The Met Ball 2016 – Malcom X Machina

gigi zaynI was being sandwiched sideways this morning on the tube as is customary at 8 am on the piccadilly line when I found myself face to face with the front page of my neighbour’s newspaper, and shoved in the nose with a photo of Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid and some headline about them stealing the title of the Met Gala’s most loved up couple. Because a) that is what the Met Ball is all about and b) 14 year olds can be so in love. With no one to express this distaste to, I decided to rotate a little and turn the other way, only to find my neighbour to the right also page wide-open on coverage of their ‘robocop’ inspired costumes (which consisted of a very creative metallic sleeve for Zayn and silver paint on Gigi’s fingers; the very essence of the Metropolitan Museums 70 year legacy of celebrating costume design encapsulated.)

Widely regarded as one of the most exclusive social events, and pivotal fashion demonstrations in New York, I couldn’t understand why the essence of the art, costume, history and design were being muddled in talk of supermodels dating boybanders and Taylor Swifts evolution from country-girl guest to co-chair. (Yes, chair).

I suppose a sign of current times is the vested interest in anyone and everyone regarded as an ‘influencer.’ And how is an ‘influencer’ defined? By their contribution to society? culture? history? the footprint they leave on their industry? No, what a ridiculous notion that would be. By their many millions and or their social media statistics. So as my love for and inspiration by an event like this was waning further by the minute; I turned my focus to one sliver of evidence that the essence of the Met Ball still lives and may survive for years to come, and that was: Claire Danes’ costume.

Claire Danes at the Met ball

claire lit up
These two things can be said to be widely acknowledged: that Zac Posen is a creative genius, and that Claire Danes has had the capacity to capture our hearts since the day she captured (and broke, but never mind) Leo’s as Juliet. So when the two colluded to bring us a thirty-battery-pack-real-life-lit-up-Cinderella-Gown, all faith in the time long magic of costume design was restored to the Met Ball’s stage. The tiny fairies in the form of mini battery packs were delicately sewn into the fibre optic, hand-sewn, sky-blue dress; allowing it to light up in the dark. For added intricacy the sheer of the dress gives the illusion of electrical currents running through the dress even when not in the dark. It was Cinderella, meets Elsa, meets a wickedly stunning evil queen channeling the world’s electrical magic… all in a dress. Adding yet further to her endearing girl next door status, Danes arrived in a bus (never mind that this was largely in part that she had to travel standing up), and wore the dress with swept up hair, humility, and most importantly: did not refer to herself and her entourage as a “Posen-nation” (So somebody please make the Kardashians stop.)

With the theme of the night as Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, I was suddenly comforted and able to embrace the ultra-digitized space we live in. Zac Posen took us back to classical creativity, using his directive genius to control the times, rather than letting them control us. And if only for an evening, we were all vicariously transported to our childhood whims of princesses and ball gowns; in an age of gravity-defying thigh-splits and sequins.

claire close up

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25 Comments

  1. Jacqueline Juarez
    June 6, 2016 / 1:26 am

    So gorgeous and lucky! I keep imagining myself in this dress!!

  2. Martha Guevara
    June 6, 2016 / 2:30 am

    I can only imagine how much money this arrtists spend on their customs every year! Anyway Claire’s dress was too amazing, would love to have one of those for my wedding haha. You’re such a good writer, such a lovely couple Zac and his girl.

  3. que
    June 8, 2016 / 2:18 am

    How i wish i was there. I want to see that gown up close. The designer nailed it.

    • July 25, 2016 / 6:52 am

      Luugas: "Kumpikaan ei ole väärin, eikä epänormaalia. Vai onko?"Ei kai tässä tuhon kysymykseen yritetäkään hakea vaaTtusts?aoivottavasti tarinan päähenlilö löytää ihmisiä, joiden kanssa voi pysähtyä peilailemaan ja vahvistua. Sen seurauksena voi Ruonansuun huumorikin naurattaa – joskus jopa oma vakavuus. Marika

  4. lailani52
    June 9, 2016 / 5:14 pm

    What can I say, I feel like I was there within the crowd, candidly smiling at each artist and touching elbows with each guest. You really draw us in!

  5. John A. Tan
    June 10, 2016 / 6:22 am

    14 year olds can be so in love?! Good one! If not for the huge number of people who eat that kind of stuff up and the publicity it can generate, the event would only be what it is supposed to be. With regards to the light-up dress, pretty innovative if the lights in that party were dimmed all throughout the event.

