By RHS High Times
After taking a hiatus due to the coronavirus, the exclusive event often referred to as “fashion’s biggest night out” returned with no shortage of exclusive guests and brilliant designs. The overarching theme for this year’s Met Gala could not be more suited to the year of 2021: “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”. Andrew Bolton, the curator of the Costume Institute, explained his choice of theme to be partially inspired by “the pandemic and social justice movements…American fashion is undergoing a Renaissance”.
As always, the celebrities and influencer invitees dressed to the nines in specially tailored outfits showcasing the brilliance of various designers. Each designer has a different understanding of the gala’s theme, and this year was no exception with the broadness of the American identity theme. Some, like Yara Shahidi and Gigi Hadid, paid homage to the glamour of old Hollywood stars in effortless silhouettes and intricate beading. Others chose to embody America with their choice of fabric, such as Lupita Nyong’o and CL in structured denim dresses. Some designers dismissed the theme entirely and instead went for a showcase of their own brand name.
Additionally, some even chose to make a political statement with provocative words embedded into fabric. Cara Delevingne caused internet chaos when she arrived in a simple white bulletproof vest splashed with the words “Peg the Patriarchy”. However, most controversial of all may have been the outfit of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Congresswoman. She donned a white dress imprinted with the words “Tax The Rich” in bold red, and inevitably sparked debate between the clashing political parties. Many, some even from her own party, criticized her for sending this message while being surrounded by the rich elite.
One person that especially stood out at this year’s gala is Quannah Chasinghorse, a 19-year-old Indigenous model and activist who stirred up a storm of online conversation when she stepped onto the gala carpet. She stunned in a gold dress and authentic turquoise jewelry from Navajo artists of the Southwest. Chasinghorse truly embodied true American spirit and history by being a representative of Native Americans.
The star-studded Met Gala has no shortage of breathtaking looks and intriguing messages. Although many people across the flurry of internet activity were overall disappointed by the turnout of outfits in comparison to other years, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” certainly had its own merits and charms. Especially after the global pandemic, Americans have been struggling to figure out where they individually stand on social and political issues, as well as re-assessing the values of America as a whole. The theme is a great reflection of American identity.
Graphic: Riddhima Patllollu