Surprisingly, H&M had a major stake at this year's Met Gala. The fast-fashion retailer dressed an onslaught of stars, designing one-of-a-kind creations for Hailee Steinfeld, Ciara, and Jennifer Hudson (on top of outfitting Lucky Blue Smith, Pyper America Smith, and Amber Valetta). For such a high-fashion-centric event, we had to know: Why H&M?
At least for Steinfeld, the reason behind her dress choice had to do with another celebrity.
"I knew Sarah Jessica Parker was a guest of H&M at last year's Met Gala, and I was a huge fan of that whole look," Steinfeld reveals. "And as a personal fan of H&M, I was extremely honored when they extended the invitation to custom design something truly special for the night. It's been an incredible collaboration."
More importantly, she had a say in the design, with a focus on the silhouette of the dress and its structure. "I wanted something different than I've done previously. Something older, more mature, and I think we pulled it off perfectly," Steinfeld says. That translated into a stunning emerald green (a color she says she's never worn before) strapless design that featured a corseted cut-out bodice with navette sequins overlaid with silk organza and a slinky silk satin skirt. It's a sophisticated, clean, and modern look—one that hints at the "Fashion in an Age of Technology" theme in the stealthiest, chicest way.
And how long did the whole process take? "Two weeks—it's been a very fast process, and I'm amazed at how quick they've managed to pull this all together," she says. "And it's kind of crazy, not really knowing what the dress looks like until hours before the carpet. It adds a whole new level of anxiety and excitement."
Well, she needn't have been anxious. Steinfeld was a stunner.
The 2016 Met Gala marked Steinfeld's sixth time attending. Take a look at her previous looks from Met Gala pasts.
1. In Michael Kors Collection at the 2015 Met Gala: "China: Through The Looking Glass"
"Michael Kors is one of my favorite human beings and designer. This was the first time I had worn a red dress. It was such a great moment. The gown was simple, classic, and beautiful."
2. In Prabal Gurung at the 2014 Met Gala: "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"
"Prabal dressed me for the Golden Globes in 2011, and that was my first big moment in fashion. Going to the Met with him was such a dream. He’s an amazing person. Seeing sketches of a gown is like a taking a photo to a hair salon. You never know what it's going to come out exactly. I didn't want to get my hopes up, but then when I tried it on, it was prefect. I was so incredibly excited and happy with how it turned out."
3. In Donna Karan Atelier at the 2013 Met Gala: "Punk: Chaos to Couture"
"This dress was white leather and covered in gold safety pins. I felt like a total badass. It was so cool and it was flown in from everywhere. I remember I had a fitting and someone carried it from the plane to my front door and then back on a plane."
4. In Miu Miu at the 2012 Met Gala: "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations"
Steinfeld chose a sweet floral-embroidered Miu Miu design, complete with a bow at the waist.
5. In Alexander McQueen at the 2011 Met Gala: "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty"
The starlet naturally chose a lace high-low Alexander McQueen design for the 2011 Met Gala—a fitting choice for the theme, which was a celebration of the late designer's work.