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Alanna Martine Kilkeary / Her Campus
Style > Fashion

The Most Anticipated Day in Fashion: Met Monday – Reflections on the Met Gala

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCT chapter.

The Met Gala is one of the few times where fashion is not only acknowledged but it’s also praised and given the room to come to life. It’s a special occasion that can and should be a theatrical experience. It’s all very dramatic, and to be honest, I expect nothing less when I stay up until 3 a.m. to live stream this themed event. However, 95 percent of the attendees this year simply missed the mark. It’s a performance opportunity in the most literal sense. Each year, the Met Gala chooses a theme for invited guests – and mainly celebrities – to dress up in, and this year’s theme was “Gilded Glamour”. The dress code in question is best defined as a modern take on the nineteenth-century White Tie dress code during a period known as “The Gilded Age”. So, how about we start unpacking?

Best Dressed

Blake Lively
All I can say is THE REVEAL HONEY! Blake Lively stunned in a custom Versace gown. Her look was inspired by New York’s Statue of Liberty and the city’s architecture. When she first walked the steps, her dress was copper coloured and, like the statue, it then transformed into a beautiful turquoise, symbolising the patinaed effect. The front of the dress was based on the architecture of the Empire State Building and her crown mimicked that of the Statue of Liberty. The outfit was well thought through. I mean, they don’t call her the queen of the Met for nothing.

Cynthia Erivo
I really loved this look. From what we all imagined “Gilded Glamour” to be, I know you might think Cynthia didn’t fit the theme at all. But her Louis Vuitton outfit is actually a depiction of what some Black women wore in the late 1700s in America. The key component is the headpiece, worn by Black women who were legally forced to cover their hair by the “Tignon Laws” in the Louisiana communities of “free” Black people. This entire outfit was a beautiful ode to Black culture.

Evan Mock
Mock wore the brand “Head of State” and the assignment was understood. This is what I expect from men’s fashion at the Met Gala. He didn’t only meet the thematic requirements, he made it his own. The silhouette is very on the theme, but the hip slits just add a touch of modern.

Rosalía stunned in Givenchy by Matthew Williams and it was honestly my favourite look of the night. Special mention to the attention to detail and bursts of a variety of textures. All the elements successfully evoke the gilded age, while adding a fresh twist to this historic moment. The heavily structured corset, ruffles and oversized sleeves made it so opulent. Just chef’s kiss.

Cardi B
Versace did not disappoint this year. Cardi B took the theme “Gilded Glamour” quite literally. The star was dripping in gold. This custom dress was insanely intricate, with shimmering details of the Versace logo and chains from head to toe. This entire look was just the embodiment of Met Gala behaviour.

Worst dressed

Cara Delevingne
You know what, I love the commitment. BUT, it was really giving Last-Minute-DIY with gold spray paint. The idea was really cool, but it just wasn’t executed well. I mean she went to the Met Gala with Couture Christian Dior, but I would’ve loved to see her in the romantic Versailles-like frills of Christian Dior Haute Couture 2007 Autumn/Winter. A wasted opportunity if you ask me.

Sebastian Stan
Hot pink??? On theme??? Not at all. Yes, he is a beautiful man but Valentino really disappointed here. It was giving more JT 90s and 2000s, rather than “Gilded Glamour”. So glad he didn’t wear a black tux though.

I Don’t Know How to Feel

Kim Kardashian
I love Kimberly, but nothing about this said “Gilded Age”. She wore the dress Marilyn Monroe wore in 1962 to sing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy. Hate me if you want, but I think this dress should have remained untouched in a museum. It all seemed like her attempting to be as iconic as Marilyn and overall it came across as an ego game. It seems like there is nothing sacred in fashion anymore. To me, fashion is pure in the sense of how you dress yourself, which should come from a place of love and admiration rather than competing to be a “trendsetter”. And the fact that she failed to mention the designer’s name, yet she openly stated she lost 16 pounds to fit into the dress… that just wasn’t it for me.

Kylie Jenner
Kylie wore Off-White in honour of her friend the late Virgil Abloh. The two of them were meant to go to the Met together before the pandemic but he sadly passed away before that could happen. She didn’t really care to stay on theme, but this look certainly had a deeper sentimental meaning. But her after-party dress was honestly stunning and I feel that this would’ve done justice to “Gilded Glamour”.

Finally, I mourn the days when these events were exciting and full of life. When creatives genuinely desired to create a fantasy and to be connected and adored by those watching at home. The Met Gala has become stagnant, in my opinion. That is why I feel our age lacks taste and follows tiny trends. Simply because the “iconic” people like those I named aren’t. There is no attempt to make it enjoyable. Or imaginative. Alternatively, I beg: please show us something new. These events are a major chance to kindle something exciting in the fashion world; to set hearts ablaze. Sounds clichéd, but the goal is to motivate creative designers. The most valuable thing that should come out of these massive events is to produce a spark that ignites someone else’s imagination and makes them feel excited. Anyways, I know I may be acting a little bit dramatic, but I’m just really missing the inspiration and energy of the 2018 and 2019 Met Galas.

Hey there Upper East Siders! LOL just kidding. Hi, I'm Zoë. I'm a fashion fanatic, movie and tv show re-watcher, lowkey film buff and lover of all things aesthetic (aka a tried and true LIBRA). I currently major in film and television and I am an aspiring actress, so catch me on Broadway in a couple years ;). xoxo goss- kidding again. (PS this writer has a Gossip Girl obsession)