Courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art
Courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rating Met gala outfits

September 17, 2021

Like many of us, I spent Monday night in my pajamas, judging celebrities strutting across the beige carpet of the Met Gala in outfits that cost thousands of dollars. While I wouldn’t consider myself an expert in fashion, I had my own takes on the looks at the event.

The ones that will go down in history

From rapper Lil Nas X’s 3-in-1 number to congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s “Tax the Rich” dress, these are the outfits I heard people at school buzzing about. The theme for the gala was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” Stars showed up in outfits inspired by old Hollywood, like singer Billie Eilish and model Iman. Others came in shades of red, white and blue with messages of their own, like soccer player Megan Rapinoe and model Cara Delevigne. Amanda Gorman, whose poetry at the inauguration skyrocketed her to fame, dressed in her own interpretation of the Statue of Liberty.

Several celebrities paid tribute to historical icons, from YouTuber Nikkie Tutorials’ to the trans activist Marsha P. Johnson and actor Elliot Page’s to Oscar Wilde’s green carnation. One of my favorites was rapper Saweetie, whose trains flowed in the colors of the Black Heritage flag and the Filipino flag. When I look back on this year’s Met gala, it’s their outfits I’ll remember.

My favorites of the night

My favorites of the night

Among all the flashy fails and standard looks of the night, there were some outfits that stood out to me. Model Kendall Jenner’s sparkly diamond gown and actress Hunter Schafer’s silvery dress with the spider accent were statements I loved. Rose, from the K-pop girl group Blackpink, wore a dress that was simple but classy. Actress Yara Shahidi’s Josephine Baker inspired outfit made her glow. 

(Graphic by Saloni Mistry)

My favorite outfit of the whole gala, however, would have to be actress Barbie Ferreira’s pearl dress. She looked nothing short of a Greek goddess.

Pretty but plain

For me, these outfits were beautiful, but didn’t capture the shock or “museum exhibit” factor that they usually have, like 2019’s CAMP theme did. Some of them looked plain overdone, like singer Olivia Rodrigo’s outfit, which looked like it was ripped from a 2018 red carpet. On the other hand, singer Madison Beer and actress Hailey Bieber’s dresses looked like they were prom dresses on clearance at the mall. It was these outfits that made me think, “Their makeup looks were their only saving grace.”

As for the men’s side, I felt like any of them who weren’t in the default black tuxedo were going above and beyond. Despite the low bar, some of the outfits still disappointed Actor Timothee Chalamet’s all-white outfit looked like a fencer’s uniform. He paired it with white Converse high tops, which did not make the outfit more appealing.

(Graphic by Saloni Mistry)

I don’t understand what they wore, and I don’t think they did either

Yes, I mean Kim Kardashian’s all black outfit. And TikToker Dixie D’Amelio’s feather hat (Headpiece? Birds’ nest?). I didn’t like what I saw, no matter how hard I tried. Also in this category for me was A$AP Rocky’s weird quilt cape that reminded me of the old Windows logo. 

Graphic by Saloni Mistry

The celebrities in this category made me feel as if their designers heard the theme of the gala and chose to completely disregard it.

Dishonorable mention: Nicki Minaj

Now, I’m just as much a Barb as the next person, but her reason for not attending the Met Gala rubbed me the wrong way. As a rule, all guests had to be vaccinated against coronavirus. She didn’t want to attend, citing that she “had to do more research” about the COVID vaccine, which has overwhelming evidence supporting its effectiveness. Not one of Queen Nicki’s most shining moments, in my opinion. 

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