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16 Sep 2021 22:52
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  •   Home > News > International

    How the world's sporting stars stole the spotlight at the Met Gala

    They may have been sporting some unfamiliar gear, but some of the world's top athletes were rubbing shoulders with the sartorial elite at one of the most extravagant events on the celebrity calendar.


    They may have been sporting some unfamiliar gear, but some of the world's top athletes were rubbing shoulders with the sartorial elite at one of the most extravagant events on the celebrity calendar.

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala — or Met Gala — is an annual fundraising benefit in New York that welcomes global celebrities, young creatives, and industry veterans to celebrate one of fashion's biggest nights out.

    This year, Naomi Osaka followed in fellow tennis star Serena Williams' footsteps when she was selected by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour to be one of a small number of co-chairs to host the event.

    Williams, who co-hosted the 2019 Met Gala, made another appearance this year with sister Venus while 'the GOAT' of gymnastics Simone Biles and US Open champion Emma Raducanu received their first invite.

    NBA stars Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook, and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton also suited up for the occasion.

    Naomi Osaka made a grand entrance in her Koi fish Louis Vuitton gown that symbolised and celebrated both her Japanese and Haitian heritage.

    The four-time grand slam winner is no stranger to making bold statements and followed suit with this colourful, graphic jacquard that was topped with a silk-mix cape, featuring 22 ruffles, 18 metres of satin leather and a 50-metre silk hem.

    "From idea to concept sketch to the making of the actual dress, this whole process was an amazing one," Osaka said in a post on social media.

    [Youtube clip]

    "When we first heard of the theme 'American' we thought of immigrants: they are what created America from the start and the blend of so many cultures and languages is what makes this country unique.

    Osaka said the dress and look was a "blend of both our Japanese and Haitian roots".

    "The mix of cultures is something to be celebrated and enjoyed," she said. 

    After taking her Olympic career medal tally to seven in Tokyo last month, Simone Biles needed almost as many helpers along the red carpet. 

    Dripping in a Swarovski crystal-covered AREA Couture x Athleta gown, Biles was flawless in a three-in-one-piece outfit.

    But she wasn't only there on behalf of Athleta, she was there to empower young girls and women to dream big, just as she did.

    "Dreams come true," Biles said in a post on social media.

    "Thank you @athleta and @area for my custom dress for the #MetGala and this unforgettable memory. 

    "As a guest of Athleta, I wanted to make sure that as a part of the night, we were also giving back — and that all the girls out there know they can dream big, too."

    Los Angeles Lakers star Russell Westbrook and Golden State point guard Steph Curry were also among the action.

    Westbrook was literally the star of the night — his hair dyed blue with white stars through it as he kept it classic in a navy Ralph Lauren tux. 

    Curry, who matched wife Ayesha with an embroidered custom suit by Versace said the night would go down as "one for the books". 

    Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton called the night "pure magic", walking the red carpet alongside two-time Olympian Miles Chamley-Watson, and track and field star Sha'Carri Richardson.

    Hamilton sported a Kenneth Nicholson look, and paid credit to two other designers that worked on his masterpiece outfit.

    "These designers — Kenneth Nicholson, Theophilio, Jason Rembert — deserve this moment just as much as any other designer who attends the Met Gala," he said.

    "The goal is, and always will be, to open doors for young Black creatives.

    "So incredibly honoured to have collaborated with American designer Kenneth Nicholson on bringing this vision to life. Kenneth's craftsmanship and point of view advances menswear in truly inspiring ways. It's a dream."

    Williams isn't just a superstar on the tennis court, she embodies that shining light everywhere she goes.

    The Met Gala was no different as she walked the red carpet with grace, wearing a Gucci lace corseted bodysuit embroidered with rhinestone and sequin stars, completed with an ombre pink feather cape.

    Williams' stylist described her look as "the modern-day Superwoman".

    Sister Venus looked just as elegant stepping out in a strapless ruby red Prabal Gurung gown, with her hairstyle inspired by African culture.

    Former Team USA and UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis was joined by a marching band as she performed a floor routine on the steps of the red carpet. 

    Fellow gymnast Sunisa Lee looked as golden as her recent Olympic victory in a shiny crop top and skirt by Sukeina.

    Fellow Tokyo Olympian Tom Daley traded his impressive knit sweaters for a laced-up Moschino suit.

    US Open women's champion Emma Raducanu attended her first Met Gala, as did fellow tennis stars Leylah Fernandez and Sloane Stephens. Retired tennis legend Maria Sharapova was also in attendance and dressed by Gabriela Hearst.

    One of America’s most decorated track and field athletes, Allyson Felix, turned up in a billowing feathered dress by Fendi.

    Meanwhile, soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe wore a custom red suit by Sergio Hudson, carrying an Edie Parker clutch emblazoned with the words "In Gay We Trust".

    [Newsletter]

    © 2021 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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