Wearing a breathtaking jade-coloured, shimmery, low-cut gown by Calvin Klein and rocking a natural hairstyle that literally defied gravity, Nyong'o's entire ensemble was not only mesmerizing, but also a tribute to black women.
"Well, the sculptural hairdo's from around the continent," the Star Wars actress told Vogue's contributing editor Andre Leon Talley, when asked what inspired her look for the night. She later added that legendary musician and civil rights activist Nina Simone also influenced her sky-high hairstyle.
However, it seems as though Vogue's archive editor Laird Borrelli-Persson may have missed the memo on the meaning behind Lupita's look, at least judging by her post entitled, "Is Lupita Nyong’o the New Audrey Hepburn? Celebrating the Star’s Met Gala Hair" on Vogue.com. While Borelli-Persson did acknowledge that Nyong’o mentioned Simone on the red carpet, the journalist ultimately compared the actress' look to Audrey Hepburn's 1963 Vogue shoot.
— CHARITY. (@charitydaartist) May 4, 2016
The article, of course, caught some serious heat online from Twitter users:
Vogue said Lupita copied Audrey Hepburn 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄
— Marie (@soafricane) May 5, 2016
Of course vogue thinks Lupita drew inspiration from Audrey Hepburn bc nothing looks good on black ppl until a white person does it am I rite
— E$AP (@halfmoonelham) May 4, 2016
ugh no there's no new Audrey Hepburn, Lupita is Lupita queen of the world, first of her name. DELETE. https://t.co/9rgbbqhSb1
— vic (@puppymaIek) May 3, 2016
And it seems as though Nyong'o wasn't impressed either. On Wednesday, the 33-year-old Mexican-Kenyan film star took to Instagram to set the record straight and put Vogue in "check" for making the comparison, making sure to tag the fashion publication in her caption.
"Hair Inspiration. Check. @vernonfrancois @voguemagazine #metball2016," she simply captioned the pic.
Followers applauded Nyong'o for the clarification in the comments, with statements like "👑 wear your crown queen!," "Teach them, Lupita. Yes!," and "Thanks for the clarification. It is our role to raise our voice and be proud of our African heritage and legacy."
In response, Vogue U.K. published an article Thursday acknowledging Lupita had corrected their American counterpart's mistake, stating:
Lupita Nyong'o's dress may have been less headline-grabbing than Madonna's, but the Oscar-winner did attract some comments about her unusual choice of hairstyle. When American Vogue compared the style to an up-do worn by Audrey Hepburn, Nyong'o posted a video to clarify the actual inspiration, which she said on the red carpet owed much to "sculptural hairdos from around the continent".
Nyong'o wasn't the only star that night who had to clap back about her fashion choices at the Met Gala.
When blogger Ivy Marshall accused actress Sarah Jessica Parker, along with designer Diane von Fürstenberg and Madonna of "missing the memo" on the theme via Instagram, the former "Sex and the City" star and Met Gala veteran was quick to let the self-proclaimed fashion and beauty junkie know that her outfit was perfectly on point.
"Got the memo," Parker commented on the photo. "Always welcome thoughts but I'm a stickler for the theme and pay close attention to what it means. Every year with great consideration, research and conviction. The understanding of man and machine, how they intersect, when and why is what we considered. Perhaps you weren't aware of the technology used in the details and embellishments of the design. Or perhaps you simply didn't like what I wore which is completely fine but you can't accuse me of not paying close attention and adhering to the theme. With respect and warmest regards, sj"
The takeaway? Don't come for SJP's fashion choices if she didn't send for you first.
Madonna, on the other hand, caught a different type of flack Monday night for exposing her backside along with her breasts on the red carpet in a cut out Givenchy dress.
And while the pop star's outfit choice may have gotten some a bit flustered, Madge is sticking by her ensemble, calling it a "political statement" on a recent Instagram post.
"We have fought and continue to fight for civil rights and gay rights around the world. When it comes to Women's rights we are still in the dark ages. My dress at the Met Ball was a political statement as well as a fashion statement," she wrote in her caption. "The fact that people actually believe a woman is not allowed to express her sexuality and be adventurous past a certain age is proof that we still live in an age-ist and sexist society."
We have fought and continue to fight for civil rights and gay rights around the world. When it comes to Women's rights we are still in the dark ages. My dress at the Met Ball was a political statement as well as a fashion statement. The fact that people actually believe a woman is not allowed to express her sexuality and be adventurous past a certain age is proof that we still live in an age-ist and sexist society. I have never thought in a limited way and I'm not going to start. We cannot effect change unless we are willing to take risks By being fearless and By taking the road leas traveled by. Thats how we change history. If you have a problem with the way I dress it is simply a reflection of your prejudice. I'm not afraid to pave the way for all the girls behind me‼️ As Nina Simone once said, the definition of freedom is being fearless. I remain Unapologetic and a Rebel ❤️ in this life and all the others. Join my fight for Gender. Equality! 🙏🏻
Moral of the story? Make sure to do your research before making any type of fashion critique.