By Griffin Brammer and Caroline Palermo, Staff Writers
The Met Gala rolled around once again, and this year, it brought the theme of “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” While some celebrities encapsulated the American dream in their outfits, others went for an American nightmare.
We ranked this year’s celebrity outfits according to three key aspects: presentation, symbolism and relation to the theme. Which stars earned their stripes? Find out below.
10. Evan Mock
Everything Timothee Chalamet tried to do with his ode to American street fashion, Mock did a million times better in a pair of shorts and a handful of safety pins. The altered shorts of his tuxedo paid homage to his skating roots in Hawaii, while the leather mask, vibrant pink hair and safety-pinned sleeves honored America’s punk movement of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Ultimately, his outfit encapsulated the spirit of American rebellion — a spirit that’s thrived and adapted since the very start of our country.
9. Billie Eilish
The moment Eilish stepped out in her gown of billowing, blush-colored layers of tulle, social media was set ablaze — and for good reason. The Oscar de la Renta dress was a stark contrast from Eilish’s usual oversized, monochromatic look.
Even so, the ballgown brought out a mature, feminine side of Eilish the media rarely sees. Eilish paid homage to Old Hollywood starlets like Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe, and she did so exquisitely.
8. Jennifer Lopez
From the very moment the theme was announced, it was clear someone had to take on the task of creating a Western-inspired outfit. And while others fell short, with Pharrell Williams and Maluma looking akin to Halloween costume cowboys, Lopez stood out with her stunning take on the theme.
From the bold embroidered brown dress to the faux fur drapery and vintage silver accessories pulled straight from Ralph Lauren’s vault, Lopez rode off into the sunset in style that night.
7. Nikkie de Jager
The Met Gala saw an unprecedented amount of LGBT+ representation. From Megan Fox to Dan Levy, queer artists and celebrities dotted the red carpet, but none made quite as much of an impact as Nikkie de Jager, better known as NikkieTutorials.
Inspired by the iconic photo of American queer activist Marsha P. Johnson in her flower crown, the transgender makeup artist wore a pale blue dress embellished with flowers and Johnson’s famous quote “pay it no mind” to honor her and other queer Americans who fight for equality.
This year’s theme also allowed many stars to revisit the past. Shahidi and the team at Dior took inspiration from legendary figure Josephine Baker, a civil rights activist and entertainer from the 1920s.
Shahidi described her as a “powerhouse renegade Black American artist.” Adorned in a sleeveless, embroidered, floor-length gown, gloves and a billowing gold tulle veil, one can only imagine a Baker smiling at this heartwarming and fashionable ode to history.
5. Iman Abdulmajid
Truly the shining star at this year’s Met, Abdulmajid stepped out on the red carpet in a flourishing display of gold.
The supermodel’s gilded brocade bustier, flared pants and golden-feathered cage overskirt paired wonderfully with her showstopping headpiece: an elliptical province that mimicked a renaissance halo. If her confident stride didn’t insinuate it already, this grandiose ensemble only proved Abdulmajid’s internal regality.
The custom Iris van Herpen dress inspired by the dystopian narrative of American writers went farther than its design. While the white and black ombre silk was stunning, the very creation was inventive. 3D-printed and hand-pleated, it combined the past with the latest design techniques while providing Grimes a flattering look reminiscent of a dystopian goddess.
Perhaps the most iconic part of her ensemble was her sword, which was composed of the melted material of abandoned guns, designed to mimic the Western European swords of prior centuries.
3. Lee Chae-Rin
This Met Gala marked the first to feature Korean pop stars in its long lineup of celebrities. One such star was Lee Chae-Rin, better known by her stage name CL. Paying homage to both her Korean heritage and the American theme of the gala, she arrived in an Alexander Wang denim dress tied in the style of a Hanbok, or traditional Korean clothing.
The fusion of styles not only framed CL perfectly, but also spoke to the mix of unique cultures in America, creating a truly on-theme look.
2. Anok Yai
This celestial Oscar de la Renta gown was crafted with crystals hand-sewn into the black matte fabric, forming astronomical designs. The plunging neckline, figure-hugging bodice, jet-black opera gloves and her shawl of blossoming ebony feathers only enhanced Anok Yai’s stunning beauty.
Not only was her dress a nod to Josephine Baker’s history, but it was also an insightful nod to how Baker’s activism is still relevant to the future. Either way, Yai’s look will be remembered by the stars for years to come.
The famous Hän Gwich’in and Oglala Lakota supermodel Quannah Chasinghorse has ascended into the number one spot with good reason. The model utilized her native roots to highlight the American theme and raise awareness for the lack of Native representation in America.
To accentuate this, the model wore layer upon layer of silver and turquoise jewelry crafted by the Navajo people with whom she grew up, handed down to her by her aunt. Her long hair slicked behind her back helped to emphasize her tribal face tattoos.
Chasinghorse was dressed in a Peter Dundas gold lamé dress with flowing capes that gave the model an ethereal and effervescent appearance. Move over, Columbia — there’s a new angel of America in town.
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