What Was Behind Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs' Pope-Inspired Met Gala Look

Frazer Harrison/FilmMagic
Sean 'Diddy' Combs arrives at the 2018 Met Gala.

“Puff said, ‘I’m godlike, right? As a successful black man, as a father, as an entrepreneur. So why not wear that same cloth, why not wear white like the Pope?” says his stylist Derek Roche.

“This is how we would be dressed when we arrive at heaven’s gate,” Sean “Diddy” Combs was overheard saying earlier Monday at a fitting with longtime stylist Derek Roche for his Met Gala garb.

“Puff actually went to Catholic private school as a kid, so this theme went with something that was engrained in him as a child,” says Roche. “I guess the best thing for him while in school and growing up, aside from his mom and his grandma and his dad, was believing in God. And in the Catholic church, the Pope is kind of the next thing to God, right? It didn’t hurt that Puff’s favorite color is white. When we thought about what the Pope wears, Puff said, ‘I’m godlike, right? As a successful black man, as a father, as an entrepreneur. So why not wear that same cloth, why not wear white like the Pope?”

Diddy’s bespoke all-white wool silk suit was created by up-and-coming New York-based menswear brand Musika Frère (designed by Davidson Petit-Frère and Aleks Musika), which has outfitted Jay-Z, Michael B. Jordan, Sterling K. Brown, Samuel L. Jackson, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Keery, Leslie Odom Jr. and more.

“We came up with four different suit silhouettes that fit the theme, and then they said, ‘You know that would look dope as a Pope outfit,’ so we ended up with a neo-classical look based on that,” says Petit-Frère. “This is one of the biggest stages for fashion, so it’s a good time for us to experiment and show the world that we can do some more avant-garde costume pieces since we’re known for a more traditional silhouette.”

Adds Musika: “The jacket is a new, no-lapel style cut longer to resemble the Pope’s outfit.” The three-quarter-length jacket with no closures drapes over a jersey mock-neck shirt that Diddy is wearing in place of a traditional dress shirt.

Musika Frère had also designed a matching cape for Diddy to wear over the jacket, but it was dropped at the last minute, says Roche. “We took the cape away, because I thought, ‘Is he a superman or a Pope?’ And Puff thought it was too much," exlpains the stylist. "So we pulled back from all the regalia and pomp and circumstance and embroidery and decided to keep it more simple. He didn’t want it to look like a costume. Even though it is a costume party, Puff didn’t want to look like he was dressed up for Halloween. He still wanted to be himself. So organically it evolved into this beautiful, heaven-like look. He looks so strong and powerful. He said that when he walked into the room, he wanted to look heavenly."

Diddy’s platinum and diamond single earring and Pope-like pinky ring were custom-designed by Lorraine Schwartz. “A lot of the inspiration for the jewelry was Jude Law in The Young Pope; Puff was like, ‘His swag is on a million,’” says Roche. Schwartz also created the diamond cross necklace for Diddy about eight years ago that he chose to resurrect for the occasion.

Pure white was the color of choice for many Met Gala guests, including Chadwick Boseman (who did opt for a cape jacket), ASAP Ferg, Lewis Hamilton, Anna Wintour, Kendall Jenner, Dakota Fanning, Uma Thurman and Mindy Kaling.