On Monday evening New York’s Met Gala, affectionately known as American fashion’s “biggest night out” was back after the pandemic cancelled last year’s event. Traditionally held on the first Monday in May, the annual fundraising gala is hosted by Dame Anna Wintour and Vogue magazine to raise money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute, of which the red carpet arrivals are its biggest draw. Here celebrities, brands, designers and influencers parade on the steps of the Met to show the best of fashion for a global audience.
This year’s theme celebrated the Costume Institute’s newest exhibition, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” which opened to the public in the Anna Wintour Costume Center on September 18th. Some of the best looks by American designers include Jennifer Lopez dressed by Ralph Lauren, Sharon Stone and Erykah Badu in Thom Browne, Emily Ratajkowski in Vera Wang, Kate Hudson in Michael Kors Collection and Venus Williams in Prabal Gurung.
Held during New York fashion week, September 13th simultaneously marked New York City’s reopening, which sees theatres and sporting events like the US Open back in business. To ensure safety protocols, attendees had vaccine requirements and the directive wore masks. Fewer international celebrities were able to attend due to the US border being closed to Europe and Asia.
Hosts of this year’s event include 23-year-olds Amanda Gorman, the breakout poet at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration, tennis champion Naomi Osaka, singer Billie Eilish and actor Timothée Chalamet. A table at the event reportedly costs 100,000 dollars with single tickets costing 35,000 dollars each. In 2019 the event raised 15 million dollars.
Balenciaga was a popular red carpet choice, with Kim Kardashian in a full face-covered look and Michaela Coela in a purple glittering catsuit incorporated with high heeled leggings.
In the spirit of Lady Gaga, singer Lil Nas X wore a look of gold-plated armor which he later shed to reveal a sparkling, skintight gold body suit underneath. “It’s a metaphor for how I came out of my shell this year,” he told the Washington Post.
More looks from the 2021 Met Gala