On the second Monday in September, the top of Fifth Avenue lit up with a blitz of flashes unseen for more than two years.
The Met Gala – like Broadway, like New York Fashion Week, like the US Open – was back, and with it the extreme pageantry it inspires as guests and the designers who dress them vie to see. which can create the most viral look depending on theme.
The dress code for this year was “American Independence”. (This was tied to the Costume Institute exhibit he was celebrating, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.”) What exactly this means is a question George and Martha Washington probably never had to consider (even Dolley Madison, the founding resident fashionista, probably didn’t ask), but the gala provided a variety of answers: some obvious, others more pointed, all analyzing the country’s mythology – historical, pop cultural and just plain fantastic. .
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, for example, wore her politics on her sleeve – or rather, her back – in a white mermaid dress from Aurora James, founder of Brother Vellies and the 15 percent Pledge, with the “Tax the Rich” message, scribbled in bright red letters and a matching bag.
Since the gala is a cornucopia of capitalist values, full of the rich and famous, this is independent reflection for you.
Alongside Representative Carolyn Maloney, wearing a purple, white and gold suffragette dress and an Antonios Couture cape calling for “equal rights for women” and an ERA clutch, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has brought the idea of fashion statement to a whole new level.
There was a feeling, before the gala, that after 2019’s “Camp” theme, which had Billy Porter on a litter worn by six shirtless men and Katy Perry as a chandelier, the Costume Institute costumes had gone as far as possible. go, and maybe the past time had been the occasion for a reset. Perhaps attendees would honor the occasion by wearing a beautifully elegant dress from an American brand, rather than a look that likely flirted with the national cliché. Some – like the event’s honorary president, Anna Wintour, in floral Oscar de la Renta – have done so. But as the evening wore on, it became more and more clear that they were in the minority. Besides, many could not, even if they wanted to, because they were the guests of European brands and therefore also had to model their clothes. This meant that they had to approach the topic in a more open manner.
The West was worn out. Leon Bridges wore a blue suede cowboy jacket from Bode, while Jennifer Lopez’s plunging Ralph Lauren dress, faux fur bolero and leather hat smelled like a million acre ranch, and Kim Petras’ Collina Strada was accompanied … by a horse’s head. Just like the melting pot, thanks to co-host Naomi Osaka, in a Louis Vuitton dress that referred to her Haitian and Japanese roots.
There was denim, obviously, as modeled by Ben Platt, David Byrne, and Lupita Nyong’o in a Versace molded denim bustier.
Also lots of red, white, and blue (sometimes all in one outfit, like Megan Rapinoe’s Sergio Hudson pantsuit (in what became one of the trends of the night, her bag also had a message: “In Gay We Trust); sometimes in matching designer guests, like Stella McCartney’s troika of Ella Emhoff in red pants and top, Julia Garner in a sheer white dress, and Nia Dennis in a blue bodysuit.
Or maybe it was a superhero costume? This is how Serena Williams said she thought of her silver Gucci number, worn under a gigantic feathered cape – like a couture cape double-breasted.
Likewise cape and crusade: Lil Nas X, who ditched his royal Versace outerwear to reveal a shiny gold C-3PO suit, which he then ditched to exhibit a crystal beaded bodysuit, – a parable LGBTQ + in clothing about the power to reveal your true self. It echoed Dan Levy’s puffy Loewe outfit, based on a work by the late American artist and activist David Wojnarowicz with an appliqué of two kissing men on the front, framed by splashing water and a world map.
The sartorial metaphors don’t stop there.
Ciara performed her role in a lime green sequined Dundas football jersey dress with husband Russell Wilson’s Seattle Seahawks number on the front and her Super Bowl ring on her finger. Amanda Gorman, also co-host, came as an interpretation of the Statue of Liberty, thanks to a Vera Wang gown in a sparkling deep blue illuminated by over 3,000 crystals, wearing a book cover with the title “Give US Your Fated “, a nod to the poem by Emma Lazare at the base of the statue. Tributes to other sculptural women like Barbie and Marilyn Monroe combined with a touch of Disney’s “Cinderella” in co-host Billie Eilish’s gigantic Oscar de la Renta nude ball gown.
Even the humble Converse All Stars canvas got a moment courtesy of co-host Timothée Chalamet, in almost all-white with a black edge via a Haider Ackermann jacket and Rick Owens shirt, meant to pay homage to his kicks. ”)
But there was also the looming appearance of disaster. Fair enough; it’s also part of the history of this country: the bulging and white zombie contact lenses of Hunter Schaffer or the Balenciaga lower body hiding the face of Kim Kardashian, her gloves and her dress with train, transforming her into the shadow of itself. Evan Mock wore Thom Browne archival shorts with a black patent leather mask on his head, suggesting fetishism and bondage. Erykah Badu also had a Thom Browne bubble obscuring her features – although when it comes to unsettling accessories, Prada’s Frank Ocean spawned the best memes with a green robotic doll that matched her bright green hair.
Not a bad reminder, really, that this is a country full of people from elsewhere, and many of us were once aliens in the country.