The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


Don’t Sleep on it: Sleeping Beauties Reawaken Fashion

Lana del Rey at the Met Gala 2024.

With rhododendrons blooming around campus and cherry blossoms gently falling like nature’s confetti, the spirit of summer is undeniably in the air. This season of rebirth and vibrant blooms serves as the perfect prelude to the Met Gala’s latest exhibit, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion”  and the “Garden of Time” theme.

At the heart of the gala, the “Sleeping Beauties” is not only a nod to timeless elegance but also a fresh reinterpretation of classic aesthetics. The exhibit challenges visitors to reconsider how they can engage with clothing too old to wear again. Each archival piece is showcased within innovative casings designed to breathe new life into these relics, divided into three subgroups of Land, Sea, and Sky. Although the garments are stationary, their inherent dynamism is highlighted through CGI, soundscaping, light projections, Pepper’s Ghost illusion techniques (involving projecting lights across a series of mirrors), and video animation, which all work to liberate these pieces from their frames.

Perhaps one of my favorite pieces is the House of Worth Ball Gown (ca. 1887). The gown is a breathtaking example of the lavishness and intricate detail characteristic of late 19th-century haute couture, using an amalgam of luxurious patterns and materials such as pale green and ivory silk satin, polychrome silk chiffon, and metallic lace. It shines brightly like a star under the exhibit lights, reflecting the grandeur of its era through gold embroidery, opalescent glass beads, and silver thread. Unfortunately, much of the green satin has degraded with the years, resulting in large swaths where only horizontal threads remain. This deterioration is not just a loss but a visual representation of the passage of time and the fragility of beauty itself, encapsulated in the once resplendent gown now in a quiet “Sleeping Beauty”-esque slumber.

Other exhibitions at the Met juxtapose archival gems with contemporary counterparts from celebrated designers such as Stella McCartney, Phillip Lim, Yves Saint Laurent, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Christian Dior. Highlights include Alexander McQueen’s razor clam shell dress from the 2001 “Voss” spring/summer collection and the butterfly dress from Sarah Burton’s inaugural collection at the fashion house in 2011. Both designs draw heavily on themes from nature, yet each speaks to the passage of time in a contrasting way. The razor-clam shell dress, adorned with elements recycled from the sea, encapsulates a narrative of endurance and transformation. These shells, having been churned by the ocean, symbolize resilience and the continuous cycle of nature’s renewal and decay. In contrast, the butterfly dress by Sarah Burton ushers in a lighter, more ethereal interpretation of time’s flow. Butterflies, emblematic of metamorphosis and fleeting beauty, convey the swift, delicate passage of time. Together, these dresses offer a multifaceted exploration of beauty and time—each garment providing a unique lens through which we can observe the intricate dance between nature and temporality. This is precisely why we loved the exhibit and theme for the Met Gala, as it perfectly lends itself to diverse interpretation and profound application. 

Setting the stage for the Met Gala theme, hosts Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, and Chris Hemsworth chose the “The Garden of Time” theme for its broad associations with time and nature.  Drawing inspiration from J.G. Ballard’s short story of the same name, the theme explores the fluidity and impermanence of beauty, reflecting on how both nature and human creations are subjected to the relentless march of time. The narrative revolves around Count Axel and his wife, the Countess, who reside in a utopian villa adorned with a garden of crystalline flowers, featuring translucent leaves, gleaming stems like glass, and crystals at the core of each bloom. As in all of Ballard’s work, there is a dystopian element to paradise – outside the serene walls of Count Axel’s villa, a relentless mob creeps closer with each passing hour. To fend off the chaos, the count must pluck time-reversing flowers from his garden, until none remain. Just as Count Axel attempts to halt the progression of time with each flower plucked, designers at the Met Gala showcase garments that encapsulate moments of beauty and artistry frozen in time.

