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Photos: Harvey Guillén on Bringing His Queer, Fat POC Self to the Met Gala
Harvey has arrived
The stars came out to play Monday night at the annual Met Gala, the party and fashion event that’s organized on the first Monday in May and raises money for New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
One of those stars was Harvey Guillén, the rising star of FX’s acclaimed series What We Do in the Shadows.
This year’s theme was an homage to the controversial late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who was the creative director of Chanel and Fendi before he died in 2019. While many celebrities went with Lagerfeld’s typical black-and-white style, others approached the assignment a bit differently. Lagerfeld was known to hate pink. He also was known for making racist, sexist, and fatphobic comments.
Quinta Brunson, Viola Davis, Guillén, and others decided to celebrate the Met in Lagerfeld’s least favorite shade.
The Advocate spoke with Guillén shortly before his Met Gala debut, which was designed by his frequent fashion collaborator Christian Siriano — the two made Oscars fashion history earlier this year when the Puss in Boots actor wore the first Siriano red carpet look made for a plus-sized man to the show.
“It definitely encompasses everything that I would want … for [the Met Gala],” said Guillén, who was one of The Advocate's People of the Year in 2022,. “It has both worlds of feminine, masculine.”
He explained that he owed his team for preparing his look for the event. “It takes a village to make something come together so I’m the luckiest boy,” he says.
Guillén said that going to the Met Gala was “surreal.”
“I did every kind of job growing up and never in my wildest dreams would I think that I’d be going to the Met Gala,” the actor said. “With the origin story that I came from, I have come a long way, so it’s a big milestone and I’m so happy to do it. I get to do it with the people I love and the industry that I love to be part of. It’s exciting.”
Guillén isn’t afraid to call out Lagerfeld’s problematic comments and their impact on the designer’s legacy.
“The theme of the night was Karl…so in his honor I came as my fat POC self in pink,” he told The Advocate.
He said that the art can be respected, but that things can be learned from Lagerfeld’s complex legacy.
“Karl, I can be just as fabulous in my body and just as courageous and just as beautiful,” he shared. “We honor the creativity and the work of someone but also not forget that we have to do better.”
Guillén said he didn't intend to become known for his fashion — he’s just wanted to feel his best and dress the way he wanted to dress.
He said he’s surprised when people come up to him and explain what his looks and style have meant to them.
“I think that's something that we take pride in — our collaboration with Christian — is that his gowns are timeless and [he’s] done an amazing job in the years of dressing the leading ladies of Hollywood, and now to dress a man of size is groundbreaking,” Guillén said, adding that more designers should take the leap that Siriano did. He explained that he’s excited about future collaborations with Siriano and their teams.
“We don't see a lot of my body types that represent on the carpet so I'm gladly leave the door ajar for the many, many, many that are yet to come,” he said. “I take pride in the idea that I have started something without knowing that this will be a movement that now we can look back and say wow, we were there when this kind of took off.”
Photos: Jen Rosenstein
Outfit: Christian Siriano
Styling: Michael Fusco
Makeup: Romie Macedo
Hair: Connie Agawin