Colman Domingo, Leon Bridges, Sabrina Harrison, and More Wore This Filipino Designer to the 2024 Met Gala

Styled by Law Roach and Carlos Alonso-Parada, Sabrina Harrison wears custom CHRISHABANA to the 2024 Met Gala. Photo by Joe Bishop, courtesy of CHRISHABANA

For fashion’s biggest night, stars Colman Domingo, Morgan Spector, and Leon Bridges wore Willy Chavarria affixed with CHRISHABANA floral brooches, while entrepreneur Sabrina Harrison wore clock-trailing custom metalwork, Chris Habana’s first-ever full look for the Met Gala.

Following the spectacle red carpet of the 2024 Met Gala, actors Colman Domingo and Morgan Spector, and musician Leon Bridges are quickly rising to the tops of men’s best-dressed lists, and it might have to do with being in line with tonight’s dress code. They were all dressed in custom looks by designer Willy Chavarria, whose dark, moody palette, wide peak lapels, and voluminous trousers pair well with the exhibition’s theatrical theme “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.”

The statement pieces of their looks, however, were their blown-up blooms, worn on their lapels and, in Bridges’ case, fastened on belt loops. The oversized floral brooches, which have since become a staple of Chavarria’s eponymous label following his fall 2023 show, were designed in collaboration with New York City-based Filipino designer Chris Habana, whose accessories have seen the Met Gala red carpet before, on the likes of Grimes, Halsey, Paloma Elsesser, and SZA (Who could forget the halo she wore to the 2018 Met Gala, with its golden star-tipped prongs extending up to the heavens?).

Academy Award-nominated actor Colman Domingo on the 2024 Met Gala red carpet. Photo: Getty Images
Grammy Award-winning musician Leon Bridges on the 2024 Met Gala red carpet. Photo: Getty Images

Domingo, Spector, Bridges, as well as Saks Fifth Avenue CEO Marc Metrick each had their own floral brooch, personalized to reflect their backgrounds and inspirations. Bridges’ brooch depicts the Texas bluebonnet to represent his home state, while Spector requested an arrangement of red poppies.

At the CHRISHABANA studio, preparations for the first Monday in May continued until the last minute. The flowers were assembled from silk faille and satin, with their edges burnt for an added romantic, distressed look. But these brooches weren’t the only projects on their roster for the evening.

Designer Chris Habana was inspired by artists such as Salvador Dali and Vaserely for Sabrina Harrison’s look. Photo by Joe Bishop, courtesy of CHRISHABANA

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sabrina Harrison ascended up the famed steps of the Met wearing a gown by CHRISHABANA, affixed with a Dalí-esque bodice and trailing clock charms down its length. As with any Habana-designed piece, the accessories are equally as statement-making. To complete Harrison’s look, an effort to distort time and reality: Her gold chrome-plated handbag featured a working video screen panel, which played highlights of last year’s red carpet throughout the evening.

Ahead of a busy red carpet, Vogue Philippines spoke with designer Chris Habana on dressing the stars for yet another Met Gala. Below, see his insight on collaborating with designer Willy Chavarria and working with Sabrina Harrison on her time-stopping ensemble.

Black calla lilies for actor Colman Domingo. Photo courtesy of CHRISHABANA
A pair of red poppies for actor Morgan Spector. Photo courtesy of CHRISHABANA

What has it been like collaborating with Willy Chavarria on these flower brooches? 

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Willy, creating jewelry and accessories first in 2018 for his collections. But the floral brooches came in 2020, when Willy had his Woolmark Prize show and asked us to create some hand-sewn wool flower pins.  This eventually led to the roses you see now. 

Willy knew what he wanted especially the oversized element to be a key part of it. But he allowed us to add our own craft and aesthetic to the treatment and execution.  I think it’s that clear intention behind his designs that has made the brooches such a poignant but gentle touch to his garments.

Actor Morgan Spector made his 2024 Met Gala red carpet debut. Photo: Getty Images

What aspects of this piece had both you and Willy equally inspired in the process of making them?

When Willy shared his directions for the flowers, I loved the romantic energy behind it and how he was combining these elements that were tough and delicate together. That idea of juxtaposing two things that may not easily harmonize is what my work is all about.

As we worked on the flowers, I came up with the idea of burning the edges of the flowers to give them a darker, gothic feel. Willy has always appreciated the level of handwork we put into the pieces. He and I always think about how the execution should feel handcrafted and timeless. 

The custom pieces for Willy’s guests are inspired by their own backgrounds. How did you feel dressing these stars, and embellishing them with pieces that are meaningful to them for such a big occasion? 

At times it feels like we’re pumping out designs for various clients at breakneck speeds. It’s crazy. I still get taken aback when we take on projects due in a couple days. These deadlines don’t allow for a lot of one-on-one connections with the celebrities. Sometimes we meet them, sometimes we don’t, and instead work with their creative directors and stylists, who by the way, really guide the original idea for the piece. 

But I will say, it’s always fun to research an artist in terms of how you might want them to look for an event, and [see] it through your lens. You get to know them half as a fan and half as a collaborator.  On the other hand, events like the Met Gala here in New York City allow you to meet our clients in person, and through that, you really feel a deeper connection to them and their own lives. It’s a nice place where we find our imaginations overlap and we create something really beautiful.  

