Met Ball: The view from China on the Chinese themed outfits

This year's ball at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York called on celebrities to dress for the theme of Chinese influences on western fashion.

The A-list actors, models and celebrities in attendance all had their own interpretations, with varying success, according to comments on social media.

Fashion magazines and newspapers have been lavishing attention on the extravagant display.

But Chinese microbloggers were also watching and a huge variety of responses could be found among Weibo's 2.3bn posts, which came with the hashtag #2015MetBall.

'Ridiculous' outfits

Many celebrities chose to take the theme to an extreme, given the event is usually reserved for high fashion. Some of those commenting did not refrain from highlighting the night's more florid outfits with a mixture of astonishment and disdain.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption "Sarah Jessica Parker! I dare you to pull it off on Sex and the City," user Vvivan Aimenqiqi posted.

"This is all hugely deviating from Chinese culture. These crooked nut stars are simply throwing on macabre and passing them off as oriental," Mary Su Yu posted.

A steady stream of commenters echoed the sentiment of one poster: "Foreigners with Chinese style don't fit very well eh?"

British model Cara Delevingne was covered in fake floral tattoos as she arrived for the gala. "Those fake flower tattoos - Frightening!" was the verdict of one weibo user Gigi56star. Another, Ice candy TF-CI said, "Aren't cherry blossoms Japanese?"

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How is this China?

With some of the outfits, it was difficult to see the connection to the theme. Many of those commenting online asked whether they had anything to do with China.

Weibo user Cream-Ice left a comment on the photos of Jennifer Lawrence on the Fashion Queen Weibo page. saying: "Are you sure what she's wearing is China today?"

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And one of the few celebrities who actually wore a dress by a Chinese designer was singer Rihanna, stepping out in a gown by Guo Pei.

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The Memes

But Rihanna's dress was widely mocked as well. Chinese bloggers said her dress resembled an omelette and many photo shopped pictures of it were making the rounds.

And actor Sarah Jessica Parker's headgear drew comparisons to one of the 2008 Beijing Olympics mascots Huanhuan. Cape Tonk said: "Hahaha - Beijing 2008 Olympian style now seen on the (Met Gala) Red carpet?"

The success stories

But there was also appreciation for those that got it right on the red carpet. Many of the Chinese celebrities in attendance appeared to get little attention in Western coverage, but were praised on social media sites for their outfits.

Chinese actor Gong Li looked "stunning and elegant, like a true empress on the red carpet," said Weibo user StarStar1245.

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Weibo user Fan Aileen commented on a picture of actor Anne Hathaway and Chinese actor Ni Ni, saying: "Gold and yellow - Now this is how you pull off the look, not looking like an omelette! Great job ladies".

Vogue China raved about the actor Zhang Ziyi (below left) as a "rare veteran" who managed to capture the Chinese theme.

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Reporting by Saira Asher and Heather Chen

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