This past Monday, the Met Gala was one for the books. From the first all access, live red carpet broadcast, hosted by our OG digital cover star Keke Palmer, to political, thought-provoking political fashion statements — like A.O.C.’s ever important statement dress designed by Aurora James, that ruffled quite a few feathers — to the queen of the night, Rihanna, showing up fashionably late, hooded parka gown and all. We are honestly still processing all the buzz worthy content from the Met Gala. But as engaging and entertaining as it all was, there was something distinctly missing. For an event centered around showcasing the breadth of American fashion, there sadly wasn’t a big enough representation of BIPOC designers. While designers like Christopher John Rogers — we can’t stop thinking about that gown on Jordan Alexander — and Lewis Hamilton’s all star table of emerging Black designers (Theophilo’s look on Alton Mason lives rent free in our mind right now) breathed fresh air into an otherwise expected roundup, the lack of more representation of both Black designers as well as odes to Black American fashion, was quite disappointing.
While the industry still has strides to make in terms of real diversity, equity and inclusion in regards to making space for more designers of color, one thing was for-sure Monday. The winners of the creme, or off-white, carpet were all the phenomenal Black superstar stylists. From the icon Law Roach to Jason Bolden — who dressed a whopping 11 attendees — to Rihanna’s right hand man, Jahleel Weaver, we’re taking this time to give them their flowers!
Here are the true unsung heroes of the night.
I mean culturally, we have a tendency to overextend the use of “iconic” but with Law Roach, that word goes without saying. Aside from being a guest of Lewis Hamilton (at Hamilton’s table, where he invited all Black emerging designers, to literally have a seat at the table), the image architect dressed the likes of Alton Mason, Natalia Bryant, Hunter Schafer, Addison Rae, Chance and Kirsten Corley Bennet. Law has beyond proven that he is an absolute force in the industry, and deserves his flowers forever and ever (I mean his work with Zendaya alone).
What do Cynthia Erivo, Winnie Harlow, Allyson Felix, Taraji P Henson, Swizz Beats, Storm Reid, Janet Mock, Alicia Keys, Amanda Gorman and the Curry’s all have in common? They were all dressed by the same stylist for the Met Gala, by none other than Mr. Jason Bolden himself. That’s a whopping 11 people! Jason Bolden is a super stylist in every sense of the word. He’s known for giving his clients big wow, princess moments (see Allyson Felix in Fendi couture) and championing young emerging brands.
Celebrity Stylist, Jason Rembert not only styled Lil Baby, Ben Platt, Shai Gilgeous Alexander and Rita Ora for the glamorous Met carpet, he also dressed a few stars in his design label, ALIÉTTE. Red carpet co-host, Ilana Glazer and rnb songstress, Kehlani also wore Rembert’s designs.
Zerina Akers needs no introduction! While her superstar client and coordinator Beyoncé sat this Met out, Akers’ stylistic presence was still felt. She dressed director/actor/producer — all around multi-hyphenate — Michaela Coel in a stunning, blue sequined Balenciaga jumpsuit, and co-styled Megan Thee Stallion (alongside fellow stylist, Eric Archibald) in an old Hollywood glam-inspired, custom Coach dress.
Matthew Henson, the stylist behind fashion heavyweights like ASAP Rocky and The Weeknd, is the quite possibly the coolest stylist there is. His streetwear infused stylistic approach (see Rocky in sneakers to the Met) mixed with his dedication to highlighting emerging brands, stands out from the crowd. Case in point, Rocky wearing a patchwork, blanket-jacket by emerging Venice Beach based brand, ERL.
Rih’s tasteful second set of eyes, her right hand man, creative director, the man, the myth, the legend himself — Jahleel Weaver! As a long time collaborator of the fashion icon, Weaver has assisted Rihanna on some truly stunning, memorable looks and Monday’s was no exception. Her black Balenciaga hooded, parka jacket gown complete with a black beanie and dripping in diamonds…still not over this look. There is a moment on the carpet where Weaver and Henson (long-time friends), embrace each other, signaling how proud they were of one another.