Met Gala 2024: Alia Bhatt blooms, Zendaya dons grape clusters in the ‘Garden of Time’

Outside the event, pro-Palestinian protesters tried to draw attention to Israeli’ brutality in Gaza

Entertainment Desk May 07, 2024

Zendaya wore a dark blue gown adorned with grape clusters and Lana Del Rey donned a dramatic headpiece with tree branches, two of the head-turning looks at this year's garden-themed Met Gala on Monday.

Stars were told to dress in Garden of Time attire for the invite-only event, known for its A-list celebrities and extravagant outfits. Attendees walked a white and green carpet surrounded by lush foliage and white flowers up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Film and TV star Zendaya, a host of this year's event, sported heavy eyeliner and a blue lamé and organza bias-cut dress worn over a duchess satin corset. Designed by John Galliano, the gown featured clusters of grapes on a hip and arm, a large ruffle on one side and a blue hummingbird on a shoulder.

Zendaya later changed into a black Givenchy gown and a large floral Alexander McQueen hat. Del Rey, the Grammy-nominated singer, stood out in a beige, corseted Alexander McQueen gown and a headpiece with natural hawthorn branches. The branches were draped with sheer tulle that fell below her face.

A high-profile annual event, the Met Gala is a benefit for the New York museum and marks the opening of its Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibit. This year's exhibit, called "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion," will feature rare items that have been dormant in the Costume Institute's permanent collection, including designs so fragile that they will be displayed only through animation and projections.

A burst of flowers

Jennifer Lopez, another Met Gala host, wore a beaded, see-through Schiaparelli gown and a butterfly-shaped necklace. Singer Rita Ora arrived in strings of long, colorful beads that swung as she walked and revealed a skintight, nude-colored bodysuit underneath. She was accompanied by her husband, film director Taika Waititi.

Many attendees chose a floral look. Queen Latifah sported a black dress and jacket with large, orange bird of paradise accents. Demi Moore wore a black structured gown made out of vintage wallpaper that featured pink and white flowers.

Ariana Grande sparkled in an ivory gown with a mother-of-pearl bodice and posed with Cynthia Erivo, her co-star in an upcoming film adaptation of Broadway musical Wicked. Erivo wore a two-piece black outfit covered in pink petals.

Among the men, musician Lil Nas X donned an ivory suit and jacket with 56,000 hand-placed Swarovski crystals arranged in large, gleaming swaths. The eight members of K-Pop boy band Stray Kids also walked the carpet, wearing custom Tommy Hilfiger suits in the designer's trademark red, white and blue palette.

Chinese-owned TikTok, which faces a US ban unless its owners sell the social media app to allay security concerns, was among the sponsors of the event. TikTok's CEO Shou Chew was named an honorary co-chair of the gala and was expected to mingle with guests.

Enter Indian celebs

In a dazzling display of Indian couture, Alia Bhatt and Isha Ambani stole the spotlight at the prestigious event, each making a stunning entrance in custom-designed ensembles that celebrated Indian craftsmanship and creativity.

Bhatt, known for her impeccable style, graced the red carpet in a breathtaking mint green Sabyasachi sari. The ensemble, meticulously crafted by the renowned designer, was adorned with real gems and boasted a remarkable 23-foot-long train. Styled by her longtime collaborator, Anaita Shroff Adajania, Bhatt's sari perfectly encapsulated the gala's theme, turning heads and garnering admiration from fashion enthusiasts worldwide.

Equally mesmerising was Ambani, whose sartorial choice showcased the ingenuity of Indian designer Rahul Mishra. The daughter of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, she opted for a couture sari gown, featuring a striking long floral train that embodied the essence of “The Garden of Time”.

Styled by Anaita Shroff Adajania, Ambani's ensemble was a testament to Mishra's exquisite craftsmanship, with intricate hand embroidery crafted by skilled artisans from various Indian villages. Notably, she accessorised her look with a clutch crafted by Swadesh, showcasing ancient Indian art forms of Nakashi and Miniature Painting, adding an extra layer of cultural richness to her attire.

Adding a touch of humour and glamour to the gala was comedian-actress Mindy Kaling, who dazzled in a champagne-colored architectural gown designed by Gaurav Gupta. Known for her wit and talent, Kaling's choice of attire highlighted her appreciation for Indian fashion, drawing parallels to her previous donning of Gupta's creations.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had also previously stunned audiences in a custom-made Gaurav Gupta creation during the Cannes Film Festival in 2022, further solidifying Gupta's reputation as a designer favored by Indian celebrities on the global stage.

Solidarity with Palestine

Outside the event, dozens of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered just a block away, their intentions to crash the gala thwarted only by a heavy police presence and metal barricades. As per The Guardian, the protesters chanted slogans like "Rafah! Gaza!" Some expressed their desire to disrupt the gala, while others claimed they were unaware of the event altogether. Throughout the evening, a significant contingent of police officers guided the winding protest through New York's Upper East Side.

Meanwhile, residents of the affluent area, along with dog walkers and doormen, found themselves taken aback by the collision of passions unfolding outside their doorsteps. "I would say that in the past five years, it’s gone nuts," remarked one doorman in uptown Manhattan, reflecting on the scene outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the Costume Institute fundraiser is traditionally held. "Now they’re closing off the streets, and people are coming dressed up to watch."

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