Finally, the Met Gala has made its long-awaited return. Although the iconic first Monday in May had to take place in September on a smaller scale, the fundraiser still captivated the eyes of many. The theme for this year’s Met was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” Although it seemed like many of the attendees and viewers were underwhelmed by the broad theme, it still was able to produce some interesting looks. The inspiration for this theme came from the burgeoning renaissance in American fashion. The new era of young designers and celebrities is changing the face of fashion, partially due to recent changes in the political and societal realm. The theme was also somewhat inspired by Witold Rybczynski’s book “Home: A Short History of an Idea,” which deals with the evolution of domestic life and culture.
In 1998, the theme of the Met was actually “American Ingenuity,” but the institute felt like it was time to give this concept another twist. In an interesting choice, this theme is a two-part concept, which will appear again at the next Met in 2022. The next theme is going to be “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” which will deal more with the question of who calls America home and inclusivity.
One of the best-kept secrets is what happens inside the Met once the celebrities have made it up the stairs. Although the exhibit officially opens to the public on September 18, they have released some information about how the inside is organized. The exhibit is designed to represent an imaginary house, with each room embodying a certain feeling. For example, some of the themes are joy or rebellion. The fashion pieces in each room of the house match the vibe of the emotion. In the joy section, you would see flowery pieces and lighter colors.
The show will run through to next September, which gives anyone interested plenty of time to attend.
The hosts of the Met Gala are often very important to setting the character of the event. For this year, the co-chairs were: Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman and Naomi Osaka. The hosts are all younger celebrities, which is probably a nod to the changing world as generations grow into adulthood and develop influence.
Outfits Inspired by Others
Many people opted to take this theme as a way to pay homage to another iconic celebrity of the past. One of the most widely praised looks of the night belonged to Kendall Jenner, who wore a Givenchy dress. The dress was almost totally see-through and featured stunning diamonds that dazzled atop her hands and draped down to the floor. The dress was inspired by an outfit that Audrey Hepburn wore in the film “My Fair Lady,” which brought in the concept of old Hollywood fashion.
Another person who was inspired by a fashion flashback was Kaia Gerber wearing Oscar de la Renta. Kaia’s black dress featured minimal flowers that covered her chest and bloomed down to a timelessly poufy bottom. The dress was a near-exact remake of Bianca Jagger’s dress designed by Halston in 1981.
Yara Shahidi continued this trend as she worked with Dior to create a dress in honor of Josephine Baker. The final outfit was stunning and included gloves with a dainty hood.
Outfits Making a Statement
With a theme concerning American fashion and culture, it would be impossible to not have several outfits that focused on societal issues of the times. Cara Delevingne added her own bold voice to the Met carpet. She wore a Dior outfit that included white pants and a white, armor top. On the armor, she made a statement about the patriarchy and taking power over it, which has definitely caused some discourse.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez caught the eye of both fashion fans and political followers by wearing a white gown that had “Tax the Rich” printed on the back of it. Although some people have issues with her making this statement while at a wealthy fundraiser, she was also bringing a lot of awareness to the issues surrounding a fair tax code.
Carolyn B. Maloney, New York a representative, similarly used this opportunity to advocate for a cause and chose to wear a dress featuring sashes concerning women’s suffrage that read “equal rights for women.” She also carried a matching round clutch decorated with the capital letters spelling out “ERA YES.”
My Favorite Outfits
One of my favorite looks was Gigi Hadid’s Prada dress. Gigi wore a long, white dress with a black undergarment that peeped through. She also included long gloves, which really tied the whole work of art together. Her dress accompanied by her luscious red hair made the outfit feel very reminiscent of old Hollywood glamor.
Another outfit — or should I say, outfits — I enjoyed was from Lil Nas X. He was dressed by Versace and took the opportunity to showcase three looks in one. The first outfit was a regal cape, which then revealed gold armor underneath. Finally, we were able to see his last outfit, which was a tight, sparkling jumpsuit. I love fashion mixed with performance art, so this was very fun to watch.
The last outfit that inspired the fashion guru within me was Anok Yai’s Oscar de la Renta dress. Her dress was sheer and covered in shiny stars. She also had a long fur with her, which perfectly complemented the overall look.
Overall, the Met managed to leave some wanting a little more, but there were still plenty of great outfits to look at and discuss. See you all again in May!