Karl Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette was more than just the pet of the late Chanel creative director. The Burmese cat was his muse, a concept I fully understand as the mother of my own two cats, Trish the Tabby and Kit the Kitten. Like Lagerfeld, my cats are always by my side; Choupette was as ubiquitous in the designer’s photos as his fingerless gloves or dark sunglasses. So it’s no wonder that many celebrities paid tribute to her on the red carpet of the 2023 Met Gala.
Choupette is a star in her own right, with both a German car commercial and a Japanese beauty campaign to her name. Loved by the fashion industry and the team at Lagerfeld, she currently lives in Paris, where Kim Kardashian visited her to get inspiration for what would become her Schiaparelli Met Gala look. Meanwhile, Jared Leto, Doja Cat and Lil Nas X made outspoken sartorial statements inspired by Choupette when they arrived at the ball on Monday, May 1.
“[Choupette is] an inspiration for elegance. For attitude.”
Leto’s costume allowed him to fully transform into the iconic feline, while Doja Cat donned Oscar de la Renta and her makeup artist Ernesto Casillas for a feline-friendly glow-up. Lil Nas X appeared on the red carpet, covered in Swarovski crystals, pearls and silver body paint by Pat McGrath, to pay tribute to Choupette. His ornate mask had wafer-thin whiskers. Totally committed to the bit, both he and Doja Cat meowed their way through Vogue’s red carpet interviews. Finally, Janelle Monáe and Chloe Fineman from “SNL” wore cat purses to the Met prom designed by Thom Browne and Judith Leiber, respectively.
In a 2015 interview with The Cut, Lagerfeld explained why Choupette is such a great muse. “[Her two personal maids] play with her, they have to take care of her beautiful white hair, the beauty treatments for her eyes, and they entertain her. She is the center of the world. If you saw her you would understand. She’s kind of Greta Garbo. There’s something unforgettable about her, the way she moves, the way she plays. She is an inspiration for elegance. For attitude.”
With Choupette’s attitude and affinity for luxury, one has to wonder if she was consulted for the next Hollywood A-lister tribute. However, based on my intimate exchanges with Trish and Kit, I’m pretty scared that Choupette will never reveal her private correspondence.
Ahead, check out all the fashion moments honoring Choupette at the 2023 Met Gala and decide for yourself if she approves.
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