Song Hye-kyo, Blackpink Jennie and GOT7’s Jackson Wang made their debut in this year’s Met Gala. Their presence showed the power of South Korean celebrities on the global stage.
Jennie has been the face of Chanel since 2017, the last to be handpicked by Karl Lagerfeld as house ambassador. The Met Gala this year honors the late Chanel designer.
Jennie is the current ambassador of the Chanel 22 bag. Her loyalty to the fashion house in terms of her wardrobe choices has earned her the label “Human Chanel” from her fans. Naturally, she wore Chanel at the Met Gala.
“I’m wearing Chanel from the ’90s runway and I’m so lucky that the Chanel team was able to recreate the look that Karl created,” she said in a red-carpet interview.
The white minidress with scalloped hem was adorned with a black velvet ribbon belt with a white camellia. The floral emblem of Chanel also decorated her straight hair that fell past her waist. She completed the look with black tights, pumps and opera gloves.’
Another fixture of fashion shows, Song Hye-kyo, arrived at the Met Gala in a custom pink Fendi dress by designer Kim Jones. She flew to New York right after her win as best actress for “The Glory” in the recently concluded Baeksang Awards.
Song was chosen as the very first Korean ambassador for the Italian fashion house Fendi, which Lagerfeld also designed until his death in 2019.
Song arrived at the Met Gala with Fendi chief executive officer Serge Brunschwig. Bangs framed her face, while the rest of her hair was pulled back into a ponytail that was split into a couple of braids.
Song and Jennie were seen taking photos together during the event.
Jackson Wang coolly worked his way up the stairs of the Metropolitan Museum of Art decked in an all-black Louis Vuitton ensemble. His two-tone hair was parted in the middle, styled in his messy “Magic Man” signature. The idol from Hong Kong wore his dark sunglasses the entire night. The multihyphenated artist’s look channeled Lagerfeld himself.
His closeup photos showed perfect skin with a hint of stubble on the chin and upper lip. The barely-there makeup made for a good advertisement for MAC Cosmetics, another brand he endorses.
As Wang ascended the steps, he touched the edges of a ring worn on a gloved finger, as if he was belatedly reminded of its presence. It brought attention to the piece—a Panthère de Cartier. Cartier, of course, is another brand that he endorses. He also wore Cartier’s Juste un Clou earrings and Tank Cintrée skeleton wristwatch.
Wang’s subtle showmanship didn’t stop there. On his way to his vehicle, in front of hundreds of people holding their camera phones up and press following his every movement, he did a magic trick. A cognac glass appeared out of nowhere and he held it in his hands. Then he proceeded to sip the Hennessy cognac slowly, like the street was his private lounge, before getting in his ride. He did this so smoothly, it was hard not to be impressed at his boldness.
Wang successfully made the Met Gala an extension of his stage—a sneak peak of what you could get in his “Magic Man” world tour.
The Asian representation was quite evident at the Met Gala this year, led by the Oscar-winning cast of “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
The Gala, however, is no stranger to inviting Korean celebrities, even as it is notoriously hard to get on the 600-person guest list that is closely overseen by Vogue’s Anna Wintour, the event’s chairperson.
Psy and Super Junior’s Siwon were first to be invited in 2013. Rain attended in 2015 and EXO’s Lay in 2019. Blackpink’s Rosé and 2NE1’s CL attended in 2021, while NCT’s Johnny went last year.
Many of these Korean idols are brand ambassadors of global fashion brands. These brands have been aggressively promoting in Asia after the lockdowns, with major fashion events being held in the region. These include the recent Dior Women’s RTW Fall-Winter 2023 collection held in Mumbai; the “Gucci Cosmos” showcase in Shanghai; and “Hermès Parade” in Seoul. Just last week, Louis Vuitton also staged its first major show in Seoul, with a star-studded guest list that included the idol Felix of Stray Kids, who is featured on the brand’s Instagram account.