Fashion’s biggest night falls on the first Monday in May and lays the stage for both New York’s high society and Hollywood’s finest, as they join forces and collaborate with some of the world’s most influential designers. Sadly due to the pandemic the Gala has once again been postponed but I thought I’d celebrate in my own bookish way!
The creativity and innovation of the designers and the way in which they embrace each years theme never fails to surprise me. I’d give anything to be on that carpet with the likes of Harry Styles and Lady Gaga in a very glamours ensemble, a girl can dream!
Anyway, I thought I’d combine two of my favourite things and give some book recommendations based off some iconic Met Gala themes as well as dream outfit choices! Enjoy!
2020 – About Time: Fashion and Duration (Timeless Books You Can Re-read Over and Over Again)
With this look I’d either pull a 2019 Lady Gaga outfit change, with layers of different iconic pieces throughout fashion or I’d go for something timeless like a little black dress but with a Met inspired twist!
As for my book recommendations, these are some of my absolute favourite comfort books that transport me away from reality and right into the heart of their magical and beautiful adventures.
2019 – Camp: Notes on Fashion (A Book with a Queer/LGBTQ+ Protagonist)
This was one of my favourite Met Gala themes because the possibilities were endless and the carpet was filled with so many iconic pieces. For this look I’d either do something super colourful and vibrant or I would be twinning with Ezra Miller in a pinstripe suite with a train and bedazzled corset, and jaw dropping illusion make up!
These beautifully refreshing books need to be on your TBR! Their stories are real and relatable but be prepared, they will leave you both emotionally wrecked and fulfilled.
2016 – Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology (A Dystopian/Sci-fi Book)
That year, Claire Danes hit the mark with her elegant and tasteful light up ball gown and as much as I loved it, I’d want to wear something straight out of a Project Runway unconventional material challenge or something dystopian and Blade Runner inspired!
My teenage years were dominated by YA dystopian fiction, so it’s not usually my go-to genre but recently I’ve fallen in love with it all over again. A friend of mine has been trying to get me to read The Fifth Season for years and I’ve finally given in and I’m excited to see if it lives up to the hype!
2014 – Charles James: Beyond Fashion (Best Dressed Books)
Charles James was an English-American fashion designer and is best known for his ballgowns and highly structured aesthetic, so it’s no surprise that I’d love to wear a big and beautiful ballgown that belongs in a fantasy wardrobe.
I’d give anything to have these characters wardrobes, especially Scarlets changing dress from Caraval! A dress that changes with your mood? Yes please! I loved watching her dress change throughout the series and enjoyed the fact that it had a mind of it’s own and could change at any time! The possibilities are endless and I don’t think I’d ever want to take it off.
2012 – Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations (A Book that Sparks a Conversation)
The 2012 theme juxtaposed the work of Italian designers Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada and allowed us to explore how the past enlightens the present. If I was to attend I’d love to wear a Met inspired power suit, as this piece proves that women can exhibit confidence and authority in a male-dominated world and turn a significantly male outfit into a powerful yet feminine suit of armor. The power suit doesn’t focus on embedding the masculine silhouette and stepping inside the shoes of a man, instead, it emulates the masculine look and combines it with the female identity to create a flattering and powerful sheathing that fuels the feminist movement with confidence and style.
These books offer a vital and power insight into different issues and perspectives and are all 100% worth the read!
2011 – Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (A Thrilling Adventure)
Alexander McQueen is a huge influence on fashion and his gift for tailoring allowed to him to create the imaginative designs he is known for and to construct breathtaking runway shows. The key elements of McQueen’s aesthetic included Roman Gothic/Victorian-inspired pieces, like dark colours, thick fabrics, and red lace as well as frequent references to armour or pieces that are ‘protective’ of the woman wearing them. Just like McQueen these books are powerfully bold and full of surprises!
2010 – American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity (A Book Set in the USA)
When I think of iconic and fashionable American women, my mind jumps to the likes of Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, and Jackie Kennedy, so I think I’d wear something classic, elegant and timeless.
Before writing this post I had no idea that there was the American reading challenge which involves readers taking a road-trip around the US by reading books set in each state! I’m obsessed with this idea and it’s definitely something I want to work towards!
2008 – Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy (A Book about Superheros)
This theme needs a re-do, as the outfits for the 2008 superhero inspired theme was very disappointing and I feel that stars and designers now would fully embrace the theme and go all out! I’m a huge fan of all the Marvel films so I think I’d channel one of my favourite characters, Bucky Barnes ‘aka’ The Winter Soldier. I’d love to wear a one-shouldered black gown with a silver sleeve with a dark and smokey eye look that screamed mysterious and powerful elegance!
As for the book recommendations, Vicious by V.E.Schwab is at the top of my list! It’s a masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world that I guarantee you’ll love!
2006 – AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion (A Book Set in the UK)
For this theme I’d join forces with British Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran (Atonement, Little Women & more) to create something incredible! When reading I spent most of my time in wonderful fantasy worlds rather than my own, but after finding books for this prompt I’m going to make more of an effort to read books set in the UK!
2003 – Goddess: The Classical Mode (A Book about Gods/Goddesses)
I’m thinking white party-toga realness! I’d channel my inner Athena/Aphrodite and go all out with a lightweight white dress and gold headpiece! As many of you know I’m obsessed with mythology, so here are a few of my favourite Greek God-based books!