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Alia Bhatt Debuts at Met Gala in Prabal Gurung Gown to Honor Veteran Designer Karl Lagerfeld

Alia Bhatt Debuts at Met Gala in Prabal Gurung Gown to Honor Veteran Designer Karl Lagerfeld

  • Joining her on the coveted red carpet were Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Mindy Kaling and Isha Ambani.

The Met Gala — undisputedly the biggest night in fashion and glamor — was held last night (May 1) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, New York. Celebrities across industries including TV, film, politics and sport were dressed to interpret the event’s theme, “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,” honoring the legacy of the late designer who helmed fashion houses such as Chanel, Fendi, and his own eponymous line. Held annually on the first Monday in May, the star-studded event also raised funds for The Met’s Costume Institute.

Alia Bhatt in a white princess-bride-inspired gown. 

This year’s gala was hosted by Penélope Cruz, Michaela Coel, Roger Federer, Dua Lipa, and Vogue’s Anna Wintour, who has run the Met Gala since 1995, “shaping it into the much-loved annual celebration of fashion we know today,” according to Vogue. 

Apart from the Hollywood A-listers and celebrities who grace the red carpet, Bollywood and South Asian actors and social elite have been putting their best fashion foot forward at the gala. Priyanka Chopra Jonas famously debuted in 2017 with her now husband Nick Jonas, as guests of Ralph Lauren. She became the first Indian to attend the party of the year. Deepika Padukone made her debut the same year as well. Last year, Riz Ahmed, Mindy Kaling, and “Bridgerton” breakout star Simone Ashley were spotted at the gala. This year marked the debut of Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt. 

Being invited to the gala is considered prestigious, not just because of the guest list and the price tag, but because each guest is vetted by Wintour. “Unlike other cultural fund-raisers, like the New York City Ballet gala or the Frick Collection Young Fellows Ball, the Met gala is invitation only, and there is a waiting list,” The New York Times notes. “Qualifications for inclusion have to do with buzz and achievement (and beauty), a.k.a. the gospel, more than money,” Wintour told The Times, adding that she has “the final say over every invitation and attendee.” That means, “even if a company buys a table, it cannot choose everyone who sits at its table: It must clear the guest with her and Vogue and pray for approval.”

With these criteria, it is indeed prestigious for Bhatt to be on this year’s list. Similar to Padukone, whose Met Gala appearance coincided with her Hollywood transition with Vin Diesel’s “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” Bhatt will soon make her Hollywood debut with “Heart of Stone,” which also stars Gal Gadot and Jamie Dornan. The Met Gala would seem like an ideal place to introduce Indian talent to celebrities. 

Bhatt’s look was appreciated both in the Indian media and the West. Her white princess-bride-inspired gown with pearl details was designed by Prabal Gurung, who accompanied her on the red carpet. The Nepali American designer is not new to the gala. Several celebrities including Kaling and Isha Ambani have worn his creations.

Speaking about Bhatt’s dress, Vogue said the Bollywood actress’ look in “a dramatic sheer train and pearl beads, served up pure princess bride, a recurring theme in the work of Lagerfeld.” She wore a single fingerless glove as well, which Vogue noted was “one of Lagerfeld’s favorite accessories (though he wore two).”

In an earlier report, Vogue India said Bhatt’s decision to go with Gurung is fitting, given that the theme this year is “a tribute to Karl Lagerfeld” and the designer’s connection to him. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Gurung, who received an award from Lagerfeld at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund dinner in 2010, said he was “in awe of Lagerfeld since he was a kid.” He recalled how winning the award was “so surreal, and even more so to receive an award from a designer whom I’ve been in awe of ever since I was a kid.”

Priyanka Chopra Jonas and her musician husband Nick Jonas chose “coordinating black-and-white looks,” as reported by Harpers Bazaar. Chopra Jonas wore a black strapless gown with a thigh-high slit by Valentino, as well as an extravagant tufted cape attached to a pair of white opera gloves. Meanwhile, Jonas sported a leather blazer, white shirt, black trousers, and a black tie held with a winding clip. Photos posted on social media show the couple sharing a laugh as they made their way up the carpet.

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The married couple last appeared at the lavish event in 2019, where they embraced the evening’s Camp theme in flamboyant silver ensembles. Chopra Jonas in a frothy gray Dior haute couture number with cage detailing on the corset, multicolored feathers at the hem, and a matching cape. Jonas a white suit over a bejeweled shirt and tie, finishing the look with silver metallic shoes and luxe jewelry from Chopard.

For her third appearance at the coveted event, Isha Ambani wore “a saree-gown in black silk with hand-embellishments with thousands of crystals and pearls and extended into a floor-sweeping silk chiffon train,” Indian media reported. She wore an embellished choker with diamond necklaces, glimmering earrings and rings. She made her first appearance on the red carpet in 2017 in Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first couture collection for Dior, a beige floor-length gown covered in floral embellishments. She was also seen in 2019 in a Prabal Gurung lilac-hued tulle gown with a plunging neckline with exquisite ostrich feather detailing and hand-embroidered crystals. 

Kaling made many a head turn with her slim looks, and beautiful accented white dress with a corseted silhouette, and paired the look with dazzling earrings and smokey makeup. Last year, she looked sensational in an Atelier Prabal Gurung lilac hand-pleated silk chiffon gown embroidered with hand-cut silk florets, with a plunging neckline, and a thigh-high slit on the side. Keeping with the violet theme, the actress wore a pair of matching silk pumps and added sparkle to her look with diamond jewels. 

Also in attendance at previous galas were businesswoman and philanthropist Natasha Poonawalla and philanthropist Sudha Reddy. Poonawalla made her debut on the red carpet in 2018 in a white corseted gown that featured graffiti-inspired prints. The dress was a collaborative project of Sabyasachi and Schiaparelli. She was also seen in 2019 and 2022. Reddy was the only Indian at the Met Gala carpet in 2012 and was dressed in a breathtaking gown designed by the Falguni Shane Peacock label. 

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