At the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala on May 7, pearls played a significant role in attendees’ attire. After all, with a theme of Heavenly Bodies, Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, what precious symbol could be purer than pearls?
Myriad starlets had pearls affixed to gowns, gloves, scarves, and more. Among them: actress Uma Thurman in an off-the-shoulder gown featuring a train speckled with little white pearls. Kate Bosworth’s creamy-color veil had plump white pearls framing the delicate face of “The Domestics” star, while rapper Cardi B. positively beamed from head to toe thanks to both pregnancy hormones and her pearl-studded gown and headpiece. Rihanna, or @badgalriri, was no slouch herself in pearl-encrusted, female-pope-inspired attire complete with a pearl-adorned mitre (papal hat) and a white pearl strand double-wrapped around her ankle.
Then there were the traditionalists wearing fine pearl jewelry. Consider Ming Xi in myriad white pearls—the Chinese model and actress wore a super-long pair of white multistrand pearl earrings or shoulder-duster styles that could have been mistaken for tendrils were it not for her naturally inky and lustrous long locks. She also donned an openwork cuff with a single oversize white pearl accent on one of her wrists, while the opposite hand bore a handlet covered in diamonds and sprinkled with more white pearls. Even the back of her carnation-pink gown featured a trio of tiny white pearl buttons, a lovely finish to a sweet ladylike look.
Twenty-four-year-old Kiersey Clemons wore a pearl-beaded gown from H&M’s Conscious collection and chandelier earrings with pearls, while television and film star Lili Reinhart wore Tahitian pearl drop earrings with diamond crawler components trailing up her lobes. Madonna’s layers of chains were occasionally punctuated with pearls (as was Sarah Jessica Parker’s nativity-scene-inspired headpiece), and even some dudes got into pearls—disc jockey and rapper Diplo wore a Tahitian pearl pendant, and British race car driver Lewis Hamilton wore a pearl and chain necklace wrapped multiple times around a wrist as a bracelet.
The sheeny showpiece of the affair? Actress and singer Hailee Steinfeld in a crown of pearls with a multilayered necklace of white pearls culminating in a drop pendant with one lustrous oversize South Sea number.
Celebs may have been reaching for looks inspired by a higher power that night, but their ultimate ensembles have us reaching for pearls.