Met Gala Guide 2017: Everything You Need To know

Met Gala Guide 2017: Everything You Need To know

Consider the first Monday in May the fashion industry’s Christmas. Every year on this day, the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts their annual benefit to raise money for the Costume Institute (better known as the fashion department). This night reigns supreme on the fashion calendar, even more so than any runway shows or fashion weeks out there. It’s the one night of the year where trends and gimmick are thrown out the window and it’s only about the fashion. The journey. The art. The first Monday in May is what fashion is and should be, a celebration of a designer’s influence on the industry and reflecting on the bridge between the past and the future of those designs.

This year, Rei Kawakubo will be the honored artist, only the second living designer to be showcased at the Costume Institute (the first being Yves Saint Laurent back in 1983). According to CNN, the Met “will use 150 examples of Kawakubo’s work to explore how the designer has managed to straddle and subvert established dualities (then/now, self/other, clothes/not clothes etc.).” This is one of the more highly anticipated years of the gala and will include every major designer, brand, celebrity, and crazy looks all fashion-obsessed live for, so get ready for A Moment.

 

So, what is the purpose of the Met Gala?

beyonce-amy-schumer-met-gala

The Met Gala does several things in one night:

  • Raises money for the Costume Institute
  • Introduces the summer exhibit
  • Showcases the best and most exquisite fashion in the world on one carpet

First off, it is the annual benefit function to raise money for the Costume Institute, the only curatorial department in all the museum that has to fund itself. Secondly, the Met Gala introduces the exhibition that will be on display all summer long in the Costume Institute. The temporary exhibition is one of the most viewed in the world, with millions visiting from all over the world over the next 4 months. And lastly, the Met Gala is the one night of the year that where the clothes don’t just become outfits, they become walking sculptures, fusing creativity with the night’s theme to deliver some of the most outrageous and incredible moments captured in history (I know we’re all still dreaming of that Rihanna moment from 2015). Known as the Oscar night of fashion, expect to see dramatic shapes, headpieces, trains, gowns, and everything in between.

 

Who is Rei Kawakubo and why is she important?

kawakubo_rei-comme des garcon-met gala

Kawakubo at the opening of her Comme des Garçons shop in Henri Bendel in 1983. c/o: TIME

Rei Kawakubo is a 74-year old Japanese designer who founded the label Comme des Garcon. Ever seen those t-shirts or Converse with that cartoon heart character on them? That’s her design, one of the more marketable ones under her casual luxury line titled Play, of course.

comme-des-garcons-sneakers-750x500

c/o: Converse

Kawakubo has built her legacy on breaking the rules in fashion, never going for flattering and pretty but instead aiming for interesting and cinematic. She’s known as one of the most influential designers of our time and has solidified herself as one of the most forward thinking individuals in the creative space, not just fashion. Aside from her label Comme des Garcon and Play, she also owns the multi-level conceptual retail store Dover Street Market. While still primarily carrying her line and products, DSM hosts a slew of streetwear hype brands like Gosha Rubinsky, Gucci, Moncler, Balenciaga, and Vetements. If that wasn’t enough, Rei has also collaborated with dozens of the world’s leading brands including Nike, Speedo, H&M, Louis Vuitton, Supreme, Chrome Hearts, and more. Now, the real question is how much can the Met squeeze into the exhibit?

comme-des-garcons-in-between-rei-kawakubo-monograph-fashion-costume-institute-spring-exhibition-metropolitan-museum-art-new-york-usa_dezeen_hero1

c/o: Dezeen

 

What is Anna Wintour’s role in all of this?

rei kawakubo met gala anna wintour andrew bolton

From left: Carrie Rebora Barratt, Rei Kawakubo, Andrew Bolton and Anna Wintour at the Paris press conference for this year’s exhibition

For those unaware of who Anna Wintour is, she is the Editor in Chief of American Vogue and the Artistic Director of its publishing company Conde Nast. In 1999, Wintour became the chairwoman of the gala and has since elevated this once philanthropic effort into a global fashion marketing tool. She is the be-all end-all when it comes to the gala: who gets showcased, who gets invited, the theme, the layout, everything is approved by her. She has helped bring in so much money for the department over her tenure that in 2014, they renamed the main exhibition space as the Anna Wintour Costume Center. This woman is a beast and a damn good one at that.

