Met Gala “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” review


Charisse Kenion

This year’s Met Gala, delayed by a year due to COVID-19, will be held in two parts. Nasya Stevenson review’s “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Nasya Stevenson, Staff Reporter

New York held their annual Met Gala on the night of Sept. 13. The Gala, also known as the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala, is a fundraising benefit for the institute in New York City. It is one of the biggest formal events to honor fashion. Superstar music artist Billie Eilish, actor Timothée Chalamet, tennis pro Naomi Osaka and inaugural poet Amanda Gorman all served as the Met 2021 co-chairs. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour annually organizes the Met Gala and it typically takes place the first Monday of May. 

Last year’s theme was “About Time: Fashion and Duration,” but the Met was unfortunately canceled due to COVID-19. “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” was this year’s theme and a two-part exhibition for the Met Gala. Many stars channeled old Hollywood style, American icons and classic Americana pieces in their looks. A range of star-spangled dresses to western-inspired outfits shined on the red carpet. Some believed most of the attendees did not follow the theme.“I see everyone is following their own theme. Very American and very independent of them #MetGala,” Twitter user @eliesaab said. Furthermore, not everyone seemed to enjoy the Met Gala looks this year. “There have been more bad looks than good ones at the #MetGala recently and it truly goes to show that money cannot and will never buy style,” @soieange tweeted.

“In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” is only the first part of the exhibition, which is currently on display. About 100 men’s and women’s costumes were featured from the 1940s to present diverse designers. The Met Museum clarified, “Enclosed in scrimmed cases that represent three-dimensional ‘patches’ of a quilt, they are organized into 12 sections that explore defining emotional qualities: Nostalgia, Belonging, Delight, Joy, Wonder, Affinity, Confidence, Strength, Desire, Assurance, Comfort, and Consciousness.” American Wing period rooms’ complex and layered histories associated with sartorial narratives will be shown in the second part, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.” The second part will open on May 5, 2022, and both exhibitions will remain on display until Sept. 5, 2022. 

Some of the biggest celebrities did not attend this Met Gala like Beyoncé, Blake Lively, Lady Gaga and Zendaya. The elite attendees included TikToker Addison Rae, K-pop star Rosé, J. Lo, Designer Kenneth Nicholson, and Olympic medalist Simone Biles. “My favorite look was definitely Kendall Jenner and Kaia Gerber’s,” junior Alexandra Balassy said. “Both of their dresses were classy and elegant while having a modern twist and keeping up with this year’s theme.”

Despite plenty of the worst looks, here are three of the best looks from the fashion and charity event:

Yara Shahidi

“Grown-ish” star Yara Shahidi radiated elegance on the red carpet in a vintage 1920s styled Dior dress. Her custom dress was strapless with pockets. In addition, the dress was embroidered and detailed with elaborate beading. Shahidi styled it with a thin belt and a pair of matching gloves. She also wore a braid cap, headpiece and floor-length veil. Shahidi completed her look with a diamond choker. She paid tribute to American-born French entertainer Josephine Baker with her outfit. Twitter user @btsxnormani said, “Yara Shahidi coming for best dressed. She looks like a princess #MetGala #MetGala2021.”

Billie Eilish

Co-chair Billie Eilish gracefully wore an Oscar De La Renta ball gown at her first Met Gala. The peach dress was made of sheer tulle and had a trail. Women’s Wear Daily informed, “Eilish paired the look with 30 pieces of Cartier jewelry, the most worn by any celebrity in any setting. Her jewelry includes Cartier High Jewelry diamond earrings, four 18-karat gold and diamond bracelets and multiple diamond rings.” She agreed to wear the Oscar De La Renta dress if the brand would stop using fur. Eilish’s Met look was inspired by Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly. Eilish also said in a Vogue interview holiday barbies inspired her look. “Billie Eilish looks sensational #MetGala,” @EmiEleode tweeted.

Amanda Gorman

Co-chair Amanda Gorman also made her Met Gala debut and illuminated in her back cut-out royal blue dress. Gorman’s look was inspired by the Statue of Liberty. Her tulle Vera Wang dress was bedazzled in embellishments and included a sheer train. “She accessorized with matching, custom Stuart Weitzman heels, a custom Edie Parker book-shaped clutch and a crystal Jennifer Behr headpiece. The star added tiny jewels around her eyes to complete her beauty look,” People stated. 

Following this Met Gala, fashion enthusiasts can only be hopeful for extraordinary Met Gala looks in the future. A slideshow of all the Met Gala 2021 Red Carpet looks can be viewed on Vogue.