The long-awaited Met Gala finally took place on the second Monday of September after being cancelled in 2020 and postponed in 2021 from its usual first Monday of May calendar slot.
The entertainment elite, sports stars, social media creators, models, editors, designers and politicians all gathered in New York at The Metropolitan Museum of Art dressed in full feather as the world begins to re-emerge from a lockdown pandemic state.
Under the theme American Independence ahead of the museum exhibition titled In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, the gala organised by Vogue’s Anna Wintour delivered an official seal of approval that fashion is, indeed, back.
The attendees had varying interpretations of the theme but a common thread among most was the depth of meaning behind the looks instead of a display of fashion for fashion’s sake. Among blue denim outfits from the likes of Lupita Nyong'o and Converse All Stars courtesy of co-chair Timothée Chalamet, fashion details like the BlackLivesMatter symbol on Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond's necklace could be spotted on the red carpet. From such patriotic tributes to honouring late icons from the U.S., the stars delivered their messages in style.
Nikkie Tutorial’s tribute to Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson
YouTuber Nikkie de Jager, aka Nikkie Tutorial, wore a custom pink and blue dress with floral details and gold accents by designer Edwin Oudshoorn. Nikkie collaborated with the designer to create a look that honours activist and self-identified drag queen, Marsha P. Johnson. One of Marsha P. Johnson’s most widely circulated images is of her in a flower crown, a detail Nikkie included in her look along with a ribbon embroidered with "Pay It No Mind".
In an Instagram post, Nikkie wrote: “I knew I wanted to pay homage to a trans icon who was at the forefront of the Stonewall Riots… Marsha P. Johnson paved the way for so many of us, and I hope I made my community proud tonight.”
All photos by Getty Images
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Tax the rich”
U.S. congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attended the Met Gala wearing a white dress with bold red text: “Tax the rich”, which was designed by Brother Vellies founder Aurora James, who also leads the 15% Pledge initiative.
In an interview on the red carpet, AOC said: “When Aurora and I were first kind of partnered, we really started having a conversation about what it means to be working-class women of colour at the Met, and we said, 'We can’t just play along, but we need to break the fourth wall and challenge some of the institutions. While the Met is known for its spectacle, we should have a conversation about it.”
Billie Eilish's no-fur request
Billie Eilish wore an off-the-shoulder tulle Oscar de la Renta gown to the Met Gala. The singer reportedly wore the designer on condition that the brand stops selling animal fur and the brand agreed. In an Instagram post, Billie writes: “I’m honoured to have been a catalyst and to have been heard on this matter. I urge all designers to do the same.”
Quannah Chasinghorse in traditional Navajo jewellery
Model Quannah Chasinghorse, aka Quannah Rose, wore a flowy cutout dress by Dundas x Revolve, however, she made a statement with the jewellery she chose to complete the look. Quannah is indigenous American and wore her traditional Navajo jewellery to the event, which – according to the designer - was gifted to her by her aunt.
Cara Delevingne said what she said
Similar to AOC, the model and actress made a bold statement in red and white. In Dior Couture, her message of choice was short and sweet: “Peg the patriarchy”. And this church said amen!
Saweetie flew her flags high
The rapper arrived in a sparkling Christian Cowan gown with a long cape following her lead. The fine detail of this look, as Saweetie told ET Online, is that it's an ode to her heritage with the cape representing the Black American heritage flag as well as the Filipino flag.
Emily Blunt’s nod to actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr
Actress Emily Blunt was the embodiment of old Hollywood glamour in a sheer MiuMiu gown with a white cape. The star’s stylist Jessica Paster said the look was inspired by Hedy Lamarr, an Austrian-born Hollywood actress who also, as reported by Forbes, invented the technology that pioneered secure wi-fi, GPS and Bluetooth.
Lili Reinhart’s floral patriotism
Riverdale star Lili Reinhart arrived in a soft pink Christian Siriano dress adorned with 50 state flowers of the U.S. Speaking to Emma Chamberlain on the red carpet, the actress said, “That’s my American Tribute.”
What were your favourite Met Gala looks? Let us know here.
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