The MET Gala Is Postponed…Here Are My Fashion Fixes

black people culture

Fashion friends and fellow style enthusiasts, raise your hand if you too feel personally victimized by the coronavirus! Often referred to as “Miss Rona”, this uninvited, and unwelcome intruder has most effectively stopped our shopping, and brutishly put a halt to our mutual pursuit of that stylish “hot girl” spring and summer look we so desire and deserve.

Okay, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration, but coronavirus has definitely affected many of us in a most unforeseen way. News outlets continue to overwhelm us with updates on the pandemic, healthcare professionals are daily risking their lives, being pushed to their limit to care for the sick and dying, and people are stocking up on nonperishables, particularly toilet paper like there’s a shit storm brewing. With so much torment and uncertainty surrounding us, we naturally seek comfort in things that are familiar. The constant and unchanging, things that soothe and entertain, the things that capture our imagination and help us see past the moment and into more pleasing dreamscapes. Favorite movies, sporting events, music, and other vanities are found most appealing at such times as these. Unfortunately, as concerts, movie theaters, and sporting events have all been shut down, our true options are quite limited, leaving us to apply creativity and imagination in satisfying our near term needs for a distraction from the mayhem.

Personally, I can deal with the shutdowns and suspensions well enough, but my heart absolutely sunk into my shoes when I heard that the Met Gala had been postponed. The Met Gala is fashion’s night out and without a doubt, it has granted me a full sense of vibrancy in life and spirit every single year.

The Met Gala’s 2020 theme, About Time: Fashion and Duration, dually serves as fashion’s big night for stylists, designers, celebs, and artists to show up and show out while simultaneously and coincidentally being the Met Museum Costume Institute’s 150th-anniversary celebration. The event which has showcased fashion from 1870 until this day, is matchless in all respects, and I can hardly wait for the rescheduling of this event. I suspect that the looks will be off the charts! But until then, for now of course, in the words of our good sis Issa Rae, “I’m rooting for everybody Black.” I LIVE to see all of our Black and Brown brothers and sisters and gender non-conforming homies slay the scene every year. Since Miss Rona left a gaping hole in my heart where the Met Gala so successfully filled in the past, I’ve pulled together some of my favorite fashion-related movies and fashion-themed shows to provide a much-needed salve as a fashion fix, that will get you appropriately amped for your sure to be fabulous out-of-quarantine style.

Netflix:

Pose


You all should know full well that I am a Pose STAN! Not only is it exceedingly entertaining, and a monumentally important show, but it is as well full of style and flair. The series starts in New York City in the late 1980s, and the fashion choices are quite memorable and fun. The colors, prints, and patterns stir the senses and the drama quickens the spirit. The ballroom scene outfits blend elegance and a simple refinement that reminds one of the cultural awakenings embedded in each episode. It is one of the most visually pleasing shows I have ever seen, and definitely will have you reminiscing with envy the throwback 80s and 90s looks.

She Did That


We all need a dose of inspiration from Black women who are killing it in the game, and the Netflix “She Did That” series provides it in spades. Honestly, I have not seen much promotion from Netflix on this documentary, but it really is a gem worth watching. Directed by Renae L. Bluitt, “She Did That” gives us up-close and frank personal conversations, offering the perspective of industry leaders and entrepreneurs. This documentary does an excellent job of highlighting just how powerful Black women are in their respective fields. Some of the Black boss ladies in this documentary include Luvvie Ajayi (New York Times best-selling author, speaker, and digital strategist), Lisa Price (Founder, Carol’s Daughter), Melissa Butler (founder, The Lip Bar) and Tonya Rapley (founder, My Fab Finance). This program informs, enlightens and inspires the imagination in revealing the creative energy and intelligence of Black Women power-brokers doing it every day!

Styling Hollywood


If you are anything like me, you have a certain love for an exquisite stylist, honey! I love seeing celebrities’ putting on a look at red carpet events, photoshoots, etc., and after seeing a killer look, I always google who the mastermind stylist is. Styling Hollywood highlights the career of fashion stylist Jason Bolden (please google his work, he’s a fashion beast!), and his husband — the equally talented interior designer — Adair Curtis. Some of Jason’s clients include Yara Shahidi, Ava Duvernay, and Taraji P. Henson. If you’re into the glitz, glam, and a behind-the-scenes look into a fashion stylist’s life, please check out this non-scripted fashion reality series on Netflix.

Hulu:

The First Monday in May


As we mourn the loss of this year’s Met Gala, the Hulu documentary “The First Monday in May” is quite comforting, as it offers a behind-the-scenes view into the planning of fashion’s Super Bowl. Watch as Anna Wintour plans the 2015 gala, themed “China: Through the Looking Glass”. If you need more reason to watch it, this Met Gala was the year Rihanna stole the whole red carpet scene with that canary yellow gown by Guo Pei. *swoons*

The Gospel According to Andre


Leon Talley has been a fashion-industry titan for a very long time. My first introduction to him was on America’s Next Top Model, where he served as an advisor on the show. The Gospel According to Andre takes on a journey through his life, from growing up in the south during the Jim Crow era, through his career working at Women’s Wear Daily, W, and Vogue. Andre Leon Talley is one of the most prominent figures in fashion, and his representation in the industry as a Black person from the South was always a positive reinforcement for me.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami


This documentary allows Bami to give us an alternative viewpoint of the pop culture, art/fashion icon that is Grace Jones. While performances are shown in this documentary, the storyline more succinctly centers on the private life and personal views of the artist. We see the iconic Grace Jones as she travels to her home in Jamaica to reunite with her family and confront the not so flattering aspects of her childhood. This documentary gives humanity to a person who is commonly viewed as a force-of-nature.

 
Featured photo: Andre Leon Talley

Courtney D. Johnson is a fashion industry professional, or “pro-fashion-al” as she likes to call it, a freelance stylist, and writer. She is a published and award-winning fashion scholar and researcher, and a proud HBCU alumna. Courtney loves to research and write about Black beauty, style, and culture, as well as being an advocate for mental health. She is a proud auntie who loves to spend time with her nieces and nephews, friends, and family as much as she can. Courtney currently resides in the greatest city in the world, New Orleans, LA. Follow her on Instagram @_xoxocourtney

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