Has the Met Gala Peaked?

With few exceptions, last night’s event — and the outfits of its attendees — felt like a relic from the pre-pandemic era.

Entertainment
24,344 Hypes 37 Comments

In Vogue’s video coverage of last night’s Met Gala, the YouTube star Emma Chamberlain was filmed speaking to the tennis star Naomi Osaka, as they stood beneath the entrance to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“I, like, forgot that there’s art in there,” Chamberlain said.

It has felt, in recent years, that the media dominance of the Met Gala — which takes place annually to raise funds for the museum’s Costume Institute — has threatened to overshadow the significance of the museum itself. The days and weeks after the event (which typically occurs on the first Monday in May, but was postponed to last night due to COVID-19 lockdowns) are a glut of outfit galleries, fit rankings, and ‘who wore it best’ polls.

This year, though, it felt like something didn’t quite click. Sure, there were the usual components: the bombastic and showboating outfits that compete for column inches (this year won by Lil Nas X’s three-in-one Versace ensemble), the unexpected celebrity-designer pairing (see Whoopi Goldberg and Valentino), and the regular rotation of supermodels in sheer dresses.

But it was missing the frisson of the unexpected that had once been a hallmark of the evening. There was no Tilda Swinton doing Diana Vreeland cosplay, or Zendaya dressed as Joan of Arc, or Robot Kanye. Everyone wore what you’d expect them to wear: Frank Ocean was underdressed in Prada, Lil Nas was campy in Versace, Kendall Jenner was naked in Givenchy. Even Rihanna, usually guaranteed to provide a star turn, arrived in a somber, all-black evening coat from the recent Balenciaga Couture show.

For the last few years, in particular, the Met Gala has walked the tightrope between glamorous and tacky. For every truly iconic pop-cultural moment (like Rihanna’s 16-foot cape), there have been head-scratching moments (like Kim Kardashian’s sofa-cover couture). But it’s begun to feel as though the event has become too bloated, too oversaturated, and all a bit too much. Few, if any, of the looks worn by the guests really registered as powerful fashion.

The evening’s only truly conversation-starting moment came from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who arrived in a gown emblazoned with a ‘Tax the Rich’ slogan (even if, as others have pointed out, it was a curious choice to wear to a $35,000 USD-per-head event).

Beyond that, it was the men who stood out, ironically by doing less: Justin Bieber’s slouchy-fit suit, Timothée Chalamet’s ivory Haider Ackermann, and Evan Mock’s punkish Thom Browne felt cooler in their understatement than the more flamboyant looks served elsewhere.

Tom Ford understood the assignment, too: the brand opted to dress a cadre of rising Black American designers, including Laquan Smith, Christopher John Rogers, and Heron Preston. For an evening that was (nominally, at least) a reflection on the state of American fashion today, it was a canny move.

Overall, though, you couldn’t help feeling that this felt like a party better suited to the pre-pandemic era. After the last 18 months, watching the parade of celebrities in their never-to-be-worn-again outfits didn’t feel transportive, or glamorous. It felt cynical, attention-seeking, and tired. Rihanna might have made sense in black after all: it’s starting to feel like this is an event in the midst of its death throes.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Twitter Reacts to Met Gala 2021 Outfits
Fashion 

Twitter Reacts to Met Gala 2021 Outfits

Including comparisons to Rocky’s fit to guessing this year’s theme.

The 2021 Met Gala Is Going Vegan
Food & Beverage

The 2021 Met Gala Is Going Vegan

For the first time ever.

Here Are the Most Talked-About Met Gala 2021 Fits
Fashion 

Here Are the Most Talked-About Met Gala 2021 Fits

Including Timothée Chalamet, Lil Nas X, Frank Ocean and many more.


Met Gala 2021 and 2022 Dates Announced
Fashion

Met Gala 2021 and 2022 Dates Announced

A two-part exhibition will also be launched alongside the two events.

Pantofola d’Oro Drops Vintage Football-Inspired SNEAKERBALL Silhouette
Footwear 

Pantofola d’Oro Drops Vintage Football-Inspired SNEAKERBALL Silhouette

Presented by Pantofola d’Oro
Merging modern materials with traditional shoemaking methods.

Merrell 1TRL's Latest Hydro Moc and Hydro Slide Capsule Is "Too Good to Get Wet"
Footwear

Merrell 1TRL's Latest Hydro Moc and Hydro Slide Capsule Is "Too Good to Get Wet"

Both silhouettes arrive in “Lilac,” “Cream,” “Mint” and Peach.”

Here's Your First Official Look at the White Mountaineering x UNIQLO Collaboration
Fashion

Here's Your First Official Look at the White Mountaineering x UNIQLO Collaboration

An every-day outerwear capsule.

GOAT Unveils Digital Shopping Event for Rare Vintage Pieces
Fashion

GOAT Unveils Digital Shopping Event for Rare Vintage Pieces

From Monday, September 13 to Sunday, September 19.

The Air Jordan 13 "Obsidian" Oversees This Week's Best Footwear Drops
Footwear 

The Air Jordan 13 "Obsidian" Oversees This Week's Best Footwear Drops

Accompanied by other standout styles like the adidas YEEZY FOAM RNNR “Ochre” and two three-party sacai x Nike LDWaffle collaborations.


Ajax and adidas Forced to Alter Bob Marley-Inspired Third Kit After UEFA Ban
Sports

Ajax and adidas Forced to Alter Bob Marley-Inspired Third Kit After UEFA Ban

The “Three Little Birds” collar motif falls foul of regulations.

Adidas Unveils Its Upcoming 007-Inspired UltraBOOST Pack
Footwear

Adidas Unveils Its Upcoming 007-Inspired UltraBOOST Pack

Celebrating the release of ‘No Time to Die’ later this month.

Phillips Lists Vintage Rolex Deep Sea Special Watch Rated For 35,789ft
Watches

Phillips Lists Vintage Rolex Deep Sea Special Watch Rated For 35,789ft

The watch to choose when you’re not just going deep, but all the way to the bottom.

Danner Joins In on 'No Time to Die' Celebrations With Blacked-Out Tanicus Tactical Boots
Footwear

Danner Joins In on 'No Time to Die' Celebrations With Blacked-Out Tanicus Tactical Boots

Worthy of James Bond himself.

Doublet Has Turned Stuffed Toy Camels, Alpacas and Cats Into Bags and Scarves
Fashion

Doublet Has Turned Stuffed Toy Camels, Alpacas and Cats Into Bags and Scarves

Available from Dover Street Market Ginza now.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Adblock Detected.

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. If you enjoy our content, please add us to your adblocker's whitelist. We'd really appreciated it.