By: AMAYA HENRY / STAFF WRITER
Following the cancellation of the annual Met Gala in 2020 due to COVID-19, the extravagant fashion event took place this past Monday, September 12, 2021, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Every Met Gala has a theme that the attendees are supposed to dress to, and this year’s theme was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” Although this was not my favorite theme, the following ten celebrities definitely showed up and showed out.
*This list is in no particular order*
Her dress definitely embodied the theme as she paid homage to her husband, Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russel Wilson. She even completed the look by wearing his Super Bowl XLVIII ring along with his number, three, in the center of her gown. As football is one of America’s favorite pastimes, I believe that Ciara not only understood the theme, but was able to add her own personal touch as well. The lime green and the side cutouts really added extra flavor.
The small details of Lorde's four piece set is what set her apart from the rest. Her designer Emily Bode, who is known for using refurbished fabrics, attached small objects like pressed pennies, 1920s cabochons, and 1940s Cracker Jack charms to her garments. The square opening the top created on her chest shows her midriff nicely. I’m also a big fan of the open cuffs at the end of her top as well. While I’m not a huge fan of her shoes, the beautiful gold headpiece made up for it.
Shahidi stated that the goal with her dress was to “pay homage to [a] powerhouse renegade Black American artist.” The Black-American artist that she is referring to is fashion icon and civil rights activist, Josephine Baker. Shahidi worked with Dior, who also designed the dress that Shahidi replicated, to create this look. I think she looks incredibly elegant and I’m in love with not only her bejeweled gloves, but the overall detailing of the dress. The sheer train also added a level of elegance to the look.
Iman’s look epitomizes what I believe the Met Gala is all about: making a statement and being bold. If there is a place to wear bizarre and outlandish clothing, the Met Gala is the place to do it. Iman told Vogue, “I thought it was beautiful because it really felt hopeful, a ray of light after all the darkness we felt,” which I thought was beautifully said. Later in the evening when she took off the feather rings, she still stole the show with her headpiece. From top to bottom this look gave me everything! Although I previously stated that this list is not in any particular order, Iman’s look is definitely number one in my book.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Although this look was controversial to some, I loved it. Was it the most show stopping dress at the event? No. Did it send a strong message? Yes. If you thought that Representative Ocasio-Cortez was going to attend the Met Gala and not send a political message, you thought wrong. With most of the Met Gala’s attendees being wealthy people with a high social standing, I think it was an ideal setting to display this message. Her inclusion of minorities in preparing for the event is another part of this look that I liked. Her dress was designed by Aurora James, a Black immigrant designer who started selling her pieces at a flea market in Brooklyn. Additionally, her hair and makeup team were solely made up of BIPOC (Black, Indiginous, People of Color), women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
This dress was everything. Designed by Project Runway mentor Christian Siriano, the dress features the state flowers of all the 50 states. The angle that Reinhart and her team took on creating this look was definitely a unique one. The blush pink color of the dress compliments the flowers beautifully without taking away from the flowers themselves. While other guests were seen wearing flowers on their gowns as well, Reinhart’s took the cake.
Denim has been a classic American staple for decades, but rarely do we get to see it worn in dress form. Her hairstyle paired with the denim ensemble gave me a blast from the past. I also love the way the train circles around her. Her makeup was inspired by Old Hollywood & Western films with the goal to make Nyong'o look like the women of that era: strong, powerful, glamorous, and fierce. I’m sure this wasn’t an extremely difficult task given that Nyong'o already epitomizes all those qualities.
What I love most about this look is her 60s-style eye makeup paired with her beautiful asymmetrical gown, *chefs kiss.* The dark eyeshadow with a touch of green in her inner corners definitely made her eyes pop. Having her train go down only one of her legs is different and something that I hadn’t seen before. The combination of the open top with the mini skirt was another aspect that I liked about this outfit. Her slicked back middle part hairstyle really pulled this look together. For her first Met Gala appearance, she definitely set the bar high.
Can we get a little commotion for the dress?! Like Iman's outfit, this dress was the definition of the Met Gala at its core. Even though this dress is not 100% on theme, I adored how it looked on her. You can see the confidence radiating from her body. The puffy shoulders took me back to the 1930s, while the style of the dress itself reminds me of those from the Jane Austen era. That shade of yellow also compliments her skin tone very nicely.
If you know anything about Billie Eilish, you know that seeing her in a dress is an extreme rarity. With this look she stepped out of her comfort zone, which is what the gala is all about. The train alone was 15 feet long, which took up almost all of the Met steps. The color was not too loud, but it wasn’t bland either. Her gown took inspiration from 1950s icons, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe. As a vegan and animal-rights activist, Eilish only agreed to wear the Oscar de la Renta gown if the company stopped using fur. According to The New York Times this makes her, “...perhaps the only Met Gala guest in history to elicit policy change…” Eilish had already set the stage before she even arrived.
Honorable mentions include: Gigi Hadid, Teyana Taylor, Tessa Thompson, Ella Emhoff, Keke Palmer, Lil Nas X, Quannah Chasinghorse, and Dan Levy. Also, in case you didn’t notice there are no men featured on this list. This is because, in my opinion, the majority of the men fell short this year. Luckily, the next Met Gala is on May 7, 2022, giving these celebrities plenty of time to rise to the occasion by then.