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Met Gala 2021: The Official Unofficial Red Carpet Rundown

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Fashion’s biggest night made its return to Fifth Avenue this past Monday—a jaw dropping close to New York Fashion Week. The Met Gala honored the opening of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new exhibit titled, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” which showcased the history of American fashion throughout the decades. Guests took the theme into their own hands, interpreting it in different ways and showing the variety of what American fashion can be. As haute couture walked up the Met steps, I sat in my sweats glued to the red carpet livestream hosted by Vogue. Four hours and hundreds of looks later, I’ve come up with my six favorites of the night:

Meanings Behind the Fabric 

Many attendees incorporated the theme by spreading a message through their attire. Normani was one of my all time favorites of the night. Dressed in a glorious Valentino yellow gown with exaggerated puffy sleeves, she was nothing short of royalty. In a Vogue red carpet interview, she stated that it was a tribute to Black excellence, the color being an intentional choice to complement her skin tone. Paired with a beautiful statement necklace and eyeshadow that matched the dress, this look was definitely on my best-dressed list. 

The 2021 Met Gala simply can not be talked about without mention of Iman in Dolce & Gabbana x Harris Reed. She shone, quite literally. Many would have stopped with the gold jumpsuit, but with the addition of the hoop skirt skeleton and the elaborate crown, both adorned with gold leaf, Iman was spectacular. Reed explained that the look showed how fashion is an art form that allows us to “dream and have hope.” Iman emulated the sun, a perfect symbol of hope and light.

Paying Homage 

Other guests chose looks that were inspired by iconic fashion moments of the past. Yara Shahidi paid tribute to Josephine Baker in a dazzling Dior gown, a match made in heaven. The dress was embroidered head to toe and matched with a set of gloves and a veil. Shahidi, who is no stranger to the gala, always knows how to execute the theme effortlessly, this year being no exception. 

Anok Yai, one of the current cover stars for the September issue of Vogue, also took inspiration from Josephine Baker in a stunning Oscar de la Renta gown. The dress would have been a beautiful statement on its own, decked out in diamonds and stars, but the addition of the feathered shawl took the look another step further. It perfectly captured the glamour of Old Hollywood. 

Audrey Hepburn’s iconic role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s seemed to be the catalyst for Dixie D’amelio’s look by Valentino. She wore a simple black shift dress, white gloves, and, to make it her own, a large feathered hat. Say what you will about the hat, but I absolutely loved it as a finishing touch that made a statement. It brought a youthful and fresh spin to the classic look, an appropriate choice for the Gen-Z woman who wore it. 

Another Hepburn homage was Kendall Jenner’s gown by Givenchy, closely linked to one of Hepburn’s looks in My Fair Lady. Matthew Williams designed the look, mentioning that he wanted to demonstrate the link between French couture and American cinema. The dress was a sheer fabric draped in jewels creating an eye-catching moment that sparkled with every step. It was an elegant and timeless way to connect to an older decade of American fashion while bringing a modern twist. The definition of understanding the assignment, this look was possibly my favorite of the night.

I could continue talking about other looks that made it up the Met Gala steps—there truly were so many more to mention—but these would have to be my favorites. Until May, Met Gala!

Sophie Zakin

Conn Coll '24

Sophie Zakin is a first-year at Conn from Providence, Rhode Island. She is currently undecided but excited to see where her journey at Conn will take her! She enjoys writing about fashion, lifestyle, and food. In her free time, she loves to travel, spend time outside, and try new restaurants with friends.
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