Recap and Review: MET Gala 2021


This year’s Met Gala theme was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”

“In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” was the theme of this year’s annual Met Gala, hosted this past Monday, September 13, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Though initially set to be held on its usual first Monday in May, the event was postponed to this week and has been highly anticipated since the last Gala in May of 2019. 

The Met Gala began in 1948 as a fundraising event for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since then, the event has become widely renowned as one of the most exclusive parties in the world on the social stage and “fashion’s night out.” Each year, the gala acts as an opening for the Costume Institute’s newest fashion exhibit, and those who are invited usually team up with a designer who dresses them up according to the theme set forth for the night. Anna Wintour, Vogue magazine’s editor-in-chief, has served as chairwoman for the gala since 1995. 

Billie Eilish at the Met Gala wearing a Marilyn Monroe inspired gown
Anna Wintour at the 2021 Met Gala (
Lupita Nyong’o in her Versace denim dress

Billie Eilish, Timothée Chalamet, Naomi Osaka, and Amanda Gorman co-hosted the Met Gala this year, and they were accompanied by a wide variety of public figures wearing their own take on this year’s theme. While some took a very literal take on the theme, such as Ciara Wilson dressing up in a gown heavily inspired by her husband’s Seattle Seahawks jersey, others took inspiration from iconic figures in American fashion, such as Billie Eilish wearing a Marilyn Monroe inspired look and Kendall Jenner in a Givenchy gown similar to one Audrey Hepburn wore. Many celebrities also incorporated subtle references to America in their looks.


 Lili Reinhart wore a beautiful dress that had each state flower sewn onto it, Jennifer Lopez wore Ralph Lauren in a Western look, and Lupita Nyong’o donned a Versace gown that portrayed the influence of denim on American fashion.

Every year, there are a few looks that steal the night. This year, Iman took the attention early on in a Dolce & Gabbana x Harris Reed look that was the definition of the extravagance that the Met is notorious for.

Iman stuns on the Red Carpet
Kim Kardashian at this year’s Met

Kim Kardashian wore black from head to toe – literally. The reality star wore a Balenciaga piece that has received very mixed reviews from critics and the general public due to its ambiguous meaning. And, of course, Rihanna made a last minute appearance, also in Balenciaga, to shut down the red carpet in a look that says go big or go home.  

With certain circumstances surrounding the Met this year, a number of celebrities who are usually seen attending were missing this year. Many people were disappointed to see the absence of Kylie Jenner, Bella Hadid, Lady Gaga, and Ariana Grande this year. Beyoncé, Blake Lively, Zendaya, and Jared Leto, the usual attendees who are always highly anticipated on the red carpet, did not attend this Met Gala.

Emma Chamberlain at her very first Met Gala (

However, this year’s gala did see a rise in attendance of younger stars. Olivia Rodrigo (18), Emma Chamberlain (20), Quannah Chasinghorse (19), Billie Eilish (19), Lil Nas X (22), Natalia Bryant (18), and Suni Lee (18) all walked the Met red carpet this year. In fact, all four of the Met’s hosts were on the younger side this year, with Timothée Chalamet being the eldest one at 25 years old. But the real controversy comes with the influencers who received an invite. Tiktokers Addison Rae, Dixie D’Amelio, and singer Madison Beer were all present. Many have questioned their attendance since the Met Gala is most known for being an A-List celeb hub. However this year, the new spike in Gen-Z attendance has included the presence of social media stars.

Fashion lovers have been waiting for the 2021 Met Gala with much excitement after going two Mays without an event. Nicknamed the “Super Bowl of Fashion,” it is a beloved gathering in the social and fashion worlds. This year, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” brought even more excitement to the Costume Institute’s new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met Gala also invites varieties of people to share their opinions and discuss who was best dressed of the night. My personal favorite looks that I think not only were stunning, but also fit the theme are shown below. (from left to right, top: Quannah Chasinghorse in Dundas, Megan Fox in Dundas, Barbie Ferreira in Jonathan Simkai, bottom: Saweetie in Christian Cowen, Lili Reinhart in Christian Siriano, and Lil Nas X in Versace)

My favorite looks from the night (


Anna Rose ‘22, Staff Writer