The Met Gala 2022 dress code was white tie, with celebrities encouraged to translate the glamour of the Gilded Age through a modern lens. Dust off Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence, recommended Vogue, highlighting one particular quote from the author’s portrayal of New York’s golden years: “Everything about the Countess Olenska shimmered and glimmered softly, as if her dress had been woven out of candle-beams, and she carried her head high, like a pretty woman challenging a roomful of rivals,” wrote Wharton of the excess of the era, when extravagance was everything.
But while there were a handful of lit-from-within glowing looks at the Met Gala 2022, the most memorable dresses subscribed to an altogether more gothic school of fabulous.
Riccardo Tisci’s Burberry table set the tone for this wonderfully rebellious take on red-carpet wear. Irina Shayk, who is obsessed with full-look leather, wore a biker babe version of a suit complete with a deconstructed corset and spunky shirt and tie, while Kate Moss modeled a midnight-black velvet reconstructed trench gown.
Bella Hadid also did dark corsetry and lace, while Naomi Campbell’s gown was detailed with tiny equestrian knights, which seemed to spell out how fierce Burberry’s glossy posse looked in all-black.
A handful of guests revamped the corset trend in inky shades befitting the drama of Met Gala night. (Lighter colors were only worn at home during the period of more-is-more style from 1870 to 1890, for fear garments might be sullied on the streets of New York.)
Lizzo’s commanding Thom Browne look involved 13 different materials and 22,000 hours of needlework to finesse the black silk moiré bustier with dropped skirt detail and matching duchess satin chesterfield coat. While Lenny Kravitz chose to shine the spotlight on a lesser known L.A. brand, Chrome Hearts, with his own gender-fluid leather and lace nod to the cinched look.
Supermodels Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss put a jet-black twist on the naked dress, with a little help from Tom Ford and Matthew Williams at Givenchy, respectively.
But it was the new guard of Hollywood actors, including Euphoria’s Maude Apatow and Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor, who showed how sexy goth-girl chic can look in Miu Miu and Louis Vuitton. The latter also flew the flag for what a more sustainable version of red-carpet fashion can look like, by wearing one of Nicolas Ghesquière’s past season looks and looking all the more lovely for it.
The prize for the grandest take on the LBD came via Kendall Jenner, who is enjoying a sophisticated new style era thanks to her obsession with The Row and Balenciaga. Her black tulle tank and voluminous double silk satin skirt with hand-pleated ruched details cascaded down the Met museum’s steps and called to mind Rihanna’s famous Guo Pei omelette dress. But of course Jenner’s jet-black girl gang wouldn’t be seen dead in yellow. As Wednesday Addams, the harbinger of dark-as-the-night fashion, once said, “I’ll stop wearing black when they invent a darker color.”
Lastly, congratulations are in order for Sophie Turner, who framed her baby bump in an embroidered black cruise 2016 Louis Vuitton dress that had shades of Game of Thrones thanks to her glossy copper hair (a marker of her character, Sansa Stark). Turner has had years of gothic fashion training from the costumes in the fantasy epic and it shows. While her fellow Met Gala guests doubled down on the trends, she looked most like herself in her bewitching take on white tie. Bravo.
This post originally appeared on Vogue