By: Lily Riesett
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit, better known as the Met Gala, took place on Monday, Sept. 13. This event is held each year to raise money for the Met’s Costume Institute and commemorate the opening of the Institute’s fashion exhibit. This year, the gala was in honor of the show “In America: The Lexicon of Fashion.” For most viewers though, this benefit is known as the star-studded event where the richest celebrities can show off their fashion choices. This year’s gala was no different.
The 2021 Met Gala did have some logistical differences though. For one thing, it is in celebration of only the first of two installations of “In America.” There will be another event in May of 2022 in honor of the second half of the exhibit. Because of this and the threat of the COVID-19 delta variant, the gala has been downscaled compared to years past. The smaller guest list became very youth-focused, inviting younger celebrities such as Tik-Tok stars. This was not only to attract a young viewing audience, but also because the fashion shown in the Met exhibit is emphasizing young designers. 70 percent of the fashion on display in “In America” was designed by what the benefit classifies as “young designers.”
With the Met gala being a smaller event this year, tickets were in even higher demand. Tickets were selling for $35,000 a pop. Entire table spaces were being sold for between $200,000 and $300,000. The stars that can afford this had to present a negative COVID test, proof of vaccination, and wear a mask during the event at all times when not eating. Tables were also spaced out so they follow basic social distancing guidelines.
The hosts of the Met Gala continued the theme of emphasizing younger stars, designers, and viewers. Amanda Gorman, the poet who read at President Biden’s inauguration, was chosen to be a co-host at just age 23. Timothee Chalamet was another host, drumming up anticipation for his two new film releases, Dune and The French Dispatch. Tennis player Naomi Osaka and singer Billie Eilish made up the other host duo for the event.
One of the most talked about parts of the Met Gala is the fashion worn by the attendees. Though there was a limited number of guests, there was not a lack of impressive fashion seen that evening. Host Amanda Gorman wore a dark blue, sequin-studded Vera Wang dress. She carried a purse imitating the book “Give Us Your Tired,” imitating the Statue of Liberty. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a white floor-length gown with the words “Tax the rich.” Cortez was invited to the event since she is a politician for the city of New York, and took this as an opportunity to protest the upper class attendees who could purchase a ticket.
All viewers have their own opinion of who was best dressed at this fashion event. St. Mary’s sophomore Andrew Seitzman says “I loved how simple yet elegant Troye Sivan’s Met Gala look was. He had a very simple dress that was elevated with wonderful studded boots, a leather cuff on his bicep and a gorgeous Cartier necklace.” The fashion elevated the event as always.