H&M creates unique custom-made looks for Ciara, Jennifer Hudson, Hailee Steinfeld, Lucky Blue and Pyper America Smith, and Amber Valletta for the year’s most prestigious night in fashion. For the second year running H&M had been dressing celebrity guests at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit. Taking the theme of this year’s exhibition “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” as inspiration, the design team at H&M used hand-crafted traditions and cutting-edge techniques and materials to create each of the individual looks. As well as appearing on the red carpet and previewing the exhibition, the guests joined H&M at its table for the benefit gala itself. “We savour every moment in creating these looks for the Costume Institute Benefit gala. Fashion is our greatest love at H&M, and it’s deeply inspiring to make outfits for such amazing guests using the most exquisite techniques and detailing,” says Pernilla Wohlfahrt, Design and Creative Director at H&M. The exhibition “Manus x Machina” celebrates both the machine and man-made in fashion, looking at how the traditions have increasingly become blurred. The theme inspired the H&M design team to create looks that reflected the personality of each of its guests, using techniques such as laser-cutting, hand embroidery, feathering, stonework and crystal pleating. Amber Valletta wore an elegant look in sustainable materials. The dress is made of deep blue silk taffeta, embellished with over 1,000 hand-cut and sewn organic silk petals and recycled plastic sequins. Laser-cut petals were heat-transferred with reflective vinyl. Her boyfriend Teddy Charles wore a black wool tuxedo with silk satin wide lapels and strong shoulders.
Jennifer Hudson wore a white bodice silk dress that showed the beauty of hand-embellishment, with 3D bugle beads, French knots and hand-melted sequins. The dress is finished by a glamorous four-foot train. “It’s been an amazing experience to collaborate with H&M to create a one of a kind dress. The stunning four foot train makes me feel so glamorous,” says singer and actress Jennifer Hudson.
Singer Ciara’s intricate and daring dress has been hand-made as if by a jeweller. Pendants of Swarovski crystals hang from a diamond grid of leaf-like metal chain, with a choker neck and sporty racer back. "I have been a huge fan of H&M for a long time and I am delighted to have been invited and also had the opportunity to create a unique gown with the team. It has truly been a special experience all the way around," says singer Ciara.
Hailee Steinfeld wore an emerald green gown that had effortless clean-cut glamour; its corseted bodice had a grid made of navette sequins overlaid with silk organza, while the floor-length silk satin skirt had a high central split. "As a personal fan of H&M's contributions to the fashion industry, I was especially proud to collaborate on a design that marries our tastes and highlights the theme of this year's Met Gala. It's been a wonderful partnership,” says actress and singer Hailee Seinfeld.
Lucky Blue Smith looked sharp in an off-white Italian wool slim tuxedo blazer with a strong shoulder worn over a white silk shirt, both fastened with Swarovski buttons. His leather trousers had a blue metallic coating. Pyper America Smith’s iridescent dress brought together machine and man-made techniques, with laser-cut vinyl feathers and fringing all hand-sewn onto a silk tulle base with a sequin bodice. "I feel so lucky to have worked with H&M for my very first Met Gala! My dress is the perfect example of this year’s Met Gala theme, mixing intricate details and new innovative technologies but also keeping an iconic shape,” says model Pyper America Smith.