The United States is a relatively young one, and the American-themed Met Gala-themed person seems, in many ways, a nod to that fact. The hosts are a Gen Z dream team: Amanda Gorman, the 23-year-old beginning poet; Timothée Chalamet, the 25 -year -old star of “Dune”; Naomi Osaka, the 23-year-old tennis champion and mental health activist; at Billie Eilish, the 19-year-old musical phenom.
Honored chairs include Anna Wintour of Vogue; the designer Tom Ford; and Adam Mosseri, the chief executive of Instagram, which is underwriting the exhibition and party with Condé Nast.
This year the gala, also known as “the party of the year,” is framed as part of New York’s re-emergence, along with reopening of Broadway show, indoor dining and the US Open. However, many designers who live in Europe and usually make the trip do not attend, either because of quarantine policies or because they have to work on their own shows. Rumors have swirled that some Hollywood stars have also chosen to air this one, perhaps because of health concerns or out of fear that partying while people are sick isn’t the best look. And some regulars can’t attend, because they haven’t been vaccinated – a must for all guests.
The result is a more local, younger and more sporty guest list than ever before (also smaller, as it reduced by nearly a third of safety concerns). But the outfits are striking as usual.
The dress code is “American Independence,” in honor of Costume Institute Exhibition it celebrates, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” It began with a high -energy performance by the Brooklyn United marching band wearing red, white and blue custom Adidas jumpsuits by Stella McCartney, running down the stairs of the Metropolitan Museum while gymnast Nia Dennis, 22, performed acrobatics for the cameras. (Ms. McCartney sent musicians in exchange for attending herself.)
Si Ms. Wintour, the longtime maestro of the event, wore a floral gown with a messy wheel in honor of her “dear friend Oscar de la Renta,” the designer who passed away in 2014. But she was the exception, rather than as a rule, in a sea of unpredictable patriotic – and sometimes political – outfits.
Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York, for example, came in a dress with streaming epaulets with the message “Equal Rights for Women” and a matching bag advocating for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. His fellow Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a white dress with “Tax the Rich” wearing red on the back. Other attendees opted for nostalgic allusions to old-Hollywood glamor and the American West.
As celebrities walked the carpet, a large crowd of protesters gathered on a blocked Fifth Avenue to rally for racial justice.
Police arrested some of those taking part in the demonstration and who ignored warnings to clean up the street. The result was the somewhat shocking image of protesters shouting as police officers pulled past spectators pressed against metal barricades hoping to get a glimpse of the famous celebrity. (One of the celebrities was Mr. Chalamet, who walked halfway to the Met wearing an almost all white ensemble that included a Haider Ackerman jacket, Rick Owens shirt and Converse high-top.)
Many of the designers whose work was featured in the museum were invited to this gala. year for the first time, hosted by more established brands because of the ticket price: $ 35,000 a seat. That’s steep for a small business (it’s steep by almost any size), but gala is the main source of funding for the Costume Institute, the only Met administrative department needed to fund its own operations.
Because of this, and to make up for a Met Gala-less 2020, the Costume Institute will hold another gala next May to celebrate part two of the American exhibit, which is intended to be even bigger. And what else is American than unselected review?
Ed Shanahancontributed reporting.