Tracee Ellis Ross Reveals What the 2017 Met Gala Was Really Like

The Black-ish actress tells Jimmy Kimmel about her "terrifying" red carpet experience

By Zach Johnson May 09, 2017 12:00 PMTags

Tracee Ellis Ross made quite a debut at the 2017 Met Gala.

The Black-ish star was just one of a handful of stars to wear Comme des Garçons; other guests who modeled the honoree's designs included Anna Cleveland, Caroline Kennedy, Michèle Lamy, Helen Lasichanh, Baz Luhrmann, Rihanna, Sofia Sanchez de Betak, Stella Tennant and Pharrell Williams. As the Golden Globe-winning actress explained on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Monday, walking the red carpet on the biggest night in fashion was a "terrifying" experience.

Ellis Ross used the online retailer Farfetch to find her look, which she paired with an Edie Parker clutch. "The designer and the co-chair who was being honored was Comme des Garçons, Rei Kawakubo. She's a very avant garde designer—sort of art meets fashion. I got to wear a Comme des Garçons dress," she told Kimmel, who's never attended the event and isn't very style savvy. "It was such a big deal! It's a big deal in fashion and it was a huge deal for me! My mom [Diana Ross] taught me about glamour, and growing up, I was a fashion girl; I had magazines and I loved that world. So it was a big deal. It's a very big deal to wear that designer."

Met Gala 2017: Best Dressed Stars
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Though he was happy for Ellis Ross, the 49-year-old comedian joked, "I don't think most men can relate to that. I guess the closest would be like putting on Tom Brady's Super Bowl jersey."

Ellis Ross didn't totally agree with that assessment. In fact, she said Black-ish creator Kenya Barris series star Anthony Anderson both "love wearing a special sneaker," like "new Jordans."

Ascending the steps at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is daunting, she added. "The red carpet is sort of like the Oscars x 10, because it's just about the red carpet and the fashion moment," she said. "I love taking pictures and I love being in front of people, but a red carpet in essence is people taking your picture to judge you," the 44-year-old actress said. "That's really what it is."

Kimmel then showed a picture of Ellis Ross' look. "That is basically a piece of wearable art by Comme des Garçons," she said. When he disagreed, she challenged him. "Yes, Jimmy! Ask your wife. But, as you can tell, there was not a lot of movement I could do in the dress." To prove her point, Ellis Ross asked Kimmel to shake her hand, then to kiss both of her cheeks. It didn't take long for the host to realize she wasn't kidding. Regardless, Ellis Ross gushed, "It was an honor!"

That gave Kimmel an idea. "I'm going to contact Rei, and Rei and I are going to work out a scheme where we come up with the most ridiculous things and try to get famous people to wear them," the host teased. "I'm going to put somebody in a big Sprite bottle or something."