So Many 2023 Met Gala Looks Were Vintage (or Vintage-Inspired)

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Celebs like Naomi Campbell, Dua Lipa, Jennie Kim and Nicole Kidman got the memo: Reduce, reuse and re-wear!

“Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” might have been the official theme of the 2023 Met Gala, but it could have just as easily been “vintage couture.” Countless guests pulled from the fashion archives as they celebrated Lagerfeld’s legacy with their looks at the event on May 1, with several drawing inspiration from the late designer’s work at iconic fashion houses such as Chanel, Fendi and Chloé.

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Some celebrities took the archival approach a step further and opted to wear designs that they had previously donned themselves.

Nicole Kidman honoured Lagerfeld by slipping into a Chanel haute couture gown that she originally wore for her classic Chanel No. 5 campaign back in 2004. In the commercial for the popular fragrance, Kidman played a celebrity who was struggling with her role in the public eye. The ad, which was directed by Baz Lurhmann, featured clips of her running through New York’s Times Square in the blush pink gown. Last night though, the silk tulle dress endured much less severe conditions as it gracefully draped down the legendary steps of The Met.

Lagerfeld’s longtime muse Gisele Bündchen also re-wore a past look as she walked the carpet in a Chanel Spring 2007 bridal gown complete with a grand feathered cape. Bündchen, who first wore the dress in a photoshoot for Harper’s Bazaar South Korea from the same year, was all smiles at her first post-divorce Met as she was clearly having fun posing in the angelic outfit.

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Vanessa Kirby also sported an original Lagerfeld design on the first Monday in May, sparkling in the historic “shower dress” from Chloé’s Spring 1983 collection. The English actress said that wearing an original piece, which was previously being showcased at the North Carolina Museum of Art, “felt special” during a red carpet interview.

Naomi Campbell (another longstanding Lagerfeld muse) also wore a vintage Chanel confection, pulling from Chanel’s Spring 2010 haute couture collection. Dua Lipa, who has a co-chair of the event, wore vintage Chanel haute couture as well, showcasing a bridal gown from the Fall 1992 line that was famously worn by supermodel Claudia Schiffer.

There’s certainly a sustainable fashion element to stars re-wearing pieces that were already made prior to the 2023 Met Gala — and these gowns weren’t the only reference to sustainability on Monday. According to Vogue, an installation made of flowers and thousands of recycled water bottles was the main centrepiece of the event. The innovative decoration, developed by designer Tadao Ando, was reportedly a reference to how Lagerfeld always looked to the future, and the eco-friendly component of the design was also a nod to that forward-thinking ideation.

While they may not have re-worn exact gowns to the Met Gala on May 1, several other celebrities drew major inspiration from Lagerfeld’s vintage designs. Margot Robbie, for example, wore a stunningly similar remake of a Chanel black dress fitted with a transparent bodice that Cindy Crawford previously wore down the Spring 1993 runway 30 years ago.

Photography by Getty Images

K-pop star Jennie Kim also looked to vintage Chanel for her Met Gala look, sporting a recreation of a mini-dress from the house’s Fall 1990 ready-to-wear collection.

Ashley Graham, Penélope Cruz, Maude Apatow, Allison Williams and Lizzo also followed the trend and selected looks that were deeply inspired by Lagerfeld’s past creations.

Whether these stars wore the originals or near-identical replicas of previous designs, the willingness to recycle memorable looks points to another aspect of sustainability in fashion — the importance of not losing the significance of past artwork. Through the numerous nods to Lagerfeld’s classic creations last night, it’s clear that when it comes to high fashion, the late designer’s artistic legacy and dedication to his craft lives on.

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