The Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute Gala (or Met Gala, for short) is on Monday, and it promises to be one of the most formal evenings in ages. The dress code specifies white tie and tails for men (think what Prince Philip might wear to a royal wedding), while ladies will be wearing gowns influenced by the famously glamorous and over-the-top beautiful designs of Charles James. (Who? Read more about him here.) And of course, dozens of stars will be attending on the arms of designers who have created custom gowns just for the occasion.
Due to the extremely high-fashion nature of the ball, stars are likely to be wearing very formal, very elegant one-of-a-kind dresses to walk up the famous Met Gala stairs. But we couldn’t help but take a look at recent runways to see where inspiration may lie for these A-list designers and their planned celebrity dates. Below, see six outfits we think we might see in some form Monday night.
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Alex Apatoff, Style News Editor
Zoë Saldana in Prabal Gurung: Saldana and Gurung are very close friends — he’s created many of her most memorable red carpet gowns over the past few years. He’s likely to whip up something very grand for the model-esque actress, but I think he could be inspired by this gown he sent down the runway in February. The skirt recalls a favorite James silhouette (the designer loved a full overlay on a gown) but the mod halter and ab cutouts are so 2014 — and the color would be divine on her. [Editors’ note: One prediction out the window! Saldana will be attending as a guest of Michael Kors, we learned Monday.]
Rihanna? in Lanvin: Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz is attending with a “mystery celeb,” per The Hollywood Reporter, and it apparently won’t be go-to “model” Emma Stone. So my money’s on Rihanna: She attended Lanvin’s fashion show in Paris, she has plenty of edgy allure for the line’s darker dresses and she can’t resist making a statement. That’s why I think she’ll opt for something understated (for Rihanna, anyway), like this liquid metal black number. Imagine it floor length, full-skirted, with a low back and a beautiful updo. Here’s hoping I’m right!
Brittany Talarico, Associate Style Editor
Lupita Nyong’o in Prada: If I had to place one bet regarding Met Gala fashion, it would be Lupita in a custom Prada gown, because I know I’d win. (And if I’m wrong, please feel free to shame me in the comments after Monday’s red carpet.) Not only is the actress the face of Miu Miu (Miuccia Prada’s other label for those who need to brush up on their fashion houses), but she also has a chance to top the custom Nairobi blue Prada creation she wore to the Oscars. Okay, like that’s gonna happen, but all signs point to another major Prada moment. My vision? This cutout design from the Spring/Summer 2014 collection. The figure-flattering silhouette and intricate detail would be a hat tip to James, plus, as a full-length gown (I’m also picturing some train action) it would look amazing on Lupita’s toned body (like everything else she wears).
Coco Rocha in Zac Posen: Zac Posen’s dresses already pay huge homage to James’s aesthetic. The designer must have studied his predecessor’s work very closely when launching his own label (which features many similarly dramatic ball gowns). And for supermodels like Coco, the Met Ball is the king of all red carpet events, so it’s best to go big. I can picture the professional catwalker — who has been in a number of Posen’s shows and is close friends with the designer — in this dramatic teal confection with a structured bodice. Can you imagine the red carpet stairs photo op potential? Pretty powerful.
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John Soper, Editorial Assistant
Olivia Munn in Diane Von Furstenberg: The actress has yet to meet a plunging neckline that she didn’t like. Keeping that in mind, this gown from the Fall 2014 collection would be a perfect option for the gala. There is a low enough dip to keep Munn happy and the ruching on the top half of the dress gives a slight homage to James’ butterfly design which symbolizes the body of the insect with a tight column gathered all the way down. Plus, James’s “Taxi Dress” is credited as an early sibling to the famous DVF wrap dress silhouette, so a gown version would be a nice homage to James’s craft.
Taylor Swift in J. Mendel: The singer already proved that she looks stunning in royal blue while attending the 2013 Billboard Music Awards in her shimmering Zuhair Murad mini, so we believe this look from the designer’s newest line would be a helpful reminder for everyone. The sapphire gown embodies the Charles James aesthetic from the gathering on the bodice and the satin overlay to the sheer, pleated skirt underneath (as seen on his ball gown design here).
Who are you most excited to see? Think any of these looks will make it onto the red carpet in some form? Tell us below!