The U.S. in Total Amazement After 2021 Met Gala!

Linnea Sundquist, Staff Author

The Met Gala, a costume event (formally called the Costume Institute Gala or the Costume Institute Benefit), is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume institute in New York City.  Actors, models, and designers deliver the most over-the-top outfits to advertise the new exhibit at the museum. Every year there is a theme, which could be anything from Camp, Roman Catholic, China through the Looking Glass, or the House of Chanel. The event was formerly held on September 13th since it was cancelled last year due to COVID19, and this year, included a mandatory mask mandate and a vaccination protocol for the gala. The event did have some differences due to COVID. Additionally, many of the celebrities that usually attend like Blake Lively or Taylor Swift were unable to attend the prestigious event. 

  One of the most important parts of the Met Gala is the theme. Organizers of the event decided to use ‘American Fashion’ as this year’s theme, to emphasize both political and social movements and how fashion has changed over the years in American History. The Wendy Yu Curator, who is the co-chair of Wendy Yu Costume Institute, Andrew Bolton, spoke with Vogue; “I’ve been really impressed by American designers’ responses to the social and political climate, particularity around issues of body inclusivity and gender fluidity, and I’m just finding their work very, very self reflective.” Many stars wore outfits by American designers or wore outfits paying homage to some American celebrities. Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez dressed in a very feathered and brown plunging gown made by the American designer Ralph Lauren, with others such as Billie Eilish with a gown inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s dress worn to the 1951 Oscars. This theme has shed a lot of light on some smaller American designers. This event has also brought some of America’s history along with it too, like the rising Youtube star Nikki Tutorials decided to pay tribute to Marsha P Johnson as well as the Indigenous activist and model Quannah Chasinghorse, whose gown was made to show more representation to Indigenous people.

Even though the turnout was spectacular, there were a few friendly faces who could not attend the Met Gala. Zendaya, who, last year, wowed the audience with her showstopping Cinderella gown in 2019,  could not attend this year due to scheduling conflicts with her new show, Euphoria. Another star who stunned the crowd last year with his gorgeous sheer Gucci jumpsuit, Harry Styles, who couldn’t attend this year due to the fact that he is currently on tour as well with a ton of other celebrities who were absent this year either due to work, they were on vacation or they had family issues to attend to. 

 Even as the party continued inside, a Black Lives Matter protest broke out just outside of the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. According to some flyers the protest was organized by an “autonomous group of NYC abolitionists who believe that policing does not protect and serve communities.” On Twitter there is a group called #FireThemAll which are to be believed the protestors who helped organize the protest. Multiple videos were taken during the protest as well as capturing some of the things that were being said. Many of the protestors were shouting “Mike Rosado,” referencing a 24 year old man who lived in the Bronx who was shot and killed by off-duty policemen in August. There are also multiple videos circulating Twitter that show police officers violently and aggressively pushing protestors down, arresting them with zip-tie handcuffs. The protest was held to raise awareness to the fact that the police were being allotted 11 billion in resources, rather than allocating those funds to help black and brown communities that are in need of support. A total of 9 people were arrested during this protest, including a girl named “Ella”, the organizer of this protest. A video was taken of Ella speaking; “35,000 dollars for a ticket to show your wealth while our people are still dying, we demand free housing, we demand all political prisoners to be freed.” None of the attendees of the gala had openly spoken about the protest, nor have any of the guests, as far as we know, been aware of the protest. 

Back inside the museum, the Met Gala was co-hosted by our Gen-Z stars, Timothee Chalamet, Amanda Gordon, Billie Eilish, and Naomi Osaka. The main host is, as always, Anna Wintour. Rihanna has stated that she will be hosting the after party as well. She made a formal statement on her Instagram account saying, “if you planning to a Met Ball after party……….don’t”. The Met Gala this year took a very surprising turn of events this year but overall was a very memorable and gripping event.