Timothée Chalamet Walked 10 Blocks to the 2021 Met Gala—and Showed Up in Sweats
·9 min read
As one of the 2021 Met Gala’s co-chairs this evening, Timothée Chalamet was bound to deliver a stellar style statement on the red carpet. Though he chose a surprisingly simple look, he still made a statement with his arrival. Chalamet chose to wear an all-white ensemble by Haider Ackermann, who is one of his most-worn designers and closest collaborators on the step and repeat. The outfit consisted of a satin tuxedo jacket with black lapels, paired with white sweats and Converse shoes.
Ackermann was inspired by the American fashion theme tonight, though in a more subtle way. “Whenever I visit America, I am always struck by the wonderful clash of uptown and downtown cultures, of music and sports, and all of this energy just mixing together,” says Ackermann, who is French. “I wanted to create something inspired by this energy—a fusion of street style and sleek tailoring, to create a more dynamic, deliberate silhouette, while still respecting the dress codes of the event.”
To counteract the “constant cacophony we exist in right now,” Ackermann says he also chose the pristine, all-white color way to provide a sense of calm to the carpet tonight (one known for its chaos and energy). “I wanted to keep everything in white—calm expression of hope and light,” says Ackermann. Chalamet also wore a vintage pin and brooch by Cartier, both from the 1920s.
Before the carpet even began, however, the star and Ackermann collaborated with the French artist and photographer JR and the composer Nicholas Britell on an installation that occurred at the Frick Museum shortly before the Met kicked off. Chalamet was filmed by cinematographer Arseni Khachaturan in his red carpet look in front of an installation that JR brought to life.
The installation, which debuted as a livestream on Chalamet’s Instagram page, was envisioned by JR (who typically specializes in large-scale photo installations). It began with Chalamet sitting on a bench in the Frick museum, then followed him as Chalamet tore through a black and white American flag, then explored other rooms of the museum. “We enter in an American flag, to find a place, an identity, a position, a future, between the stripes and the stars,” says JR. “To get to the end, we need to confront our rifts, our flaws, those of our nation, of our family and our own cracks which have been amplified by two years of loneliness, anger, fear, confrontation.” Britell, meanwhile, provided soundscapes. “Our hope was to create a piece which sonically tapped into the mystery of the process within textile and fashion arts,” says Britell.
The installation ended with Chalamet and JR walking 10 blocks to the Met Gala from the Frick, during which Chalamet was hounded by surprised fans who got a sneak peek at his red carpet ensemble. Reflecting on their collaboration tonight, Ackermann says working with Chalamet on their red carpet moments always makes for a memorable end result. They see fashion as an artistic medium for much, much more. “The exchanges we share, the conversations, the mutual respect, and brotherhood permits us to operate in a vast playing field,” says Ackermann. “This freedom has enabled us to constantly challenge the traditional ideals of masculinity. Timothée’s courage and fearlessness in his beliefs makes him a writer of a new generation.”
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