It’s back, and… not so better than ever. I gave a fair few celebrities a hall pass last year, but culture’s been back enough for some more effort. To be honest, this event crept up on me. All of a sudden, my feed is filled with those familiar lavish red steps. Then I saw the outfits. The fits in Fashion’s Biggest Night Out were either a full on “slay the house boots down Houston I’m deceased” or “look what I found in mums’ closet,” – and there was no in-between.
For the first few posts, I honestly couldn’t work out whether they’d scrapped last year’s storyline and started afresh, or everyone missed the mark. In reality, I wasn’t right either way. I knew what had to be done.
If you read last year’s MET Gala recap, you’ll have the general gist of the event’s creative and complex two-part exhibition created by Andrew Bolton. If you didn’t, it’s right HERE. This year’s event focuses on part two; In America: An Anthology of Fashion, with the theme of Gilded Glamour and White Tie.
What does this mean exactly? The Gilded Age refers to an American era dating back to the late 19th century, which was a time of rapid industrialisation and transformation. Many took to Twitter with complaints of how the theme inappropriately pays homage America’s economic growth while it currently grapples with inflation.
Jill Biden spoke at a pre-Gala press event. “It is a story of innovation and ingenuity, of rebellion and renewal,” she said. “It has often been written by those in the shadows, not recognized for their influence and art, but here at the Met their stories are told.”
Some did not understand the theme. C’mon, we just had Bridgerton Season 2! These outfits had the group chat asking, “who did them dirty?” more than once.
The MoMA event commenced with an unsurprisingly stunning entrance from Blake Lively. Channelling America’s gilded architecture, Blake arrived with a copper Versace gown which unravelled into a blue train mimicking the Statue of Liberty’s finish.
Other celebrities ascended the red steps having carefully considered the American theme. Alicia Keys in a black Ralph Lauren gown literally had the New York Skyline along the bottom of her dress. Hillary Clinton wore a custom Joseph Altuzarra outfit that featured the embroidered names of 60 women who inspire her, from Rosa Parks to her own mother.
Kim Kardashian stunned the audience in Marilyn Monroe’s actual 1962 ‘Happy Birthday’ dress by Jean Louis, however her sister Khloe looked quite similar in a Moschino dress which, she said, was “made in like 10 days.” In my opinion, it’s a dig at the event for taking so long to be invited. Eek.
Then came those who hit the 19th century fashion hard. Alessandro Michele and Jared Leto were buddied up in matching Victorian suits. Emma Chamberlain appears as a host again this year in Louis Vuitton, in her usual understated glamour that drives fans wild. Billie Eilish was giving op-shopping in her vintage Gucci fabrics, but we loved seeing some authentic preowned pieces and a clear-cut 1800s style. This year we saw lots of corsets, vintage jewels, and long fabrics.
Men at the Met Gala who go further than a plain black suit have a special place in my heart. Shawn Mendes had us swooning in a modernised Prince charming fit from Tommy Hilfiger. Despite their interesting angle toward ‘Gilded Glamour,’ Kid Kudi and Sebastian Stan who arrived in block-coloured outfits definitely scored a second look.
Others took the term ‘gilded’ quite literally. Megan Thee Stallion in Moschino, Cardi B in Versace, and Camila Mendes in Alexandre Mattiussi all dazzled in top-to-toe gold gowns. Lizzo whipped the flute out for photographers in her gold embroidered Thom Brown coat. Stormzy took ‘white tie’ very seriously with an all-white Burberry getup.
After some research, Olivia Rodrigo did me proud once again. The 90s are sometimes known as the ‘new gilded age,’ and the young star knowingly ascended the steps in an iconic 90s Versace gown. Further, in the 19th century femininity was associated with long flowing hair, and the butterflies have a series of theories surrounding it.
I’m going to finish up with the ones I blatantly disliked, but don’t worry, they won’t take too much time of day. Nicki Minaj and Kylie Jenner in hats? Cara Delevingne or a sensual Willy Wonka? Who did this to Emma Stone? Gwen Stefani? Kourtney Kardashian? Are the designers fighting back?
I have so many unanswered questions, and Zendaya’s return to the MET Gala could answer quite a few of them. I honestly think the MACC Gala in late 2022 will be more memorable than this fever dream (buy your tickets).
Until next time.
Article written by India Curtain
Header image credit: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Style
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