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Look, the Met Gala isn’t for everyone, but the annual pilgrimage that squishes fashion’s biggest names into one room for an all-out visual assault of the haute couture does have its moments. From the late Chadwick Boseman dominating in Versace to Lady Gaga stripping down in 2019, fashion’s night of nights is famed for outrageous looks, daring displays and just a touch of glamour. The 2021 edition, despite being hosted to a backdrop of COVID-19, didn’t disappoint. Here’s what you may have missed.

Image: Getty

What is the Met Gala?

For the uninitiated (or uncultured, take your pick), the Met Gala is fashion’s biggest night of the year. Otherwise, known as The Met Ball the fashion world’s equivalent of the Oscars. The evening brings together designers, models, and Hollywood stars in a visual buffet of looks, personified by over-the-top dresses, stunning formalwear and the utterly outrageous. Typically, everyone dresses to the theme, and according to the feel, of the exhibit; past themes have included camp, religion and punk, but it isn’t just the elite coming together for no reason. The entire night is held to celebrate and fundraise at a new exhibit from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.

What is the 2021 Met Gala Theme?

The 2021 Met gala was held as an intimate event on September 13, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. A slightly more subdued edition, this year’s theme was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” celebrating all things American fashion. According to Vogue, Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, felt it was time to reexamine American identity and fashion, in light of the political and social justice movements of the past few years.

“I’ve been really impressed by American designers’ responses to the social and political climate, particularly around issues of body inclusivity and gender fluidity, and I’m just finding their work very, very self-reflective,” he told Vogue. “I really do believe that American fashion is undergoing a renaissance. I think young designers, in particular, are at the vanguard of discussions about diversity and inclusion, as well as sustainability and transparency, much more so than their European counterparts, maybe with the exception of the English designers.”

Who Are This Year’s Hosts?

As is tradition, the 2021 Met Gala had a number of cochairs who help host the event. This time around, fans tuned in to see actor Timothée Chalamet, musician Billie Eilish, poet Amanda Gorman, and tennis star Naomi Osaka cochair the affair. Meanwhile, fashion design icon Tom Ford, Instagram’s Adam Mosseri, and Vogue’s Anna Wintour served as the honorary chairs.

2021 Met Gala Best Looks

It must be said that the 2021 Met Gala was unceremoniously stripped back compared to previous years. Many of the red carpet showings were uncharacteristically safe, with no major backlash and ridiculousness in sight. In fact, you could argue this year’s edition was one of the more uneventful, however, there were still some stand outs. Here are the best looks from the 2021 Met Gala red carpet.

Image: Invision

Kendall Jenner

Supermodel Kendall Jenner channelled classic Hollywood in a sheer Givenchy gown. The gown was inspired by a dress famed Givenchy muse Audrey Hepburn wore in “My Fair Lady,” which included the same jewel-embellished sleeves and choker – albeit was a little more modest.

Designer: Givenchy

Image: Getty

Lil Nas X

C3PO but make it sexy. Industry Baby Lil Nas X practically stole the red carpet show at this year’s Met Gala arriving in a beaded, high-collared golden cape, which featured a long, sweeping train. From there, he removed the outwear to reveal a gold robot suit that didn’t stay on long. The Old Town Road rapper quickly stripped down again, this time into a sparkly catsuit.

Designer: Atelier Versace

Image: FilmMagic

A$AP Rocky & Rihanna

Everybody’s favourite IT couple opted for the cosy look this year. Rihanna paired a black Balenciaga beanie with a matching overcoat with A$AP went colourful with this almost-snuggly like fit.

Designer: Balenciaga

Image: Getty

Zoë Kravitz

Opting to show some skin, Zoë Kravitz dolled up the glam with slicked-back hair and a see-through chainmail ensemble by Yves Saint Laurent. The YSL connection runs deep for Kravitz, who is currently the face of the brand’s beauty line.

