Last night celebrities descended on the Metropolitan Museum of Art for its annual Met Gala, donning costumes and get-ups inspired by the looks and work of the late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. Jared Leto wore a furry white catsuit and Janelle Monáe showed up in a layered look featuring a hoop skirt, while others opted for more traditional, subdued gowns and suits. Credit for this year’s decorations goes to event planner Raul Àvila, who has overseen the event’s decor since 2007, and architect Tadao Ando.
A focal point of this year’s decoration was the not-so-red red carpet: a white floor cover featuring red and blue stripes that the internet has likened to Colgate toothpaste. The “lines of beauty”, as they are known, pull from a theory from 18th-century painter William Hogarth and allude to the name of this year’s costume exhibition, Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty, which celebrates the work and legacy of Lagerfeld.
On either side of the sprawled out rug, the typical green hedges, separating the press and arriving attendees, were replaced with stacks of recycled plastic water bottles. The display of recycled materials was furthered through the chandeliers—also fashioned out of plastic—and the cylindrical installation made of florals and bottles located at the center of the museum’s Great Hall.
“Given today’s climate, we wanted to highlight the importance of giving our everyday items more than one life cycle,” Avila said in a recent interview with Vogue. “We wanted to find a way to create a sustainable design that would implement the bottles into a breathtaking installation unlike anything we’ve done before.”
According to the Met, all of the recycled bottles will “be re-recycled for future uses.”
The interior walls of the red carpet tent donned trompe l’oeil panels from theater set designer Derek McLane whose designs were based on the doors of Lagerfeld’s 18th-century apartment in Paris and pay homage to his love for 18th-century French decorative arts.
Ando, who is behind this year’s costume exhibition on Lagerfeld, had a professional relationship with the fashion designer. In 1998 Lagerfeld photographed Ando’s Vitra House and published his works.
Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty exhibits over 200 objects including clothing, sketches, and video interviews of Lagerfeld’s work. The show staged in The Met’s Tisch Galleries displays attire on mannequins atop plinths, on shelves, and nestled into alcoves. It opens to the public on May 5 and runs through July 16.