For some, fashion represents necessity or frivilousness. For others, it’s a representation of who we are – the past, the present and the future. Clothing can show us so much about who we are as a person, the cultures we come from, those we admire, and what we aspire to. That juxtoposition may be even more apparent on the First Monday in May, the day of the famed Met Gala. I imagine some people might see photos of the event and think it’s ridiculous that celebrities dressing up and walking the red carpet gets called fashions biggest night. But, if you know the meaning behind it, you know it’s so much more than just celebrities and beautiful clothing.
The Met Gala always coincides with the launch of a new fashion exhibit at NYC’s Metropolitan Museum, and is hosted by Vogue magazine. The event is a fundraiser for the Met’s Costume Institute (tables cost upwards of $300k). The theme of the exhibit always ties into the theme of the gala. This year’s theme was “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” with the dress code being gilded glamour and white tie (the most formal of formal). The clothing is supposed to tell a story. For example, 2022 Met Gala host Blake Lively’s look represents the early skysrapers of Manhattan and the patina of the Statue of Liberty. Janelle Monae’s black and white look is a representation of her working class upbringing, plus a mix of the Gilded Age, her personality and the future. Jessica Chastains regal look pays homage to an actress of the gilded era, Sarah Berhardt.
There is a saying trending these days, “they understood the assignment.” It can be used in many ways, but essentially it alludes to the fact that the person in question knew exactly what to do for the topic at hand. Sadly, most of the Met Gala attendees didn’t seem to understand the assignment. That means their stylists and designers didn’t either. The Gilded Age, according to online dictionaries, was a period in American history from about 1870 to 1900, during which rapid industrialization, a labor pool swelled by immigration, and minimal governmental regulation allowed the upper classes to accumulate great wealth and enjoy opulent lifestyles. It was America’s version of the Victorian era. It was not the Roaring 20’s, nor was it Rococo (Marie Antoinette’s era), and it defintiely wasn’t Hollywood glamour. As you look through my list of best dressed, you’ll see quickly who did and didn’t understand the assignment. SJP, Taylor Hill and Blake Lively totally understood it. In fact they all get A+ marks in my book. While many stars stretched the interpretation of the theme, let’s be honest, they still looked great. Below are my picks for best dressed at the 2022 Met Gala. (With a 500 person guest list, my list is long too! I starred those I think understood the assignment.)
While the Met Gala certainly calls for a theme, with all these beautifully dressed people, it really goes to show that fashion is open to interpretation. Read more about the First Monday in May here.
Image Sources: E! Online, Vanity Fair, Deadline, Vogue
Signed with Style,