It's hard to stand out in a sea of celebrities wearing their most extravagant odes to American fashion, but at the Met Gala tonight, Iman stole the show.
The iconic supermodel walked the red carpet in an otherworldly custom brocade bustier and trousers paired with a tiered, gilded feather cage overskirt and bespoke matching headpiece designed in a collaboration between Dolce & Gabbana and British-American designer Harris Reed. The look was all things red carpet gold—from the drama of the silhouette to the jaw-dropping accessories.
While Dolce & Gabbana is no stranger to the red carpet or the runway, particularly after their incredible Alta Moda show in Venice prior to fashion week, Reed is a fresh face on the American fashion scene. For this collaboration, Reed was inspired by ballroom culture in America's golden age, with an aesthetic described as "romanticism gone nonbinary" in the label's brand statement.
“It is an honor for me to take part in the Met Gala and I will always be grateful to Domenico and Stefano to make this dream a reality! Iman’s look focuses on the idea of the ballroom scene, and on the idea of her being a Queen, an icon, someone who is in a space of utter acceptance and really pushing these limits," Reed says on his collaboration with the Italian design house. The designer escorted Iman up the stairs of the museum in an all-white suit with a train, paired with a matching (yet slightly smaller) headdress.
Reed's statement also expresses that fashion has a responsibility "to spark conversation in relation to the injustices that are happening within society today." Iman, who famously faced down institutional racism as a model and founded a line of cosmetics for women of color in 1994, seemed the perfect fit to join the two brands in a collaborative, red carpet statement. "America is a country where anything is possible, so to be yourself, the most heightened, most radiant, most over-the-top version of that is truly what I aim for within my design work," says Reed. "That essence informed this design, coupled with the legendary Iman, who has been a constant inspiration for me."
Technically, Iman has now retired from the fashion industry, but in January she opened up to Harper's Bazaar about her future plans. "Don’t count me out yet!" she said. "I am a Somali woman by nature. That means we are nomads. We’re in constant movement. When the world comes back to normal and I start traveling, I'll think about what’s next."