In Case You Missed It: Tyla Makes Stunning Debut at Met Gala in Balmain Gown Sculpted from Sand

Amid the glitz and glamour of the Met Gala, South African singer Tyla made an unforgettable entrance, clad in a custom Balmain gown crafted entirely from sculpted sand, marking her inaugural appearance at the prestigious event.

Collaborating with stylist Katie Qian, Tyla’s ensemble, inspired by “the sands of time,” embodied a creative departure from convention, as she shared with La La Anthony on the red carpet. Expressing her excitement for the occasion, she remarked, “We really wanted something out of the box for this year, it’s my first time at the Met.”

The Grammy-winning artist adorned her Dune-inspired attire with water-themed jewellery by John Hardy, accentuating her look with yellow gold earrings adorned with aquamarine, yellow diamond, and blue topaz, alongside two yellow gold pave rings. Complementing her ensemble was a simple gold necklace and an oversized hourglass clutch, while her beauty aesthetic featured a sleek cat eyeliner and a sprinkle of sand delicately dusted on her left shoulder. Adding a final touch of flair, her nails boasted 3D chain embellishments reminiscent of dripping sand.

Tyla at Met Gala
Tyla at Met Gala

Reflecting on the intricate design process, Balmain creative director Olivia Rousteing revealed, “We moulded [Tyla’s] body a couple of months ago. The idea was she could dress once in the dress and it would be part of the museum.” The gown’s bodice, crafted from a plaster mould, seamlessly merged with the organza train, adorned with three shades of sand and micro-crystal studs for a luminous effect.

Tyla, exuding confidence in her avant-garde ensemble, expressed her delight, stating, “It feels amazing, I’m so excited to go inside and see all of the pictures, then go home. I just love the outfit and how everything turned out.”

Tyla at Met Gala
Tyla at Met Gala

Before captivating audiences with her self-titled debut album in March, Tyla made history as the youngest South African artist to grace the Billboard Hot 100 with her R&B-meets-Afrobeats track “Water.” As she bid adieu to the Mark Hotel, she serenaded fans with her chart-topping anthem.

This year’s Met Gala theme, “The Garden of Time,” resonated with Tyla’s innovative attire, drawing inspiration from J.G. Ballard’s eponymous short story and seamlessly aligning with the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s latest exhibition, Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion. Curated by Andrew Bolton, the exhibition showcases delicate garments from the institute’s archives, reimagining fashion through a lens of nature, with its accompanying coffee table book set for release on June 18.

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