Every first Monday of May, all eyes of fashion insiders and lovers, are fixed on New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The annual Met Gala is a fundraising gala that benefits the museum’s Costume Institute and also announces the grand opening of its annual fashion exhibit.
While last year’s China: Through The Looking Glass theme drew questionable outfit choices (read: cultural appropriation) from various attendees, 2016’s festivities might have caused some stomachs to turn; especially those of highbrow fashion enthusiasts’.
Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology, the main fashion exhibit for 2016 celebrates the interconnectedness of haute couture and prêt-à-porter even though they are both different in nature. The exploration of their similarities might have been a reason why there was a surge in celebrities turning up in H&M and Topman/Topshop at this year’s Met Gala. Yes, you read that right. The same fast fashion retailers that produce huge volumes of affordable clothes got a number of celebrities to walk the red carpet in their gowns and suits.
A photo posted by Douglas Booth (@douglasbooth) on May 2, 2016 at 2:10pm PDT
For Topman, singer and actor Nick Jonas was fitted with a custom navy tuxedo that he helped designed while Jupiter Ascending actor Douglas Booth opted for a morning dress silhouette as a nod to his English roots. Not to be outdone, Vine star and Calvin Klein model Cameron Dallas came dressed in a head-to-toe white outfit also custom-made by Topman.
Beloved teen model Lucky Blue Smith wore a custom H&M off-white Italian wool tuxedo blazer with leather trousers that had blue metallic coating, as he walked hand in hand with sister Pyper America Smith who was also in H&M – a silver vinyl laser-cut dress.
To an untrained eye, one could hardly tell the difference between a luxury suit and a fast fashion one. And truth be told, they do look good. In fact, this is not the first time that both fast fashion retailers have dressed Met Gala attendees. H&M started last year with American singer Banks wearing a custom crimson gown while Topshop has been doing so for years now and even recreated and sold some of the previous year’s gowns for the masses.
It might have been a slap to the night’s luxury fashion houses but being able to produce designs that did not look out of place, was not only a success for fast fashion but definitely played to the theme. But is this a positive sign for an industry that has been accused of producing too much for too little? That’s a whole other issue altogether.