Another moment for fashion in the yearbooks, another Met Gala gone!
The Met Gala, or more formally known as the Costume Institute Gala is an annual fundraising event benefitting the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. The event marks the grand opening of the institute’s annual exhibit dedicated to fashion.
Each year, the event has a different theme reflecting the exhibit. Attendees are encouraged to dress according to the year’s theme.
Last year’s theme was China: Through the Looking Glass; celebrities donned outfits inspired by East Asian aesthetics.
Who could forget Rihanna’s dramatic and elongated, floor-length haute couture gown made by Chinese designer, Guo Pei—or Sarah Jessica Parker’s ornate headpiece by Philip Treacy?
For the less affluent folks—like myself—it’s a time when we can judge on how creative or how utterly ridiculous celebrities try to outdo each other in their couture gowns and costumes. I mean, really, some people go a tad over the top, but for the sake of fashion, it just works.
With a rising interest in Asian American culture and high profile events such as the Met Gala, Asian American designers are taking the fashion world by storm with their designs.
In celebration of this year’s MET Gala, here are a few Asian American fashion designers paving way for the next generation of aspiring artists.
Famously known for her wedding and evening gowns, Vera Wang has been in the fashion industry for more than 45 years. Wang operates boutiques in London, New York and Tokyo as well as luxury department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. Her work has been featured on television shows like Gossip Girl, Revenge and Sex and the City.
Cambodian American—represent!—designer Phillip Lim is well known for his 3.1 Phillip Lim line featuring products for both men and women. Lim’s accomplishments include receiving the Emerging Talent in womenswear by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2007 for his eponymous line and the Council’s Swarovski award for his menswear line in 2012.
A San Francisco native, Alexander Wang is known for combining urban streetwear with couture. Wang was the former creative director for Balenciaga; his eponymous line is currently sold at Barney’s New York and Net-a-Porter, among other luxury department stores. His extensive accolades include the Swiss Textiles Award in 2009 and GQ US Best Menswear Designer of the Year Award.
Known for his bags and simple, minimalist designs, Derek Lam has been in the industry for more than 25 years. Another San Francisco native, Lam began his career working for Michael Kors in the 90s. Eventually, Lam became appointed Vice President for Kors’ Kors line. He launched his label in 2003 and continues to create pieces under his eponymous line.
Fashionistas, you cannot tell me you’ve never heard of Jimmy Choo, you just simply cannot! Born in George Town, Malaysia, Jimmy Choo was born into a family of shoemakers. He opened his line in 1996 and continues to operate in the United Kingdom. Lady Gaga has said, “Merde, I love them Jimmy Choo,” which perfectly describes how women have fallen in love with Choo’s slick and timeless designs such as the classic Anouk pump.