 

Who gets invited to the gala?

Jennifer Lopez Donatella Versace Met Gala 2015

Donatella Versace invited Jennifer Lopez as one of her guests during the 2015 Met Gala honoring “China; Through the Looking Glass”

While the gala is technically a ticketed event (thus should be open to anyone willing to front the $30,000 per ticket to attend), it is invitation-only and is one of the hardest celebrity mixers to get into—even worse than any Oscar party. Your invitation more so depends on your cultural relevance and industry contribution rather than your money. As far as celebrities go and their place in the whole shindig, brands will usually pay for an entire table and invite celebrities to join, usually dressed in their designs of course. But even then, Anna still has to okay who you want to invite to your table, so being selective with your guests is necessary. In years past Beyonce joined Ricardo Tisci, Katy Perry joined Jeremy Scott, Zendaya came with Michael Kors, and Balmain hosted the entire Kardashian klan, naturally.

 

How do guests decide how to dress? Can they just wear a ball gown and be done?

met-gala-2016-magnus ex machina

Yes and no. Every exhibition has a theme and it is customary to dress according to that theme. In 2015, it was China: Through the Looking Glass, which sprouted some culturally inappropriate garbs that made the media a bit weary. In 2016, the theme was Magnus ex Machina, so more of a futuristic and robotic type of vibe (plenty of silver and Tin Man looks). This year, the exhibition is titled “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between.” Take that theme as you want, but my guess is that most attendees will wear an original CDG design, definitely the more nonsensical pieces like the lumpy dress or the red tape skirt. Rei celebrates the art of avant garde and will expect tonight’s attendees to dress with that same no-limits mentality, so get ready to be awed and wowed. FYI, Lady Gaga and Rihanna will SHINE tonight.

 

Okay, I’m in. I want to see? Where can I watch?

Unfortunately, because inside is such a private event (no guests are allowed to post anything on social media from inside the gala), the only televised option to watch the red carpet will be E! news starting at 7:30PM. However, both Vogue and NYT Style will be live streaming the coverage, with vogue doing a “360 red carpet experience” going from 7-8pm.

I look forward to this night every year and hope you guys have just as much fun following along as I will!

If you ever want to learn more about the Met Gala and the 7 month process it takes to plan fashion’s most extravagant night out, I HIGHLY highly highly suggest watching “The First Monday in May” on Netflix. It’s such a beautiful depiction of what this gala means to fashion and the world and the laborious task it is to present to the world a spectacular look into some of the industry’s greatest artist year after year.

With that, I’ll see you all on Instagram Stories with my thoughts and gasps of the looks throughout the night!

Xx, Kat

What is Sustainable Fashion + 7 Ways To Shop Sustainable

What is Sustainable Fashion + 7 Ways To Shop Sustainable

Earth Day is tomorrow and as always, this holiday offers a friendly reminder to keep sustainable practices relevant in all aspects of your life, including fashion. Sustainability helps the overall well-being of our planet, from an economic standpoint to a socio-economic one and helps us have a more conscious perspective with what we choose to wear. But such a broad term doesn’t give much direction to what steps we can take to participate in the sustainability movement, which is where this post comes in.

Fast Fashion brands have shorten the life cycle of our wardrobe. In other words, we’re so used to just buying cheap for right now, it’s almost like we expect to either toss out the clothes that wear their course or have them fall apart in a few months because of that. Although this strategy leaves more room for trend shopping, issues like material sourcing, production standards, quick turn-over, waste and ethical practices fall short and ultimately lead to an unsustainable wardrobe and loss of money.

But what does sustainable fashion even mean? Is it how we source our raw goods? Or how much we reuse and repurpose clothing? Or how about the quality of the production facilities that make the end-product? I honestly get so confused every time someone tries to lecture me on sustainable clothes, to the point that I just ignore the topic and move on with what I’m doing.

