Met Gala 2023: The best, boldest and beautiful tributes to Karl Lagerfeld

Celebrating the life and work of iconic German designer Karl Lagerfeld at this year’s Met Gala brought out the best, boldest and most beautiful tributes to the man who was the master of reinvention.

Famed for its A-list celebrities and extravagant outfits, the invitation-only Met Gala is a benefit for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and marks the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit.

The upcoming exhibit, Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty, celebrates the life and work of the late designer who was creative director for fashion houses including Chanel and Fendi, as well as his namesake brand.

“Karl loved romantic, but he also loved something a little edgy and nasty,” US fashion designer Michael Kors said.

Many celebrities opted for looks that were très romantique and ancien, with no shortage of vintage Chanel gowns, pearl necklaces and flower decals on the red carpet.

There was also no shortage of bling.

Meta Gala co-chair Dua Lipa wore a vintage 1992 Chanel haute couture cream tweed gown and paired it with a 100-carat Tiffany diamond necklace.

American rapper Lil Nas X brought the edge – arriving covered head to toe in sparkling silver body paint, crystals and pearls with a diamond, crystal and pearl mask that took nine hours of silver spray paint, jewels and claws.

Meta Gala co-chair and Ghanaian-British screenwriter and actor Michaela Coel wore a nude, semi-sheer, long-sleeve Schiaparelli gown encrusted with 130,000 crystals, straight back cornrows and gold statement accessories, including a diamond-and-gold turtle-neck necklace.

The so-called Oscars of the East Coast this year was co-chaired by Spanish actor Penelope Cruz, Swiss tennis great Roger Federer and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who has organised and presided over the event since 1995.

Rapper Doja Cat lived up to her reputation for eye-catching and experimental looks in an outfit that appeared to be inspired by Lagerfeld’s beloved pet cat, Choupette.

She wore a cat nose prosthetic and an Oscar de la Renta hooded gown fitted with cat ears.

In another homage to the famous feline, an enormous fluffy, white, blue-eyed Burmese cat mascot ascended the museum’s steps before US actor Jared Leto revealed himself, bringing a whole new meaning to this year’s Met Gala dress code “in honour of Karl”.

Let’s see who else nailed the brief.

Glass Onion actor Janelle Monae transformed on the steps with the help of two black-suited attendants, having made her Met Gala debut more than a decade ago with Lagerfeld.

Her tribute was labelled one of the more elaborate costumes of this year’s costume extravaganza.

She wore Chanel to her first Met Gala in 2011 with Lagerfeld: “I went with Karl, so this is sort of full circle for us to be honouring him.”

Lil Nas X definitely nailed the briefs. Photo: Getty

Jared Leto and his alter-ego Choupette. Photo: Getty

Lizzo and James Galway perform onstage during the gala. Photo: Getty

Indian businesswoman and socialite Natasha Poonawalla’s geometric ode to Karl Lagerfeld was the talk of the town on one of fashion’s biggest nights. Photo: Getty

Kylie Jenner paid tribute to Lagerfeld’s 1990s supermodels. Photo: Getty

Janelle Monae’s shoes, in case you missed them. Photo: Getty

Lizzo performs on a table. Photo: Getty

Yung Miami and rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, whose look is described as a ‘fashion-forward black motorcycle tuxedo’, which featured 600 Swarovski crystals and black pearls in homage to Lagerfeld’s time with Chanel. Photo: Getty

South Korean model Sora Choi wore a skirt suit-inspired design that was covered in camellias. Photo: Getty

Last year, she famously borrowed Marilyn Monroe’s $US6 million Happy Birthday gown. This time round, Kim Kardashian covered herself in 50,000 pearls. Photo: Getty

Gisele Bundchen’s feathered cape stole the show. Photo: Getty

Rapper Cardi B wore a structured ballgown by Chenpeng Studio. The full black skirt featured a quilted overlay a la Chanel’s Boy Bag, and was covered in huge sculptural rosettes. Photo: Getty

Serena Williams Met Gala

Arriving on the red carpet with her husband Alexis Ohanian, 23-time tennis grand slam champion Serena Williams, 41, went one step further and announced she was expecting her second child. Photo: Getty

Not sisters. Mother and daughter Wendi Deng Murdoch and Grace Murdoch. Photo: Getty

Don’t Worry Darling‘s Florence Pugh got a buzz cut to wear this headpiece. Photo: Getty

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