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Indian Origin Celebrities Dazzle on the Met Gala Red Carpet With Desi Interpretations of ‘Garden of Time’ Theme

Indian Origin Celebrities Dazzle on the Met Gala Red Carpet With Desi Interpretations of ‘Garden of Time’ Theme

  • “One Day” fame Ambika Mod made her debut, along with Dallas-based fashion entrepreneur Mona Patel.

British Indian actress Ambika Mod made her debut at the 2024 Met Gala — undisputedly the biggest night in fashion and glamor — held yesterday (May 6) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She wore a Loewe design, which featured a 3D print of Charles James’ Petal dress from 1951. Mod was seen as Emma Morley in the hugely popular Netflix series “One Day.”

British Indian actress Simone Ashley wore a black and blue sequin-studded gown designed by Prabal Gurung. It featured a skirt with alternating vertical divisions of blue and patterned hues, a plunging V-neckline, and cutouts at the midriff. She is known for her roles in the Netflix period drama “Bridgerton” and comedy-drama “Sex Education.”

Mindy Kaling

Also making her debut was Dallas-based fashion entrepreneur Mona Patel, who wore a butterfly-inspired outfit designed by Iris van Herpen. The dress featured a butterfly-shaped bodice and a long train. Adding to the enchantment, a little wheel at the back spun in rounds, causing the arm pieces adorned with butterflies to flutter. In addition to founding her non-profit organization, Couture for Cause, she also founded the health-tech startup radXai and the community group Haute Mindset. 

This year’s theme — “The Garden of Time,” takes its cue from a 1962 short story of the same name by J.G. Ballard. The Vogue notes that the theme fits together with “the latest Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute exhibition, Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” which opens to the public on Friday, May 10.

The annual gala is held on the first Monday in May where celebrities across industries including TV, film, politics, and sports dress to impress. This year’s gala was co-chaired by Jennifer Lopez, Zendaya, Bad Bunny and Chris Hemsworth. 

Simone Ashley

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 editor-in-chief of Vogue Anna 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.”

Indian American actress, comedian, screenwriter, and producer Mindy Kaling dazzled in a structured gown by Gaurav Gupta. The gown — “The Melting Flower of Time”— came with the designer’s signature sculpted patterns all over. The dramatic train and structured pattern on the sleeves elevated her look. In an interview with Vogue on the red carpet, Kaling said she’s “really happy to rep such talented geniuses who happen to be from my community.”

Bollywood A-lister Alia Bhatt, who made her gala debut last year, made many heads turn with a custom floral sari designed by Sabyasachi Mukherjee in shades of blue, pink, green, and white. Her hairstyle added a retro vibe to her look, featuring a braided bun adorned with jeweled headgear.

Sabyasachi made history at the gala, not just by designing Bhatt’s stunning outfit, but also by becoming the first Indian designer to attend the prestigious event. He was seen in an embroidered cotton duster coat, which he paired a crisp white shirt with ivory pants. Formal shoes, a Sabyasachi belt, and a pair of stylish shades completed the look.

Other Indians at the event included Isha Ambani, daughter of Mukesh Ambani; and entrepreneur Natasha Poonawala and philanthropist Sudha Reddy. 

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Isha Ambani

Ambani wore a beautiful gold saree gown that came with a multi-hued floral train. Designed by Rahul Mishra, the strapless gown featured intricate designs of flowers, butterflies, and dragonflies, created using embroidery techniques like Fareesha, Zardozi, Nakshi, and Dabka. To enhance the traditional essence, Isha opted for a choker necklace, matching earrings and hathphools.

Sudha Reddy

Poonawala made a striking statement in a custom look from Maison Margiela’s Artisanal collection, curated by ace designer John Galliano. The dress featured a sweetheart neckline, a snug-fit bodice, and a volumized pattern below the waist, creating an hourglass figure effect. A slit at the back added pizzazz to her appearance. Accessorizing with finesse, Natasha selected a white beret, custom-made Christian Louboutin heels, and a chic handheld bag. 

Reddy exuded regal elegance in an ivory sequin gown designed by Tarun Tahiliani. 

Nathasha Ponawala.

The outfit was handcrafted by over 80 artisans, and included a bodice, adorned with hand-carved mother-of-pearl flowers and symbolic 3D butterflies, Reddy wrote in an Instagram post. The forest also held the MET gala rose, as an offering of peace and love,” according to Tahitian’s Instagram post. “Handcrafted with thousands of French knots, Indian couching embroidery, Swarovski crystals and silk threadwork, the bodice is adorned with hand-carved mother-of-pearl flowers symbolizing luminosity and permanence, the three-dimensional butterflies the cycle of life, while the drapery symbolizes the layers of one’s self, akin to the unfolding petals of a blossoming flower,” he wrote.

(Photos, courtesy of Met Gala 2024/X (Twitter).

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