The 2021 Met Gala finally arrived, and it has taken the internet by storm.
One of the most surprising looks of the night was rocked by none other than Kim Kardashian West.
Kim turned heads without even showing her face, as she flaunted an all-black, body-concealing Balenciaga outfit — complete with a black face covering.
But that wasn’t the only thing about Kim’s Met Gala appearance that had fans talking. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star was accompanied by an unidentifiable masked man, who was also dressed head to toe in an all-black getup.
It’s no surprise that people initially speculated that Kim’s masked date was her estranged husband, Kanye West. The former couple made headlines recently when they wore matching outfits at both of Kanye’s Donda album listening events, which Kim showed off on social media — raising questions about their relationship.
And hours prior, fans noticed that Kim had changed her Instagram icon to a black circle — matching Kanye’s.
So many were quick to flood Twitter with speculation that it was Kanye behind the mystery outfit.
Well, according to E! News, the man behind the mask wasn’t Kanye — who reportedly didn't attend the event at all. Instead, it was the creative director of Balenciaga and award-winning fashion designer, Demna Gvasalia.
However, although Kanye wasn’t at the highly anticipated event, he reportedly still played an important role in Kim’s outfit.
E! News reported that not only did Kanye first introduce Kim to Gvasalia, but he also gave Kim the courage to wear the daring look.
Kim and Kanye — who were married for seven years before Kim filed for divorce back in February citing “irreconcilable differences” — have been at the center of public attention lately.
Most recently, the two raised eyebrows when Kim — who was dressed in a Balenciaga couture wedding dress and face-concealing veil — shared the stage with Kanye at his third and final Donda event last month. According to TMZ, Kim was “happy to do it for Kanye and the event, which was so important to him.”
At both of the previous listening events, the 44-year-old rapper caused a stir with some of his lyrics that appeared to be about Kim, who sat in the audience with their four children, North, Saint, Chicago, and Psalm.
At the first event, which took place in July — and which marked the first time the pair had been pictured in the same place since she filed for divorce — Kanye reportedly wept while singing about “losing his family” during a song titled "Love Unconditionally.”
A month later at his second event, Kanye debuted more head-scratching lyrics that, again, appeared to be about Kim. He rapped: “Time and space is a luxury / But you came here to show that you're still in love with me” — which many understood as him suggesting that she still had feelings for him.
However, when Kanye’s highly anticipated album was finally released days later, fans quickly noticed that some of the songs appeared to hint at his discontent during the marriage — with lyrics that seemed to reference trust issues and intense arguments.
Kanye’s revealing lyrics on Donda mark the first time that he’s publicly addressed his divorce and the demise of his relationship — something that Kim spoke about in detail in the final season of KUWTK.
In an emotional conversation with her sisters Kourtney, Kendall, and Kylie, Kim sobbed while opening up about how unhappy she'd been for years.
“I honestly can’t do this anymore,” she cried. “I’m still in this place where I’ve been stuck for years. ... I feel like a fucking failure that it’s [my] third fucking marriage. I feel like a fucking loser. But I can’t even think about that. I want to be happy.”
And though Kim went on to acknowledge that Kanye was "an amazing dad," she later opened up to her mom Kris Jenner about how she felt as though she didn’t have a partner to “share life with.”
“I used to think that [living apart] was when we were getting along the best, but to me that’s sad and that’s not what I want,” Kim said.
“It’s the little things that I don’t have,” she continued. “I have all the big things. I have [everything] extravagant you could possibly imagine. And no one will ever do it like that [again]. I’m grateful for those experiences, but I think I’m ready for the smaller experiences that I think will mean a lot.”
Kim later shared that despite feeling “numb and tired” from having “emotional breakdowns,” she knew she would one day be happy.
“I didn’t come this far to come this far and not be happy,” she said.