How did the 2024 Met Gala dress code “The Garden of Time” inspire Sabrina Harrison’s look? What was fueling your creativity at the time of ideation? 

Back in March, Sabrina had expressed that the idea of clocks came like a vision, and she and [stylist] Carlos [Alonso-Parada] wanted to create a look that was made of watches.  She wanted to carry the theme to a headpiece, gloves and even [a] handbag [or an] oversized iPhone case. 

The CHRISHABANA team created 3D-printed timepieces for Sabrina Harrison’s 2024 Met Gala look. Photo courtesy of CHRISHABANA
The clock charms “expand and contract in a gradation of sizes” to give Sabrina’s look a surreal, Dalí-esque feeling. Photo courtesy of CHRISHABANA

Riffing off of this theme, it made sense that something metallic and sculptural would be a central part of the outfit especially since jewelry is at the foundation of CHRISHABANA. I was also inspired by artists such as Salvador Dali and Vaserely. I had seen some watch garments out there and felt that we could express a different idea on the theme while accentuating Sabrina’s body lines. I designed the watches to expand and contract in a gradation of sizes to give the look a surreal [feeling] and accent Sabrina’s lines as they formed a degradé of watches.

Ironically, most of the charms are actually a 3D plastic finished off in a gold chrome plating, except for the ones on her back which are cast in brass so they don’t risk breaking when Sabrina sits down.  Halfway through the process, we added a surreal Dalí-esque breastplate of a melting clock which really pulled the statement together.  The headpiece was a minimal interpretation of a clock, with arms and numbers floating off her body. 

A detailed look at Sabrina Harrison’s CHRISHABANA headpiece for the 2024 Met Gala, “a minimal interpretation of a clock.” Photo by Joe Bishop, courtesy of CHRISHABANA
Photo courtesy of CHRISHABANA
Photo courtesy of CHRISHABANA

The bag was also something that Sabrina introduced as a concept. She wanted to have a bag that played a video of past Met looks.  I love opportunities to experiment with tech, so I jumped at her idea for the TikTok-inspired bag with a video display feature. I sketched out a few ideas of how it could look, but the winner was this minimalist teardrop and egg-shaped style with a cracked window built to house an iPhone 15 with a custom video by Nolan Kiser at the center.  I didn’t know how it would come out, but it has become one of [my] favorite pieces we have made in my career. 

Sabrina Harrison’s custom CHRISHABANA handbag housed custom graphics by Nolan Kiser, which played highlights from last year’s Met Gala red carpet throughout the evening. Photo by Joe Bishop, courtesy of CHRISHABANA

Your work on Sabrina’s look is so meticulous and detailed—can you walk us through your favorite aspects of it? 

It’s funny because I’m used to getting a lot of requests specifically for music artists who are usually shooting a music video or album cover, where a tiny mistake in design can be edited or hidden out of sight.

When it comes to such a large platform like the Met Gala, where every inch of a person’s body is put under scrutiny, there is no room for error. So naturally, we have to take every last detail into consideration. I’m really proud of how we incorporated the clocks and of all the work my team did on this. Everyone worked for this exciting common goal—our first-ever full look at the Met! 

My amazing team of creatives worked long hours, and I have to say, apart from the initial conception of the design and ideas, I have really enjoyed the mixing of all the processes. The mix of technology and craft and how they blended was so great to see. I mean, there are about 700 plus watches on that dress that have been individually plotted to Sabrina’s body, and all hand-sewn down! There’s a point in the process, where I think maybe I’ve given us too big of a challenge, taken too many processes, etcetera.  But then I say fuck it, and the team, thankfully, is here and willing to realize it!

What was it like working with Sabrina and her stylists, Carlos Alonso-Parada and Law Roach, on her look? What was your favorite part of the process?  

Throughout the process of working with Sabrina, Carlos, and Law, I appreciated them allowing me to have creative freedom with how the look turned out. Sabrina is very sure of how she wants to present herself and having that direction made it easier to mold the final design into something that reflected all of us. Carlos has been a [long-time] friend and colleague, and his guidance with Sabrina’s ideas has also helped guide us through this process. 

He really knows her, and that is so invaluable to the process.  I’ve enjoyed working with Law in the past with a few gigs including Cardi B’s “Hot Shit” [music] video. I would really listen to his input, and his editing eye really helped tie in the final parts of the dress and styling to make it impactful. 

There was one part during our last fittings where we were trying to figure out how to create an even more exaggerated hip in proportion to Sabrina’s waist. Law had suggested to add a grosgrain that hooked to take her in from the seams of the dress. It did the trick, and Sabrina was still comfortable!  I’ll never forget that.  

Photo courtesy of CHRISHABANA
Photo courtesy of CHRISHABANA

Your pieces are no stranger to the Met Gala red carpet. What has you excited for this year’s big night?

Besides seeing our work for Willy and Sabrina have their moment for the night, I’m really just excited to see which of our peers will be showing up on the carpet as well whether they’re designing, styling, or attending. This has become one of the biggest nights in New York City, so it’s great to be a part of that and to celebrate it with other folks that I admire. It’s really cool to see this parade of fashion and culture and all the drama that goes with it. It’s funny to give it a lot of importance—you know, this “one night in fashion” that stands out from so many other shows. 

But after working in custom work for a few years, you see that the Met Gala is special. It’s a point where people who love fashion and people who love celebrity come together, and everyone joins in the drama, chaos, and, yes, escape!

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