Ashley Graham missed the 2016 Met Gala because designers wouldn’t dress her

The supermodel got brutally honest about the biggest fashion event of the year

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

It might not feel like all that long ago we saw celebrities gracing the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art steps for this year’s Met Gala, but the theme for next year’s event has already been released.

Whether you keep an eye on it to see what incredible outfit Rihanna will put together, or to spy on how A-listers really get on during dinner (hint: awkwardly, if you’re Kylie Jenner sat next to Ryan Reynolds), it’s undoubtedly one of the biggest events on the celebrity calendar and if you’re lucky enough to get invited by Anna Wintour herself, you will do what it takes to be there.

However, things can get a little tricky if you don’t have any fashion designers on speed dial. Ashley Graham, supermodel, self-love advocate and all around body positivity hero revealed that she had to miss the 2016 Met Gala because nobody would dress her for it.

In an interview with New York magazine, Ashley admits she was ‘on hold’ to attend last year. In fancy fashion event talk this essentially means you’re probably invited if everything goes to plan. But the 29 year-old model ended up having to pass on the opportunity to see Clare Danes’ Cinderella dress in real life because she couldn’t find a designer to work with her.

‘I couldn’t get a designer to dress me,’ she said. ‘You can’t just show up in jeans and a T-shirt.’

She insists that it wasn’t about her size, instead blaming the fact that she hadn’t made professional connections with any fashion houses at the time. Ashley also admitted that her husband once hugged Wintour at an event which could have put her on the wrong footing with the Vogue US editor.

But sadly, the likely truth is that designers often only have sample sizes of a 0 or 2 (equivalent of a UK 4 or 6) which could have been why Ashley was unsuccessful at finding someone to dress her at the last minute. And it’s not the first time she’s had trouble finding outfits – her first cover of British Vogue at the end of last year saw her dressed last-minute by Coach when other designers flat out refused to work with her.

Now that Ashley is a supermodel in her own right, however, it’s a different story. She attended this year’s Met Gala in a couture H&M gown, telling New York magazine: ‘Rihanna said I looked “hot as fuck”. I had to idea what to say to her.

‘I was just like: “You slay every Met, Rihanna!”‘

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