- A slew of absences and outlandish looks from the event failed to impress
- Many said it had lost its touch and was now an exercise in attention grabbing
- Beyonce, Rihanna and host committee members Venus Williams and Bradley Cooper all skipped the party
- They were replaced with ‘YouTubers and the cast of Riverdale,’ whose red carpet drama did not fill the void for spectators at home
- Stars have gradually boycotted the evening over the years and slammed it as ‘self-indulgent’
It’s the eagerly awaited annual event where celebrities and bold fashionistas can run wild with kooky yet glamorous looks.
But Monday’s Met Gala failed to hit the mark quite like in years gone by and has left critics asking if the exclusive, Vogue-touted extravaganza is now past its best.
A string of notable absences from Rihanna, Beyonce, Blake Lively and Bradley Cooper – who ordinarily light up the red carpet – intensified scrutiny of those who did attend.
Cooper is on the host committee as is Venus Williams, who was also a no-show.
Some dazzled and nailed the theme (which was Camp: Notes on Fashion), leaving a trail of wide-eyed Twitter users and satisfied photographers in their wake.
But the resounding criticism was that the event had finally jumped the shark, plummeting from a cool and fashionable gathering to a desperate attempt from mediocre stars to grab attention, headlines and relevance.
Some labeled it a ‘freak show’ whereas others said it was like a ‘real life version of the Emperor’s New Clothes’.
Others lamented the number of reality stars and YouTubers who received an invitation, saying it marks the start of a decline in standards.
‘The #metgala started getting irrelevant and lost all respect for itself when it started inviting Kylie Jenner and her likes to it. now youtubers? yikes,’ one tweeted.
Another user agreed: ‘So many irrelevant “celebrities” at the #MetGala this year I won’t be surprised if next year they invite only youtubers, beauty gurus, instagram models and the cast of Riverdale or something.’
The cast of Riverdale were among the attendees.
Support is not even unanimous among those who have attended the event, with past attendees Amy Schumer among those who have criticized it publicly.
Zayn Malik previously described the affair as ‘self-indulgent’, Tina Fey as a ‘jerk parade’ and Gwyneth Paltrow branded the night ‘so un-fun’ – although she has since seemingly changed her mind and made an appearance last night in a yellow gown.
Amy Schumer, who did not attend this year, once called it a ‘punishment’ to attend.
Lena Dunham also ridiculed it but she went back on Monday night.
Cher surprised guests with an unexpected performance but she did not walk the pink carpet.
Justin Bieber skipped it, leaving wife Hailey Baldwin to pose alone for the paparazzi just as Cooper’s wife, Irina Shayk, did.
Taylor Swift was also a no-show for the third year in a row.
George and Amal Clooney, who co-hosted last year’s event, did not attend and Ariana Grande, who made her debut last year, was playing a concert instead.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Andy Cohen, who ordinarily walk the red carpet together, skipped it because of travel and work engagements.
Zayn Malik, who proudly attended in 2016 with on-off girlfriend Gigi Hadid, said last June that it was ‘self-indulgent’ and not something he would do again.