There was a wide-spectrum of interpretations at this year’s Gala, which saw a K-pop star making history and a newly-minted billionaire arriving fashionably late.
To kick off the latest exhibit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, the biggest names in Hollywood and the fashion industry converge for the MET Gala. According to the exhibit, a theme is set each year, and the star-studded guest list dress accordingly.
This year’s concept is titled America: A Lexicon of Fashion. The curator in charge of the Costume Institute, Andrew Bolton, decided on the theme with inspiration from the “self-reflective” works of American designers.
“I’ve been really impressed by American designers’ responses to the social and political climate, particularly around issues of body inclusivity and gender fluidity,” Bolton told Vogue.
With the wide range of how the dress code’s theme can be interpreted, celebrities arrived with different takes on what “American independence” means.
Here are some of the highlights of fashion’s biggest night. From the influx of Gen Z stars who were invited for the first time to the fabulous jewelry billionaire Rihanna arrived (fashionably late) in.
Anna Wintour in Oscar De la Renta
Just like each year’s Ball, Vogue editor-in-chief and MET Gala’s honorary chair member was first to arrive to ensure everything’s in order. However, unlike the past 10 events Wintour has attended, she’s not wearing Chanel.
For a change, 71-year-old opted for a multi-colored floral Oscar de la Renta piece.
Rihanna in Bulgari High Jewelry
The singer and billionaire businesswoman was the last celebrity to arrive on the red carpet. But as a fan favorite, the wait was considered worth it—especially with all the diamonds she donned.
Rihanna paired her draped ensemble with Bulgari High Jewelry, Thelma West ring, and Maria Tash earrings in her multiple ear piercings.
Billie Eilish in Oscar de la Renta
The singer and first-time MET Gala attendee also served as part of its co-chair committee. Elish embellished her Oscar de la Renta look with 13 pieces of Cartier jewelry— including Cartier High Jewelry diamond earrings, four 18-karat gold diamond bracelets, and several diamond rings.
IMAN in Dolce and Gabbana
In a look that collaborates Dolce and Gabbana and Harris Reed, supermodel Iman wanted to convey the message that there’s “a ray of light” after moments of darkness.
Reed, a British-American designer, said that the ballroom culture of America’s “golden age.” inspired his idea for the piece.
Serena Williams in Gucci
“Superhero-inspired” is how the tennis described her look for the evening. Williams arrived on the red carpet with her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
Kristen Stewart in Chanel
The actress wears a blouse and pant combo by Chanel, of course. Stewart has been Chanel’s ambassador and “modern muse” since 2013.
Kate Hudson in Michael Kors
The 42-year-old graces the MET’s red carpet just hours after announcing her engagement to musician Danny Fujikawa on Instagram. Along with her new ring, Hudson pairs her “all American girl” look with Giuseppe Zanotti heels and jewels by Lorraine Schwartz.
Lil Nas X in Versace
The rapper is known to be theatrical so we couldn’t expect less than a performance—even as he walks down the MET Gala’s carpet. He showed up in not one but three head-turning looks for the event.
Lil Nas X first showed up in an oversized robe, then made his way to the MET’s carpet when two men removed his cape to reveal gold body armor.
After a short time, he stepped in front of photographers again in a metallic Versace bodysuit.
Rosé and Anthony Vaccarello in Saint Laurent
The member of Korean pop group Blackpink attends the Gala for the first time in Saint Laurent. Along with rapper CL, Rosé makes history as one of the first few Korean celebrities to be invited to the event.
Saint Laurent’s creative director accompanies the 24-year-old on the red carpet, also wearing a look from the French fashion house.
Emma Chamberlain in Louis Vuitton
Another Gen Z star makes her MET Gala debut, this time in custom Louis Vuitton. Chamberlain, a Youtuber and LV ambassador, wore a piece that took 290 hours to hand-embroider.
According to a statement from Louis Vuitton, the dress uses almost 34,800 rhinestones, sequins, and microbeads. In addition, 2,000 Swarovski crystals were hand-stitched into the shimmering gold piece.
Grimes in Iris Van Herpen
The experimental Canadian musician describes her look as “Dune-esque.” Referring to Frank Herbert’s American sci-fi novel Dune, which will have a film adaptation released next month.
In fact, Turner, Grimes’ stylist, reached out to the movie’s production team to borrow actual props used in the film.
The rest of Grimes’ nude-bodice look is by Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen. It took 900 hours to make by utilizing laser cutters and 26 meters of gradient-dyed, hand-pleated silk.
Banner photo from @bfa on Instagram