Afro Power Made a Bold Statement at the 2019 Met Gala
The Met Gala was not only the biggest night in fashion, but also the biggest night for big hair. Stars like Ciara and Lupita Nyong’o ruled the event with their empowering Afro-curl hairstyles, which added a 1970s appeal to the glamorous night.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Gala in New York City is for sure fashion's biggest night. Originally opened in 1948 to raise money for the then newly established Costume Institute, the event introduces the theme of the institute's annual fashion exhibit and the vibe for the formal opening, giving celebrities the ultimate freedom in creative expression. Camp, an outrageous and exaggerated sensibility most times associated with drag queens and over-the-top performers like Cher, was this year's prompt. Though many celebrities slayed on the pink carpet, it was the unapologetic embracing of Afro-centric hair that really stood out.
Ciara was the queen of the night and her appearance was not a game. The 33-year-old caught everyone's attention twice: The first time for her twerk team performance, alongside her laid edges and two huge pom-pom Afro-puffs.
The second time, she stepped on the carpet with a jeweled emerald green cutout dress accompanied by a jeweled choker and arm sleeve that was followed by an ostrich train. The dress was amazing but her 'fro stole the show, laid in the front with jeweled clips that had hanging beads, the volume was unapologetically black and fabulous.
Lupita's attire faithfully addressed the theme with her extravagant drag-queen makeup and bright colors, but it was her hair messaging that really resonated with admirers. The Afro-texture hairstyle mimicking Marie Antoinette's famous updo had five gold picks each with a raised fist that symbolizes unity, solidarity and black power. The hairstylist behind the look, Vernon Francois, shared on his Instagram the meaning in creating this style: “Our goal is to continue to demonstrate the power of our hair texture that it is the most moldable and luxurious hair texture there is.”
Zoe Saldana's look gave major Studio 54 vibes from the '70s. The Michael Kors dress and disco-like aesthetic was complete with big hair pushed to one side with flowers.
The 19-year-old arrived in her silver-blue suit filled with jewel embellishments, paired with gold tights with mirror adornments and a kimono-like feather black jacket that fell by her arms. Her hair? She kept the curl-bounce alive while also bringing a middle-high bun. Her hairstylist, Kendall Dorsey, explained to CHICA the inspiration behind the feminine power look: “We wanted to be inclusive for this; the reference represents the shape of the crown we wanted to explore in that moment. Women like Diana Ross and Donna Summer exemplified the look we were going for. We explored the feeling of textured big hair — still keeping to Yara's personality but elevated. Lastly, we used a reference from the era of the Foxy Brown rap movement, creating the half-up, half-down feel to still feel youthful, knowing that we pulled from all of the above iconic references.”