Why Sarah Jessica Parker Was More Than Happy to Have H&M Produce the Dress She Designed for the Met Gala

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Sarah Jessica Parker had already spent months designing the gown she wanted to wear to the Met’s opening of China: Through the Looking Glass when H&M came calling. “I said look, ‘I’m pretty far along in the process, but they talked about their Conscious Collective and their sustainability stuff and I said, ‘That’s perfect!”

Perfect because Parker, a previous host and long time supporter of the Met—and fashion—was hoping to work vintage fabrics into her black dress. And H&M was more than willing to help her out, even if she had started sketching in October of last year. “They found all these beautiful fabrics—really beautiful vintage fabrics and vintage pieces, and hand dyed fabrics—and they used organic silk and cotton and tencel, and it’s been a really fun process.” Almost as fun as her Philip Treacy headpiece. Much like her iconic TV character, Parker’s knack for mixing high and low was on display at even the fanciest red carpet of the year. 

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Vanessa Hudgens in custom H&M. Photo: Getty Images

Sketch of Hudgen’s custom H&M dress.

And she wasn’t the only one. Despite the world’s best designers and couturiers being on hand to whip up the most extravagant creations for fashion’s biggest night, a handful of celebrities chose to wear H&M on the red carpet. And they looked good, great even. Vanessa Hudgens, Banks, Janelle Monae and New York Giants wide receiver Odelle Beckham Jr. were on point in looks by the Swedish high-street brand. 

Twenty-six-year-old British songstress Banks was right on trend in her red, off-the-shoulder gown. Its classic silhouette could’ve come straight from a couture house. Instead, it came from the same design studio as your favorite $4 t-shirt. Meanwhile actress—and now Broadway darling—Vanessa Hudgens loved her custom H&M dress so much she was one of the few starlets not to change for the after parties. Hudgens brought the sparkle in her embellished red cocktail dress from H&M, bucking the long trend with a strapless dress that hit right at the knee. 

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Janelle Monae in a black and white look on the red carpet. Photo: Getty Images

Sketch of Monae’s H&M custom look with cape.

Janelle Monae skipped any color in favor of a black and white body-con look underneath a matching cape, instead honoring the theme with a Mao collar. Her signature red lip and strappy white sandals completed the look. And finally, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. arrived looking sharp in a purple velvet blazer and black trousers—all customized by H&M, of course. 

If anyone can make H&M de rigueur on the red carpet, it’s Parker. Of course, it helps to have a custom Philip Treacy lantern hat on your head.