gallery-1430857441-gty-cara-delevinge-150505Any celebrity can pop by Cartier or Bulgari and layer on exquisite jewels—for free, nonetheless. But Cara Delevingne isn’t just any celebrity. The 22-year-old Brit truly embraced the theme of this year’s Met Gala, “China: Through The Looking Glass” and broke all conventions by rocking elaborate bird and blossom-inpsired tattoos by celebrity tattoo artist Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy.

Though Delevingne’s inkings were only temporary, McCurdy has tattooed the supermodel more than a dozen times before, including the lion’s head on her index finger and the word “BACON” scrawled across the bottom of her foot. “It was Cara’s idea to create a custom tattoo for the Met Gala,” enthused the famed tattooist. “The deadline was tight, but my motto is to always say ‘yes’! Cara and I have collaborated quite a few times in the past so she trusts my vision.”


After applying a stencil to the model’s body, McCurdy waited until it was 95 percent dry, and then freehanded the details. This custom masterpiece didn’t come easy at all–Cara arrived at 8 AM and didn’t leave until about 7 PM, which is a grueling 11 full hours of painting.


While head-to-toe body art may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of the Met Gala, the 22-year-old’s innovative take on traditional Chinese iconography proved equal parts edgy and sophisticated—not to mention totally on brand for the event. She finished off her look and let her ink fest shine with a sparkly Stella McCartney bustier jumpsuit.

Now, how she’ll hide those tats, which McCurdy says will last up to ten days? Only time will tell.

Photos: Gurber Matthews