  6. Nate
    June 10, 2016 / 9:09 am

    Call me ignorant for saying this, I don’t mind, but that metallic arm thingy looks like it belongs to a cosplay event. I believe I have some acquaintances who had made something similar to it when they attended last year’s Comic Con. The Met has metal detectors don’t they? Did he have to remove that before entry? If not, then that was one heck of a security risk for the museum!

  7. ryka
    June 12, 2016 / 2:16 am

    That is one hell of a gown. I would kill to have that during prom or even for my wedding.

    • Christine
      July 1, 2016 / 3:50 pm

      Would kill to have that gown for my wedding! My thoughts exactly!

  8. Miaka
    June 14, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    It is a beautiful dress and Claire Danes looks more beautiful in it. It is just that the picture does not show the brightest glow of the gown. But when you see it in a darker room, it looks more stunning.

  9. Karen
    June 18, 2016 / 1:35 am

    It is arguably so sad to see today’s ‘influencers’. Most of them do not really doing anything valuable, yet they are praised by millions.

    • July 25, 2016 / 6:54 am

      a propos rekawiczek to nie widziałam tych o ktorych piszesz, ale jak pomagam tacie przy budowie domu to też używamy takich rekawiczek z palcami maczanymi w sieuoknie/gumil/chijwieczym do nabycie w castoramie ;P

  10. Grant Ice
    July 1, 2016 / 6:41 am

    The Met had always been a favorite place for me to visit everytime I go to New York. The next would be the Museum of Natural History. Geek alert, right? Don’t care. Not much of a fan of fashion events like this either. That metal arm made me look though. Too early for Halloween. Anyway, if this event has done good for a lot of people, then kudos to the organizers!

  11. Nicole
    July 1, 2016 / 1:30 pm

    Gigi Hadid FTW! Your shoot like a pro! I’d love to be there next year.

  12. Elena Torres
    July 3, 2016 / 2:28 am

    Her dress is just beautiul, I felt like I was watching Katniss in The Hunger Games with her dress on fire. These costume parties are always great, so much creativity in one place.

  13. Sarah
    July 10, 2016 / 1:32 am

    Her dress is really stunning. Hats off to the designer.

  14. Vee
    July 10, 2016 / 5:31 pm

    That. Dress. Looks. Amazing! And I love how it fits the theme of the Ball so perfectly! Clare Danes is amazing

  15. Zephyr Zamora
    July 13, 2016 / 6:05 am

    I think that dress woul have been better on Jessica Alba. Not hating, just a preference. The young man is on a higher step on the stairs. Would have been a funny sight if he was looking up the eyes of the girl! She is seriously tall or those were insanely high pumps!

  16. Jolee
    July 13, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    I did not think there was anything special about Clair Dane’s dress. Until I saw the picture of it lit up, so cool!

  17. Sam
    July 14, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    This post is brilliant! I couldn’t stop laughing at your comments about Zayn and Gigi! You’re hilarious. And I couldn’t agree more, about that and about the MET Gala.

  18. Nicole
    July 14, 2016 / 3:18 pm

    Omg Clare Danes’ gown is just gorgeous. It’s absolutely breath taking. I’ve stopped taking the Met Ball seriously and I love your take on this whole affair. It’s a breath of fresh air!

  19. Alex P
    July 14, 2016 / 5:29 pm

    The Taylor swifts of the world ruin things like these by taking attention away from those actually doing something. I love the glow of that dress!

  20. Shonda
    July 14, 2016 / 6:17 pm

    “For added intricacy the sheer of the dress gives the illusion of electrical currents running through the dress even when not in the dark. It was Cinderella, meets Elsa, meets a wickedly stunning evil queen channeling the world’s electrical magic… all in a dress. ” – gahhh. You write so beautifully and I couldn’t agree more with your description!

  21. Ron Abrahams
    July 14, 2016 / 7:05 pm

    Claire Danes is beautiful, but in that dress she is dazzling. Fashion in an Age of Technology, such a spectacular idea for a ball. Let’s see more!

  22. July 25, 2016 / 6:58 am

    Hola, me encantaria que la fundación me orientara en como buscar recurso (ropa, medicamentos, pacas de carton, alimentos, sillas de rueda etc) para la gente de mi cosedidan.empuro respuesta positiva

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