Ben Platt, the Broadway star headlining a musical about an antisemitic episode in American history, donned a Star of David necklace as part of his outfit for Monday night’s Met Gala.
The annual gala is a high point of the fashion calendar, and celebrities are urged to put together splashy costumes to match a theme. This year’s event was a tribute to Karl Lagerfeld, the designer whose parents were Nazis and who led Chanel, a fashion house that had its own Nazi past.
Platt’s outfit — a white bouclé tweed suit with platform heels, over a corset — riffed on Chanel’s iconic women’s suit designs. As he has done in earlier Met Gala costumes, Platt also incorporated robust jewelry, including a gold chain belt, many rings on many fingers, and a Star of David necklace. (While Platt did not identify a designer in his Instagram post, commenters suggested that the necklace could be the work of David Yurman, the luxury jeweler who credits the Hebrew Free Loan Society for giving him his start.)
Platt’s necklace choice comes as the Broadway revival of “Parade,” in which he stars, comes to the end of its run. The musical is about Leo Frank, the Jewish man who was convicted of raping and murdering a girl who worked at the Georgia factory he managed — a crime he had not committed. In 1915, Frank was lynched by an antisemitic mob. Platt has said the show is particularly relevant now, with the United States facing rising antisemitism and white supremacy.
Platt’s costar on the “Parade” stage, Micaela Diamond, who plays his wife, Lucille, also was at the Met Gala, wearing a lavender gown and with her hair in its natural curls. She drew accolades from some fashion-watchers for that — some people have argued that the style can be an act of resistance for Jewish women.
The duo’s appearance came amid criticism of the Met Gala for honoring Lagerfeld, who had a reputation for racism and sexism. He also drew condemnation in 2017 for criticizing Germany’s decision to admit Muslim refugees and tying that criticism to Germany’s Holocaust record.
Lagerfeld fought to keep his parents’ history out of public view— they joined the Nazi Party in 1933, the year that Adolf Hitler ascended to power and coincidentally Lagerfeld was born. It was not revealed until after his death in 2019. (He typically was flamboyant, but Lagerfeld insisted on anonymity after making a small donation to a synagogue near one of his homes in the South of France.)
Lagerfeld was best known as the creative director of Chanel from 1983 until his death, building the designer into a fashion juggernaut that rarely is associated with its own Nazi past. Chanel’s early investors, a Jewish family, were forced from Germany, and evidence suggests that Coco Chanel, the company’s French founder and namesake, not only had a relationship with a Nazi officer but may have spied actively for the Nazis.
Ben Platt’s background is deeply Jewish. His mother, Julie Platt, is the chair of the board of the Jewish Federations of North America.
Jewish Telegraphic Agency