Amidst the crush of silver and metallic gowns at last night’s Met Gala, there was a notable contingent of stars in chic but street-ready couture—particularly footwear—that may usher in a new frontier for red carpet dressing.
But the chunky, lace-up combat boots worn by a handful of A-listers last night were unprecedented at the Met’s Costume Institute Benefit Gala.
Selena Gomez wore a pair of heavy-soled black boots with contrasting white laces; Alicia Vikander, the Oscar-winning actress, wore a sportier version with red mesh, lace-up tops and a silver-painted toe; Michelle Williams wore a black pair with similarly sporty details; and Jennifer Connelly wore the military style in black patent leather.
Not coincidentally, they all came from Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2016 collection, one of the most acclaimed of the season that earned high marks for the brand’s artistic director, Nicolas Ghesquière.
During his nearly 15 years at Balenciaga, Ghesquière’s most successful collections took inspiration from the streets, and he channeled that same energy for his latest Louis Vuitton collection.
The runway itself referenced the ruins of Atlantis, with Ghesquière remarking, “We had an idea of this trip, of a woman who could be a digital heroine, like Tomb Raider, when she discovers an archaeological site.”
All the more fitting, then, that Vikander—who recently nabbed the coveted role of Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot—wore head-to-toe Louis Vuitton at the Met Gala.
She arrived early in a pieced-together apron dress with a red, patent leather bustier and sequin details that could have doubled as a waitress’ uniform in a space-themed restaurant, paired with roller skates instead of combat boots.
But Vikander somehow pulled it off, and—like the other “digital heroines” in Louis Vuitton’s boot squad—bounded effortlessly up the Met’s imposing staircase.
Vikander was photographed the day before the Gala in the same boots Selena Gomez wore on the red carpet, along with an LV slip dress with a leather bustier detail.
Hers was a head-to-toe look plucked directly from the Fall 2016 runway, with only a few singular touches added by Ghesquière.
Grimes draped a sporty, silk T-shirt dress over her combat boots in one of the least glamorous looks of the evening. Even Michelle Williams, the face of Louis Vuitton, looked somewhat drab in one of the evening’s popular short dresses.
Vying for worst-dressed of the evening was Jennifer Connelly in an asymmetrical sequined frock, also from the Fall 2016 collection. (This was a look made for Courtney Love, not Jennifer Connelly.)
These combinations seemed underwhelming at the Met Gala, but it was refreshing to see Louis Vuitton’s stars eschew vertiginous, strappy stilettos for cool and comfortable footwear they could actually walk in.
Whether combat boots will be a mainstay on red carpets down the road remains to be seen. But Ghesquière reminded us that the rules of fashion—including the high-octane glamour expected at the Met Gala—are made to be broken.
Certainly, LV’s boot squad will get a hell of a lot more mileage out of their Met Gala footwear than their hobbling cohorts.