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  • Monumental Magazine

A Met Monday Recap

By Kassidy McDonald

From A-listers to Tik-Tok stars, this years Met Gala guest list was something that came as a surprise to many. We missed out on stars like Zendaya, Selena Gomez, Harry Styles and Bella Hadid. What we didn't miss out on were stars who were able to capture this years theme, and wow us with powerful outfits that we will remember for many years to come.

The Met Gala has traditionally been one of the most important nights of the year for the fashion industry. Since the event was postponed in May due to the pandemic, attendees had even more time to plan their outfits to match the theme: An American Lexicon of Fashion.

The theme is something I thought was interesting because of the many ways it can be interpreted. American fashion is always changing, especially now. I've found that after the pandemic, brands have had to evolve to keep up. Whether that's changing their runway show schedules or altering the way they market their brand, it has not been the easiest time for the American fashion industry. This theme becomes so important now because it represents emergence from this pandemic and embracing fashion again. I had high hopes that there would be meaningful looks that represented important American ideals and in some ways sparked conversation. Here are some of my favorite Met Gala looks and a breakdown of the theme.

Yara Shahidi in Dior

Naomi Osaka in Louis Vuitton

Iman in Harris Reed

Lil Nas X in Versace

The use of color, fabric and texture can all represent American fashion in some way. There were a lot of royal blues (Tracee Ellis Ross and Amanda Gorman), bold reds (Karlie Kloss), and stark whites (Alicia Keys), which obviously represent the theme of America. Stars also alluded to the American theme by using fabric and texture. Lupita Nyong'o wore a custom Versace denim gown that represented American fashion in the best way possible: by using America's favorite and most popular fabric. Debbie Harry, who wore custom Zac Posen, also took this denim idea to another level by wearing a denim jacket paired with a tattered American flag skirt.

Lupita Nyong'o in Versace

Other attendees took the theme "American Fashion" more literally and chose to make a political statement. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a custom Aurora James dress with the words "tax the rich" painted on the back of the dress in red. The Congresswoman's dress was created by James, who is a sustainably focused black immigrant designer. The use of the dress at the Met specifically was to spark conversation to create change. The Congresswoman has always been vocal about her opinion on taxing the richest 1% of people in America, and what better way to represent the American theme than talking about the wealth gap that our country has?

AOC in Aurora James

Cara Delevigne also made a pretty bold political statement. The front of her Dior vest has the phrase "peg the patriarchy." Delevigne chose this feminsist saying to show that there is still an oppressive system in this country when it comes to gender. Her entire ensemble was meant to promote women empowerment in the fight for gender equality. Having an outfit that makes a statement with the American theme is something that is extremely important in recognizing America as a whole. Not every outfit was a celebration of America with flags, stars and stripes. Many outfits were purposeful with their criticism of American society worn in order to spark conversation and change.

Cara Delevigne in Dior

The other way stars used the American theme was through motifs that connected to the theme, or by paying homage to someone from American history. Timothée Chalamet wore Haider Ackermann and alluded to the classic "zoom look" that we've been wearing for the past year. His structured jacket paired with pants that looked like sweats, and the classic American converse sneaker was a perfect example of current American style. Kendall Jenner also wowed the red capet in a custom Givenchy dress. Jenner payed homage to American icon Audrey Hepburn from the movie "My Fair Lady." I really liked how this dress put a modern twist on a classic American look from a hugely known American icon.

Kendall Jenner in Givenchy

Billie Eilish wore Oscar de la Renta and payed tribute to another American icon, Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn was an important American beauty icon because she showed women at the time that they did not need to be stick thin to fit in with beauty standards. I found it powerful how Eilish was able to show skin- something she has not usually done in the past-to pay tribute to Monroe and everything she represented for American beauty standards. Eilish also announced on her Instagram that in partnering with Oscar de la Renta, the brand has now decided to not use real fur in its garments anymore.

Billie Eilish in Oscar de la Renta

Another star who made a personal connection to the theme was up and coming female rapper Saweetie. Saweetie took to the Met red carpet for the first time ever and made a beautiful statement with her look. Her custom Christian Cowan gown not only showed off her stunning figure, but also her heritage. The skirt of the gown feautured the colors of the Filipino flag as well as the Black American flag. Her marriage of the two flags on her dress truly embodied the theme and what it means to be American.

Saweetie in Christian Cowan

Beauty YouTuber Nikkie de Jager (NikkieTutorials on YouTube) also made an important connection to the American theme. She payed homage to American transgender trailblazer Marsha P. Johnson with her Met ensemble. She wore a flower crown, an accessory that Johnson always wore. The back of her dress even had a common saying Johnson coined, "Pay it no mind" when asked about gender. The way that de Jager was able to embody such an important activist in American history was a beautiful tribute and brought attention to Johnson's important work in American history.

Nikkie de Jager

This year's Met truly embodied the theme of American fashion and also payed homage to a lot of classic American icons. The future for American fashion is brighter than ever, and the Met gala is an event that will keep pushing fashion to its limits. This years Met will hopefully help spark important conversations in our everyday lives, showing just how powerful fashion can be.

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