Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The Met Gala was in full bloom with Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Mindy Kaling among the standout stars

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Met Gala and its fashionista A-listers on Monday included Jennifer Lopez, Zendaya and a parade of others in a swirl of flora and fauna looks on a green-tinged carpet lined by live foliage.

Lopez went for silver leaves in a second-skin goddess gown and Zendaya was all vamp and fantasy in a rare double appearance on the steps of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Both were co-chairs of the annual fundraiser, and both received cheers from the crowd of fashion enthusiasts packed behind barriers outside.

Lopez (in Schiaparelli) was all va-va-voom in a near-naked gown. She’s got the Met Gala down: It’s her 14th.

Zendaya put on her fashion face in peacock hues of blue and green, with a head piece to match and leaf accents. The look was Maison Margiela by John Gallliano. She walked again to close the carpet in black Givenchy Haute Couture gown also by Galliano with a head piece stuffed with flowers by Alexander McQueen.

It’s been five years since Zendaya last attended the gala. Lopez went with Tiffany & Co. diamonds, including a stunning bird motif necklace with a diamond of over 20 carats at its center.

Flowers were everywhere, in line with this year’s theme: “The Garden of Time,” inspired by J.G. Ballard’s 1962 short story of the same name.

Mindy Kaling is sure to make the best-dressed lists in sand-colored swirls that towered over her head at the back. No worries about dinner. The back was removable. Her look was by Indian couturier Gaurav Gupta.

Usher held a single red rose in a dark and eery black suit and cape, a wide-brim black hat on his head and a black brooch on one lapel. The look was Alexander McQueen by Seán McGirr.

FASHION KINGS AND QUEENS … AND A GOOD WITCH

Gigi Hadid brought the drama in a look by the drama king himself, Thom Browne. her white gown was adorned with 2.8 million microbeads with yellow flowers and green thorns. She was high glam in a wavy bob and crimson lips.

If there’s a queen of the Met Gala besides the evening’s mastermind, Anna Wintour, it’s Sarah Jessica Parker. The long-time attendee takes each year’s theme seriously, researching every detail. This year she was in an Alice in Wonderland look with a lavender overlay and a Philip Treacy topper on her head. The dress was by Richard Quinn. Her long hair tumbled behind her back in beachy waves, a look that built into a beauty trend of the evening.

If Parker is a queen, Ayo Edebiri is a gala baby. It was her first one and she showed out in a youthful white look fading into a garden full of colorful flowers at the bottom by Loewe.

Serena Williams took metallic gold to another level in a shining one-shoulder statement look. Ariana Grande was all Glinda the Good Witch, making the most of her pale-colored strapless Loewe look with 3D eyelashes at the side of each eye. She arrived with her “Wicked” co-star Cynthia Erivo, dressed in black with pink petals in a darker, edgy look by Thom Browne.

Cardi B., who has THE most fun at the Met Gala, struck a pose or three in a statement black gown with a huge tulle train. It was by Windowsen. She paired the look with green jewels and a high black turban. She needed multiple helpers to move her dress up the stairs.

CHANNELING SLEEPING BEAUTY AND THE GARDEN

Penelope Cruz, meanwhile, went goth in black by Chanel. It had a bustier top and a Sleeping Beauty-like off-shoulder silhouette. There was another Sleeping Beauty-ish guest: Kendall Jenner in a Givenchy look done by Alexander McQueen in 1999.

Kendall’s sister, Kylie Jenner, was more Old Hollywood than storybook in a chic Oscar de la Renta low-cut strapless look, a white bloom in her clicked-back updo and a train behind. Oddly, older sister Kim Kardashian tightly covered up her gorgeous silver corset look with a leaf motif by Maison Margiela with a lumpy gray sweater.

Dua Lipa was a whole different kind of princess. She went full rock ‘n’ roll in black by Marc Jacobs, who accompanied her. Her lace and feather look was slow slung at the hip with a deep plunge at the neck.