Designer: Yves Saint Laurent

Image: Getty

Timothée Chalamet

Fashion’s most in-demand man took a casual approach to this year’s event. Chalamet paired a Haider Ackermann satin tuxedo and Cartier brooch with sweatpants and Converse, creating a clash of white on the red carpet.

Designer: Haider Ackermann

Image: Getty

Megan Fox

Old school glamour was on full display this year, with Megan Fox dipping into the archives for this Golden Age of Hollywood ensemble. The plunging red lace-up Dundas gown is covered in sequins and cutouts, which reportedly took 50 people to finish.

Designer: Dundas

Image: Wireimage

Frank Ocean

One of the most talked-about looks from the 2021 Met Gala, Frank Ocean’s ensemble had one thing most others didn’t – a green robot baby. Aside from that, the outfit was relatively subdued, with Ocean going for a relaxed take on American Workwear. He paired for a black suede, three-piece suit by Prada with a white T-shirt.

Designer: Prada

Image: Getty

Jennifer Lopez

Singer, actor and the fittest 52-year-old on the planet, Jennifer Lopez honoured the “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” theme with her feather bolero jacket, holster belt, wide-brimmed hat and chunky silver jewellery. Yeehaw.

Designer: Ralph Lauren

Image: Wireimage

Billie Eilish

Channelling Marilyn Monroe, Billie Eilish went old-school Hollywood for this one. Eilish traded her signature baggy style for an off-shoulder peach tulle gown by Oscar de la Renta. She reportedly only agreed to wear the outfit if de la Renta put an end to using fur.

Designer: Oscar de la Renta

Image: Getty

Cara Delevingne

Model and actor Cara Delevingne opted to send a message with this look for the 2021 Met Gala. A bold statement about women empowerment that is perhaps a little confusing, but headline-grabbing nonetheless.

Designer: Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri

Image: Getty

Channing Tatum

You can’t go wrong with a classic tuxedo. Actor Channing Tatum showed up at the 2021 Met Gala adorned in a stunning Versace suit, complete with his newly-acquired buzzed hairstyle. Remarkably, this was Tatum’s first appearance at the event.

Designer: Versace

Image: Wireimage

Normani

Yellow Valentino – It doesn’t get more glam than this. While there’s pretty much no link to the theme, it still gets a pass purely for the designer and the star wearing it.

Designer: Valentino

Image: FilmMagic

Pete Davidson

Dressed in all Thom Browne, Pete Davidson joked that he was dressed as a ‘slutty nun’, but somehow he pulled it off. The outfit features a black midi dress, crisp white blazer and high ankle socks.

Designer: Thom Browne

Image: Getty

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams definitely understood the assignment. Taking inspiration for the Wild West, Pharrell killed it in a Chanel cowboy getup — designed by Karl Lagerfeld. Peep the bolo tie, gold-tipped boots.

Designer: Karl Lagerfeld

Image: Invision

Iman

David Bowie’s former flame and the effortlessly ageless Iman stunned in an over-the-top ensemble, complete with a feathered headpiece by Harris Reed.

Designer: Harris Reed

General FAQs

What is the Met Gala?

The Met Gala is the fashion world's equivalent of the Oscars. The evening brings together designers, models, and Hollywood stars in a visual buffet of looks, personified by over-the-top dresses, stunning formalwear and the utterly outrageous. The entire night is held to celebrate and fundraise at a new exhibit from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.

What is the 2021 Met Gala theme?

The 2021 Met Gala was held as an intimate event on September 13, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. A slightly more subdued edition, this year's theme was In America: A Lexicon of Fashion - celebrating all things American fashion.

Who are the 2021 Met Gala hosts?

As is tradition, the 2021 Met Gala had a number of cochairs who help host the event. This time around, fans tuned in to see actor Timothée Chalamet, musician Billie Eilish, poet Amanda Gorman, and tennis star Naomi Osaka cochair the affair. Meanwhile, fashion design icon Tom Ford, Instagram’s Adam Mosseri, and Vogue's Anna Wintour served as the honorary chairs.

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