H&M designed custom looks for Nicki Minaj, Future, Ashley Graham, Joe Jonas, Jourdan Dunn, Sasha Lane and Stella Maxwell for the 2017 Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit. Inspired by this year’s Costume Institute Exhibition Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between, the H&M design team created one-of-a-kind looks that explored many of Kawakubo’s recurring themes. These included deconstruction, subverted tradition and asymmetry, mixed with the charm of bows, flowers and polka dots, with each look made especially for this exclusive evening of fashion.
Attending the Costume Institute Benefit for the third year in a row, H&M was particularly pleased with this year’s theme having collaborated with Comme des Garçons for its 2008 H&M designer collection. “It has been our honour at H&M to create these looks inspired by Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons, one of fashion’s most important and influential designers. Each H&M look has been entirely custom-made, with both Kawakubo’s creative world and the style of our guests in mind,” said Pernilla Wohlfahrt, H&M’s Head of Design and Creative Director.
“Partnering with H&M has been an incredible and unique experience. The look we have created is so special to me and I’m looking forward to sharing this moment with everyone. Together with the H&M design team, we embodied the theme; from the dramatic train to Kawakubo’s face. it’s truly inspiring!” said Nicki Minaj. “It’s been such a wonderful experience with H&M for my first Met Gala. I have loved collaborating with them every step of the way and I can’t wait to show off my dress.
It’s everything I could have ever dreamed of!” said Ashley Graham. “I always love wearing H&M, so it’s been an amazing experience to have H&M create this one-off look just for me. The tailoring is sharp and perfect for this special night, and it’s all so effortless,” said Joe Jonas. Rapper and singer Nicki Minaj wore a sheer tulle gown with a long train in raw-edged silk taffeta, featuring extravagant black vinyl roses trapped at the hem and beneath the train.
The dress was held by an off-the-shoulder silk duchesse kimono top, its leather Obi belt featuring a mask of the face of Kawakubo. The train was decorated with rays of black and red, with one red Swarovski crystal ray extending to the front. Rapper Future was dressed in a slim-fitted black tail-coat made from organic silk, TENCEL and wool, its back embellished with a hand-embroidered black skull with a red Swarovski crystal heart.
He wore it with a dark navy shirt in organic silk and a bow tie. Model Ashley Graham wore a corset dress influenced by Kawakubo’s interest in revealing the inner workings of garments. An off-white corset was subtly deconstructed, while a long red silk skirt was boned and fastened by hook-and-eyes, both decorated with exuberant ruffles of dark red silk organza. Model Jourdan Dunn wore a body-skimming dress that played with the theme of deconstructing and subverting traditional garments.
A top of off-white silk taffeta shirting appeared as if falling off a calico bodice, its skirt of deconstructed navy pinstripe suiting that was cut asymmetrically and into bows. Actress Sasha Lane wore a sheer net-like structured dress embellished with various sizes of polka dots, one of Kawakubo’s key motifs. The dress was held by a sheer, boned upper body with black Swarovski crystals, the playful dots in tactile materials such as raffia and velvet.
Singer Joe Jonas was dressed in a deep red slim fit suit in Italian double-silk satin with black stripe and lapels. His black silk shirt was in 100% organic silk, finished with a black bowtie. Model Stella Maxwell wore a sheer organic silk chiffon dress covered in strands of pearls. Beginning as a necklace that draped the open back, the pearls crossed the chest and formed the lines of a crinoline into the dress, before falling free to play around the body.