Cardi B Wears WWD Archives to Met Gala After Parties

Cardi B had a total of four outfit changes for her Met Gala evening this year, and one of them paid homage to this very publication.

The entertainer emerged from The Mark Hotel on Monday evening on her way to Met Gala after parties — wrapped in digital prints of archival WWD issues.

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The gown was custom designed by Sergio Castaño Peña of Syndical Chamber, a Barcelona-based brand that explores today’s digital age through a cheeky, surrealist lens. The dress was commissioned by Cardi B’s stylist, Kollin Carter.

Peña went straight to the source of fashion industry news in order to create a gown befitting of the Met Gala’s Karl Lagerfeld theme. He pulled WWD clips relating to Lagerfeld’s first collection for Chanel and laser printed them onto silk velvet.

The body-hugging, plunging neckline gown features WWD coverage from Lagerfeld’s first Chanel couture collection, previewed in the Jan. 16, 1983, edition.

WWD's coverage of Karl Lagerfeld's first collection for Chanel in 1983.
WWD’s coverage of Karl Lagerfeld’s first collection for Chanel in 1983.

Written by Christopher Petkanas, the article offers a glimpse into the somewhat fraught scene at the Chanel atelier on Lagerfeld’s arrival.

It begins: “The sign on the design studio’s door still reads ‘Mademoiselle — Prive,’ but inside is a remarkably tanned, newly trim Karl Lagerfeld nervously admiring his careful rendition of the Chanel suit he will present in his first collection for the house on Jan. 25 [1983].

“It was at Lagerfeld’s insistence that the ghostly reminder of Coco Chanel remains outside his newest part-time office, and he works deep into the night, hoping to live up to the hallowed name while keeping aloft his own reputation. For Chanel, and myriad other clients, he is working ’16 hours a day and delighted to do it.’”

While Lagerfeld is now thought of as a revered and respected grand duke of fashion, Petkanas observed differently at the time. “The atmosphere in the salons and ateliers is charged with a sort of palpable ‘them against us’ friction between the Chanel regulars and the Lagerfeld camp; when they pass each other on the famous winding staircase set against a wall of mirrors, they are nothing if not polite,” he wrote.

Peña wrote on Instagram that Cardi B’s dress is, “our modest homage to Karl’s legacy…crazy intense beginnings are a situation we can easily empathize with.”

The designer added via text message: “Cardi and her team liked the idea, since it was a different way to honor [Lagerfeld], more than using proper couture details like camelias. This is more like a treasure map that you can read if you find yourself bored for a minute. We didn’t need Anna [Wintour] to approve since it was an after party, but I hope she saw it.”

At the time of the article’s publishing, Petkanas reported that Lagerfeld was paid $1 million for his work at Chanel per year plus a $100,000 budget to gift his designs to various muses and fashion editors.

The WWD story concluded: “Shuttling between Paris, Rome, where [the designer] works on the Fendi collections, and Monte Carlo, where he is a resident, Lagerfeld has neither the time nor the appetite to venture out socially at night. ‘I’m into making public disappearances,’ he said.

“’If I only did Chanel it would be mediocre because I’d have to renounce my own personality,’ Lagerfeld says, explaining the necessity for having his finger in so many pies. ‘These days I’m like a computer who’s plugged into the Chanel mode.’”

WWD's coverage of Karl Lagerfeld's first collection for Chanel in 1983.
WWD’s coverage of Karl Lagerfeld’s first collection for Chanel in 1983.

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