Beer & Skittles: All the Glitz and Glamour at the 2021 Met Gala

Given how high-profile of an event  the Met Gala is, most people will be surprised to learn that that isn’t the event’s actual name – it’s formally known as the Costume Institute Gala. This lavish annual ball, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, is as glamorous as it is philanthropic, for the ball is actually a fundraiser with the entry requirement reported to be a contribution upwards of $35,000 per seat.

This gala is so well known, it’s dubbed THE social affair of the year, with the who’s who of society mostly in attendance. On this night, everyone brings their A game with their outfits, whether they are outrageous or drop dead gorgeous.

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The Kardashian-Jenners at the 2019 Met Gala

At the gala, money is raised for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, with each year’s ball coinciding with the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual exhibit. Typically held in early May, last year’s gala was cancelled due to the pandemic, while this year’s was postponed to September 13.

Each gala theme is based on the theme of the Costume Institute’s exhibit. This year’s theme, ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’, was one to behold as it’s the first of a two-part exploration of American fashion, collectively known as ‘American Independence’. The second part, ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion’, will open in early May next year. Notable themes from previous years are the 2015’s ‘China: Through the Looking Glass’ and the 2018 theme ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’.

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Blake Lively in Versace at the 2018 Met Gala

In keeping with this year’s American theme, the celebrity guests served in looks inspired by ‘Murica, whether it was through denim, florals or homages to old Hollywood.

Billie Eilish

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Billie Eilish channeled Marilyn Monroe in an ethereal puffy peach dress designed by Oscar de la Renta. The majestic gown hugged her curves like petals of a flower while the train spanned the whole stretch of stairs. A fitting soundtrack for her grand entrance at the gala would have been Billie’s very own hit song ‘You Should See Me in a Crown’.

Gemma Chan

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Chan, best known for playing Astrid Leong in Crazy Rich Asians, showed up in a Prabal Gurung dress in honour of the dragon cheongsam-style dress worn by Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American star who achieved Hollywood fame.

Simu Liu

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Simu, the breakout star of Marvel’s blockbuster superhero film Shang Chi, chose this suave Fendi suit for his inaugural Met Gala.

Kendall Jenner

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Kendall Jenner dazzled in a breathtaking custom Givenchy gown that paid homage to a dress worn by the Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn in the movie My Fair Lady.

Kim Kardashian

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This look needs no introduction – or face, for that matter. Kim Kardashian donned an all-black Balenciaga haute couture gown with a matching face mask and train to boot. This bold look was the talk of the town for days, spurring a flurry of memes.

Sienna Miller

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Sienna Miller, a British-American model and actress, wore a beautiful rhinestone Gucci gown.

Iman

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Iman looked like a goddess in her own right in a gleaming gold ensemble that lit up the show – Emma Chamberlain described her as the ‘literal vitamin D’ of the gala! She was outfitted by emerging designer Harris Reed whose vision was to bring in the evening with hope and rays of light. Along with her suit, she sported a sun-like ornament that took 400 hours of glueing, tacking, embellishing and gold-leafing (all by hand!) to make.

Rosé

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Rosé of Blackpink fame showed up in a sleek black dress and a striking clover choker from Saint Laurent, of which she is a brand ambassador for. 

CL

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CL wore a custom Alexander Wang dress that was a perfect fusion of the American theme and her Korean roots: a denim dress inspired by traditional Korean attire, the hanbok. Alongside Rosé, they are the first two female K-pop stars to grace the Met Gala red carpet!

Storm Reid

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Storm Reid’s full Prada outfit was composed of a bustier, removable feathered skirt and the trendy Cleo bag. Removing the skirt revealed black shorts beneath, a genius idea that served two purposes – afterparties and flaunting her toned bronze legs in style.

Lupita Nyong’o

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Nyong’o, known for her work in Black Panther and Us, turned up in an oh-so-American denim gown by Versace, paired with megawatt bling from De Beers.

Lili Reinhart

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The Riverdale actress came dressed in a pink Christian Siriano corset gown that featured the state flowers of all 50 U.S. states.

Lil Nas X

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Lil Nas X’s outfit (or as a matter of fact, outfits) was perhaps the most flamboyant of them all, with not one, not two but three parts to his Versace look!

Quannah Chasinghorse

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Chasinghorse proudly showcased her Indigenous heritage with a majestic dress from Peter Dundas’ collaboration with Revolve.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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The beloved U.S. Representative caused a stir with the bright red words scrawled on the back of her gown that carried a clear message: TAX THE RICH. This message calling for higher tax rates for the rich, juxtaposed with a room of people collectively worth billions of dollars and dressed in jewels worth millions, made quite the impact. (Unlike the other guests, AOC, in her capacity as a New York member of Congress, attended for free.) Many lauded her brilliant move – boldly using this huge event that would reach millions of people as a platform to draw attention to a pressing issue.

Timothée Chalamet

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Chalamet went the unconventional route with an outfit composed of a Haider Ackermann blazer and sweatpants paired with Converse high-tops and two 1920s-era Cartier brooches on his hip.

Sunisa Lee

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The Hmong-American gymnast glowed in a two-piece set by Sukeina that was reminiscent of the gold medals that Lee clinched at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Emily Blunt

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Emily Blunt wore a shimmery embellished Miu Miu gown with a star-spangled headpiece. Her dress was inspired by the iconic Hedy Lamarr in the film Ziegfeld, while her starry headband was a nod to America’s national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

Year on year, all eagerly await the Met Gala where guests push the boundaries with their elaborate get-ups. This year’s edition was no different, with numerous jaw-dropping outfits that were talked about for days on end. Everyone is already counting down the days to May 2 next year, where a worldwide audience will marvel at the embodiment of the ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion’ theme!

Written by: Natalie and Twis

Edited by: Jamie

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