15 Looks That Saved the 2021 Met Gala
So many disappointments that not even Rihanna could save us.
Let's just say it: the Met Gala was … embarrassing.
We waited two years, we speculated for months, and then the night finally came and it was disappointing at best, but more aptly described as a horror show of mediocrity and misses. And then we woke up the day after and had to remember that no, it wasn't a dream.
The theme was "A Lexicon in American Fashion" and if you're wondering what that meant, so was everyone else. The current trends of maximalism were at odds with the classic silhouettes which inspired the theme. The unclear references and lackluster looks had little to say about American Fashion.
Met galas theme being Murica or whatever and everyone understood the assignment because it is pure chaos, no consistency, bad vibes, incoherent\u2026 just rich people doing up rich people tings.— One Hand on Frontal (@One Hand on Frontal) 1631580778
In fact, most of the looks just made us cringe.
Controversial guests like Addison Rae and Madison Beer proved the skeptics correct by pulling up looking like they were going to the prom in ill fitting dresses and mall-like makeup.
And some of the more statement outfits fell so flat they were hard to look at. I mean … I can barely believe Ciara wore a neon green sequined cutout dress, let alone that it was emblazoned with a jersey number and that she accessorized with a football — Kaepernick is somewhere taking a knee.
Not even Rihanna could save us.
After showing up at the final hour, Rihanna finally made it to the red carpet draped in a blanket-like cape with a fitted headdress and cap. Honestly, the look was glamorous and dramatic. However, all the pictures with her goofy boyfriend kind of ruined it.
Even the highly anticipated guests of the night were controversial. The elephant in the room: Timothee Chalamet wore converse. And sweatpants? The outfit was confusing and the juxtaposition was debatably successful — but his charm carried it.
Yet, between groans of disappointment, there were bright spots, glimmers of hope. Thank God for the few, brave soldiers who dared to dress well for the Met Gala. Here are some of our favorites.
The undisputed winner of the night, Iman wore one of the only looks of the night that screamed: I AM AT THE MET GALA. Not a detail was spared. She donned a gold brocade jumpsuit with flared pants, which served as the base for the tiered feather skirt with a matching circular feathered headdress. From the dramatic shapes, the golden details inspired by America's Golden Age, and the haloed headdress, Iman was one of the only guests who understood the assignment.
25-year-old designer Harris Reed is famous for "fighting for the beauty of fluidity," playing with beauty and gender and playfulness — all of which came through in this incredible look.
Take notes: sheer dresses are IN. The theme of the season so far has been skin, but of all the sheer looks so far, Zoe Kravitz in YSL. The metal dress, the metal underwear, goodnight.
Inspired by Josephine Baker, Yara Shadi's dress was a masterclass in intricacies. The details of the elegant lace and the curled hair to resemble Baker were dramatized by the long veil that trailed behind her on the carpet. The mix of subtlety and drama was a feat by designer Jason Bolden in one of the most stunning looks of the night.
Another masterpiece of elegance was Anok Yai. The model's whole look is goosebump-inducing, from the jewel encrusted gown, the feather boa, and the slicked back pixie cut. A vision.
This was the year that specific designers showcased their individual talent. From the few Great looks emerged a pattern: the same newer, younger designers were the ones bringing all the creativity. One such designer was BODE. The menswear brand went all out, and one standout look was for Lorde. The religion-inspired look was an elegant silhouette adorned with American ephemera for a whimsical but beautiful look.
GQ's Will Welch also wore custom BODE in one of the only standout preppy looks from the night. Inspired by American icons like Ralph Lauren, as well as folksy patchwork, this suit was one of the most interesting looks of the night.
True to his Texas roots, Leon Bridges also brought it in BODE, giving the best Western inspired look of the night. While other takes on the West felt too overdone — we're looking at you J-Lo — Bridges wore a finger denim jacket and studded pants, accessorized with cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, and cartier jewelry — only in America.
Another designer that pulled out all the stops was Thom Browne. Every single look was an inventive take on suiting, tailoring, and the classic black and white. One such standout was Pete Davidson, who wore a classic Thom Browne look: a skirt. The designer is famous for his male skirts and a bleach blonde Davidson, knee tattoos and all, pulled off the immaculately shaped and fitted suit jacket and skirt combo with confidence and ease.
Pose star MJ Rodriguez was one of the night's standouts in another master class in shape by Thom Browne. Instead of going for the classic clean lines, Browne proved his versatility by dressing Rodriguez in a "balloon-sleeve tuxedo shirt and button-back draped skirt."
But that description does not do justice to the elegance of the spiral skirt or the drama of the sleeves, and certainly not to the energy that MJ carried onto the carpet — with an air of confidence and performance that was sorely lacking.
Eryka Badu can do no wrong. And neither can Thom Browne. Together, this Met Gala look was both sophisticated and sleep-inspired. Badu's top hat and suspenders, contrasted with the blanket-like robe in a look Browne described as a "black silk duchess satin down stole, sportcoat and suspender skirt in black cavalry twill." An instant classic.
We're all here for the resurgence of Megan Fox — especially when MGK is not implicated. After a stunning slate of looks at NYFW and the VMAs, Fox did not disappoint. The actress wore a dramatic red Peter Dundas gown, but what really made her look was her dramatic hair and makeup.
Nia Dennis, Ella Emhoff and Julia Garner
In Stella McCartney, the trio were the best iteration of the red, white, and blue. Dennis opened the ceremony with a gymnastics show in a blue jumpsuit, celebrating both physicality and fashion. Emhoff wore an all red tracksuit with a sequined bodice, blending the elegant with the casual. Lastly, Garner wore a sheer bedazzled dress — which was a recurring theme of the night.
Michaela Coel in deep violet sequins? No notes. Stunning. No talk about Kim's Balenciaga; only this look will be discussed here. The explosion of color offset the simplicity of the shape in the most dramatic way for a bold, memorable look.
Troye Sivan, former YouTuber and now pop star, was in one of the simplest but best looks of the night. The deceptively simple gown played with shape in the best way with its elegant circles and rounded cutouts. We love him, we love it.
Finally, another look which understood the assignment! Jeremey O'Harris in a black palazzo suit and yellow Tommy Hilfiger puffer. That's all.
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