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Met Gala returns with star and star event

The United States is a relatively young country, and this year’s American fashion-themed Met Gala seemed, in many ways, a nod to that fact. The hosts were a Generation Z dream team: Amanda Gorman, the 23-year-old inaugural poet; Timothée Chalamet, the 25-year-old star of “Dune”; Naomi Osaka, 23-year-old tennis champion and mental health activist; and Billie Eilish, the 19-year-old musical phenomenon.

Honorary Presidents included Anna Wintour of Vogue; designer Tom Ford; and Adam Mosseri, the CEO of Instagram, which funds the exhibition and the party with Condé Nast.

This year’s gala, also known as the ‘Party of the Year,’ was held as part of the re-emergence of New York City, as well as the reopening of Broadway shows, dining and entertainment. ‘US Open. Yet many creators who live in Europe and usually make the trip did not attend, either because of the quarantine rules or because they have to work on their own shows. Rumors have been circulating that some Hollywood stars have chosen not to participate in this one as well, possibly due to health concerns or fears that partying while people are sick might not look the best. And some regulars were unable to attend because they had not been vaccinated – a requirement for all guests.

The result was a more local, younger, and sportier-than-usual guest list (also smaller, as it had been reduced by about a third for safety reasons). But the outfits were still so eye-catching.

The dress code was “American Independence”, in honor of the Costume Institute exhibit he was celebrating, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”. It started with an energetic performance by the Brooklyn United Marching Band dressed in Stella McCartney’s custom red, white and blue Adidas jumpsuits, walking up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum while gymnast Nia Dennis, 22, performed acrobatics for the cameras. . (Mrs. McCartney sent the musicians out instead of looking after herself.)

Ms. Wintour, the event’s longtime maestro, wore a floral dress with a ruffled collar as a tribute to her “dear friend Oscar de la Renta,” the designer who died in 2014. But she was the exception rather than Rule. , in a sea of ​​predictable patriotic – and sometimes political – outfits.

Representative Carolyn Maloney from New York, for example, arrived in a dress with flowing epaulettes bearing the message “Equal Rights for Women” and a matching bag advocating for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. . Her colleague Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a white dress with “Tax the Rich” scrawled in red on the back. Other attendees opted for nostalgic allusions to the glamor of old Hollywood and the American West.

As celebrities walked the carpet, a large crowd of protesters gathered on a blocked Fifth Avenue to rally for racial justice.

Police arrested some of those participating in the protest who ignored warnings to clear the street. The result was the somewhat shocking image of screaming protesters being dragged down by police in front of spectators pressed against metal barricades in the hope of getting a glimpse of celebrity glamor. (One of those celebrities was Mr. Chalamet, who walked halfway to the Met wearing an almost all-white ensemble that included a Haider Ackerman jacket, Rick Owens shirt, and high Converse shoes.)

Many designers whose work is featured in the museum exhibit were invited to the this gala. the year for the very first time, brought to life by more established brands due to the price of a ticket: $ 35,000 a seat. It’s steep for a small business (it’s steep by just about any measure), but the gala is the main source of funding for the Costume Institute, the only conservation department at the Met required to fund its own operations.

For this reason, and to compensate for a Met Gala without 2020, the Costume Institute will organize another gala next May to celebrate the second part of its American exhibition, which is intended to be even larger. And what could be more American than uncontrolled growth?

Ed shanahancontributed reports.

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