Rihanna, Boseman, Others Get ‘Holy’ At New York Met Gala

Rihanna, Chadwick Boseman and Madonna attend Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City. PHOTO: John Lamparski/Getty Images/AFP


Madonna and Rihanna stunned as fashion high priestesses on the red carpet at New York’s Met Gala on Monday, headlining the most sought-after invitation in the celebrity universe.

Madge, the Catholic girl from Michigan and queen of pop whose 1989 hit “Like a Prayer” remains a dance-floor classic 30 years later, presided over the “Sunday Best” theme dressed head to toe in Jean Paul Gaultier.

The 59-year-old mother of six balanced a golden crown studded with crucifixes on her head, shrouded her face in a black fishnet mantilla and donned a very flouncy, very full and very black gown.

Held every year on the first Monday in May, the black-tie extravaganza is the chief source of income for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, reportedly raising more than $12 million in 2017.

The gathering of A-list models, musicians and movie stars, dubbed “the Oscars of the East Coast,” saw Amal Clooney, Rihanna and Donatella Versace join Vogue supremo Anna Wintour as this year’s co-chairs.

Tickets are said to cost $30,000 each or $275,000 for a table, but all guests must be invited, ruling out all but the most elite Hollywood actors, music superstars, top models and fashion designers.

If A-listers have shunned the theme in the past, this year’s “Sunday Best,” a nod to the “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” exhibition at The Costume Institute, proved popular.

 Wing and a prayer

Rihanna, the Barbadian superstar and one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, proved her red carpet pulling power in a jewel-encrusted gown from John Galliano’s Maison Margiela and bejeweled bishop’s hat.

There were celestial crowns like a Virgin Mary icon, lashings of cardinal red, virginal white and New York’s de rigueur clerical black.

Katy Perry dressed as an angel with enormous feathered white wings that towered over her petite frame and trailed the floor, a Versace chain-mail gold mini-dress and thigh-high stilettoed gold boots

Clooney, the international human rights lawyer and this month’s Vogue cover star, wore the pants as she arrived on the arm of her movie star husband George, dressed in blue cigarette trousers with a strapless bustier and voluminous skirt by up-and-coming Briton, Richard Quinn.

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, the celebrity couple of the moment, also stepped out, the “Jenny from the Block” songstress in a beaded and feathered gown with a giant mosaic crucifix on the front.

Sarah Jessica Parker, a doyenne of New York high society and the “Sex and the City” fashionista, walked the red carpet in full-length gold brocade by Dolce and Gabbana and an astonishing headpiece.

But for all the glitz, the event has also been dogged by rumors that once inside, it can be intimidating and unfriendly.

Tina Fey once called it a “jerk parade,” complaining to David Letterman that: “If you had a million arms and all the people you would punch in the whole world, they’re all there.”


How I Felt Working Alongside Boseman, Lupita In Black Panther – Sope Aluko

Nigerian-born Hollywood actress, Sope Aluko, one of the cast in popular Marvel Movie, Black Panther said it was exciting seeing the script of the movie and she calls co-actor Chadwick Boseman, ‘My brother.’

Directed by Creed’s Ryan Coogler, Black Panther is a movie with historical importance as first Marvel film with cast of all Black Heroes. It feature over 80% Blacks, even as it has set pre-sales records as Marvel’s fastest-selling movie in the first 24 hours.

Aluko, on Saturday, when she appeared as the artiste of the week on Channels Television Programme, Sunrise, said it was really exciting being a part of the movie as it depicts Africa positively as a rich, royal country.

“For so long, I have seen Hollywood depict Africa in a way it shouldn’t be depicted. (But in Black Panther) we are talking about a fictitious country that has mineral resource that is sought after by westerners. A rich country full of Kings and queens, these were all the elements of Africa that we don’t normally have in the narrative out there that we have in the script.

“So, it was not only me but all the cast and crew excited to be part of it. We were like we are getting something and we wanted to make sure we honoured it correctly.

“I call Chadwick Boseman my African brother because everytime he calls me ‘my sister’ and I respond ‘my brother’. I tell him you are so African and I asked him where are you from and he says South Carolina. And we talked about the fact that the slaves ships landed in South Carolina, and so that’s why there is more of that feel that he is from the Western part of Africa. Everybody (the cast) was phenomenal).

American director Ryan Coogler (L) and American actor Chadwick Boseman pose on arrival for the European Premiere of ‘Black Panther’ in central London on February 8, 2018. PHOTO: Tolga AKMEN / AFP

Chadwick Boseman features in the movie as T’Challa, king and protector of the technologically advanced fictional African nation of Wakanda while Aluko features as Shaman, a powerful primal leader who calls upon nature spirits for aid or guidance.

Aluko has a degree in Engineering and Masters’ Degree in Marketing as her parents never wanted her to be an actress. She explained her exploits in the corporate world before transitioning into Hollywood.

“It’s a strange story, my parents never wanted me to be an actress. They didn’t think it will bring in any money. So I did the course, I studied and I worked in corporate America.

“I have always wanted to be an actor but when I went to my parents and told them, this is what I want to do full-time. They said, ‘No, you are not doing that, we paid for you to go to the best schools and have the best education.

“So, I followed the course, I did engineering and then did Masters’ in Marketing and I worked in Corporate America for about 15 years. I decided to transition into acting nine years ago. What really made me happy was not the lot of money which I was (when in the Corporate world) but by following my dream. So I prayed about it and gave it (the money) all up and started from the scratch.”

She has however featured in Hollywood Movies including Pitch Perfect 2, Identity Thief, Army Wives, 96 Minutes, and then Black Panther. She has plans to feature in more and revealed her other movies you should watch out for.

“I’m also in another upcoming Marvel Movie which is coming out very soon. I’m also in another movie with Taraji P. Henson that is coming up this year.”

Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o poses on arrival for the European Premiere of ‘Black Panther’ in central London on February 8, 2018.

To successfully tell depict the African story in Black Panther, Aluko told Channels Television that the Producers and the Production team of the movie made their research and traveled to different countries in Africa. This she said reflected in the costumes and content of the movie.

Sope Aluko on the ‘Purple Carpet’ during Premier of ‘Black Panther’ in London on February 8, 2018.