By Kenzie Bryant. Photos: Getty Images, Courtesy of Twitter.
It didn’t go unnoticed that Katy Perry resembled Lady Gaga at Monday’s Met Gala, in part because Gaga skipped the event for which she was so well suited, leaving a hole the size of a Comme des Garçons garment that needed to be filled by someone. Perry was the obvious choice to take up her avant-garde mantle as one of co-chairs for the party, whose theme was “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” (Perry wore a custom John Galliano for Maison Margiela look, rather than C.D.G.). Tuesday morning, though, Gaga only had praise for Rihanna, who wore a fall 2016 puff pastry of a dress by the night’s design honoree.
“Best dressed in my humble opinion was Rihanna,” the singer wrote. “[She] captured the spirit of the night and emotion of #Kawakubo #CommeDesGarcons.”
Just because Rihanna won Gaga’s favor, however, does not imply Katy Perry lost it. By that logic, everyone else lost, too, and Tracy Ellis Ross, Helen Lasichanh, and Solange Knowles, among others, did not lose. They each leaned into the theme to stunning effect. Unfortunately for our purposes of divining meaning from this tweet like it’s tea leaves, Gaga didn’t offer a comprehensive ranking of the guest list. A shame, really. That would be something to talk about.
Taken at face value, Gaga was only stating the obvious. Per Met Gala tradition, each designer plays patron to a celebrity face (or faces), dressing him or her for the night. Perry, for whatever reason, was linked up with Galliano, who currently helms Maison Martin Margiela. Rihanna pulled Comme des Garçons, along with Lasichanh, co-chair Pharrell Williams’s wife, and Caroline Kennedy, the former U.S. ambassador to Japan. Rihanna, then, was arguably the most widely recognized red-carpet walker in the most on-theme, daring look. Of course she got the “best dressed” designation from her colleague in the music industry.
But in Gaga’s tweet, there can only be one true winner, and that is Gaga, a loyal champion of Kawakubo’s. Rather than accompanying her Rihanna blessing with a photo of Rihanna—or even the correct handle (@badgalriri)—Gaga provided evidence of her longtime Comme des Garçons fluency. She attached a photo from 2012, when Gaga wore her comment on weight scrutiny in the media, and another from the 2013 Daily Front Row Fashion L.A. Awards. Kawakubo and Gaga’s avant-garde sensibilities have long aligned, so from the position of the Tuesday-morning quarterback, Perry did not stand a chance at avoiding comparisons, and Rihanna had everything to gain.
Which is why it’s doubly strange Gaga skipped the 2017 Gala, a year when the theme was so deeply in her wheelhouse. Was the Super Bowl and the Super Bowl of Fashion too many Super Bowls for one year? Was it Joanne’s doing? Was it Tony Bennett’s? Whatever she is up to, wherever she is, she is not above positioning herself as the expert in the matter and proclaiming a winner.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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