The princess vibes were in apparent reference to the Met’s spring exhibition that the gala kicks off. It’s called “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” While it doesn’t actually have to do with Disney, or even princesses, some of the 400 guests went there.

Amid all the princesses was the Mad Hatter, Barry Keoghan, in an earthy Burberry velvet Victorian look with a high-necked bow shirt underneath. He, of course, had a top hat.

Demi Moore stuck to the garden in a Harris Reed look with huge wings encircled by arrows and hand-painted with pink and white blooms.

Diesel broke through on the gala carpet on Dove Cameron. It was about as unlike Diesel as it gets, also going for the garden. The look had sleeves attached to her train.

FINDING DEEPER MEANING IN THE THEME

Lily Gladstone went for black by Gabriela Hearst.

“We wanted me to feel draped in the power of my ancestors,” she said. “For Kiowa and Blackfeet, our ancestors are the stars, that’s where we come from. … I feel like it’s so long overdue that we have so much Indigenous representation and this sort of upper echelon world of high luxury fashion, because that is our aesthetic, you know, Natives have always loved luxury.”

Brooke Bobb, fashion news director for Harper’s Bazaar, saw a multitude of meanings in all of the evening’s black and florals.

“There was a lot of black, perhaps a gothic ode to the `Sleeping Beauties’ title of the actual exhibition but also maybe an accidental nod to the fact that in this chaotic world we’re living in right now, not everything, not even fabulous, prime-time televised fashion, is coming up roses,” she said.

There was no Rihanna and no Taylor Swift.

“Zendaya came out swinging for a second time in a finale look to close the carpet but overall, the whole red carpet experience felt like it was stuck in some odd time warp, somewhere between the Met Gala’s glory days and the now, a moment when the camp of it all and social media vitality tend to override fashion for the pure love of fashion,” Bobb said.

FLORAL LOOKS AND A SPECIAL PLUS-1

Colman Domingo donned a white jacket with a cape and extra-wide trousers, holding a bouquet of white calla lilies, while Tyla chose a Balmain gown made to look like sand using actual sand on fabric molded to her body. She needed help with the hourglass she held as she made her way up the museum stairs. Domingo’s designer was Willy Chavarria.

Sam Smith wore silver and gold metal roses tucked into the waist of a jacket, and Jack Harlow also channeled florals, but subtly with a silver and pearl floral boutonniere.

Wintour wore a black coat adorned with multicolored flowers by Loewe. Her fellow co-chair Bad Bunny donned all black custom Maison Margiela Artisanal by John Galliano.

Among those who had way BIG fun with the nature and garden theme was Lana Del Rey. She walked up the museum steps as an actual tree, her face shrouded by fabric held up by her branches. The look was by Alexander McQueen.

A pregnant Lea Michele wore Rodarte, inspired by the brand’s 2012 spring/summer collection.

“I’m honored to be here and bring my baby with me,” Michele said. ”“I don’t think I was allowed a plus one, but I’m bringing” one, she said with a laugh. “I’m so grateful. I feel really beautiful, you know, in this pregnancy.”

Nicki Minaj also went out of the box in a bright metallic yellow dress with large flowers dangling and bobbing as she moved.

EARLY REACTIONS TO THIS YEAR’S MET GALA LOOKS

Larry Curran, a stylist and independent brand consultant, saw big wins among a specific brand: “Is this the year people stop asking how to pronounce Loewe?”

It’s Loo-’wev-ay.

Danielle James, beauty director for Elle.com, said top trends of the night also included bold blush and baby bangs.

“I loved seeing Ayo Edebiri’s berry cheeks, taking the strawberry makeup trend to another level. Nell Diamond gave us a flush of poppy-red on her cheeks. Gigi Hadid’s gave us an eye-catching look with bold red cheeks and a bold red lip that we’ll be sure to see on many nights out this summer. After seasons of no makeup makeup and minimalist looks, color is here!”

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Associated Press Writer John Carucci contributed to this story.

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Follow the AP’s Met Gala coverage, including live updates and live video, at https://apnews.com/hub/met-gala

Leanne Italie, The Associated Press

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