On Sept. 13, hundreds of celebrities returned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City for the 73rd annual Met Gala, one of the world’s largest annual fashion events. Usually held on the first Monday in May, the gala made its return for the first time since 2019 after being postponed earlier this year.
Each year, invited guests dress to a certain theme that is correlated to the Met’s Costume Institute exhibition for that year. This year, the gala recognized this year’s exhibition, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” Guests took this theme in many different directions, some corresponding to the theme more than others. Many looks were particularly praised by the media during the event.
Nineteen-year-old singer Billie Eilish served as the youngest ever co-chair of the gala and was a fan favorite from the event. Sporting a nude Oscar de la Renta gown with a fifteen foot train, Eilish contrasted her iconic edgy look with a much more feminine and elegant one.
She used the theme to channel the Old Hollywood aesthetic and display her recent style shift from dark and edgy to softer and more feminine.
Taking the theme in a different direction, German singer-songwriter Kim Petras arrived at the gala wearing a three-dimensional horse head and a long braided ponytail. Petras said that she grew up around horses and wanted to represent “all horse girls.” Her outfit took over two weeks to make and was one of the most unique looks of the event, although it received mixed responses.
Frank Ocean arrived at the gala with another one of the evening’s bold looks. The American singer-songwriter arrived carrying a bright green animatronic baby that blinked and moved as Ocean walked the red carpet. The neon baby was dressed in an outfit from Ocean’s recently launched luxury brand “Homer.” Ocean told host Keke Palmer that he was inspired by America’s “movie magic” when creating the look.
One of the most controversial looks of the night was Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ivory dress with the words “TAX THE RICH” written in red across the back. Ocasio-Cortez was criticized for making this statement while being surrounded by some of the world’s most wealthy celebrities at an event that costs $35,000 to attend. However, supporters of Ocasio-Cortez’s look stressed that she did not pay to attend the event since she was an invited guest, and that she used it as an opportunity to spread a message.
Olympic gymnast Simone Biles attended the event for the first time wearing a shimmering 88-pound silver dress designed by Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk. The look was inspired by showgirls like Josephine Baker, a performer known in the early 20th century for her activism for civil rights.
Biles said she felt “strong” wearing the heavy dress and emphasized that she wanted to inspire young girls to “step out of their comfort zone” with the look.
The exhibit “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” will be on display until Sept. 2022. The next Met Gala will be held on May 2, 2022 to open the second installment of the exhibit, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.”