The Met Gala hosts the red carpet of the season, where attendees dress in their own interpretations of the theme of the year’s Costume Institute exhibit. It’s somewhat accurately been described as the Super Bowl of the fashion industry.
This year’s event was held on Monday and the theme was Rei Kawakubo/Commes des Garçons: Art of the In-Between. As always, the red carpet was a must-see for every fashion lover, with its usual combination of style hits and misses. The Internet has been flooded with best and worst dressed lists from the night for the past few days, and flicking through the pics has chewed up entirely too much time that should have been spent on more productive activities.
But, while we’ve loved looking at this year’s pics (nailed it, Rihanna), what has disappointed us is the lack of ‘green’ on this particular red carpet. Yes, event host Gisele Bündchen wore organic silk Stella McCartney and Green Carpet Challenge® founder Livia Firth wore a Laura Strambi frock made out of Piñatex™, a natural leather alternative made from unwanted pineapple leaves. But that seems like the extent of the 2017 Met Gala’s sustainability story. [You can read more about Livia Firth's sustainable Met Gala style at Vogue.com
There was more high-street on Monday night’s red carpet than sustainable luxury. Nicki Minaj, Ashley Graham, Future, Joe Jonas, Jourdan Dunn, Sasha Lane and Stella Maxwell all wore (custom) H&M. Behati Prinsloo-Levine, Candice Swanepoel, Sofia Richie and Joan Smalls were in Topshop. ’10 Stylish Celebs Rocking Fast Fashion’, screamed the headlines. Sure, we're biased, but celebrating fast fashion being worn to a major event by people with enough money and influence to not? Really?
Nowhere has it been mentioned that Monday night’s H&M pieces were aligned with the brand’s new Conscious Exclusive collection. Or that Topshop’s Reclaim line was the source of its red carpet inspiration. Please, correct me if I’m wrong here, but I imagine if either fast fashion retailer had incorporated a sustainability element into any of its celebrity designs – studied in minute detail by fashion lovers around the world – it would have been trumpeted from the rooftops for all to hear by now.
Last year’s eco-fashion standout from the Met was, of course, Emma Watson’s recycled Calvin Klein dress. Made from Newlife fabric (engineered from used plastic bottles), every element of Watson’s 2016 look was considered from an ethical and aesthetic perspective, including the lining crafted from organic silk and cotton, and even down to the zippers, made from recycled plastic.
And our hero – sorry, Watson – didn’t stop at her own look last year, either (obvs, she’s a sustainable fashion superchic). She also challenged the team at Calvin Klein to incorporate sustainability elements into the looks for Margot Robbie and Lupita Nyong’o. Robbie’s 2016 optical white dress, for example, featured an organic silk lining and zippers made from recycled materials. Livia Firth’s dress was made from up-cycled duchess silk. Last year it seemed that eco-friendly was very much haute.
It just would have been amazing if more designers and celebs alike had used this year’s gala as a platform to showcase the possibilities of sustainable fashion. Particularly given this year's theme and its celebration of a designer well known for disrupting expectations.
We await the 2018 Met Gala red carpet with baited breath! Bring on the recycled plastic.