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Unveiling Cardi B's Met Gala transformation: How LCF graduate Chen Peng crafted timeless elegance

Close up of Cardi B at the Met Gala wearing Chen Peng's quilted dress
  • Written byLubna Hussain
  • Published date 15 May 2023
Close up of Cardi B at the Met Gala wearing Chen Peng's quilted dress
Close up Cardi B wearing Chen Peng Studios quilted dress | Chen Peng 2023

London College of Fashion is proud to see its graduates continue to make waves in the fashion industry. Chen Peng, a graduate of LCF's MA Fashion Design Technology (Womenswear) course, has quickly become a hotly sought-after designer known for his unique take on the quilted puffer jacket. His designs have been worn by celebrities like Lady Gaga and Rihanna, and most recently, he designed a show-stopping gown for Cardi B to wear at this year’s prestigious Met Gala event.

In this post, we take a closer look at the creative process behind this incredible design and learn more about Chen Peng's vision for the future of his brand.

Cardi B posing at the steps on Met Gala
Cardi B posing at the steps on Met Gala | Image credit: Cardi B Team, Chen Peng 2023
Close up of Cardi B smiling with her hands raised
Close up of Cardi B posing | Image credit: Cardi B Team, Chen Peng 2023
Your dress worn by Cardi B showed an amazing testimony to Karl Lagerfeld with a prominent black ballgown, the opulence of the costume showed dramatic camellia and matelassé details. Can you walk us through the creative process of designing for such a high-profile event like the Met Gala?

Within a few weeks after Paris Fashion Week, Stylist Kolin from Cardi's team contacted me. At the beginning, we provided 5 different solutions, and after several communications, we finally chose the ideal design.

Cardi had expressed very early on a fondness for classic and elegant looks which also tribute to Monsieur Lagerfeld’s styles that have stood the test of time. Taking cues from Monsieur Lagerfeld’s interpretation of the iconic codes from the House of Chanel, I then created an exquisite black ballgown with dramatic camellia and matelassé details whilst still infusing my own signature quilted puffer style. The design consisted of over 600 camellia petals that took more than 300 atelier hours to complete. It is not only a testimony to design craftsmanship, but more importantly, an ode to Monsieur Lagerfeld’s everlasting legacy.

Cardi B posing in corridor looking up and away from camera
Full outfit image of Cardi B | Mr. D. Adams Chen Peng 2023
Cardi B posing at press pit
Cardi B posing at press pit | Image credit: Cardi B Team, Chen Peng 2023
How did you manage the balance of having pressures in creating something that is both visually striking and functional for the wearer?

When I have free time, I often visit museums while travelling, seeking inspiration from classic elements of history. I believe that designers are not blindly designing new works, but rather seeking elements that can withstand the test of time in history. Based on this, I like to combine modern and even more suitable concepts for future lifestyles with the flair of adding my own artistic style. It is only then that the designs can live to have vitality and be continuously sustained. Creativity is the soul, practicality is the subject, and all my designs are based on this structure.

What do you hope your design will convey to those who see it?

I hope everyone can see the vivacity in my design, the collision between classics and the future, the integration of Chinese culture and global culture, the way of life in different periods, and my understanding of equality and sustainable development. I hope that every detail of my work can bring unique inspiration to the audience. It is not just a flash in the pan but liveliness which I envision the audience to interact with and resonate differently with.

Side profile of dress on mannequin
Side profile of dress on mannequin | Chen Peng 2023
Footwear sketch by Chen Peng
Footwear sketch by Chen Peng | Chen Peng 2023
What’s next for your brand, and what can we expect to see from you in the future?

I will continue to release at Paris Fashion Week, and I am thinking about what CHENPENG should look like in spring and summer. We will be holding exhibitions with many partners around the world every year. More custom dresses for celebrities will also continue to be seen at their performances and on red carpets.

At the same time, the capsule collection will continue with more international brands like MM6 Maison Margiela regenerating surprises for everyone. I will not limit CHENPENG, it is not only a fashion designer brand, but also a way for me to communicate with the world. I hope to interact with the world in different industries and fields and create more design pieces.

Photograph of Offset holding umbrella next to Cardi B wearing Chen's shoes walking outside
Offset and Cardi B | Image credit: Cardi B Team, Chen Peng 2023
Close up of Chen's shoes worn by Cardi B
Close up of Chen's shoes worn by Cardi B | Image credit: Cardi B Team, Chen Peng 2023