NewYork: Billie Eilish went full glam in a huge peach ball gown at the pandemic-delayed Met Gala on Monday night, while a fellow host of the evening Amanda Gorman was breathtaking in cobalt blue custom Vera Wang with a diamond laurel wreath in her hair.
Rihanna, ever the Met Gala queen, showed up late in a huge black Balenciaga look and hat accompanied by A$ap Rocky in a multi-colored quilted coat from ERL. She wore over 267 carats of Bulgari diamonds, including two choker necklaces.
Co-host Timothee Chalamet raced onto Fifth Avenue to take selfies with fans before walking up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for his entrance after a marching band and gymnast Nia Dennis kicked off the long-awaited evening.
Last year’s gala was canceled due to the pandemic.
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This year’s official theme of the fundraiser for the museum’s Costume Institute was ”American Independence”, leaving plenty of room for interpretation. Just ask Lil Nas X, who did a Lady Gaga-Esque striptease on the carpet in gold Versace, from cape to armor to the embellished jumpsuit.
Eilish, the belle of the ball, wore Oscar de la Renta. She told Vogue: ”It was time for this. I feel like I’ve grown so much over the last few years.” Chalamet had Converse sneakers on his feet but Cartier diamonds on his look. Chalamet called his outfit, including Rick Owens sweatpants, ”a bit of everything”, just like America. Alfonso Navas, the fashion editor for Esquire, lauded his fashion choices as ”a smart play on the theme by interpreting American icons in sportswear.” Gorman’s dress, which included more than 3,000 hand-sewn crystals, was made to evoke a starry night sky. She told Vogue she felt like Lady Liberty, reimagined. Her crown, the star poet said, was a nod to publishing.
Another of the hosts, Naomi Osaka, wanted to celebrate all her cultures — Japan, Haitian and the US — and picked a Louis Vuitton gown designed in collaboration with her sister, Mari Osaka. It was a swirly blue, aqua and purple print with long black ruffle sleeves and a wide red sash.
If this gala produced a trend, it’s huge statement sleeves, with some stars and stripes thrown in. There was a smattering of red, as in the red, white and blue of the American flag. Karlie Kloss wore red Carolina Herrera with huge ruffles at the neck and sleeves. Jennifer Hudson also chose red sans sleeves.
Also in red: Ella Emhoff, the daughter of the country’s second gentleman, Doug Emhoff, and Vice President Kamala Harris. She wore a bodysuit and high-shine trousers by Stella McCartney with a sheer top and a crystal design in all the right places. She wore Adidas by McCartney embellished in red and made partially of a recycled material derived from ocean plastic.
The gala, drawing standouts in fashion, TV, film, sports, tech and beyond, included tiny but mighty Olympian Simone Biles in an 88-pound Area embroidered gown of silver with a top adorned in a firework burst pattern and a huge train carried up the museum steps by six men. The gown was a collaboration with Athleta.
Ralph Lauren dressed Jennifer Lopez in a faux fur wrap with a dark brown crystal and beaded look in her signature plunge at the neck and high slit, a wide-brimmed Western-style hat on her head. She and Ben Affleck smooched with masks on days after their red carpet coming out in Venice.
Dan Levy took the party’s theme to the extreme in a blue confection from Loewe. It had, according to the brand, ”printed leg of mutton sleeves” on a polo shirt with an applique of two men kissing.
Yara Shahidi wore silver custom Dior complete with a light hood. She said she was inspired by Josephine Baker. Harris Reed, in collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana, put Iman in a huge golden feathered head piece and equally adorned skirt of crinoline with a jacquard bustier.
Blake Newby, the style and beauty editor for Essence, called Iman’s look “both massive and angelic.” Gala overseer Anna Wintour arrived early with a wave to the crowd accompanied by her pregnant daughter, Bee, in a floral design with ruffles at the neck.
Along with oh-so-many jumpsuits, there were plenty of classic red carpet looks and a wave of gold, the latter including a Peter Dundas look worn by Mary J. Blige. It plunged to the belly button and beyond at the front and back. MJ Rodriguez, the “Pose” star and first transgender performer to pick up an Emmy nomination in a major acting category, wore an old glam, black-and-white corseted look from Thom Browne.
The designer called it a modern-day twist on classic American sportswear. She attended the gala with purpose.
”Not a lot of trans girls like myself get this opportunity,” she said. ”The human condition is what I’m here for.” US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showed up in a Brother Vellies by Aurora James gown of white with a message splashed in red across the back: ”Tax the Rich.” ”It’s really about having a real conversation about fairness and equity in our system, and I think this conversation is particularly relevant as we debate the budget and reconciliation bill,” she said. The evening had its share of what-the-heck moments, like a couple of horse heads on dresses and a green-haired Frank Ocean carrying a fake baby with a green face to match. Thom Browne gave the walking fashion statement Erykah Badu an extra-tall top hat with a bulky black look, a bunch of crystals and chunky bling around her neck.
Her purse was a black leather dachshund.