Met Gala: Feline fashion reigns as stars pay tribute to Karl Lagerfield- and his cat Choupette

From fluffy catsuits to chic, sparkling monochrome looks and even two pregnancy reveals, ITV News reporter Leyla Hayes picks out the highlights from this year's Met Gala

The stars showed they understood the assignment at yet another flamboyant Met Gala, where feline fashion dominated the show.

A string of stars paying tribute to the late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld dressed in honour of his cat, Choupette.

Jared Leto attended the most exclusive event on the fashion calendar dressed in a giant cat suit with a removable head.

The actor, 51, was dressed as Lagerfeld's beloved Birman cat, who was reportedly in line to receive a share of the celebrated fashion designer’s £150 million fortune following his death in 2019.

Rihanna showed off her baby bump at the event on Monday. Credit: AP

Choupette posted to Instagram before the event, writing: "Many people invited me to walk the red carpet of the #METGALA2023 in tribute to Daddy, but we preferred to stay peacefully & cozy at home."

Other looks honouring Choupette include singers Doja Cat, in a glittering gown and cat prosthetics on her face, and Lil Nas X, who wore a metallic thong and sparkling silver paint covering his entire body.

Crystals and pearls studded his body, and he topped off the look with a heavily embellished face mask that featured feline elements.

Fashion paid tribute to one of its most influential, Karl Lagerfeld. Credit: AP

Pop star Rihanna, pregnant with her second child, was the Queen of the show once again. The singer, whose statement-making Met Gala fashions are hotly anticipated - arrived late to walk the "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty" carpet in a gown encased in white camellias on a bridal style jacket with a long train gown, alongside her partner, rapper A$AP Rocky.

Dua Lipa, a gala co-chair, walked in a white Chanel ballgown from the fashion house’s archive and Nicole Kidman chose a look Lagerfeld himself made for her 20 years ago.

“I’m very grateful to wear it,” Kidman said. "He was so much a part of my life, as were his whole team. He was the one really sort of shepherded me… in terms of my love of fashion.”

And there were some bombshells. Tennis star Serena Williams announced her pregnancy with her second child.

Serena Williams and husband Alexis Ohanian. Credit: AP

Kim Kardashian, meanwhile, went with loops and loops of pearls all over her Schiaparelli look.

She told Vogue: “What is more Karl than the iconic Chanel pearls?”

Many in the crowd counted Lagerfeld as a friend or worked with him at Chanel, Fendi, Chloe or one of the other fashion houses where he was a creator.

But many have also criticised Lagerfeld and controversial statements he made over the course of his career.

'No one wants to see curvy women,' Karl Lagerfeld once said. Credit: PA

He infamously said he was "fed up" with the Me Too movement during a magazine interview in 2018, as a wave of women in Hollywood began to speak about being sexually harassed or assaulted by some of the industry's most powerful men.

"It’s simply too much, from now on, as a designer, you can’t do anything,” Lagerfeld said at the time. "If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model! Join a nunnery."

He also picked up some heat for body shaming comments, including telling German magazine Focus in 2009: "No one wants to see curvy women."

Doja Cat and Jared Leto's Choupette-inspired looks. Credit: AP

British actress Jameela Jamil addressed the controversy on her Instagram when it was announced Lagerfeld would be 2023's Met Gala theme.

"This man... was indeed, supremely talented, but used his platform is such a distinctly hateful way, mostly towards women, so repeatedly and up until the last years of his life, showing no remorse, offering no atonement, no apology, no help to groups he attacked... there was no explanation for his cruel outbursts," she wrote to her followers.

But celebrities persisted on one of fashion's biggest stages and honoured the designer by dipping into the archives of Chanel, with plenty wearing archival looks from the French brand.

Kim Kardashian and Naomi Campbell at the Met Gala. Credit: AP

Supermodel Naomi Campbell – who regularly modelled for Chanel during Lagerfeld’s tenure as creative director, first meeting the designer when she was 16 – wore an archival outfit from the fashion house’s spring 2010 couture collection.

Rita Ora wore a peekaboo sheer look from Prabal Gurung, while Margot Robbie was dressed in a 1993 Chanel gown in black that Cindy Crawford first wore on a runway.

Barbie star Robbie said she was the last Chanel ambassador to be handpicked by Lagerfeld.

“I feel really great in it. It's an honor," she said.

Florence Pugh debuts a buzzcut at the Met. Credit: AP

And Florence Pugh debuted a fresh new buzzcut as she arrived for her first Met Gala appearance.

The British actor said she had been keeping the look a secret “for about three weeks” ahead of its grand reveal on one of the biggest nights in the fashion calendar.

This year’s Met Gala was co-chaired by British stars Dua Lipa and Michaela Coel, as well as Penelope Cruz, Roger Federer, and Vogue editor-in-chief, Wintour.

Other stars in attendance included Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Anne Hathaway, Viola Davis, James Corden, Cara Delevingne, Idris Elba, Penelope Cruz, Jenna Ortega, Pedro Pascal, Olivia Rodrigo, Stella McCartney, Michelle Yeoh, Stormzy, Emily Blunt, and Glenn Close.

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