At first glance, the violet tie-dyed Iris Van Herpen gown that Teyana Taylor wore to the 2022 Met Gala exuded anything but Gilded Glamour fashion. The actress, musician, and dancer paired the dress with a futuristic silver headpiece that snaked onto her face, giving the already New Age design even more of a modernist twist. But as Taylor tells it, the gown—which featured a handkerchief train along with poufed sleeves and a strappy, cutout bodice adorned with plissé silk—had its own elements of the late 1800s, and thus hit the bull’s-eye on the theme of the night. “Even though Iris generally does modern pieces, I think there’s a correlation between the innovation she uses in her designs today and the innovation that existed during the Gilded Age when it came to fashion,” Taylor said in an e-mail the morning after her whirlwind Met Gala evening, which included meeting Winnie Harlow (who also wore Iris Van Herpen) on the red carpet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and posing for pictures, then hitting LaQuan Smith’s after party with her husband Iman Shumpert. “American fashion is a celebration of self-expression, innovation, and creativity, and that’s something you definitely see in Iris’s work.”
This wasn’t the first time Taylor had worn the designer’s otherworldly fashions; in fact, the singer-songwriter starred in Doja Cat’s Woman video wearing Iris Van Herpen. But the design of the gown she wore to the Met fits perfectly with Taylor’s personal style, which tends to lean avant-garde and experimental (as she describes it: “relaxed, tomboy chic, and definitely on the fly, depending on how I’m feeling.”). But choosing purple was a first for the musician, who began getting ready for the Met at around 2 PM, allowing for “plenty of time to let the team do what they need to do and not feel rushed.”
“I gravitated toward this specific look because it was different than what I usually do,” Taylor added. “Seeing all the work and craftsmanship that goes into an IVH piece is mind-blowing. It’s truly a work of art. It took nine people over 600 hours to create this dress. I can’t even wrap my mind around that!” Here, Taylor shares with W a glimpse into her getting ready process—in her own words.