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empress dowager cixi

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Celebrity chef Melissa King wears Chinese dynasty-inspired nail guards to the Met Gala

michelle king
  • Celebrity chef Melissa King wore Chinese dynasty nail guards – traditionally worn by empresses – to the Met Gala on Monday.
  • King explained in an Instagram post yesterday that they wanted “a fun play” on their Chinese culture in connection with the daily use of their hands as a chef.
  • Designed by Chris Habana and his team, King said the nail guards were inspired by Empress Dowager Cixi, the last empress of China who is remembered as “power hungry” in history but who King suggests “might have been more of a feminist.”
  • King is well known for winning Season 17 of Bravo’s “Top Chef All-Stars: Los Angeles” and for judging on Season 18 of “Top Chef.”

At the Met Gala this year, celebrity chef Melissa King was styled in Chinese dynasty-inspired nail guards historically worn by empresses.

In an Instagram post yesterday, King, who goes by they/them pronouns, detailed the inspiration behind their jewelry piece and shared a series of photos showing off the luxurious and intricate design.