The Met Gala happens but once a year, and in the fashion industry, it can be equated to the Oscars. Of course, going for the first time happens only once! As luck would have it, one of our favorite French muses, Aymeline Valade, received her first invitation to this year’s event.
The dress code was “avant-garde” in honor of inimitable Rei Kawakubo (the founder of Comme des Garçons) – so Francesco Risso, the new designer at Marni, created a custom-made suit emblazoned with mirrored florets for Aymeline. A walking cerulean blue and emerald green disco ball, accentuated only by Chopard jewelry and Aymeline’s particular demeanor of style and charm.
We met up with Aymeline and her right hand hair and makeup artist, Jonathan Sánchez, as they applied final makeup details while the wall of paparazzi grew outside…
It’s your first met ball! What were your feelings and expectations going into it?
It’s hard to describe the exact feeling. Yesterday a lot of people were asking me if I was excited and I sincerely didn’t know how to answer.
Of course I was excited and happy to have this very special experience for the first time but honestly I was also stressed. Even if I’m used to doing appearances and red carpets in Europe, the rules are a bit different in the US, it looks more serious and professional, when in Europe it’s more friendly and effortless.
Who were you most excited to see? And who actually had the most avant-garde look?
I have to say that I was really happy to see a lot of french people like Isabelle Huppert, Catherine Deneuve, Christine and the Queens and Julien Dossena. It made me feel a bit more at home. My favorite, most avant-garde outfit was Bella Hadid – it was a technical fabric that had a glove effect – very modern!
What are you tricks to staying cool on the red carpet? What essential items do you always carry with you, even in a tiny clutch?
Haha! Honestly it is not easy, the red carpet is not a “normal” situation, especially the yelling photographers which are always a bit confusing. Personally I try to stay quiet, sharp, and focused. In my purse I always keep red lipstick or a black pencil if it’s part of my makeup look.
You wore a (sublime!) suit from Marni – what appeals to you most about wearing suits, as you often do, versus a dress?
Yes I had the chance to wear a made to measure Marni sequined suit. It’s been a real pleasure to collaborate with Francesco Risso, the designer. We fit the suit perfectly to my body, playing with the proportion to create a great silhouette.
I always lean more towards masculine outfits, but when I went to the Cannes Film Festival in 2014 in a Saint Laurent tuxedo, it became my signature look. With a suit, I feel comfortable and like myself and I like to spread the message of an alternative version of femininity on the red carpet.
You did a hair and makeup test in Paris to make sure your look complimented the suit and was in respect to the idea of Rei. Can you tell us about your beauty look for the night?
Yes, my hair and makeup artist Jonathan and I did a test in Paris prior. We work a lot together, and sometimes it’s good to take some time apart from all the commotion to adjust and define your options.
My Marni look was bold and shiny so it was not easy to find the right hair and makeup. We decided to start with a soft option of a classic side clean hair and low pony tail, fresh and luminous skin (Jonathan’s signature makeup), and subtle eyes. In the end we decided to add a beautiful matte red lip, which complimented the luminous blue of the suit and the green of my turtle neck.