The Met Gala is the biggest night in fashion with the biggest names in pop culture. This year’s event was no different with major celebrity appearances from A-list stars to new TikTok influencers to politicians.
This year’s event was co-chaired by Billie Eilish, Timothee Chalamet, Naomi Osaka, and Amanda Gordon. The head chair and director of the event was, as always, Anna Wintour of Vogue magazine.
The theme for this year’s event was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,'' highlighting the cultural heritages that helped inspire American fashion throughout time.
Several celebrities such as Lil Nas X and Grimes chose more European-inspired outfits. Others decided to represent their cultural heritage through their wardrobe choices like Gemma Chan’s outfit inspired by Anna May Wong—considered the first Chinese American Hollywood actress.
Much to the criticism of fans, some celebrities didn’t dress according to the theme, or even dress to the event expectations. Channing Tatum, James Cordan and others were slammed on Twitter for showing up in plain black suits, an incredibly boring option for “fashion’s biggest night.” Even Taika Waititi wore a simple black tux, something that disappointed many fans of the accredited director, who is known for colorful and creative works such as Thor:Ragnarok and JoJo Rabbit.
Plain black suits weren’t the only thing garnering criticism at this year’s event. The guest list was greatly speculated before its release with fake seating charts circulating on the internet. However, several controversial guests were in attendance. Love it or hate it, TikTok influencers are now seemingly on the same level as many A-List stars who have been on Anna Wintour’s invitation lists for years. Addison Rae was one TikTok star whose qualifications for attendance were greatly debated.
In the end, however, the most memorable part of the event isn’t the drama or controversy, but the looks that were served at this Gala dinner.
Here are our Top Five Best Looks of the 2021 Met Gala!
5. Amanda Gorman: Showing up to the event in a stunning royal blue gown by Vera Wang, Gala co-chair and acclaimed poet Amanda Gorman stunned with her Statue of Liberty inspired look. Her hair piece was designed to look like a wreath of laurels, and her book-shaped clutch by Edie Parker spells out “Give us your tired” in golden letterning.
4. Gabrielle Union: Actress Gabrielle Union easily secured herself a spot in the top five with her beautiful and intricate dress by Iris van Herpen. The dress, which took 1400 hours for the designer to create, is made to represent the changing of America and transformation. Made up of hundreds of small circles, the dress is easily one of the most gorgeous on this year’s red carpet.
3. Nikkie de Jager: At first glance this outfit by beauty Youtuber NikkieTutorials may seem to have no relation to American history. However, this is because her look comes from a very under-taught portion of our history: the fight for queer rights. Nikkie’s look is a reference to Marsha P. Johnson, one of the biggest names in queer history. Johnson was a black drag queen who fought for queer rights during the Stonewall Riots. The outfit, designed by Edwin Oudshoorn, is directly inspired by one of the most well-known pictures of Johnson in her flower crown. Additionally, the writing on the ribbon on the bottom of Nikkie’s dress reads, “Pay It No Mind,” which Johnson stated was what her middle initial stood for.
2. Billie Eilish: Gala co-chair, Billie Eilish, made a splash arriving fashionably late, hidden by a large sheet. When the look finally debuted, it was instantly a fan favorite. She had stated she would only wear a gown by Oscar de la Renta if the brand ended all fur sales—and the company agreed! Her gorgeous pearl pink gown, featuring a 15-foot train, was a tribute to acting legend Marilyn Monroe.
Last but not least, our vote for top look of the evening goes to . . . Normani!
Normani brought the red carpet to a metaphorical halt in her show-stopping mustard yellow gown by Valentino. The open neckline, puff sleeves, and cinched waist created a stunning effect, combining both modern and classic styles into one design. Her accessories included a matching diamond and sapphire necklace and ring set.
The next Met Gala will take place May 2022 featuring a much larger continuation of this year’s “In America” theme. So for those who wore plain black suits—let’s take some notes and do better next time.