Spring already: Annual Met Gala event takes place in fall 2021


Photo credit: Graphic illustration by Molly Solowitz

Pictured in the middle is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wearing a dress with the print reading, “Tax the Rich,” to the right is Kendall Jenner, and on the left is Kerby Jean Raymond. This year’s Met Gala highlighted the importance of using your voice to promote change.

By Rose Sarner, Culture Editor

It is not the start of spring, flowers are not blooming and it was not the first Monday of May. Instead, it was Sept. 13, a governor recall happening the following day, and according to the New York Times, only 54% of the total population in the United States are vaccinated. 

The Met Gala welcomes the world’s biggest stars in television, music, art and entertainment, and according to Vogue, it is considered “fashion’s biggest night out.” Every year, viewers look forward to seeing the extravagant and creative outfits their favorite celebrities and public figures put on. All proceeds from the gala support the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s fund. This year’s theme was, “American Independence,” inspired by the Metropolitan Museum’s new art exhibition: “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.”

While many of the typical fan favorites struck again, many struck out and did not bring their outfits to the event. Kendall Jenner wore an Audrey-Hepburn-inspired Givenchy dress from the movie, “My Fair Lady.” The dress was sequined, sparkly and revealing, as parts of it were transparent. 

Singer and songwriter Olivia Rodrigo made her Met debut in a Saint Laurent styled catsuit with black lace and feathers. Rodrigo made a statement with her decision to not wear a dress to her first Met Gala. Rodrigo described her outfit as “so rock-n’roll, yet so sophisticated.” 

However, when there are those who are well dressed, there are always those who have a “fashion disaster.” Kim Kardashian was by far the biggest disappointment. Despite Kardashian’s reputation for her extravagant outfits people discuss for days, her outfit this year will be talked about for all of the wrong reasons. Kardashian’s all black-gown was designed by her ex-husband, Kanye West, in collaboration with Balenciaga. The all black gown covered every part of her body, including her face, and draped down leaving behind a train as she walked down the red carpet. Her outfit was bland and boring as it was all black, had zero structure, and did not show any part of her face. Kardashian’s outfit was inspired by West’s newest album, entitled “Donda” and an outfit that he wore weeks prior. 

Many people wore outfits to make political statements although viewers at home thought some were “too extreme.” Kerby Jean-Raymond, founder of clothing brand “Pyer Moss,” wore a red wool suit with a matching vest. Raymond’s outfit served as a powerful nod to the brutality faced by Black men in America. According to Vogue, Kerby consistently proves “fashion can be both political and meaningful.” 

Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez wore an all-white gown to the gala with big red writing on the back, which read, “Tax the rich.” Cortez has received some backlash from her outfit on Twitter.

“One of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen,” a tweet from activist @hexthekyriarchy read, “while constituents she failed are being evicted or wondering how they’re gonna eat tonight, @AOC out here living large at the #MetGala. Wearing a dress that says #TaxTheRich but will do nothing to make it a reality.”

Some believe that Cortex’s message was too soon and out of pocket. Many viewers at home were simply frustrated she would attend considering COVID-19 is still on the rise. However, I believe she used fashion and the Met’s platform as an opportunity to advocate for important issues.

After all, it is not May 1, and the world is not the way it was two years ago during the last Met Gala. However, everyone showed up and set the bar for a new era of fashion. Celebrities redefined the meaning of “American Independence” by advocating for change through their outfits.