Who is Karl Lagerfeld and why is the Met Gala 2023 theme controversial?

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Who is Karl Lagerfeld and why is the Met Gala 2023 theme controversial?

As the Metropolitan Museum of Art gears up for one of the the biggest nights in fashion and pop culture, much has been said about the theme of Met Gala 2023. The dress code is ‘In honor of Karl…’ and heralds the opening of a new spring exhibition based on the designer’s work. But while some dub Karl Lagerfeld a ‘fashion genius’ others have raked up his contentious (and unrepentant) remarks about everything from #MeToo to curvy bodies.

As the Metropolitan Museum of Art gears up for one of the the biggest nights in fashion and pop culture, much has been said about the theme of Met Gala 2023. The dress code is ‘In honor of Karl…’ and heralds the opening of a new spring exhibition based on the designer’s work. But while some dub Karl Lagerfeld a ‘fashion genius’ others have raked up his contentious (and unrepentant) remarks about everything from #MeToo to curvy bodies.

“He offended people right and left, making as much of an art out of the cutting aside as the perfectly cut double-face gown…He judged and knew he would be judged himself, but he didn’t care. Rather, he embraced it,” New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman wrote soon after his death in 2019.

“He offended people right and left, making as much of an art out of the cutting aside as the perfectly cut double-face gown…He judged and knew he would be judged himself, but he didn’t care. Rather, he embraced it,” New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman wrote soon after his death in 2019.

Karl Lagerfeld transformed Chanel from frumpy to modern, revolutionized the merger of hip-hop culture and high fashion and turned runway shows into masterful, theatrical displays. He was also a self-proclaimed “big mouth” who spoke unabashedly against gay men wishing to adopt children, migrants, sexual assault survivors, the #MeToo movement, and “ugly” or “fat” people.

Karl Lagerfeld transformed Chanel from frumpy to modern, revolutionized the merger of hip-hop culture and high fashion and turned runway shows into masterful, theatrical displays. He was also a self-proclaimed “big mouth” who spoke unabashedly against gay men wishing to adopt children, migrants, sexual assault survivors, the #MeToo movement, and “ugly” or “fat” people.

And as many demurred (or accepted invites), actor and activist Jameela Jamil was one of the few speaking vehemently against the theme.

And as many demurred (or accepted invites), actor and activist Jameela Jamil was one of the few speaking vehemently against the theme.

“Why is THIS who we celebrate when there are so many AMAZING designers out there who aren’t bigoted white men? What happened to everyone’s principles and ‘advocacy.’ You don’t get to stand for justice in these areas, and then attend the celebration of someone who reveled in his own public disdain for marginalized people,” Jamil wrote soon after the announcement.

“Why is THIS who we celebrate when there are so many AMAZING designers out there who aren’t bigoted white men? What happened to everyone’s principles and ‘advocacy.’ You don’t get to stand for justice in these areas, and then attend the celebration of someone who reveled in his own public disdain for marginalized people,” Jamil wrote soon after the announcement.

Meanwhile the High Fashion Twitter Met Gala – a digital accompaniment started by a group of internet friends in 2020 – has also decided to boycott the event. In the past couple of years, they had thrown the A-list invitation-only gala open to creators who submit digital fashion in line with the real theme.

Meanwhile the High Fashion Twitter Met Gala – a digital accompaniment started by a group of internet friends in 2020 – has also decided to boycott the event. In the past couple of years, they had thrown the A-list invitation-only gala open to creators who submit digital fashion in line with the real theme.

“As we approach the first Monday of May, the hf twitter met gala team would like to announce that we will not be celebrating this year’s met gala as our values don’t align with the selection of Karl Lagerfeld as the theme,” the coordinators tweeted.

“As we approach the first Monday of May, the hf twitter met gala team would like to announce that we will not be celebrating this year’s met gala as our values don’t align with the selection of Karl Lagerfeld as the theme,” the coordinators tweeted.

(With inputs from agencies)

(With inputs from agencies)

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