Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York arrived in a dress with streaming epaulets bearing the message “Equal Rights for Women” and a matching bag advocating for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
The last time the world had a Met Gala was in 2019, and the theme was “Camp: Notes on Fashion.”
Aside from a place children go in the summer, camp — according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary — is “a style or mode of personal or creative expression that is absurdly exaggerated and often fuses elements of high and popular culture.”
To no one’s surprise, the Met Gala-going crowd took that concept in many directions.
Lady Gaga, a known camp connoisseur and a host of 2019’s Met Gala, donned not one but four different outfits. She arrived in a fuchsia gown with an exaggerated train; removed it to reveal an asymmetrical black dress; removed that to reveal a hot pink form-fitting dress; and finally, stripped down to a sparkly black bra and panties. All the outfits were designed by Brandon Maxwell, a former fashion director of Ms. Gaga’s. Predictably, the look was also memed.
Cardi B also hopped on the long train cause with a custom Thom Browne feathery red gown that encircled her (and would have certainly forced social distance, though we weren’t using that term much back then).
Jared Leto walked in carrying a lifelike model of his own head, a reference to Gucci’s 2018 fall fashion show in Milan, where runway models also held copies of their own heads. Billy Porter channeled the Egyptian sun god, Ra, with 10-foot long wings, a gold headpiece and a catsuit. Katy Perry dressed like a chandelier with a headpiece that weighed 40 pounds.
When asked she would sit, she responded, “you don’t sit down at the Met.”
Anna Wintour, honorary chairman of the gala and longtime maestro of the event, makes her entrance wearing, she told us earlier this week, “an homage to my dear friend Oscar de la Renta,” the designer who passed away in 2014.
Keke Palmer is wearing a sparkly Sergio Hudson dress with a turtleneck. I am never mad about a turtleneck on a gown.
The Brooklyn United marching band, dressed in red, white and blue, ran up the red carpet, kicking things off with a lot of energy.
I’m always on Timmy Watch in some capacity. But yes, very excited to see what fashion he brings this evening. He never disappoints on the red carpet.
The red carpet streams are live, and Timmy Watch 2021 has officially begun.
This year, the Met Gala has downsized its guest list by about a third to allow for social distancing (at least during the seated dinner portion). Attendees will have to show proof of vaccination, receive a negative Covid-19 test result and wear masks at the event, except while eating. We’ll have to see whether that rule is enforced on the red carpet. (Judging from the recent New York Fashion Week, celebrities hate having their faces covered when photographers are in the vicinity.)
E! network will also be doing its thing, with a televised fashion panel opining on the night’s looks from a studio location. (That starts at 5:30 as well.) Cord cutters can stream content, too, on Twitter, eonline.com and the E! News app.
To make up for a Met Gala-less 2020, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Vogue are staging two Met Galas in the next nine months, both corresponding with exhibits around the theme of American fashion. The first is tonight; the second will be in May 2022.
The dress code for Monday night’s gala is “American Independence.” So, prepare for lots of red carpet looks by American brands, plus maybe some star-spangled skirts and Statues of Liberty on the red carpet. (No one ever said dress code interpretation was subtle.)