
Kate Bosworth was the absolute winner for me. She looked like a beautiful painting, ethereal, angelic, breathtaking. Kate has such fantastic skin and features, she doesn’t need a lot to look fabulous. She wore an Oscar de la Renta ball gown with an exquisite tulle veil/capelet trimmed with beads.
Her make-up artist on the day was Beau Nelson representing Chantecaille. He was inspired by Byzantine-era paintings from the Eastern Roman Empire and to channel the ethereal quality of the art he created a delicate monochromatic makeup of nudes, rosy-taupes and soft beige pinks.
He used Future Skin oil-free foundation and mixed the two shades of ‘Ivory’ and ‘Alabaster’, HD Perfecting Powder in ‘Universal’, Chantecaille’s Cheek Gelée in ‘Happy’ and the Philanthropy Cheek Colour in ‘Coral’, highlighted the highpoints of Kate’s face with the L’Arbre Illuminé Palette. Beau kept the eye look simple by using Chantecaille’s Lasting Eye Shade in ‘Coriander’on her lid, the Mermaid Eye Matte eyeshadow in ‘Elephant’ in her crease, and the Mermaid Eye Matte eyeshadow in ‘Lion’ on her inner corners, Waterproof Brow Definer in ‘Ash Blonde’ on the brows, and a light coat of the Faux Cils Mascara on her lashes. He lined her lips with the Lip Definer pencil in ‘Natural’ and used a combination of Chantecaille’s Matte Chic liquid lipstick in ‘Marisa’ and ‘Suzy’ adding a gold highlight on her cupid’s bow.
Hair by Michael Silva
Shared first place goes to Priyanka. Priyanka Chopra is a regular on my red carpet roundups and she didn’t disappoint this time either. She wore one of my favourite beauty looks of the day and her Ralph Lauren maroon-gold gown with an ornate headpiece looked particularly divine. “This Ralph Lauren creation is completely crafted by hand, with Swarovski crystals, meticulous beadwork, and over 250 hours of embroidery,” said the designer that makes you truly appreciate the work that has been done on it.
While her headpiece stole the show, the makeup was perfectly complementing the whole look and was beautifully executed. Priyanka’s inspiration was Italian Renaissance paintings, Pati Dubroff’s (her make-up artist) inspiration was Sophia Loren, “the feeling of Italy” an “the look of a gilded Indian goddess”. She used Chanel Les4 Ombres in Candeur et Experience and Ombre Premiere in Mirage later added Lemonhead LA custom glitter for an extra sparkle. Her lip colour was the blend of Chanel’s Rouge allure Ink in 184 Dark Purple and Rouge Allure Velvet 38 in La Fascinante on top.
Hair by Bok-Hee
Lily is never shy when it comes to bold beauty looks at red carpet events and she didn’t disappoint this time either. She wore one of the most creative and best-executed beauty looks that night. Choosing a Givenchy Couture and carrying a rosary her look was inspired by paintings of Our Lady of Sorrows. I have to mention her hair fist because it looks like a very impressive sculpture. It was created by Gregory Russel (Marc Anthony Hair Care) and was finished by a halo crown.
“When I heard the theme for the evening, I automatically leaned into the idea of the occult and the dark arts. “Yes, there’s a lot of romanticism in religious art, but there’s also a heavy sprinkling of the gothic. It just felt like a fun angle to explore,” said Fiona Stiles, the celebrity makeup artist responsible for the look.
Stiles used Lancôme products, starting with Teint Idole Ultra 24H Longwear Foundation and Effacernes Concealer for the base and Absolue Powder in Ecru Light. For the eyes, she used colour Design Eyeshadow in Smokey Brown, Volcano to create dimension. For the lips, she used Le Metallique Lip Gloss in Purple Onyx.
“I wanted it to look like moonlight on marble skin, a reference to the masters’ paintings and old marble sculptures,” so she even used layers of liquid and powder shimmer on her body too to gave her that ethereal glow. To finish off the look, Stiles placed gunmetal Swarovski crystals on the centre of her upper lid, underneath her lash line, and added blood-red teardrop one eye as a final touch. “The crystals were meant to be celestial tears, and the blood red teardrop was a nod to stigmata and the tears of the virgins. You know, lighthearted stuff . . .”
Similarly to Priyanka Chopra Olivia went for a gold eye and dark red lip combination that went beautifully with her chainmail-like H&M dress and headpiece that was controversially inspired by the crusades and wanted to have the feel of the armour of warriors. Carly Fisher, her makeup artist added delicate dots of gold to the inner corners of each eye and swiped Buxom’s ‘Stay The Night’ shade across the lips. The lip shade creates a loves pop of colour against all that gold.
You can always count on Zendaya to come up with fantastic, varied looks, she certainly created an unforgettable red carpet moment. She wore a silver gown resembling armour by Versace, inspired by paintings of Joan of Arc. Her whole beauty look followed the same inspiration with her short red bob (it was a wig, I believe) and understated makeup with a pop of gold on her eyelids by Sheika Daley for Pat McGrath Labs. I would have maybe just made the eyebrows look a bit more laidback.
