Rita Ora says Met Gala dress made with beads ‘older than anyone on this planet’

Singer flaunts Marni nude bodysuit with centrepiece of beads reportedly dating to second century BC

Shahana Yasmin
Tuesday 07 May 2024 08:37 BST
Stars walk Met Gala red carpet dressed for ‘Sleeping Beauties’ theme

Rita Ora definitely knows how to make an entrance.

The “Praising You” singer posed on the “green” carpet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on Monday with her filmmaker husband Taika Waititi.

Ora, 33, stayed true to the dress code, “The Garden of Time”, and wore a custom outfit by Marni featuring a nude bodysuit with a gorgeous beaded centrepiece that went down to her feet.

During the Vogue livestream of the gala, Ora said the beads, shimmering in shades of turquoise, black, white, brown, pink and yellow, were from the first and second century BC, making them “older than anyone on this planet”.

“We really wanted to take fashion for me with the theme and just sort of a timeless beauty. So all these beads really age back to the first and second century BC. I mean some, I think, are older than anyone on this planet,” she said, adding that the beads were sourced from North Africa and Europe.

Rita Ora attends the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala 2024 in New York
Rita Ora attends the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala 2024 in New York (PA Wire)
Rita Ora attends the 2024 Met Gala
Rita Ora attends the 2024 Met Gala (Getty)

“I’m wearing a necklace this year at the MET,” she told Entertainment Tonight, adding that the dress was meant to represent “the beauty of the body and women’s existence and presence”.

“And these beads are from actually second century BC.”

Ora added Buccellati rings as well as a gold bag and a pair of strappy nude sandal heels to complete the look.

Ora posted her look to her Instagram, describing the dress as a “real tapestry of human crafts spanning a period of two millennia from Egypt to Rome”.

“It is composed of one of a kind antique glass beads from all over the world, highlighting one of humankind’s most ancient crafted objects and paired together with antique handmade glass beads from Murano ranging between the 40s all through to the 70s,” she said.

“It has been constructed as if all the vertical beads have been weaved together to make an intricate pattern play between colour and texture. The verticality of the dress elongates the silhouette, and the slight tension around the waist exhale the curves of the body further.”

Ora joked about not having another dress to change into, saying she “didn’t even think about the bathroom, so there’s that”.

Taika Waititi and Rita Ora attend the 2024 Met Gala in New York
Taika Waititi and Rita Ora attend the 2024 Met Gala in New York (Film Magic)

Waititi, 48, wore a monochrome brown leather suit by Marni.

This is the second Met Gala appearance for the  couple, who got married in 2022.

Reactions to her dress on social media ranged from memes to saying her look “ate”.

The theme for the 2024 Met Gala is “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion”.

Attendees are encouraged to follow the Met Gala’s 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.

The guests can embrace the obvious by wearing florals to represent an actual garden, or wear items that signify the passing of time, like clocks.

The fashion extravaganza coincides with the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual exhibit, which will be centred around 50 historically significant pieces of fashion – some too fragile ever to be worn again.

Nearly 250 items will be drawn from the Costume Institute’s permanent collection, featuring designs from Elsa Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Givenchy and spanning 400 years of fashion history.

The gala has been run since 1995 by Vogue editor Anna Wintour and this year her celebrity co-chairs are Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny and Chris Hemsworth.

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