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Met Gala Gown
Alanna Martine Kilkeary / Her Campus
Fashion

Met Gala 2021: Expectation vs. Reality

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

Oh, the Met Gala! The most iconic fashion event of the year next to fashion week. Always new, unique, unexpected, never the same, the Met Gala is full of surprises. After a year deprived of the famous night that takes place at the same place Blaire Waldorf herself ate breakfast daily, the world was in dire need of over-the-top fashion. After being announced, this year’s theme, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, left fans of the Met Gala perplexed as to what celebrities would be wearing when they strutted across the red carpet, up the Met steps, and into the exclusive event. More ominous than past themes such as Camp and Manus x Machina, this year’s all-American feel had fans wondering if there would be a plethora of stars and stripes, bounds of political statements, a mix of both, or something totally different. Three expectations of mine were totally blown out of the water as I watched a star-studded guest list grace the Met Gala with their presence.

Expectation:

Stars and Stripes and political commentary would be the main focus at this year’s Met Gala.

Reality:

A deeper meaning had to be understood of most stars’ designer looks in order to understand how they fit into the all-American-esque theme. One look that fell into this category was Kendall Jenner’s homage to Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. Jenner’s dress by Givenchy took Hepburn’s iconic look to a new, modern level, but only upon doing a quick Google search did I understand the intent behind her look. I would be remiss to say I didn’t love it. The meaning of such a subtle yet intentional nod to an American fashion icon of the past at an all-American-themed event was not lost on me.

Expectation:

Denim on denim on denim.

Reality:

Subtle hits of denim, used tastefully alongside other conventionally American elements, made quiet appearances at this year’s gala. I was prepared to be transported back to Justin Timberlake and Brittainy Spears’ iconic matching denim outfits, but was pleasantly surprised to see only a few denim moments accenting other looks of the night perfectly. Lupita Nyong’o took the red carpet by storm in her studded, all denim gown leaving me satisfied because she and Givenchy together understood the assignment perfectly.

Expectation:

Extravagant and ornate designs only seen at this once-a-year, fashion-forward event.

Reality:

Elevated prom dresses (with the exception of certain looks). The Met Gala is infamous for gowns and costumes only to be expected from such an event, but this year a number of designs left me feeling like something was missing. Coming from the last Met Gala theme of Camp, this all-American theme wasn’t quite set up to be as successful as Lady Gaga crawling up the steps of the Met revealing three separate outfits under a hot pink cloak, but I was expecting to be more wow-ed than I was. Certain moments like Billie Eilish’s beautiful ode to old Hollywood and Iman’s over-the-top, feathery, gold gown were truly Met material, but the overall feeling was just another celebrity gala in gowns and tuxedos.

While it wasn’t Camp or Punk, the 2021 Met Gala did as well as it could. Perhaps this theme was necessary after the past year and a half full of ups and downs. Nevertheless, celebrities from all platforms came, served, and won the night.

Natalie Deptula has loved writing for as long as she can remember including middle school book reports, AP Literature class, and penning poetry in her free time. Her true love for writing was fostered by some incredible English teachers in high school who gave her the space to discover writing to its fullest capacity. As a Her Campus writer, Natalie enjoys discussing all topics, but is especially fond of all things fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Natalie is currently studying Fashion Merchandising and English at Texas Christian University with hopes of writing for the fashion industry after her four years have passed. She isn't sure what this will look like, but is eager to discover her niche along the path to finding out! Other than Her Campus, Natalie is involved in Greek Life, introducing new students to TCU (Frog Camp Facilitator), church minsitry, and any fine arts she can get her hands on. When she's not writing or being a student (which we all know is a full time job!), Natalie loves retail therapy, watching sappy rom-coms, and being around the people she loves.
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