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The 2021 Met Gala is a return to form for the post-lockdown fashion world. The event (which was cancelled last year) took place in New York on 13th September. Each Met Gala is a star studded and glitzy affair. It is considered as one of the biggest nights of the fashion world. This year’s Met Gala was – pandemic notwithstanding – no different.
The theme for the 2021 Met Gala was ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.’ As expected, the event was an unabashed (and at times polarizing) celebration of America and American fashion.
NYT writer Vanessa Friedman points out that America is a relatively new country. The 2021 Met Gala, with its abundance of young celebrities (especially Tiktokers and Youtubers), embodied that American youthfulness. Also, the dresses worn by various celebrities were vibrant, colorful and controversial.
COVID -19 was conspicuously “absent” from the Met Gala’s guest list. According to a Met Gala spokesperson, guests had to follow mask mandates and provide full proof of vaccination. Many designers, especially from European countries, were unable to come because of travel restrictions and conflicting schedules. As a result, the celebrity crowd at the Met Gala was mostly American.
Some of us at Fashinza had expected ‘COVID chic’ to be a dominant trend at the Met Gala (think masks and safety suits). Boy were we wrong! Vaccinated celebrities sashayed mask-free on the red carpet. Singer Grimes cut a lone figure by wearing a mask along with her futuristic silver gown.
The mood at the Met Gala red carpet felt carefree, almost unrestrained from the usual COVID-19 precautions. One could almost feel as if the pandemic had never happened. We are not complaining though! To a world weary from pandemics and natural disasters, the 2021 Met Gala is a sight for sore eyes!
Political issues were front and center at the 2021 Met Gala. Many celebs went for an explicit look, featuring slogans on their dresses. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a white dress by designer Aurora James. The dress (see below), which said ‘Tax the Rich’ received a mixed reception on social media.
Model and actor Cara Delevingne went with a dress that simply said ‘Peg the Patriarchy’. Delevingne’s dress was made by Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri. Likewise, representative Carolyn Maloney went with a feminist message on her Met Gala dress: ‘Equal Rights for Women.’
LGBT political representation at the Met Gala was not far behind. Football star Megan Rapinoe wore a star-spangled outfit and held up a sign saying ‘In Gay We Trust’. Youtuber Nikki de Jager wore a dress that paid homage to LGBT icon Marsha P. Johnson.
Dominant Colors at the Met Gala: Red, White & Blue (and American flowers)
This year’s Met Gala was about celebrating American independence. Celebs mostly played it by the book: the dominant colors were red, white and blue (i.e., the colors of the American flag). Friedman characterized the Met Gala as “a sea of . . . patriotic — and occasionally political — outfits.”
Our favorite blue outfit was from actor Lupita Nyong’o who came in a flowing denim dress. Think about it: what’s more American than denim itself?!
Singer Debbie Harry also went with the denim look; her dress was made by designer Zac Posen.
Others were more creative and subtle with their patriotic presentation. Model Karlie Kloss wore a dress shaped like a rose (which is the national flower of the USA.) Actor Lili Reinhart also rocked the floral look with a pink dress studded with flowers from all 50 US states.
As with any Met Gala, there are those who buck the dominant trends. Our favorite in this category was singer Billie Eilish in a stunning cream ball gown with a long train. Eilish rocked the carpet in her Marilyn Monroe inspired look; her dress was made by Oscar de la Renta.
Rapper Lil Nas X also stole the show with three ensemble gold outfits made by Versace. His outfits – which featured gold embroidery and armor reflective of royalty – were an open show of his dominance of the hip hop world.
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