How did stars showcase “American Fashion” at this year’s Met Gala?

Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue magazine, organizes the Met Gala every year.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue magazine, organizes the Met Gala every year.

This year’s Gen Z-dominated Met Gala turned heads both positively and negatively, with over-the-top fashion that soared past expectations yet again.

The Met Gala is the biggest night for fashion, hosted by Vogue magazine editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, for her annual costume fundraiser. This year’s theme was “In America: A Lexicon of American Fashion.” The attendees perceived this in many different ways. Some took it quite literally and wore Stars and Stripes, while others took it upon themselves to step away from the theme and wear classic couture.

The theme initially seems daunting to achieve, although Andrew Bolton, who is in charge of the costume institute, wanted everyone to know how broad the theme can be. He did this by stating how he wants the theme to be perceived in a way that is, “…a more nuanced definition of American fashion. In a way, when you walk around the show, it could be 104 different definitions, because each piece is a different expression, a different emotion.”

The event has always been controversial due to the luxury and exclusivity of the attendees. Only the most important and influential people are invited. This year, the limits were even more strict, because it was mandatory to be vaccinated. Some stars did not agree with this and, in doing so, were not in attendance.

Decatur senior Rachel McAteer saysshe does not agree with the Met Gala. “It is too exclusive and overpriced,” she told The Hawk. “It is not something that average people can attend unless they want to put $30,000 towards a one-night experience.”

Many people feel the same way as McAteer — aside from the fact that the event is “invite only” — it does not take away from the unethical cover fee.

A lot of controversy was brought to light through fashion at this year’s event. Those at the forefront of this controversy were Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. They were dressed in black from head-to-toe, including face coverings and gloves. The only thing that showed was her 75 inches of her hair. Some believe this was simply a publicity stunt for West’s new album, “Donda.” This theory would seem the most accurate due to the time proximity of his album release.

The most debatable outfit of the night was worn by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY 14th District). She arrived in a Brother Vellies’ white dress, that displayed the words, “Tax the Rich” on the back. This dress has received lots of backlash. While some believe it was the wrong event to make a political statement, others just see it as not thought-out, because almost everyone at the event was what many would consider to be “rich.”

Celebrities have shared their distaste with AOC’s outfit. Dave Portnoy of the Barstool Sports took to Twitter to say: “Tax the Rich”… But first I am gonna go have the time of my life partying with them at the most extravagant, over the top party of the year, that is essentially a celebration of richness.”

All in all, the Met Gala produced some great looks. Lil Nas X wore three different outfits in one: he started out with a voluptuous gold cloak, which he removed to reveal a gold suit of armor, and then took the armor off to reveal a skintight jumpsuit with gold glitter from head to toe.

Jennifer Lopez was another star on the carpet. She went with a western inspired look that fans felt to encompass the theme very well. Billie Eilish showed up in a light pink princess gown. This was a different look for Eilish, as she typically goes for a more grungy look. Eilish had a lot to celebrate, as she was the youngest person asked to be the co-chair since the first Met Gala in 1948.

While it may be controversial, the Met Gala undeniably has brought in an enormous income to The Costume Institute. Since 2017, the event has raised $275,000 for the Institute. It is also a great way for new designers to get their name publicized. While the event may not be ethical, and may discriminate against those who do not have $30,000 sitting around, it is a night for A-listers to celebrate fashion in their own way.