The 2023 Met Gala kicked off on the first Monday of May (May 1), and saw musicians, actresses and other celebrities dressed up in the most fashionable and head-turning garments while descending upon New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Rihanna and A$AP Rocky, Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo and more offered stunning looks, while Doja Cat, Jared Leto and Lil Nas X went the daring route with cat ensembles on the beige carpet, but some spectators were left wondering how feline costuming fit in line with the gala’s theme this year.
In line with previous themes such as 2017’s “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” and 2011’s “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” the 2023 Met Gala’s theme was “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” to honor the late designer, who passed away in 2019. Attendees could pull from Lagerfeld’s designs for Balmain, Patou, Chloé, Fendi, Chanel and his eponymous brand for inspiration or archival looks, but in the case of Doja, Leto and Lil Nas X, they chose to pay homage to designer’s beloved cat, Choupette.
To pay tribute to Lagerfeld and his relationship with the Birman, Doja gave a high-fashion take on the famous feline, opting for a backless hand-beaded white gown by Oscar de la Renta (the designer also had a close relationship with Lagerfeld) with a fitted hood punctuated by glittering cat ears and forehead jewels. The rapper accessorized the look with facial prosthetics to make her look even more catlike.
Lil Nas X left little to the imagination with his crystal outfit, donning silver full-body glitter and matching sparkling underwear and platform shoes in collaboration with makeup artist Pat McGrath and Dior Men. For his face, Lil Nas was decorated with glittering whiskers, as well as pearls, appliqué, rhinestones and more. Cat-winged eyeliner and sharp claws (nails by Temeka Jackson) completed the “Call Me By Your Name (Montero)” rapper’s look.
Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto, meanwhile, wore a literal Choupette costume that looked just like Lagerfeld’s famous feline companion. As the singer-actor progressed on the carpet, he removed his cat head to reveal intense, glittering eye makeup, and later removed the body of the costume to show an all-black ensemble consisting of a bedazzled cape, shirt and trousers.
Check out more looks in the Met Gala red carpet gallery.