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Kim Kardashian’s ‘shadow dress’ was without a doubt the most talked-about look on the Met Gala 2021 red carpet.
An all-in-one black ensemble that also covered her face, it was designed by Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia, and spurned a thousand memes on Twitter, also becoming one of the most popular Halloween costumes of that year.
It was inspired by the Met Gala’s theme for that year, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion (Kim said at the time, ‘What’s more American than a T-shirt head to toe?!’).
But as iconic as it is, it almost didn’t happen in the way it was meant to. In her cover interview with Vogue, Kim revealed, ‘I fought against it. I was like, I don’t know how I could wear the mask. Why would I want to cover my face? But Demna and the team were like, This is a costume gala. This is not a Vanity Fair party where everyone looks beautiful. There’s a theme and you have to wear the mask. That is the look.’
Such was the power of the outfit that even without seeing her face, everyone recognised the entrepreneur’s signature curves, proving that you don’t have to have anything on show to make an impact.
Demna told the publication, ‘the mask was, conceptually speaking, quite important. People would know instantly it was Kim because of her silhouette. They wouldn’t even need to see her face, you know? And I think that’s the whole power of her celebrity, that people wouldn’t need to see her face to know it’s her’.