Something surprising you might not realize about 2021's best Met Gala looks? Some of them came together in record time — including Ariana DeBose's Michael Kors ensemble.
Speaking with InStyle prior to the event, styling duo Zadrian and Sarah shared the story behind how the West Side Story actress' dress came to be, and it all starts with New York Fashion Week.
"It all kind of all kind of culminated together with her performing at the [Michael Kors] show on Friday," Zadrian explained over the phone, while admitting the accompanying Lorraine Schwartz had yet to arrive mere hours before the big night. "Ariana killed it so bad — everyone was on their feet and it was amazing. I think after that, the conversation was like, 'She should definitely be at The Met.' So, that invitation came and it's been fast and furious. We literally fitted her on Friday at 3 in a fresh-off-the-runway look, which is quite exciting. But it's kind of come together quite organically and nicely and it feels right."
Zadrian revealed there were multiple ways this shiny, spotlight-stealing dress interpreted the theme, even on top of the fact that Kors is a well-known American designer.
"It plays off of a classic American silhouette," he said. "You might think it's a '90s silhouette, but it actually goes back to the '20s — think of a 1920s flapper slip dress. That liberation moment is quite timely with us coming out of the pandemic, with everyone returning to red carpets and events. This classic moment with just a little bit of a twist encapsulates what American fashion is. It's always about being classic, timeless, and sometimes, having that little something, whether it be a fabric or a small detail, to give a little bit of lift and make it special."
Despite it being a busy month for celebrities and their stylists, due to Fashion Weeks, the VMAs, and the Emmys all occurring around the same time, Zadrian told InStyle that the Met Gala is one he and Sarah always look forward to.
"The Met is the Oscars of the fashion industry, so this one is always a really special one to work on, because you're running into your old friends. And it's almost like a high school reunion coming off of the pandemic. It's even more special because a lot of them haven't seen each other in such a long time."
It's also special to dress DeBose this time around, since it's actually the actress' first time attending.
"Anytime you're working with somebody on their first Met Gala experience, it's just one of those moments that you kind of dream of," Zadrian told us. "It's a dream or a career goal to get invited to The Met, and this year particularly, because the guest list was kind of slashed in half and it was difficult to get an invite. So, leading up Ariana doing West Side Story press, this is really an important moment and a special night for her. What I love especially is she keeps saying, 'I feel like I am myself in this look and I feel like it's a great collaboration between myself and Mr. Kors.' For Sarah and I, it's really important that we always maintain the integrity and the authenticity of the person that we're working with. So, to hear that it makes us feel really good. It's a special moment tonight. We're grateful to be a part of it with Ariana."