Desis dazzle on the red carpet: Met Gala 2023

From Alia Bhatt to Mindy Kaling, check out the South Asians serving looks at this year's Met Gala

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‘Fashion’s Biggest Night’, the Met Gala, is back for 2023, and this year our South Asian celebs are decked in homages to the late Karl Lagerfeld, a German fashion designer known for his black-and-white palette, use of fur and pearls, and high collared shirts.

Gangubai Kathiawadi star Alia Bhatt made her debut on the carpet, dressed in a simple, elegant pearl-embellished white gown from Nepalese-born designer Prabal Gurung, featuring a rounded neckline and train. Her outfit was completed with a single white fingerless glove in true Lagerfeld fashion and inspired by Claudia Schiffer’s 1992 Chanel bridal look.


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Businesswoman and arts patron Isha Ambani also wore a Prabal Gurung creation, a black sari-gown with a silk chiffon train, hand-embellished with pearls and crystals. She carried a limited-edition Chanel clutch shaped like a doll with a Swarovski maang-tika, a subtle nod to her roots.


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Gala regulars Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas returned this year in a classic black-and-white coordinated Valentino ensemble, a far cry from the flamboyant, silver feathered look of their 2019 appearance. This time, Chopra sported an off-shoulder gown with thigh high slit, finished with a black and white cape, whilst Jonas looked sharp in a leather jacket.


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And of course, seasoned Gala veteran and Never Have I Ever creator Mindy Kaling was back with a corseted white Jonathon Simkhai gown encrusted with jewels, much anticipated after her showstopping lilac plunge neck Prabal Gurung gown for last year’s ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion’ theme.


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What is the Met Gala?

Established in 1948 as a fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City, the Met Gala is now the epitome of extravagant, bombastic celebrity culture, and responsible for some of the world’s most iconic fashion moments.

It now serves as the opening event for the Institute’s annual fashion exhibit; this year’s exhibit, ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’ is a retrospective look at the ‘stylistic vocabulary’ of the iconic and often controversial designer’s career.

Karl Lagerfeld began his career in the 1950s, working for top fashion houses Balmain, Patou, and Chloé, before joining Chanel in 1983, where he remained creative director until his death in 2019. He was also an instrumental part of Italian fur and leather goods house Fendi and launched his own eponymous label.

The guest list for this exclusive, invitation-only event is filled with the biggest and brightest personalities of the moment which Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour has handpicked. The roughly 400 chosen attendees are kept a closely guarded secret until the night of the event, with tickets at a staggering $50,000 apiece.

Previous South Asian attendees at the Met Gala include Youtuber Lilly Singh and Bollywood star Deepika Padukone, the latter appearing in 2019 in a pink Barbie-esque Zach Posen strapless gown, complete with voluminous high ponytail.


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This year’s lineup also includes numerous Australian celebrities, including Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, and Miranda Kerr.

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Lakshmi Ganapathy
Lakshmi Ganapathy
Lakshmi Ganapathy is an emerging journalist and theatre-maker based in Melbourne.

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