However, through my own search I learned that there is no set definition of sustainable fashion; no wonder so many of us get confused. Instead, sustainability includes how we make and intake fashion. The one definition I did find from Green Strategy is:

More sustainable fashion can be defined as clothing, shoes and accessories that are manufactured, marketed and used in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects. In practice, this implies continuous work to improve all stages of the product’s life cycle, from design, raw material production, manufacturing, transport, storage, marketing and final sale, to use, reuse, repair, remake and recycling of the product and its components. From an environmental perspective, the aim should be to minimise any undesirable environmental effect of the product’s life cycle by: (a) ensuring efficient and careful use of natural resources (water, energy, land, soil, animals, plants, biodiversity, ecosystems, etc); (b) selecting renewable energy sources (wind, solar, etc) at every stage, and (c) maximising repair, remake, reuse, and recycling of the product and its components. From a socio-economic perspective, all stakeholders should work to improve present working conditions for workers on the field, in the factories, transportation chain, and stores, by aligning with good ethics, best practice and international codes of conduct. In addition, fashion companies should contribute to encourage more sustainable consumption patterns, caring and washing practices, and overall attitudes to fashion. (Green Strategy, June 2014)

To make it easier I’ve taken Green Strategy’s list of 7 forms of sustainable fashion and simplified it.

sustainable fashion

Made Locally

To help local artisans and small businesses is always a great impact on the surrounding economy, but even with larger brands you can still make an effort to look for clothes that are made from where you live. Just check out the “Made In ______” tag and support locally.

Green & Clean 
This impacts all major processes. From how the garment is made to what materials are used to make the garment. A company has full control on the materials they use and they have the decision to use recycled, organic or to change the dying processes of a garment to have less of an impact. Have a look at the materials used on the tag, read the descriptions when buying online.

High Quality 
These are garments that are hand crafted and can include items that are customized. The reason high quality is sustainable is that it extends the life of a garment since its made to last. But remember, high quality doesn’t always mean luxury.

Fair & Ethical
Being people friendly ensures the workers have fair compensation and are treated ethically. This takes a little more digging but if it’s something that matters to you, then it will be worth the search.

Remake, Reuse & Upcycle

Reusing what’s already made. For a company, it is using recycled textiles. For an individual, it is giving new life to an old garment; a simple example is turning jeans into shorts. One of my favorite accounts to follow for repurposing fashion

Rent, Loan, Swap

Why buy items if you are only going to wear them once? Businesses like Rent The Runway and Poshmark give more life to a single item of clothing and offer sustainable methods of shopping, especially for one time grand events.

Second Hand
And of course, my favorite, vintage or thrift shopping. Buying at your local thrift shop or the tons of second hand marketplaces online. Vintage pieces are usually made from higher quality materials and already have a worn in feel to them, so they work well for pieces like jeans, blazers, coats, and shoes.

Now, to get started, pick one or two of these you know you can do and remember that there aren’t many companies that do ALL. Over time, you can start to add others and begin to see a change in your buying behavior.

Sustainable shopping might seem like work in the beginning, but once you realize the impact plus the money you’re saving, it all makes a ton more sense and is a lot enticing to stay committed.

What are some of your favorite sustainable brands or practices? I’d love to know

HOW TO SHOP YOUR CLOSET: Festival Style

HOW TO SHOP YOUR CLOSET: Festival Style

FESTIVAL VIBEZZZZZZZZ. No, but really. Coachella kicks off festival season this weekend and whether it’s in the deserts of Palm Springs for Coachella, Chicago’s Grant Park for Lollapalooza, or even in my own backyard of Miami for Rolling Loud Fest, the hot weather brings out the best music and arts festivals all summer long. However, the biggest hurdle? Curating a sick festival style wardrobe without going broke, which is why I want to show you guys how you can shop the pieces you already own, while still a    wewdding a few new goodies,

This time around I broke out of my comfort zone and did a little sum’n sum’n with the most badass photography duo @zerepinera and I’m so happy with how it turned out! Also, I love shooting at dusk so this setting was absolutely perfect-alllll the good vibes. I was honestly so nervous and scared because since the beginning of my blog, I’ve been so accustomed to shooting with my mom (yea guys, my mom takes all my outfit shots), so getting in front of someone else’s camera made me almost nauseous. But they came out sick! And now I’m starting to get ‘Chella fomo, mehh.

For the looks themselves, I wanted to take an honest approach and shop my closet the most I could and fill in any gaps with some newly purchased goodies. Honestly, never been to Coachella-not sure if I’ll ever go-but I love the desert inspiration and the style is always so laid back and mixes with everything I love (prints, pants, and no-frills easy dressing) so it was fun to experiment for a bit and see what I can put together with what I already own. Shopping for a new festival wardrobe is always fun, but shopping your closet and updating a few items is just as fun and creative AND gives you freedom to enjoy the festival with even more cash than you were expecting!

