The Olsens are a staple at the MET Gala and year after year their looks are interchangeable. It doesn’t matter what the theme is, the Olsens dress like the Olsens (I like to call it: rich bohemian living abroad after her wealthy husband’s suspicious death). This year is no different.
Does it adhere to the theme? No, I think it’s too ornate and conventionally feminine. But in the larger sense this exhibit, and Comme des Garçons, is about democratizing the avant-garde aspects of art through fashion. Avante-garde is about the experimental and radical. Are the Olsens, simply by being themselves, unorthodox enough to be considered avant-garde?
I think maybe at a time they were. When everyone is wearing body con and these self-made billionaire twins show up looking like Wednesday Addams, it’s fantastically unorthodox and provocative. But now we’ve seen the dark vintage dresses that fall away from their bodies, the piled on “grandma” jewellery and the deadpan expressions. It doesn’t feel experimental, it feels like an aesthetic.
Still, the aesthetic is interesting no matter how many times we’ve seen it. There is an inherent sense of style and confidence here. As adults, they have never tried to make a best dressed list. On a red carpet filled with desperation, they do not seek approval. And that kind of confidence is rare (if not radical). They did not adhere to the theme but I will always take their drifter couture over a strapless and sparkly gown.