All my life, I have tried to understand the world of fashion. I have tried to understand why I shouldn’t wear brown and black together (I refuse to use the word ‘can’t’ here), but it seems to be a mortal sin by some people’s standards). I have tried to get the drift of colour blocking, layering and every other fashion trend that has made it to the forefront every year. I have tried to know the importance of why a large buckled belt is more suitable for my jeans than my simple black thin belt. I really have tried, but in the class of fashion and style, I seem to always sit in the dunce corner with my cone-shaped hat steadily on…and that’s just men’s fashion.
So, imagine my absolute incredulity when I woke up on Tuesday morning to see my BBM and Instagram timelines flooded with images from the Met Gala. It has to be said that this annual event is really a fundraiser for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and it heralds the beginning of the exhibition for that year. So in line with this, there is a running theme every year; and guess what? China was served this year. In spades! No one asked how much was raised o…not at all! It was all about who wore what.
Let it be noted that I’m a very gay man who is not confused about his sexuality in any way. But I’m far from the stereotype of the fashionable gay man who’s also a good cook and has OCD. In fact, as I type this, I realize how far I am. I wear mostly natives, just so no one calls me out on any fashion blunder (most of my fashionista friends regard this as safe). I absolutely hate the kitchen, and piled on top of that is that I’m a terrible cook. And my bedroom looks like an earthquake or tsunami has just taken place (Nepal anyone? Or is it too early for that joke?). Alongside all this, I do love men, the male form and its intricacies, I love RuPaul’s Drag Race, I love house and techno music…in fact, every other thing a gay man is supposed to love, I love. Fashion, culinary and home management skills have just proven to be ethereal sons of bitches that I can’t seem to pin down.
So, back to my timeline on Tuesday morning: first thing I saw was Rihanna’s…erm…duvet? Jacket? Cape? Aha…a cape? Oh wow! Cape! That’s what we’re calling that? Pretty interesting! So, I saw it and all the memes that followed, and boy, did I have a laugh! So, there was Rihanna, dressed in that yellow ‘cape’, looking like she meant business. Honestly, where my sympathies lay were with those full grown men who had to help her lift it as she moved on the red carpet. Obviously, practicality flies out of the window while dressing up for this event (I can never forget Beyoncé’s straitjacket gown from a couple of years ago – Jay Z and her stylist practically had to lift her like a mannequin).
I hereby take a stand. Nne, if you cannot move in whatever attire you’ve chosen to wear, your business! I no gree carry person, abi gown, abi anyone in between…I no gree ooooo!
Then followed the fashion critics and their observations; they jumped on Rihanna’s cape (since you guys say that’s what that is) with gusto. Applause from all corners and even more people coming up with the word ingenuous… Oh wow! Ok! Fair enough! At this point, I was almost scared to share my honest opinion, but with you, my dear family, how can I hold back? Wetin? Ingenuous ke? Rihanna looked like she just woke up and dragged the duvet along with her, and then when her French maid, Colette, screamed after her, “Mademoiselle Bad Gal Riri, you’re dragging the duvet along with you!”, she looked down, saw it, shrugged defiantly and said, “It’s the Met Gala, anything goes, the Rihanna Navy will lap it up.” If you doubt that this conversation took place, check out her nightie underneath the duvet (are we still going with the cape theory?).
Next up from Planet Starlet was the sister who’s known more for blood ties than her music. According to the fashion pundits, Solange’s dress is known as a Metallic Bloom dress. Hian! Metallic bloom cha?! All I could see was something that would be next to impossible to sit in, and a danger to her life as she won’t be able to see oncoming traffic; if trailer come jam am now, wetin we go talk? Besides, why would anyone want to wear a dress that won’t allow you see what’s going on right in front of you? Of course, the Jay Z fans were very happy about this, as their king’s head wouldn’t be getting a drop chop landed on it. Besides, she has a husband now, she’s probably a lot happier and content (and getting a lot more sex), so everyone can stay in their homes and mind their own marriages.
