The Met Gala is an annual event that’s often dubbed the ‘Oscars of the East.’ This is where fashion really puts on the show on the majestic steps of the popular museum. When celebrities or models receive an invitation, it’s often by a designer who has either purchased seats at $35,000 a pop or a table that can cost upwards to $300,000. Alessandro Michele, Creative Director to Gucci, is one of the co-hosts this year and indirectly made for an impactful moment in Black fashion history. Many celebrities from actress Regina Hall to activist Bethann Hardison donned the Gucci x Dapper Dan collection at the event; however, you also saw women like Karlie Kloss and Ashley Graham wearing ensembles as well. Dapper Dan is a talented designer. Periodt. Not just a talented Black designer and while one can be proud to be both, the latter often overshadows and makes headlines. I loved how the collection was seamlessly weaved onto the carpet amongst the grandeur of fellow high fashion houses.
Unfortunately, actresses, athletes, and artists often cling to the perceived superiority of the usual names as they climb the legendary steps tossing away their chance to elevate their own community. This evening, they made a different choice. Alessandro Michele has corrected past wrongs and utilized his platform to pivot Dapper Dan for success beyond Gucci. The Met Gala is one of the most important nights for fashion and a marketing opportunity like no other. Brands receive millions of impressions and lesser known names both in front of the scene and behind have an opportunity to be catapulted to a household name with the funds following.
Regina Hall, Bevy Smith, and Bethann Hardison showed up on the red-carpet wearing looks from the icon’s collaboration with Gucci. See every celebrity who wore Dapper Dan by Gucci below.
Hardison wore a delightfully slouchy suit with a regal headpiece.
Smith wore a stately cape atop a shimmering blush gown.
The ladies weren’t the only ones who chose to rock Dan’s designs. 21 Savage and Omari Hardwick did it for the culture.
A legend who brought the art of couture quality craftsmanship to the Harlem streets Dapper Dan was a famous figure in the Black community long before he was being tapped to work with the fashion houses that once rejected his innovations. The theme of Camp: Notes On Fashion are actually a nod to subculture and the extravagance and opulence within. The meta-like Met moment of Dapper Dan’s designs being adorned on the carpet is satisfying. Mainstream celebrities aware of his story are now placing his art in a position of prominence as a means of not only slaying their looks but shining a light on its significance.
Supermodels Karlie Kloss and Ashley Graham gave their millions of followers a lesson in allyship as they payed homage to Dan’s work by rocking it on the pink carpet as well.
Kloss wore a slinky gilded mini dress with Dan’s take on the signature Gucci print. Like Hall’s her dress had voluminous sleeves. Kloss, married to Joshua Kushner, wore the Black designer with pride, which was a not so silent sign of support.
Graham showed her support from head to toe in a red and green Dapper Dan by Gucci jacket. She finished the look off with a series of perfectly on trend hair clips and bold stockings that upped the ante on the statement.
Not to be outdone by his admirers Dapper Dan showed up on the carpet in a custom tux of his own creation.
Let’s hope Black artists getting their credit in fashion remains in style in 2020.