The Most Glamorous Met Gala

Often regarded as the fashion event of the year, the Met Gala has become an American tradition since its opening in 1948. This year a special version of the Met Gala was held on September 13th. Although traditionally held on the first Monday of May, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a rescheduling of the event. The gala itself is a fundraiser for the Costume Institute and marks the opening of the Institute’s exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The event often attracts numerous influential individuals as guests, and in response to this year’s exhibition, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” guests of the gala were asked to depict an aspect of American fashion in their outfits. The exhibition is meant to celebrate the breadth of American fashion and is only part one of a two part series, the latter opening next May for next year’s gala. 

This year’s guest list included many of the world’s younger stars, as the exhibit is mainly displaying young American designers. Hosts included Amanda Gorman, Timothée Chalamet, Naomi Osaka, and Billie Eilish, all of whom are twenty-five years old or younger. Before entering the exhibition, guests were asked to walk a red carpet outside of the entrance to the museum, which in the past has often attracted public attention as people scrutinized each star’s outfit.

This year’s gala was no exception, and the looks received varying degrees of approval. Each star interpreted the theme differently. Timothée Chalamet showed up in a white suit jacket and sweatpants and opted for a white pair of Converse for his footwear, a nod to the influential American brand. Others used their outfits to pay homage to past influential Americans––Yara Shahidi channeled American entertainer Josephine Baker’s own style in her look, and Billie Eilish’s gown had clear connections with Marilyn Monroe’s style. Some used their outfits to represent aspects of America: Ciara wore a sequin dress that resembled a football jersey.

Many outfits received backlash from the public, such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s dress which sported “Tax the Rich” in large red lettering. People pointed to the irony of her sporting such a message at an event that costs 35,000 dollars to attend. Other outfits simply did not seem to have a connection to the theme, with Kim Kardashian sporting an all black t-shirt dress, but she later explained that a t-shirt is an American staple. Although this year’s gala received mixed reviews, it still provided an escape from reality for many viewers, and many people are already looking forward to the coming second installation of the series on May 2nd, 2022.

Katya Luchette ’22

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