Ashley Graham’s Showstopping 2023 Met Gala Gown Is a Work of Art

The 2016 SI Swimsuit Issue cover model was one of the best dressed at Monday’s high-fashion event.
Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham.

Hollywood’s most fashionable A-listers descended upon the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday evening for the 2023 Met Gala, and Ashley Graham absolutely delivered.

The three-time SI Swimsuit model wore an out-of-this-world black-and-pink gown by Nina Ricci creative director Harris Reed. Graham thanked her stylist, Emily Evans, in an Instagram post for working so closely with the designer to create “a powerful moment blending [Karl] Lagerfeld’s grace with Harris Reed’s signature fluidity.”

To compliment her sculptural gown, Graham’s accessories were kept minimal: she wore several pearl earrings by MIKIMOTO. Hairstylist Justine Marjan created a custom hairpiece for Graham and smoothed her newly trimmed locks into a sleek and straight style with curled out ends. Makeup artist Ivan Núñez used KISS products to achieve the model’s flirty lashes, which were paired with winged eyeliner and a pinky-nude lip.

“I just feel so beautiful,” Graham wrote in part of her May 1 Instagram caption. She continued, “Thank you, Harris, for this magnificent and powerful creation, embodying the transformative power of fashion. ✨🌟 #MetGala2023.”

Reed shared the vision and creative process behind Graham’s soon-to-be iconic gown, which was inspired by vintage Chanel, on his own Instagram page. 

“Ashley shared with me that, as a curve model, most designers present her with all black options and that creating something in the 90’s Chanel pink was her biggest request. The idea took hold of me instantly, I loved it, and I knew exactly what this vision could be. After a week spent sourcing the right fabric, I couldn’t wait to bring this dream to life,” he wrote. “Seeing Ashley creating her own moment, embracing and owning everything she is, and standing proud and colourful in this design is a truly special moment that I will treasure forever.”

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.