MET GALA 2021 — IN AMERICA: A LEXICON OF FASHION

following the surreal camp theme of 2019 and the cancellation of the event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the met gala 2021 is back. held last night at new york’s metropolitan museum of art, the event’s theme was ‘in america: a lexicon of fashion’, inviting guests to explore ‘american independence’. with such a free theme, the red carpet was full of surprises, with celebrities going completely incognito like kim kardashian in an unusual ensemble by demna gvasalia, or american politician and activist alexandria ocasio-cortez with a political message scribbled in red on her white gown.

the costume institute also announced a two-part met gala for 2021 and 2022. the first one — in america: a lexicon of fashion — was held yesterday, while the second part — in america: an anthology of fashion — is scheduled to happen in may 2022. organized by anna wintour and considered a fundraiser for the metropolitan museum of art’s costume institute, the star-studded event saw celebrities, and for the first time influencers, rock the red carpet in both weird and wonderful outfits. this year’s met gala was co-chaired by billie eilish, naomi osaka, timothée chalamet and amanda gorman, all under 30.

INTERPRETING THE ‘IN AMERICA’ THEME

attendees to the met gala 2021 interpreted the ‘in america: a lexicon of fashion’ theme in different ways. from the celebration of iconic american celebrities, to highlighting pop culture moments or historical trends, the theme also saw people commenting on political and social events that happened during the pandemic. 

both alexandra ocasio-cortez and cara delevingne used their outfits to send politically-charged statements. AOC wore a white dress by brooklyn-based designer brand brother vellies, with a bright red message for americans that read ‘tax the rich’. her message seems to hit a delicate point as the met gala itself is an event attended by america’s wealthiest — if you are not on the guest list, scoring a ticket might be around USD $30.000.

GOWNS CHARGED WITH POLITICAL MESSAGES

designed by dior’s maria grazia chiuri, cara delevingne’s outfit was composed of a white bulletproof vest which read, also in red, peg the patriarchy.if someone doesn’t know what this means, you’re gonna have to look it up,’ delevingne told vogue. ‘it’s about women empowerment, gender equality — it’s a bit like, ‘stick it to the man.’

as usual, kim kardashian stole the show by opting for an all-black jumpsuit with a T-shirt dress and a balaclava designed by balenciaga’s creative director demna gvasalia — who entered the event holding her hand also dressed and covered in all black. the gown obscured her features and recognizable physique, resulting in something kim is not very well known for: anonymity. 

lil nas X, one of the most talked about celebrities of the year, wore not one but three versace outfits. he made his entrance wearing an ornate gold cape covered in intricate gold beading. once he removed it, he revealed a golden armor underneath which could hint to star wars beloved drone, C-3PO. this also came off the reveal the third and final outfit, a bedazzled gold bodysuit.

as for attendees that took the american theme a bit more literal: debbie harry made a nod to the american flag with a zac posen-designed dress; billie eilish channeled marylin monroe with an oscar de la renta nude tulle dress; amanda gorman with a statue of liberty-inspired blue dress; grimes with an iris van herpen look which references the cult movie dune; and gigi hadid in prada giving us major jessica rabbit vibes.

juliana neira I designboom

sep 14, 2021