As you might know by now, the Met Gala burst with eccentricity and exuberance this year, with racy dresses, experimental designs, and gorgeously styled celebrities. This year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its newest exhibition, China: Through the Looking Glass, which explored Chinese influences on modern Western fashion. While some celebs may have interpreted the theme a bit questionably, there were still plenty of stunning Chinese-influenced gowns featured at the gala. Some stuck closely to tradition, while others were innovated to mesh with today’s trends.


1.  Lily Aldridge – Carolina Herrera


Victoria’s Secret Model, Lily Aldridge was a vision in blue. The soft layers of her dress seem to cascade to the floor, almost reminiscent of a tranquil pond, making her glittering, silver koi accessory so very appropriate. The Chinese influences are clear, from her delicate colour, and the cheongsam-inspired cut of her dress, this was an elegant example of how to bring a traditional design into the modern age.


2. Jessica Hart – Valentino


If red symbolises luck, then Miss Jessica Hart was one of the luckiest of them all. Nearly completely covered in intricate, Chinoiserie-inspired designs, she still oozed sexiness with the sheer cutouts and bold colour. Complete with ruby red fans dangling from her ears, this look was definitely a work of art!


3. Emily Ratajkowski – Custom Topshop

The Gloss

With glimmering beads and traditional-style embroidery, not only is model Emily Ratajkowski’s dress a stand out, it was also made from one of the most affordable designers to boot! The flowing silk train, perfectly complements the elegant qipao design, combined with blue and gold flower designs. The dress is subtle and classy, which attests that a memorable statement doesn’t always need to jump out at you.


4. Rihanna – Guo Pei


Say what you will about the extravagance of this dress, but Rihanna definitely shined like royalty in this gown by Chinese designer Guo Pei. The imperial yellow colour almost glowed like the sun, and the eye-catching floral designs on the expansive regal train were truly breathtaking. The glittering, bejewelled gold headpiece seemed to conjure images of a vintage Chinese film star. This look is definitely full of culture.


5. Karen Elston – Dolce & Gabbana

The New York Times

Supermodel, Karen Elson, was the true princess of the night. She was absolutely wrapped in gold, from the intricate headpiece, the glittering bracelets, and her fitted bodice that was sprinkled with colourful jewels. The entire look was radiant and the blooming red skirt made her look like a goddess, with clear Chinese cultural influences through and through. Pulling off the striking mix of red and gold isn’t easy, but that night she was truly unmatched.