Enter Alicia Keys and Lady Gaga… Even I had to agree with all the people that lumped them in the worst dressed category. I think it’s bigger news that both of them arrived without their other halves, but still, those get-ups were not leaving anyone in the throes of ecstasy. Even Mama Amarachi aka Madam Pope aka The Woman with the White Hat very nearly tried it with that her dress, but seeing as I’m a huge Scandal fan, I’ll let it go. ‘Baby doll gone bad’ is all I will say, although a lot of people loved it; I wish they can show me this thing they see that makes up great fashion. As for Kris Jenner… *sigh* No words!
Our tweens weren’t left out. Vanessa Hudgens, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez tried to set the red carpet on fire, but they were eclipsed by way bigger stars, way bigger than they could take on. Interesting thing though was Justin Beiber’s jacket, and him being heralded as the Best Dressed Male on that red carpet. I’m happy for him; he really has come a long way from jeans, sneakers, back-facing face caps and his chicken voice singing: “Baby, Baby, Baby, oooooohhhh…”
When ndi nwe obodo arrived, even I knew it while I was asleep, with the collective sighs that went up in the air at the same time everywhere in the world. First off was Sarah Jessica Parker. She came and took the Chinese cake home with that headpiece; even I stopped doing what I was doing long enough to stare. People have energy, honestly! Can I state here that I love Sex And The City, but I can’t stand SJP. I don’t think she’s as fashionable as people make her out to be. Outlandish? Yes, but not fashionable. I think there’s just too much fuss made about her.
Then came the Big Booty Trio: Kim Kardashian, in her dress that looked like the white version of Beyoncé’s black-and-blue creation two years ago. In fact, the minute I saw it, I said, “Ahn-ahn! Hasn’t this been worn before?” But it’s like one major fashion designer said, “There’s nothing new in fashion, just recycled.” Now, I believe it. Then there was Jennifer Lopez. She was my Best Dressed all around. I expect that was Versace she had on, as Donatella was holding on to her for dear life on that red carpet, lest another designer be given credit for the dress. Of course, Beyoncé had to come late, which I hear has become a trend with her, and everyone was scratching the walls with their fingernails, waiting to see their queen show her face. Of course, the Bey-hive gave her Best Dressed. Hear it for someone on my TL: “Because I know how difficult it is to walk with sheer fabric and putting all of those beads on it in those strategic places couldn’t have been easy.” Well, I wonder what the response would have been if, say, Keri Hilson had worn that dress, or perhaps Ashanti. You’re laughing now, aren’t you? You’re seeing the savage comments that would follow, aren’t you? The BBT (Big Booty Trio) of course had to give us side booty flashes; it’s funny how we’ve become accustomed to the theory that you haven’t shown your butt if there’s no visible butt crack, or shown your boobs if the nipple is hidden.
Taraji P. Henson and Gabrielle Union showed up in classic clothes and were beaten with fashion’s biggest whip that’s meted out when you commit the most heinous of fashion crimes – the Whip of Safety and Simplicity. According to my friend (who is usually on life support during the Met Gala until the red carpet brings him back to life – don’t ask, story for another day), his indignation was founded on this: “How dare they? But Lothario, really, how dare they? This year’s theme was China. You could have gone to the farthest reaches of the earth with that theme. China is an excuse for dramatic fashion, why would they do that?” Of course, at this point I was most scared of admitting that if I was a Hollywood star, I probably would have turned up in a gown not too far from what the above mentioned wore; you see when someone is foaming at the mouth, you probably should stare straight ahead and nod in agreement, or end up dealing with decapitation…or worse.
All in all, it was a good show. I had fun with the memes and everyone’s silliness at taking these events so personally. Would have been fun to see what Lupita would have churned out this year after last year’s basket dress, but with the recent spate of xenophobia in South Africa, and with white people thinking that all of Africa is one country, she probably wasn’t invited this year as they were scared she would set Zendaya on fire, upset that she was taking all of her business away.
At the end of the day, this is just my unpopular opinion. Don’t take it to heart. Cheers!
Written by Lothario