When Carey Mulligan stepped on to the Met Gala 2022 red carpet, her black-and-gold gown seemed simple and sleek, but in reality, her Schiaparelli Haute Couture gown was more complicated than it appeared: It took more than 4,000 hours to embroider.
Mulligan’s black crepe column gown was adapted from a piece first seen in Schiaparelli’s 2021 autumn/winter couture collection, per Vogue. The reinterpreted piece came together in a cumulative 4,750 hours of embroidery, due to intricate gold beads along the bodice and coating the train. In total, the gown encompasses 79,000 gold sequins and 38,000 crystals.
The front of Mulligan’s gown was just a taste of the back, where the train fanned out into a sea of gold beads. She played up the gold tones with Schiaparelli earrings, plus a pair of Jimmy Choo heels.
Schiaparelli creative director Daniel Roseberry wanted Mulligan’s gown to nod to the evening’s dress code, “Gilded Glamour,” without leaning too heavily on Edith Wharton-esque motifs and silhouettes. “We could have done something more about the anatomy, more surrealist for ‘gilded glamour,” he said. “But people know that we can do that – they’ve seen that. Carey has this aura about her that is very much of another era. I loved having the opportunity to work on something that looked different to everything else.”
Mulligan, for her part, was ecstatic to work with the French house on her Met Gala look. “Looking at the work produced by Schiaparelli over the years, I’ve always been struck by how perfectly they blend true artistry and elegance,” she told Vogue.
Mulligan’s thousand-watt dress radiated on the carpet, which she walked with her husband, Marcus Mumford. He opted for an all-black look—the better to let all those hours of beadwork shine.
This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US