Josh O’Connor has starstruck reaction to Zendaya’s Met Gala outfit

‘Challengers’ stars Josh O’Connor, Mike Faist and Zendaya walked the red carpet at the 2024 Met Gala

Meredith Clark
New York
Tuesday 07 May 2024 18:01 BST
Related: Zendaya and Jennifer Lopez arrive at Met Gala 2024

Josh O’Connor had the perfect reaction to seeing his co-star Zendaya’s arrival at the 2024 Met Gala.

The British actor, 33, attended the Met Gala in New York City on Monday 6 May. For the annual fashion event, which raises money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, O’Connor stepped out with his Challengers co-stars Mike Faist, Zendaya, and Italian director Luca Guadagnino.

As the Crown actor walked the Met steps in a custom Loewe black suit and floral boots, he was stopped by Variety’s Marc Malkin, who asked if he’d seen Zendaya’s dramatic Met Gala ensemble yet.

“I haven’t! Has she arrived?” O’Connor replied. Malkin then pulled out his phone to show O’Connor a photo of Zendaya’s peacock-coloured dress designed by John Galliano for Maison Margiela Artisanal. Along with her dramatic blue and green gown, which was a nod to Dior’s spring 1999 couture collection, the Dune star paired the look with a Philip Treacy headpiece with a single black feather and a fake hummingbird resting on her shoulder.

As he gazed at the image of Zendaya’s red carpet outfit, O’Connor exclaimed: “Oh my goodness. Wow!”

He added: “Incredible.”

After walking the red carpet in her draped blue and emerald green dress, the Emmy winner changed into a surprise second look: a black dress from Givenchy’s spring/summer 1996 couture collection, paired with a floral bouquet as a headpiece.

Meanwhile, Faist was also dressed in a custom Loewe suit designed by creative director Jonathan Anderson. For an added touch, he accessorised his outfit with a bedazzled turnip pinned to the lapel.

Josh O’Connor has sweet reaction to ‘Challengers’ co-star Zendaya’s Met Gala look
Josh O’Connor has sweet reaction to ‘Challengers’ co-star Zendaya’s Met Gala look (Getty Images)

O’Connor, Faist, and Zendaya scored high at the box office following the release of their sexy tennis drama Challengers, directed by Guadagnino, on 26 April. In the film, Zendaya stars as Tashi Duncan, a former professional tennis player-turned-coach to her husband Art Donaldson (Mike Faist). To shake him off his losing streak, she enters him into a low-level tournament where they’re reunited with his former best friend and Tashi’s ex-boyfriend, Patrick Zweig (Josh O’Connor).

Leading up to the Met Gala, co-chair Zendaya pulled out all the fashion stops during the Challengers press tour. With the help of her longtime collaborator and stylist, Law Roach, the 27-year-old fashion icon channelled tenniscore with her tennis ball heels and a checkered green and white mini-dress by Louis Vuitton.

Mike Faist wears bedazzled turnip at the 2024 Met Gala
Mike Faist wears bedazzled turnip at the 2024 Met Gala (Getty Images)

The theme for the 2024 Met Gala was “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion”. The fashion extravaganza coincided with the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual exhibit, which is centred around 50 historically significant pieces of fashion - some too fragile ever to be worn again. Nearly 250 items were from the Costume Institute’s permanent collection, featuring designs from Elsa Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Givenchy to span 400 years of fashion history.

Much like every year, this year’s Met Gala also came with its own dress code, loosely labelled “The Garden of Time”. The dress code takes inspiration from a short story of the same title, written by JG Ballard in 1962, which focuses on the theme of fleeting beauty. Attendees were encouraged to wear items that captured the essence of the short story – such as florals to represent an actual garden, or items that signified the passing of time like clocks and sand.

It comes as no surprise that Zendaya was among the best dressed guests at the Met Gala this year, her first time attending the event since 2019. However, there were also some stars who missed the mark on the “Garden of Time” theme.

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