Throughout each look, I’ll let you know which items I already owned and which ones are new to give some insight on how useful it is to shop your closet for festivals like these. Let’s get started.

SWEET AND COMFY

For this first look, I had this wide brim stiff hat I got months ago at a small shop in town (RIP Spin Gallery) that I knew I wanted to pull out again specifically for festival season. I just recently bought this black ruffle crop top that I figured would pair really well with the hat, so I figured with an all black top half I might as well go print-happy for the bottom half. I picked up these new palm leaf printed culottes (gauchos?) from Zara that made the outfit so absolutely comfortable yet still gave it a feminine, sweet feel. I finished it off with some new slides and of course statement earrings, because hello-me. Now that I’m writing this down, I just realized this entire outfit aside from the hat is from Zara lol whoops. Moving on…

**Exact items linked below or slide to shop similar styles**

Hat: Hat (OLD): not Available but similar here and here

Earrings (OLD): Zara

Top (OLD): Zara

Culottes (NEW): Zara

Slides (NEW): Zara

 

festival style affordable shop my closet black wide brim boater hat black ruffle crop top printed pants festival style affordable shop my closet black wide brim boater hat black ruffle crop top printed pants festival style affordable shop my closet black wide brim boater hat black ruffle crop top printed pants festival style affordable shop my closet black wide brim boater hat black ruffle crop top printed pants festival style affordable shop my closet black wide brim boater hat black ruffle crop top printed pants festival style affordable shop my closet black crop top print pants festival style affordable shop my closet black crop top print pants festival style affordable shop my closet black crop top print pants festival style affordable shop my closet black wide brim boater hat festival style affordable shop my closet

KAT IN A NUTSHELL

For this second look I went for something that I literally would wear myself if I was going to Coachella this weekend. I started off with these white high-rise trousers that I just got and cannot stop wearing. I figured I would pair it with a crop top and the same hat as before (pretty simple) but I wanted to get creative since that just seemed a bit boring. I used this old scarf I thrifted a while back and folded it end to end, tied the longest part across my chest, and then brought the remaining end up across one shoulder and tied it to the back knot, making a cute little make-shift top (!). From there on, the look finished itself with black leather lace up sandals I’ve worn to death, cross earrings I’ve had for months, and topped with the boater hat. This look is definitely my favorite out of the bunch and the one that resonates with me the most.

Hat (OLD): not Available but similar here and here

Cross Earrings (OLD) : H&M, similar here and here

Scarf (OLD): thrifted. similar here and here

Pants (NEW): Zara, similar here

Leather Sandals (OLD): Free People, similar here

Sunglasses (OLD): Ray-Ban

 

festival style affordable shop my closet cross earrings bandana top white high waisted pants festival style affordable shop my closet black wide brim boater hat festival style affordable shop my closet cross earrings bandana top white high waisted pants festival style affordable shop my closet cross earrings bandana top festival style affordable shop my closet cross earrings bandana top festival style affordable shop my closet cross earrings bandana top

DESERT DANCER

You ever have that one piece in your closet that’s like your GO-TO no matter what? That’s what this skirt is to me. I’ve owned it now for almost three years and whenever I need to feel good in something or do a quick change or absolutely anything else, this skirt has pulled through. I had no idea it would end up like this when I first got it but hey, that’s how it usually goes right? So for this look I automatically grabbed this piece to start with and then figured since it’s all about those dusty desert vibes, let me pair it with an old band tee. I honestly don’t even remember how I got this t-shirt (may have taken it from one of my friends or my siblings, oops) but I went ahead and cut open the front to give it some more interest. I was going to go with a lace bralette but saw this gold chain link bra instead and have always wanted to try it out so I went with that. I then added some of my most tried and true booties from Forever 21 I purchased ages ago (maybe 5 years now), a layered necklace because why not and capped it all off with a new tassled fanny pack from Forever 21, which is so sick and is perfect for all the festivals coming up so yay! Score!

