Okay, this one ought to touch off some discussion.
It is obviously… very literal. In a way that veers flagrantly costumey rather than, say, interpreting an inspiration into something new. I saw some people on Twitter were horribly offended; others just thought she was underdressed. Complicating this matter: Per solid reporting sources on Twitter, Grace quipped that Anna told her to wear PJs to the Met Gala because she has to hop a flight immediately after the party. Which… was a misguided joke to make, even if these somehow were her actual PJs, because… just no. Not great, Bob. Don’t diminish the cu essence of what you’re wearing, which you are SUPPOSED to be doing as a celebration and an homage to the culture that yielded it. Just don’t. (Also: I stared at her feet for SUCH A LONG TIME to see if those pants are footie-style. It looks LESS like they do in this photo, though, so I’m going to assume it’s an optical illusion and they’re overlong and she’s wearing them with Isotoners, or something.)
Which brings up the question, and it’s an honest one, because I am always curious about the challenges of drawing these lines and intent vs execution: At what point may you wear something of another culture because you love it, without fear of giving offense — what if, say, she bought this on a trip to China, or had lived there, and it’s a genuinely treasured souvenir? — and at what point are you guilty of misappropriation? If the answer to that is, “She should never casually wear this, ever,” then does Grace get a dispensation here because she is wearing it on a night that called for an embrace of the culture? Do we show mercy for the presumption of good intent? IS there, in fact, a way to theme an event like this that does not ring offensive, even though the hope clearly was for people to honor Chinese fashion and culture in a respectful and admiring way? Is this better or worse than if she randomly turned up in this at the Grammys? Et cetera.
I’m sure that by the time this runs, those debates and others will have taken place in the comments on other posts, SJP’s in particular. But this outfit is a lightning rod, for sure. And as the curator himself said it was a vital time for a cross-cultural dialogue, I figure, Fug Nation is smart — let’s take him up on that, in our own way.