While Zoë’s Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent gown was ‘barely there’ she still managed to look stylish, young, cool and seductive showing off her natural beauty. Zoë accessorised with light pink statement earrings by Lorraine Schwartz and a big bow wearing a monochromatic mauve-rose makeup letting her beautiful, radiant skin do the talking. YSL makeup artist Nina Park used Touche Éclat Glow Shot liquid highlighter on the tops of her cheekbones and the Kiss & Blush Duo Stick in a nude shade on her cheeks and lips.
Bella made her red carpet statement in a multi-layered black latex look with a cape paired with fingerless gloves by Chrome Hearts, an LA-based rocker-chic jewellery and clothing brand’. Gold was definitely the most used eye colour on the night, Miss Hadid was no exception. Her makeup artist Mary Phillips (representing Dior) went for a fairly clean, glowy look emphasizing the eyes only with a pop of gold and let the dress take centre stage. Mary used Diorshow Onstage Liquid Liner in #001 White Matte and topped it up with Dior Gold shadow in the 5 Couleurs Cool Wave eyeshadow palette called Heat Up. As a finishing touch, she added Dior Addict Lacquer Plump in #516 Dio(r)eve.
Met Gala veteran at the tender age of 21, Hailee wore a high slit white Prabal Gurung dress with a stunning tiara. Complementing the dress while providing a nice contrast to all the white her makeup was created with warm colours, sepia-brown eyes paired with deep raspberry shade lips.
If pairing red lips with chainmail and a massive sun hat (that looks like a gold halo) is not a fashion statement I don’t know what is. Janelle Monae is no stranger to creating fashion drama on the red carpet, this night was no exception. Wearing a black and white Marc Jacobs gown (standing for the duality of good and evil, masculine and feminine), the secret of her beautiful glow was the limited-edition Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter in Fantasy underneath her foundation applied by longtime makeup artist Jessica Smalls. Her lip shade is Poutliner Longwear Lip Liner Pencil in Oh, Cocoa and Le Marc Lip Crème Lipstick in Amazing both from Marc Jacobs Beauty.
Letitia Wright’s inspiration came from Ethiopian pastors’ clothing. Her custom Coach dress was embroidered with Ethiopian crosses, even her favourite Bible scripture (“You are the light of the world,”) was embroidered on the back of the dress. The African theme was continued in a traditional Ethiopian hairstyle. Her makeup artist Tasha Reiko Brown used Lancôme Colour Design Eyeshadow in Bronze Amour and Kissed Gy Gold crushed and mixed together to achieve the metallic gold effect that was so popular with all the celebrities that night than added a black flick to make it really stand out. The rest of her look was understated and natural.
The CTRL singer-songwriter wore a blush-pink Versace gown with matching stiletto boots. The angelic-looking dress was complemented by a gold star decorated headpiece and teardrops from New York-based jewellery designer Chrishabana. Her makeup artist Samuel Pal for Pat McGrath Labs used the Mothership Subliminal Platinum Bronze Palette layered over with the shade VR Violet form the Mothership I Eyeshadow Palette – Subliminal. The gold shade in the inner corners of her eyes was Sinful from the Mothership IV Eyeshadow Palette – Decadence. To finish off the look Samuel has created a beautiful dramatic black eyeliner flick.
Rita wore a sheer black dress by Prada that featured a sequinned skirt with a tulle train but the focus of Rita’s look was a gorgeous black rose-and-thorn crown. Her makeup and hair were beautiful, less attention-grabbing but that fushia lipstick is something to talk about. Turns out, her makeup artist Kathy Jeung used Pat McGrath Labs for most of her look but her lipstick is Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour in Heartbeat.
Not everyone got it right in my opinion that night:
Amber Heard’s look seems to be overpowered by the gold eyeshadow blended in a thick line under her eyes and her harsh contours. The whole look seems a bit cartoonish to me.
Blake Lively is a beautiful young woman but here she looks older, her foundation is too light a shade, the contour is too strong, her eyebrows look too ashy and the fake eyelashes are on the large side overpowering her pretty features.
I love Cara’s face, it’s a shame that her headpiece is covering the makeup. I’m not sure I like the gold on the ears either.
Kim K looks older than her age here, her base looks caked, her lips too over-drawn and those lashes are way to big for my liking.
J Lo usually does well on red carpet but this time her makeup looks caked, the contours not blended properly, she has tons of gloss on her over-drawn lips and those lashes look a bit strange. I love her hair though!
Rihanna is usually among my favourites, here, on the other hand, her foundation looks too light for her skin tone, her eyeshadow didn’t seem to blend well and the lip shading looks quite old-fashioned to me.
Emilia Clark is a gorgeous-looking woman but her base is too thick here and the blush is too strong, though I love the shape they have applied it.
To end on a positive note: ladies and gents I give you Chadwick Bowsman, the best-dressed, the most stylish man of the night.