Top (OLD): Similar here and here

Gold Bralette (NEW): Forever 21

Necklace (NEW): similar here

Skirt (OLD): Cynthia Rowley, similar here and here

Tassle Fanny Pack (NEW): Forever 21, similar here

Booties (OLD): Forever 21, similar here and here

festival style affordable shop my closet festival style affordable shop my closet festival style affordable shop my closet print mini skirt fanny pack festival style affordable shop my closet print mini skirt fanny pack festival style affordable shop my closet print mini skirt fanny pack festival style affordable shop my closet print mini skirt fanny pack gold chain link bra

This last look was honestly a little too risky for me to ever consider wearing it out myself, but I knew some other girls might be more into this type of look AND it was the one outfit that I owned every single piece already and spent no money to put together, so I figured why not. It’s fun and breezy and perfect for the hot summer weather. You have a hat for sun protection, a bandana for dust deflection, and thigh high boots to literally stomp your way through all zee festival grounds. The bathing suit also let’s you relax a bit more in case you get it wet or dirty; it’ll be a breeze to clean. Overall, not my first choice of looks but for not spending any money to style it, I’m definitely pleased!

Newsboy Cap (OLD): Forever 21, similar here

Bandana/Scarf (OLD): Sam Edelman

High-Waisted Bikini (OLD): Kristina Ashley Swim, similar here 

Robe/Cover Up (OLD): Urban Planet, similar here and here

Boots (OLD): Thrifted but brand is Ann Taylor LOFT, similar here

festival style affordable shop my closet

festival style affordable shop my closet black robe kimono newsboy cap festival style affordable shop my closet black robe kimono newsboy cap festival style affordable shop my closet black robe kimono newsboy cap festival style affordable shop my closet black robe kimono newsboy cap festival style affordable shop my closet black robe kimono newsboy cap festival style affordable shop my closet black robe kimono newsboy cap festival style affordable shop my closet black robe kimono newsboy cap

Photography by @zenepineira

 

Let me know if you’re going to Coachella and if not, what other festivals are you looking forward to?

 

Xx, kat

10 Statement Earrings Perfect for Spring + Summer

10 Statement Earrings Perfect for Spring + Summer

top 10 statement earrings to shop summer

Statement earrings are by far my most favorite accessory year-round but especially so when the weather starts to get warmer.

Living in South Florida, the weather doesn’t warrant any extra layers than the ones needed.  Although jewelry seems like a light addition compared to say a jacket or even a hat, those Dylanlex bib-style necklaces and even stacked cuffs get sweaty, get heavy, and eventually get taken off.

Statement earrings work with almost anything and whether you prefer a more subtle hoop or a more knockout chandelier piece, reaching for a pair this season will up your style game and give a more elegant, elevated and interesting touch to any look. I’ve been keeping my eye on some of my favorites to buy. Peep the list below to check them out:

 

Shopping Guide: Reformation Miami Pop-Up

Shopping Guide: Reformation Miami Pop-Up

Instagram has helped me discover a bunch of cool brands in the past and has been one of my favorite aspects of the social network/search engine.

I caught wind of Reformation a while back through Instagram after I saw style influencers like Vanessa Hugdens and Chiara Ferragni wearing their pieces. I love the relaxed, effortless feel their clothing evoked-pieces like their leather jackets, sick pants, and their notorious a-step-above-the-rest basics. Think laid back, cool, west coast vibes. However, other than all the internet stalking, online window shopping, and basic drooling I was doing, I never had a chance to experience the clothes firsthand.

Fast forward to today and the label FINALLY decided to treck down to Miami with a 2-month pop-up shop in crowd-favorite, Wynwood. And ooouuuf, was it good.

Ref (their self-appointed nickname) tends to fall more towards the pricier end ($150-$250 range for dresses and jumpsuits) but I wouldn’t hold back. Most, if not all, the pieces you’ll shop there will be life-long basics you can build a solid summer wardrobe with and the initial investment will come through after reusing that one Geneva dress over and over and over and over (you already know I scored that dress for sure).

Most of the clothes they curated for the Miami pop-up are made up of silk and silk-chiffon, light breathable linen sets, and all the wrap dresses I’m craving this season. Soooo if you’re just as curious as I was and looking to shop your first Reformation staple, fret not-I’ve done the hard work for you and pulled together a quick list of must-haves from the pop-up that are perfect to kick off Summer 2017 with.

ADDRESS: 219 NW 23rd Street, Miami FL 33127

Also, let me know what were your favorite pieces from the pop, I’m dying to know if I missed anything and need to go back 👀