Published May. 12, 2022
BY SAFIA BOUHAJA
When the annual Met Gala and grand opening of the Costume Institute’s exhibition exploring the history of American fashion took place on the first Monday of May, did attendees stay on theme?
Organized by Vogue, the highly anticipated Met Ball took place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This year’s Met Gala theme focused on “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” inspired by the late 19th century Gilded Age.
Kylie Jenner was practically walking down the aisle into the Met Gala in a near-wedding gown as a tribute to the late designer Virgil Abloh, creator of the luxury brand Off-White. The ruffled white skirt and sheer corset bodice was topped with a white backwards baseball cap and veil. The tribute to Abloh was admirable, however, considering Jenner’s privilege and access to the best of the best, the gown was surprisingly boring and off-theme.
Shockingly, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour struggled to follow her own theme. She wore a Chanel sheer ankle-length dress with multiple color beading, a feather-trimmed poncho and tiara. This look was a yawn and had nothing to do with the theme. One could argue a few reporters had better themed looks.
On the other hand, actress Blake Lively and singer Billie Eilish were perfect examples for creative execution and on-theme looks. Lively was the first to arrive in a New York architecture inspired Versace gown, wrapped in a big, copper satin bow. As she walked up the Met steps, the bow was released into an enchanting baby teal. The gown was absolutely striking, and the transformation into the train was magical. Meanwhile, Eilish arrived in a Gucci dress, nailing the theme in a regal and elegant corseted bodice and laced, sea-foam-hued, gloved sleeves. As a bonus, her attire was eco-friendly.
Evan Mock and Riz Ahmed were, by far, the best dressed men on the red carpet. They were the only men able to go beyond a typical black suit while also not deviating from the theme. Mock showed up in a Head of State, flattering light yellow corset suit with white ruffles around his neck and square black toe boots. Ahmed’s outfit was meaningful, well thought out and on theme. The style of his outfit paid tribute to Chinese laborers from the late 1800s. Ahmed’s powerful political statement spoke to the effects of racism during the Gilded Age time period. He wore a navy blue jacket, white vest with drawstring trousers tucked into knee high black leather boots.
“Fashion’s Biggest Night” will forever be iconic, but is no exception to the imperfections of every red carpet.