New York: When American Fashion Model and Television personality Kendall Jenner posed for photographers at last night’s Met Gala, the 85thousand hand-painted crystals on her La Perla gown didn’t come close to covering her model caboose.
But gatherings of liberal A-listers did a parade around in surprisingly conservative dress codes both at the gala and the after-parties.
Singer Actress Jennifer Lopez, who usually not seen as bare, wore a high-necked Valentino dress, Felicity Jones donned a buttoned-up Erdem gown, and Sarah Paulson looked puritanical in Prada.
“Fashion is about extremes,” fashion expert and television personality George Kotsiopoulos tells the NY Post. “We’ve seen so much nudity on the red carpet that . . . now it’s provocative not to show skin.”
Call it fashion’s nude-versus-prude divide. On one side, stars reveal more than ever in get-ups that look fit for a strip club. On the other, they shroud themselves in the latest convent-worthy creations.
At the gala, Katy Perry, the singer was suited and veiled in a custom red tulle-and-chiffon Maison Margiela Artisanal confection by John Galliano — though she ditched the look for a leotard, garters, and coat at Marc Jacobs’ post-ball celebration. Still, her main-event ensemble was in line with fashion influencers such as Ruth Negga and Janelle Monáe, who are showing that high Victorian collars and long sleeves look modern, not matronly.
“It’s actually cooler to be hidden than exposed,” says fashion expert and Glam4Good founder Mary Alice Stephenson. “The costume is back: clothing that is elaborate, complicated and layered.”
But some, especially those with the last name Hadid or Jenner, are still partial to (over)exposure. Supermodel Bella Hadid rocked an Alexander Wang nude-illusion jumpsuit at the gala, then his nipple-baring chain mail tank dress over panties for late-night dancing. Naomi Watts wowed at the fund-raiser in a Stella McCartney black column cut to the waist with a shimmery net overlay, and Sofia Richie began in a slithery open-neck lamé gown, then swapped it for a see-through white lace jumpsuit and bra.
“The Instagram revolution has made lingerie and intimates acceptable for everyday life,” says Stephenson. “It’s no longer shocking or titillating to be naked or to wear very little.”
Many no longer find exhibitionism to be exciting — or even all that interesting. “Practically every girl has flashed her ass on the red carpet,” says Kotsiopoulos, who traces the origin of the trend to Rose McGowan’s shocking 1998 MTV Video Music Awards looks. “Who cares? We’ve seen it all. I see nothing wrong with it, but it’s just boring.”