Met Gala 2021: What Happened?

In case you missed it, on the night of the 13th of September one of the most highly anticipated events of the year took place. For those who live under a rock and are unsure what the Met Gala is, where have you been? The Met Gala is an annual event hosted by Vogue that celebrates all things fashion and acts as a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. The event usually coincides with the opening of the annual fashion exhibition at the Met in New York City. 

This year’s theme is ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’, which is a love note to American designers and celebrates the United States culturally, politically, and socially. It was announced that this year’s gala would be a two-part series meaning we can expect to see similar themes in next May’s gala where the theme will be ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion.’ In recent years past themes have included ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’ and ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’

Blake Lively at 2018 Met Gala ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Aside from insane gowns and iconic outfits the Met delivers us moments which we will be talking about for a long time. Even though this year’s event was on the smaller scale due to pandemic restrictions, the highlights of the night were huge. This year we were graced by hosts and co-chairs Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman and Naomi Osaka as well as Tom Ford, Adam Mosseri, and Anna Wintour who were honorary chairs. 

It is tradition that what happens at the met, stays at the met. The guests must follow a strict no phone rule and inside the event is extremely secretive. There is typically a musical performance by a hugely famous artist, but it is usually kept under wraps. The guest list is also incredibly discrete until the night before the event, and some of the biggest names in the world can be seen in attendance. 

However, this year many invitees declined the opportunity to make an appearance including fan favourite Zendaya and fashion icon Lady Gaga who wowed at the 2019 Met Gala. It’s unsure why these stars declined but many stipulate it was due to scheduling errors or coronavirus cautions. 

Lady Gaga attends the 2019 Met Gala ‘Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion

Although secretive, we know that the dinner menu at this year’s gala was entirely plant based. The reason to go vegan this year was due to the sustainability of plant alternatives, and 10 up-and-coming chefs from New York City were tasked with putting together a meat-free menu for the star-studded guest list. Each chef focused on an American dish to find inspiration for the dinner. In the weeks leading up to the gala the chefs took to Instagram in an initiative collaboration to promote healthy and sustainable eating. 

In true Met gala style, Lewis Hamilton sparked a very topical conversation by asking young black designers to join him at this year’s ball. The formula one driver paid upwards to $60,000 for the group to attend. One ticket for the event can cost around $30,000 and designers pay approximately $275,000 for a table. The fabulous party included designers Theophilio, Kenneth Nicholson and Jason Rembert as well as Zendaya’s stylist, the fashion forward, Law Roach. Alton Mason, Kehlani, Miles Chamley-Watson Sha’Carri Richardson were also in attendance thanks to Hamilton’s incredible generosity. It’s truly amazing to see, deservedly, many young black creatives at such a huge event especially with the incredible activism for Black Lives Matter campaigns across the globe not only the United States. This move by Hamilton highlighted the importance of such creatives and made a statement politically and culturally.  

Lewis Hamilton accompanied by emerging black designers

When it comes to activism there were some great looks on the carpet on Monday night. United States congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opted for an elegant dress with the slogan ‘tax the rich’ in a bold red print, making a political statement which was loved by many spectators. The met gala is a place where voices can be heard as the whole world watches in awe of the fashionable political stances. 

If you have seen any of the photos from the iconic night, you will have seen that the colour red was by far the most popular worn on the carpet that night. Carpet commentators noted the abundance of rouge, and many made jokes that such a fashionable event was so limited to one shade. In terms of fashion and the theme itself there was an evident lack of American designers’ creations on the carpet with fashion houses Yves Saint Laurent and Oscar de la Renta amongst the most popular amongst attendees. 

Billie Eilish made waves in the fashion world by making her designer agree to some very specific terms. Oscar de la Renta dressed Eilish in the most stunning dress inspired by golden age Hollywood. However, the ‘bad guy’ singer made that condition that the only way she would dress in the designer’s frock was if the company were to cease all sales of fur. 

Host and co-chair Timothée Chalamet melted our hearts, as he does, when being interviewed by Keke Palmer on the carpet. When asked a question by Keke, Chalamet starts to answer but quickly changes to subject to speak about when he first met Palmer when they were kids and reminded her perfectly of the exchange in which her mother was present and our Timothee didn’t miss a detail. 

Timothée Chalamet on His Met Look

It was made clear by event organisers that all of those in attendance must be vaccinated to participate in the evening’s festivities. Whoopi Goldberg made it clear what her stance was regarding the vaccine mandate in the states, she said “If you’re not going to get vaccinated you really have to question where you stand in the country.” 

Kim Kardashian become an internet meme for what seems to be the hundredth time as she opted for a head-to-toe black costume which many twitter users say resembled that of a Harry Potter novel dementor. Mrs Kardashian also ignited rumours that her and Kanye West had reunited after confirmation that the power couple had called it quits a few months ago. 

We all await in anticipation for the Met Gala in May 2022 and can’t wait to see what is in store for the world of fashion next spring. 

Written by Emma Barton

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