It’s back! Our highlights from the Met Gala 2021

We missed you! The biggest stars in fashion, entertainment and sport were back in full fashion glory on steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for this year’s Met Gala.

Singer Billie Eilish, poet Amanda Gorman, actor Timothée Chalamet and tennis player Naomi Osaka held fashion’s big night out along with woman of the moment, 18-year-old US Open winner Emma Raducanu.

After a difficult 18 months during the Covid pandemic, the gala was held just days after the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and rounding off another season of New York Fashion Week.

Despite the red carpet glamour, this year’s gala came with a serious message as it opens what is the most politically-charged fashion exhibition ever staged by a major museum. This year’s theme, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion explores American style, celebrating its diversity and putting a spotlight on the creativity and extremely talented designers of colour. The exhibit opened with the question “Who Gets To Be American?” Inspired by the slogan from a 2019 catwalk show by the designer Prabal Gurung, who is of Nepalese heritage. The exhibit features 40% designers of colour, the highest on record from the Costume Institute, this in light of the Black Lives Matter movement which gain major recognition in 2020.

This year’s event was even more exclusive than the previous ones, with the guest list was a third smaller than usual.

Take a look at Fashion North’s highlights from the Met Gala 2021.

Opening the evening was Vogue’s Editor in Chief Anna Wintour who chose to pay tribute to her friend and American designer, Oscar de la Renta. The head-to-toe floral gown was inspired by his love of his garden with such pattern being seen previous on Taylor Swift making it instantly recognisable as one of his designs.

The 2021 Met Gala co-chairs made their way across the carpet starting with Timothée Chalamet, the surprisingly simple look did not stop him from making a statement. Choosing to wear an all-white ensemble by Haider Ackermann which consisted of a satin tuxedo jacket paired with sweatpant-like trousers, giving us pandemic-style WFH realness showing that you can master business on top but still remain casual. The look finished off with a pair of white Converse, showcasing a classic American shoe brand to link in with this year’s theme.

Fellow co-chairs including the youngest inaugural poet in American history, Amanda Gorman made her Met Gala debut in a strapless custom gown by Vera Wang. Taking inspiration from the Statue of Liberty, a key landmark in American history, the dress was fitted with a sweetheart neckline, mini hem and flowing draped detailing.

Tennis player, Naomi Osaka’s Met Gala look was a powerful celebration of her heritage bringing together a show-stopping fashion moment whilst creating a personal statement. With four-time Grand Slam titles and a Louis Vuitton Ambassadorship under her belt, her red carpet look was done effortlessly. Wearing Nicolas Ghesquière’s designs, the outfit was bold and striking, with the custom corseted dress in a colourful, graphic jacquard pattern with a silk-mix cape. The message behind the print that covers the bustier and skirt was a digital watercolour art piece by Osaka’s sister, Mari, a pro tennis player, who incorporated Koi Fish as a nod to their Japanese heritage.

 

Billie Eilish made her Met Gala and co-hosting debut in a stunning Oscar de le Renta nude tulle dress which was worn under the condition that the company stopped selling fur products. The label’s creative directors Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim agreed to cease the selling of fur after claiming they’ve never created pieces using fur for years. Billie ,who is a vegan and animal rights activist, made the plea which led the designer brand to rethink the controversial fabric leading them to be chosen to design her dress for her big debut. The gown, inspired by old Hollywood paid homage to the dress worn by Marilyn Monroe’s dress to the Oscars in 1951.

Kendall Jenner came to the carpet in a custom Givenchy gown inspired by Audrey Hepburn and the ultimate Old Hollywood glamour. The sheer beige gown was was encrusted with rhinestones and a crystal fringe that traced the bodice.

Zoe Kravitz opted for even more skin on show with a Saint Laurent halter chainmail dress made entirely out of rhinestones. Leaving nothing to the imagination, the gown came with a matching rhinestone thong.

 

Youtube star, Emma Chamberlain made her red carpet debut and also led the coverage for Vogue on the red carpet wearing a Louis Vuitton golden cutout backless gown featuring a small train.

 

Legendary supermodel Iman wore a gold Harris Reed gown, the designer best known for the iconic designs worn by Harry Styles on his Vogue cover. The extravagant gown paid tribute to American fashion with the custom jumpsuit paired with a tiered, featured overskirt and matching headpiece. The strapless bodice and metallic-brushed overskirt made the silhouette even more dramatic and jaw-dropping.

The most in-demand model of our time, Precious Lee bought all the glitz and glam to the carpet which brings an end to a successful and busy New York Fashion Week schedule after walking for brands like Michael Kors and Brandon Maxwell. The glittering and sharp-shouldered suit dress by Area had woven silver and black beads which were extended through her blazer dress and along the floor giving it an exaggerated fringe hem.

Yara Shahidi understood this year’s theme of ‘in America: A Lexicon of Fashion’ by paying tribute to Josephine Baker, a significant woman in U.S. history by wearing a Christian Dior gown embroidered with intricate bending and styled with a thin belt and long trail.

This years’ carpet had a political undertone with Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney kicking off the evening with a powerful statement about equal rights for women. She wore a colourful gown with purple, white, yellow and green ribbons coming off the shoulders which clearly said from every angle “equal rights for woman”.

Jennifer Lopez nailed the theme perfectly as she stepped out for her first Met Gala since 1999 wearing the ultimate salute to the evolution of American fashion in a custom Ralph Lauren gown that featured a plunging neckline. The intricate embroidery created a three-dimensional gown with it being completed with a faux fur healing cape constructed completely by hand and embellished with crystals.

The world’s favourite couple, Hailey and Justin Bieber, rocked up to their first Met Gala together with a matching classic black look. Justin wore a dark suit with a Drew suitcase, whilst Hailey wore a black column gown with a plunging neckline from Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello.

Gigi Hadid came to the red carpet this year solo but looking equally as stunning, wearing a full Prada look. The white dress came with a thigh-high leg slit and was worn with latex gloves and black tights. Topping off the look with her hair styled into a high ponytail and on the redder side.

Emma Raducanu is the British tennis sensation who has taken the world by storm after being the youngest to win the US Open just days before appearing at the most prestigious fashion event of the year. Chanel has become a favourite brand for Raducanu after wearing a stunning black sequin mini dress by the French house after her victory. She chose to make a nod to the midriff flossing trend as she wore a printed monochrome Chanel Resort 2022 collection two-piece. The tennis star finished off the look with a pearl belt at the waist with patent black boots and diamond earrings from Tiffany & Co. – a brand she was seen wearing throughout the US Open.

Kaia Gerber attended her first-ever Met Gala by recreating the iconic New York socialist Bianca Jagger’s 1981 Met Gala look created by Halston, who used Jagger as one of his main muses throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Gerber enlisted Oscar de la Rents to recreate the elegant strapless black gown featuring floral detailing around the necklace. Topping off the look with her hair worn in Jagger-esque waves paying the ultimate tribute to the star.

The most anticipated arrival of the evening was Rihanna who came alongside her boyfriend, rapper ASAP Rocky, and wore  a Balenciaga overcoat and matching hat. The custom look, designed by Demna Gvasalia, featured black ruffles.

 

Kim Kardashian, meanwhile. raised some eyebrows with this head-to-toe Balenciaga outfit which had “new-era Kanye” written all over it. Complete with a blacked-out head covering similar to those worn by Kanye throughout his promo for his Donda album, the look was completed with a stretch minidress with matching tights and a cape with a train.

Who was your best-dressed from the Met Gala 2021? Let us know on Twitter @FashionNorth

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