The evening of the Met Gala calls for pulling out all stops. It's the biggest red carpet event of the year, in which no outfit is too extravagant, no detail overlooked, and, presumably, no expense spared. And for Victoria's Secret Angel Stella Maxwell, that meant going to H&M.
Of course, Maxwell didn't just hit up the affordable retailer for its typical offerings. The slinky white gown she wore was a custom creation by the brand, made especially with evening's honorary guest, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, in mind. "I have worked with H&M for years and have always loved working with them," Maxwell told us. "Actually, H&M did a line with Rei in 2008, and I loved the creations."
To get the full story, we went right to Maxwell to discuss her special look. Below, the model tells us how she pulled together the inspiration of a Japanese design legend and the craftsmanship of the Sweden fast-fashion giant into one incredible ensemble.
WHO WHAT WEAR: This is the second time you're attending the Met Gala, so what are a few things you learned after the first one?
Stella Maxwell: Last year was my first year attending the Met Gala. I remember how exciting it was entering the gala. Everyone dressed up and looking so beautiful. And I love that we are fundraising for the preservation of the arts, especially at a time when funding to the arts is being slashed in every direction.
WWW: Are you doing differently this year to prepare?
SM: I am not sure I am doing anything different to prepare. I usually like to listen to music with my friends in the afternoon—I don't really have a playlist; I go for the shuffle option—and then get hair and makeup at my house. And really just kind of have a relaxing afternoon and then slip into a fun evening. And of course I meditate every day, twice a day.
WWW: Tell us your take on the theme of tonight's evening and its honoree, Rei Kawakubo.
SM: The avant-garde theme of the gala is perfect for this year. Who better to represent that theme than Rei? Rei has been an inspiration in every facet of fashion, whether you are a model wearing her designs, a designer, an editor, or a photographer. Rei's clothes are always perfectly imperfect down the last detail. Her cutting, draping, and stitching are magnificent. Her knitwear collections in 1982 are constantly referenced by every designer today and some of my favorites.
WWW: So how did you interpret that all into your look tonight?
SM: We collaborated on the look together. The sheer organic silk chiffon dress created by H&M is gorgeous. The dress was inspired by Reis interest in layering and purity.
WWW: And finally, since you're a professional at taking an amazing photo, what are three things we all can do to replicate your skills?
SM: Be yourself. Express what you are feeling inside. Be confident.
Take a look at Stella Maxwell getting ready for the big night, below.
Obsessed with the final look? Maxwell's dress will be will auctioned to benefit Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation that empowers girls to transform the world, beginning May 2.