Every Scrap of Queer Fashion from the 2023 Met Gala

LGBT Attendees of the Met Galla, left to right and top to bottom: Janelle Monae, Brittney Griner and her wife Cherelle Griner, Bella Ramsey, Keke Palmer, Kristen Stewart, and Ariana DeBose.

Janelle Monáe by Lexie Moreland/WWD via Getty Images, Brittney & Cherelle Griner by Christopher Polk/WWD via Getty Images, Bella Ramsey by Christopher Polk/WWD via Getty Images, Keke Palmer by Mike Coppola/Getty Images, Kristen Stewart by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images, and Ariana DeBose by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Yesterday was not only May 1st. Poetically and coincidentally it was also the First Monday in May, and if you’re anything even remotely close to a fashion gay — you know that means.

Look, I wanted to write you a much longer introduction, one that not only gave a reminder of what is Met Gala (annual fundraiser for The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum, hosted annual by Vogue and Ana Wintour) but also what why we are covering it (fashion is art, something that I do take seriously, but I’m here to pop my lil jokes off and go).

Unfortunately — just to be very personal here! — everything about my day has gone badly. I know that you’re here for the fashion, thirst, and a lil bit of my corny humor, not for my emotional processing. Have you ever just had one of those days where everything that could ever go wrong, has gone wrong? Did anyone else read Alexander and Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day as a kid?

But it’s fine. We all know what the Met Gala is, everyone has seen Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett play jewelry heist exes in Ocean’s Eight, we can cut right to it. You don’t need me to guide you.

Last night’s theme was “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” — Karl Lagerfeld was not a great person, who made comments making fun of sexual assault survivors, on top of being openly xenophobic, racist and fatphobic. There’s been a lot of smart pieces written about this uniformly awful theme choice. Lagerfeld’s influence in the history of fashion cannot be overstated, I get that. And the fashion industry itself is nothing if not always racist and fatphobic. But, even taking all of that into account, he was a pretty uniquely bad guy! There is no distancing the art he created from the terrible man that he was.  So if you’d like some analysis with your swooning over Janelle Monáe and Kristen Stewart, I have you covered, friend!

Before we get into the rest of the round up, traditionally when I cover the Met for Autostraddle, I don’t include cis gay men’s fashion because it’s covered extensively everywhere else on the web! And also — there’s only so many interesting takes about a plain black suit that girl can have. But this year men’s fashion ate downnnnnn!!! I wanted to shout out three of my faves:

Lil Nas X, in Dior Homme and Swarovski

Lil Nas X attends the 2023 Costume Institute Benefit celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty" at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images

I do not understand a single thing that is happening here beyond “Swarovski crystal” and I do not care because it is perfect.

Harvey Guillén

Harvey Guillén attends the 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The pink? The twirl? C’mon now!!!

Jeremy Pope, in Balmain

Jeremy Pope at the 2023 Met Gala: Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023 in New York, New York.

Photo by Christopher Polk/WWD via Getty Images

Do I love Karl Lagerfeld The ManTM? As previously established, no I do not. But do I love this cape? 🙈[Yes.]🙈

And while technically not homosexual activity, I have to give it up to Lizzo for what was, hands down, the best photo of the night:

Alright!! Now that we have the pre-gayming festivities out of the way!

Let’s see what else I’ve rummaged up!

If you, like me, have also had a pretty fucked up day — first of all, I love you. I hope you drank some water and did some deep belly breaths. Second, let’s disassociate for a while with some truly stunning photography, jokey jokes, and a few fun fact tidbits!


Janelle Monáe, in Thom Browne

An act in two parts.

Janelle Monáe attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Noam Galai/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

Janelle Monáe attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Karl Lagerfeld

They described this look as “black and white sex” and well, yes. It is that.

And the after party. I’ve lost brain cells over these photos.

Janelle Monae at the 13th Annual Met Gala After Party hosted by Janelle Monae held at Boom at The Standard, High Line on May 2, 2023 in New York, New York.

Photo by Lexie Moreland/WWD via Getty Images

Janelle Monae at the 13th Annual Met Gala After Party hosted by Janelle Monae held at Boom at The Standard, High Line on May 2, 2023 in New York, New York.

Photo by Lexie Moreland/WWD via Getty Images

I simply can no longer form words about this matter in a professional context.

You understand.

Kristen Stewart, in Chanel

 Kristen Stewart attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Two things about this outfit:

  1. It’s vintage from Chanel’s 1996 collection.
  2. Once every every blue moon, when a wolf howls in the dead of night, when clocks run reverse and dust falls into a complete circle, when the line between here and the upside down beyond what we know becomes as thin as a whisper — in those moments, I see what everyone else sees in Kristen Stewart.

Last night was absolutely one of those nights.

Kim Petras, in Marc Jacobs

Kim Petras attends the 2023 Costume Institute Benefit celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty" at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Those boots = the gayest thing I have ever seen.

Ariana DeBose, in Altuzarra

Ariana DeBose attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Ariana DeBose attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

These cornrows are GIVINGGGGG.

