Vogue releases Karl Lagerfeld-inspired cover ahead of 2023 Met Gala

The theme for the 2023 Met Gala, which takes place on 1 May, is ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’

Meredith Clark
New York
Wednesday 12 April 2023 06:40 BST
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Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Naomi Campbell were among the famous models on the cover ofVogue’s latest issue, which pays tribute to legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld ahead of this year’s Met Gala.

The theme of the 2023 Met Gala is “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty”, which will “examine the life” of the late Chanel creative director. In preparation for fashion’s biggest night, Vogue has released the cover of its May issue. The May cover features 10 models with whom Lagerfeld often worked:  Anok Yai, Shalom Harlow, Kendall Jenner, Liu Wen, Adut Akech, Natalia Vodianova, Naomi Campbell, Amber Valletta, Gigi Hadid, and Devon Aoki.

Each of the models wore new creations from 10 designers – such as John Galliano for Maison Margiela and Olivier Rousteing for Balmain – who were instructed by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour to design new pieces to reinterpret Lagerfeld’s work. His cat, Choupette, was also included in the photoshoot.

The photoshoot, which was captured by iconic photographer Annie Leibovitz, took place in Paris’s Grand Palais where Lagerfeld held many Chanel fashion shows. Speaking to Vogue, Gigi Hadid recalled her favourite memories about the late designer.

“Karl inspired me by his storytelling – his ability to communicate worlds and bring them to life,” she shared. “He was an icon because he had this genius focus on what was important to him and what he was interested in, and his uniform was part of that intent. It was his armour, his way of becoming Karl Lagerfeld. Even 10 feet away, he looked like how Karl Lagerfeld was meant to look. He was awesome.”

Meanwhile, his close friend and collaborator Anna Wintour said that “there’s simply no one more deserving” than Lagerfeld to be the inspiration behind the Met Gala’s latest theme.

“I can’t imagine a better metaphor for the revolutionary effect Karl had on fashion,” she wrote.

In keeping with tradition, this year’s Met Gala will once again take place on the first Monday in May, 1 May 2023. The annual fundraising event is held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in order to raise money for the museum’s Costume Institute. Last September, Vogue announced the exhibition – titled “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” – will bring around 150 creations from the iconic German designer together to “explore [his] stylistic language”.

Karl Lagerfeld served as creative director of the French fashion house Chanel from 1983 until his death in 2019. He was also the creative director of Fendi and his eponymous Karl Lagerfeld label. As part of the dress code, Met Gala attendees will be expected to wear clothing “in honour of Karl” – such as archival looks from a Lagerfeld-led fashion label or more “modern-day” looks by Chanel or Fendi.

Lagerfeld, who died on 19 February 2019 at the age of 85, was a regular attendee at the Met Gala and had previously loaned pieces from his collections to the Met Museum’s many exhibitions.

Following the theme announcement, some people were quick to point out Lagerfeld’s history of controversial comments. The Good Place actor Jameela Jamil took to Instagram to condemn the theme, referencing the “distinctly hateful” way Lagerfeld used his platform to attack marginalised groups and public figures throughout his career.

The designer has also faced criticism for saying he was “fed up” with the MeToo Movement, suggesting that he was against same-sex marriage, and making a number of fatphobic remarks, including one aimed at British singer Adele.

While Kendall Jenner appeared on Vogue’s newest cover, a recent report from Page Six claimed that the Kardashian-Jenner family has not yet received an invite to the 2023 Met Gala. One source alleged the Kardashians didn’t make the cut because Wintour, who is in charge of the guest list, is allegedly “cracking down” on who can attend the exclusive event. However, another source close to the Kardashian family told the outlet that the rumours weren’t true.

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