MET GALA 2015: Did the celebrities dressed accordingly to the Chinese-themed gala without being seen as culturally insensitive?

The annual Met Gala 2015 is the biggest and the most significant event in New York’s calendar, where the most prominent A-lists celebrities and fashion designers sashay their way to the fundraising gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute. However, for this year’s theme, China: Through the looking glass, many have speculated it to be a potential fashion disaster. The writer from bustle.com, Maxine Builder  echoed with a concern stated  “I was worried that the 2015 Met Gala exhibit would celebrate Western designers’ appropriation of Chinese culture and that the Gala would be full of celebrities wearing kimonos trying to look “Asian.”

Of course, China is no stranger to America. In my opinion, with so many Hollywood blockbuster movies introducing Chinese content as well as casting famous Chinese actors and actresses as the lead roles, celebrities more or less should be familiar with the Chinese heritage and culture. On the other hand, in a Jezebel article headlined “2015 Met Gala Will Probably Be an Asian-Themed Shitshow”, the writer Kara Brown highlights how Chinese aesthetics have influenced other designers is troubling because that influence is often culturally insensitive”. I tend to agree with Kara and I hoped that the celebrities attending the Met Gala wouldn’t turn up looking like a Geisha or wearing ‘Asian’ eye make-up, thinking that it reflects the Chinese heritage.

For people who live outside of Asia and who are unfamiliar, some tend to think that all people from Asia have a similar culture, values and beliefs. Having lived overseas for five years, I experienced this first hand as people assumed that Singapore is part of China. I found this a little offensive, but funny at the same time! Hence, to dress according to the Chinese theme requires a lot of homework and research to ensure that they are not being culturally insensitive. I appreciate that it is a challenging task for designers and stylists dressing the celebrities for such a special event, so it is imperative that they do their homework when referencing the culture of a specific country.

After a lengthy discussion around the boardroom table the WYLD team would however, like to applaud the following celebs in making, what we thought were highly appropriate statements on the red carpet at Chinese heritage and incorporating it into today’s fashion. What comes to your mind when you think of China? My thoughts would be to look at the opulent prints and embroidery, colours such as red, yellow and jade gold and the intricately detailed extravagant jewellery worn by the Empresses and Princesses of the Dynasties. Or even, think to have a look at today’s prominent Chinese fashion designers such as Guo Pei, who Rihanna rocked so fabulously on the red carpet this year!

 Here are our top picks! 

 Alexa Chung // in Erdem. 

Alexa does it again! Being the impeccable fashionista that she is, she stuns us in a deep purple, hip-hugging corset dress with beautiful floral embroidery. Paired with a bright baby blue heels, Alexa totally rocked the night!

 

Fan Bing Bing // Christopher Bu

Fan BingBing's stunning gold sequin dress and emerald embroidered cape was definitely one of the highlights of the night! The beautiful emerald embroidered cape was said to be inspired from the Chinese ancient imperial palace – the Forbidden City. Indeed, Fan BingBing adhered to the theme with such glamour & style. 

 

 

Jessica Hart // Valentino

This Australian model walked down the red carpet in a long sleeved Chinoiserie-style which reflects Chinese artistic influences. Indeed, Jessica's incredible physique totally compliments this ravishing deep red Valentino gown!

 

Rihanna // Guo Pei

Of course, the best is always saved for the last! Rihanna definitely stole the limelight of the Met Gala this year as she strode down the red carpet wearing an ornately bright yellow fur gown by the outstanding Chinese couturier Guo Pei. Hail to queen Rihanna! 

 

Who do you think rocked this year's Met Gala red carpet? Share your thoughts!

 

Till then xx

Eileen

 

 


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