Cardi B, in Chenpeng Studio

Cardi B attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Cardi B attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

(L-R) Doja Cat and Cardi B attend The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Kevin Mazur/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Three complete complete outfit changes in less than a three hour period? Not to be extremely basic, but immediately I worried if they remembered to schedule Cardi a bathroom break. (No comment on Doja Cat as a cat can be made at this time.)

Phoebe Bridgers, in Tory Burch

Phoebe Bridgers attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by John Shearer/WireImage

I’m sorry it’s impossible for me to see Phoebe Bridger without thinking about her at Coachella. Did you miss it? Singularly one of the most gay and erotic performances this year.

Ice Spice, in Balmain

Ice Spice attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Arturo Holmes/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

I just love how all the rap girlies are bi these days. Like damn, she in her mood.

Keke Palmer, in Sergio Hudson and Swarovski

Keke Palmer attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Now listen…

Respectfully.

RESPECTFULLY.

R E S P E C T F U L L Y.

— the call dropped.

Anitta, in Marc Jacobs and Tiffany & Co.

 Anitta attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Karl Lagerfeld

Anitta is one of two people that I didn’t know before I started this round up (the other is further down, keep scrolling) but she’s a bisexual Brazilian singer, songwriter, television host, and actress. I started playing her music while writing this post and it’s a bop.

Cara Delevingne, in Karl Lagerfeld

Cara Delevingne attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Cara Delevingne, Chrome Hearts jewelry detail, attends the 2023 Costume Institute Benefit celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty" at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images

I don’t always love Cara’s looks, but the leather gloves are clutch. Such a good touch.

Bella Ramsey, in Thom Browne

Bella Ramsey at the 2023 Met Gala: Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023 in New York, New York.

Photo by Christopher Polk/WWD via Getty Images

THIS IS THE CUTEST FUCKING FIT. Just a pinnacle of queer fashion.

And just wait until you see the after party look. I just…

Bella Ramsey attends the Karl Lagerfeld Met Gala After Party at The Mark Hotel on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Jared Siskin/Getty Images for Karl Lagerfeld

What I love about this look is that it’s so approachable? I could imagine 100 different queers wearing this to a backyard wedding or a party that’s sort-of fancy but not too fancy, you know the type. It’s laid back and confident.

Not to honor gen z queer royalty with an extremely millennial joke but: You go, Bella. Four for you, Bella. (that’s a Mean Girls reference. Just making sure you’re still with me here!)

Rita Ora, in Prabal Gurung

Rita Ora attends the 2023 Costume Institute Benefit celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty" at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Not enough trains, I say!

Angèle

Angèle attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Angèle is the other person that hadn’t made it on my radar before this roundup, but she’s a major Belgian pop star who came out as bisexual a few years ago, and I found this quote extremely relatable: “When I was a Teenager, if I had had more examples of bi or gay lesbians on TV, I might have understood faster than I was bi.”

Alex Newell

Alex Newell attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

I know it’s the gleek trauma bond deep within in me, but whenever I see Alex I can’t help but smile. They’re really out here making it. I only want for them to succeed.

Aubrey Plaza, in Stella McCartney

Aubrey Plaza attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

She’s an icon, she’s a legend.

Stephanie Hsu, in Valentino

Stephanie Hsu at the 2023 Met Gala: Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023 in New York, New York.

Photo by Christopher Polk/WWD via Getty Images

That black lipstick. The eyeliner. That tie. Those sequins. My heart, my feelings. Everything everywhere all at once.

Brittney & Cherelle Griner, in Calvin Klein

 Brittney Griner at the 2023 Met Gala: Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2023 in New York, New York.

Photo by Christopher Polk/WWD via Getty Images

Honestly, the fact that I didn’t include 40 photos of BG & Cherelle is in and of itself an act of self-restraint, and I deserve an applause.

 (L-R) Lil Nas X and Brittney Griner attend The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City.

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

And yes, I’m still including a second photo, because Brittney Griner laughing while taking in Lil Nas X’s full body sparkle is, moving forward, the only thing I mean when I say Black queer representation matters.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!
Related:

Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 715 articles for us.

14 Comments

  1. I was really expecting someone to protest the theme through their outfit (the way Lena Waithe did in 2018 when the theme was basically Catholicism and she showed up in a huge rainbow cape). It was disappointing that this year everyone was so perfectly on-theme and orderly. I know that stylists make the decisions for celebrities on pretty much every red carpet – but the Met Gala this year seemed more like Vogue was using celebrities as paper dolls (or, I guess, moreso than usual!)

    • I was also waiting for a 2018 Lena Waithe-esque moment!! I saw someone tweet “I hope someone comes with Karl’s racist quotes stitched into their clothes.” It felt like a missed opportunity.

      I did see some people noting that Lizzo’s photo of eating the French fries in her gown might have been a Karl dig, but I think it’s just as likely as she was making a reference to “she ate” (as in, the look).

      I’m with you, I get that celebrities are dressed by/are invited guests of the designers, but we’ve seen better use of the Met stage in the past to critique themes, and this really missed the boat.

  2. Thank you so much for doing this despite your terrible bad day, Carmen! Love to hear your fashion takes and admire hot queers dressing ostentatiously. Seconding the Brittney Griner smiles, she looks frickin’ amazing!!

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!