Between the exhibit and the dress code, there were several avenues for guests to explore. As always, Zendaya delivered with two perfectly themed looks: Maison Margiela and archival Givenchy by John Galliano. The Maison Margiela ensemble was adorned with plant motifs and a delicate hummingbird, encapsulating the essence of a vibrant garden. Meanwhile, the Givenchy piece featured a large, eccentric flower headpiece paired with a vintage dress, creating a bold and artistic statement reminiscent of a Frida Kahlo painting. However, the makeup was severe, detracting somewhat from the natural beauty and thematic resonance of both looks. Tyla and Mona Patel also made notable appearances in mesmerizing, on-theme dresses. Channeling the “sands of time,” Tyla wore a stunning sand-covered bodycon dress. This unique ensemble beautifully tied into the evening’s theme, emphasizing the passage of time through its reference to hourglass clocks. Underdog Mona Patel wore a custom Iris van Herpen dress styled by Law Roach, featuring gold butterfly cuffs and a sculpted butterfly gown. Despite being made of firm material, the dress retained a light and airy quality. Patel fluttered on the carpet like a butterfly in an enchanted garden.

Unfortunately, some “Sleeping Beauties” failed to awaken the magic with their outfits, falling short of the enchanting standard set by the night’s theme. One notable example was Kim Kardashian, who donned a custom silver gown by Maison Margiela that was unique and sculpture-like, but paired it with a rather mundane “grandma” cardigan. The mismatched cardigan detracted from the gown’s impact, leaving spectators underwhelmed. Similarly, Doja Cat took a very unconventional approach by leaving her hotel in a bath towel and arriving at the Met Gala in a wet t-shirt. Her nonchalant attire, which she humorously claimed resembled “the most-used flower—cotton,” was a creative stretch but starkly off-theme, failing to capture the gala’s spirit of sophisticated and timeless fashion exploration.

Amidst this constellation of fashion statements on the red carpet, some stars shone brightly while others dimmed under the weight of divided opinions. Like the patterns in the night sky, each celebrity outfit has a story to tell; however, whether this story is a fairytale or nightmare is up to the consumer. Lizzo was one of these stars,  attending the show as what some might describe as a graceful garden nymph meets celestial figure robed in a starry gown and crown. However, others have accused her of missing the theme entirely and instead as “cosplaying as a tree.” These opinions were met with backlash, with Lizzo accusing haters of being fatphobic and non-inclusive. Although it is undeniable her headpiece somewhat resembles branches on a glittery tree, Lizzo’s outfit was certainly not one to forget. On the other end of the spectrum, the outfit of Gustav Magnar Witzoe, a Norwegian billionaire, left the world perplexed and raised a question: Has the Met Gala fully morphed into Halloween for the uber-wealthy? Appearing in a nude/salmon bodysuit including a dramatic cape, Witzoe mixed geometric shapes and modern fashion pieces with the whimsical theme of the night. This certainly sparked controversy, leading observers to think they had fallen into a fashion black hole. In the galaxies of style showcased, each star shined in their own way, either burning brightly or camouflaging into the cosmic fashion background. Needless to say, these unforgettable pieces left the entire world stargazing.

Although some outfits were a snooze and others were a showstopping success, this year’s Met Gala set a compelling precedent for narrative fashion that transcends temporal and spatial       constructs. With prom season approaching, we hope to see Lakesiders weave elements of the Met’s grandeur into their own looks, bringing butterfly motifs or floral designs to the red carpet.

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About the Contributors
Angelina P. '24
Tatler’s resident writer and logic puzzle creator, Angelina P., has a knack for CRISPR-Cas9 technology, Spanish television, and Balanchine ballet. When she is not begging her classmates for IMAGO submissions, you can find her reading Agatha Christie murder mysteries on the upper floor of the library.
Calliope N. '27
Calliope enjoys dancing, writing, spending time with friends and loved ones, and warm weather. She has been dancing/performing her whole life, and now is also teaching ballet to younger dancers and people with different abilities. She has two cats and two dogs, one of which is a puppy named Hubert, and the other a cat named Egg. She is very proud of her naming skills. Her favorite place in the world are the beaches in Maui, although rainy Seattle is a close second.

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