Irina Shayk Breaks Down 2024 Met Gala Look, Says She Pulled from Her Closet for the Afterparty (Exclusive)

"I need to be able to move, feel like myself and have fun in the clothes," the model tells PEOPLE

<p>Jamie McCarthy/Getty; The Hapa Blonde/GC Images</p> Irina Shayk at the 2024 Met Gala.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty; The Hapa Blonde/GC Images

Irina Shayk at the 2024 Met Gala.

Irina Shayk proved her veteran status yet again at the 2024 Met Gala.

For the Monday May 6 event, the 38-year-old model and actress dazzled in an Old Hollywood-inspired silver slip gown that honored the theme of “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.”

According to Vogue, the curve-hugging, corseted design was made entirely of an invisible net of Swarovski crystals — numbering 84,000 to be exact — which took six artisans more than 200 hours to meticulously hand apply.

Shayk accessorized with diamond bangles on both wrists, as well as a statement choker necklace. Her hair was styled into a chic top bun by celebrity stylist Harry Josh, using Great Lengths extensions and an array of KERASILK products. She opted for a simple makeup look accented by a bold lip color.

"I really wanted to go for something different this year; something that I never done before," Shayk tells PEOPLE exclusively of her subtly smokey glam.

Related: Irina Shayk Dazzles in Silver Gown Covered in 84,000 Swarovski Crystals at the 2024 Met Gala

When it came to choosing the sparkling Swarovski look, Shayk says that she wanted to embrace the "timelessness" of this year's theme as well as the dress code, "The Garden of Time."

<p>Robert Nethery</p> Irina Shayk 2024 Met Gala.

Robert Nethery

Irina Shayk 2024 Met Gala.

"I always love The Met theme because I get to be creative with different designers each year on interpreting something new, and we have a dress code to focus on," she explains. "This year I wanted to lean into the timelessness of the theme, so we worked on a gown that feels like a crystal couture piece that could be from the past, but cut in a the most amazingly modern way."

Shayk adds that given their history together, working with Swarovski feels "intuitive."

"We throw some ideas back and forth, and the process is always really fast," she says of the collaboration. "Because I have worked with Swarovski before and we know each other well, we only needed one fitting."

<p>John Shearer/WireImage</p> Irina Shayk at the 2024 Met Gala.

John Shearer/WireImage

Irina Shayk at the 2024 Met Gala.

Speaking to Vogue, the model recalled, "When I first saw the sketches, I was blown away by the level of intricacy."

Despite the delicate craftsmanship of the gown, Shayk says that it was extremely comfortable to wear.

"My look is super comfortable — that’s what I always look for in my looks for The Met," she tells PEOPLE. "I need to be able to move, feel like myself and have fun in the clothes."

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<p>Neil Rasmus/</p> Irina Shayk heads to the 2024 Met Gala afterparty.

Neil Rasmus/

Irina Shayk heads to the 2024 Met Gala afterparty.

This sentiment carried over to the afterparty, where Shayk wore a white, pearl-beaded mini slip dress by Retrofête (perhaps leaning into the "Sleeping Beauties" theme). The model says that she actually pulled the look from her own wardrobe, describing the dress as "easy, minimal and completely stress-free."

Of course, confidence is always the best accessory, and there's no shortage with Shayk.

"I try not to overthink the red carpet," she says. "I think if I thought about it too much, it would overwhelm me... so I try to turn up and think about all the fun friends and people I’m going to see inside once I’m up those stairs."

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