If the micro bag didn’t give it away, the powder blue eyeshadow did: Lady Gaga’s pre-Met Gala look is a visual summary of the fashion and beauty Zeitgeist of 2019. A quick glance at Gaga arriving at Anna Wintour’s Pre-Met Gala dinner in New York City, and it could very well be the eve of any Met Gala past. The voluminous tiers of striped chiffon, the sculptural Philip Treacy headpiece, the ultra-platform lace-ups (reminiscent of McQueen’s Armadillo shoes which Gaga made so famous); it was the extraordinary, superfluous fashion we’ve come to expect of a night at the Museum. But it was two rather peripheral moments which made it so very 2019: the micro bag and the blue eyeshadow.
If anything – or anyone – is going to make a micro bag seem ever smaller, it’s Marc Jacobs and Philip Treacy. Amid a sea of puffed pleats and mighty tulle sat a tiny, floral-appliqué nano bag, its diminutive handle delicately draped over Lady Gaga’s finger. Blink, and you’d miss it. Squint, and you’d see it – just. But the pre-Met micro was indicative of a wider obsession with curious proportion; a fashionable love affair for things both big and very, very small.
Shrunken leather goods continue their reign du jour, with everyone from Loewe to Louis Vuitton downsizing. (The latter shrunk its famed monogram so small, it could only fit but a single lipstick). The storied houses – Chloé, Coach, Saint Laurent – have all indulged a minaudière moment. The style vanguard are also here for it; Manu Atelier, By Far, Building Block and Rejina Pyo strong believers good things come in (very) small packages. But perhaps it was Fendi that truly kicked things off back in 2015 with their Micro Baguette, and Jacquemus who propelled the trend to it-girl heights with Le Chiquito thereafter. And for the nano non-believers, the proof is in the pudding (or micro bag); Jacquemus’ smaller-than-small Le Vanity has sold-out globally.
The same can be said for Gaga’s eye statement. Coloured eyeshadow, namely blue and green, has been the standout beauty trend of 2019. Against an uneasy backdrop of political unrest and social anarchy, fashion has spun the beauty colour-wheel in a kind of reactionary F-U to the doom and gloom outside. Everyone from Kendall Jenner to Lily Collins has tasted the rainbow, with Gaga’s chalky baby blues just another example of our obsession with colour-saturated lids.
See, size – and colour – do matter after all. Even if it is wildly impractical and shamelessly gaudy. Take that, practical wearability!