This Monday, September 13, the stars have followed one another on the red carpet of the Met Gala 2021. Some looks have attracted more attention than others, such as that of singer Billie Eilish whose Marilyn Monroe outfit has retained the ‘Warning.
Stars from all over the world had a date at New York for the 2021 edition du Met Gala this Monday, September 13. The dresscode of this very selective event? American Independance, a theme that foreshadowed a succession of dresses created by designers made in USA or direct references to American history and culture. Actress Emily Ratajkowski, in red dress Vera Wang or Jennifer Lopez as cowgirl Ralph Lauren, played the game to the max. Kim Kardashian with her Balenciaga outfit that even covered her face (a reflection on anonymity?) Was for her part oftribute to the T-shirt, the flagship invention of ready-to-wear across the Atlantic.
But the queen of the event was unquestionably singer Billie Eilish. The one who has just released her second album was the co-hostess of the evening alongside Timothée Chalamet, Naomi Osaka and Amanda Gorman. The artist had made the choice ofan Oscar de la Renta corset dress peach color whose neckline revealed the shoulders. With her platinum blonde curls and carmine lips, she evoked another American star, queen of the 50’s: Marilyn Monroe. Equipped with a train 4.5 meters long, this exceptional dress would have been the subject of a deal entered into with the American brand. According to information from New York Times, the 19-year-old would have agreed to wear this Oscar de la Renta piece on the red carpet on the condition that the label stops using fur in its future collections. Well done !
For the second year in a row, no Met Gala in May. If the 2020 edition was simply canceled, that of 2021 has been postponed to next Monday, September 13. So the event was held at the close of New York Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2021, whose last parade was scheduled the day before. To wait until this date, young fashion enthusiasts launched a look contest last May on social networks. The goal: to democratize the Met Gala and make it an event in which everyone can participate.
Each year, the theme of the Met Gala changes to match the exhibit it opens. the Met Gala 2020, which did not take place, had for theme About time : Fashion and duration, the Met Gala 2019 focused on aesthetics camp, the 2018 edition was titled Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination while the Met Gala 2017 celebrated Rei Kawakubo, the founder of the Comme des Garcon brand. In 2021, the Met Gala was themed American fashion and was called exactly American Independance. It preceded the opening of the exhibitions In America : A lexicon of Fashion which will start on September 18, 2021 and In America: An Anthology of Fashion which will be inaugurated May 5, 2022. September 18 will also mark the 75th Costume Institute anniversary. Happy Birthday !
Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford, Lady Gaga, Riccardo Tisci … The presidents of the Met Gala are as prestigious as the guests who flock there. In 2021, American youth in all their diversity was in the spotlight since singer Billie Eilish, actor Timothée Chalamet, tenniswoman Naomi Osaka and poet Amanda Gorman will animate the event.
It is the tradition, the guest list of the Met Gala is not revealed until the stars have arrived on the red carpet. For the 2021 edition of the Met Ball, we had to count on Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Justin Bieber, Simon Biles, Alicia Keys, Lili Reinhart, Megan Fox, Lily-Rose Depp … And if the stars had mostly relied on American designers (Raph Lauren, Prabal Gurung, Vera Wang, Coach, Rick Owens, Thom Browne, Christian Siriano, Tom Ford), this is the French house Balenciaga who was one of the most represented on the red carpet. Demna Gvasalia, the artistic director of the label, thus dressed Rihanna, Isabelle Huppert, Elliot Page, Tracee Ellis Ross and Michaela Coel. Not to mention Kim Kardashian, dressed in a total black look that did not allow to see the slightest inch of skin, since even her face was covered in the manner of Morphsuits.
The exclusive collections
Several American designers have been invited by the Met Gala to imagine exclusive pieces for the exhibition In America : A lexicon of Fashion. Among these : Virgil Abloh d’Off-White, Emily Bode de Bode, Aurora James de Brother Vellies, Christopher John Rogers, Hillary Taymour de Collina Strada, Rio Uribe de Gypsy Sport, Prabal Gurung, et Kerby Jean-Raymond de Pyer Moss. The collections of these designers, which will almost all be exhibited at the Met from September 18, will be unveiled in successive drops until April 2022.
In 1946, with financial support from the fashion industry, the Museum of Costume Art merged with the Metropolitan Museum of Arts to become the Costume Institute. Two years later, the Costume Institute Benefit also known as the Met Gala, the inaugural meeting of the exhibition, first bi-annual, then annual, is launched. The intention is clear: this supper in the heart of the museum is conceived as “the evening of the year”. It is certainly thanks to the contribution ofEleanor Lambert that it becomes. This ultra-powerful press secretary, nicknamed the Empress of Seventh Avenue, has a keen eye for fashion and communication. Her career bears witness to this: she founded the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1962, New York Fashion Week and participated in the legendary Black and White Ball by Truman Capote in 1966. Her talent joins that of the great editor-in-chief of Vogue US Diana Vreeland, in charge of the museum’s exceptional programming from 1972 to his death in 1989, to place the event at the center of attention and make it so coveted.
The Met Gala is part of Eleanor Lambert’s project to make the United States a benchmark in the fashion world. Little wonder, then, that it quickly became essential. In its wake, a succession of socialites influential at the head of the committee including Jackie Kennedy, or socialite Patricia Buckley, helped to promote the event. Corn it is only recently, since 1999 and the arrival of Anna Wintour at its head, that the gala reaches the scale that we know it. The editor-in-chief of Vogue US known for her ability to reconcile the popular star system and fashion elitism has succeeded. For its prestige as well as its extraordinary media coverage, the big labels and stars from all walks of life are fighting to get there. As a result, the major red carpet is the scene of the greatest sartorial extravagances, but also of celebrity scandals (we remember the elevator dispute between Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Solange in 2014). For reasons of security, but certainly especially of confidentiality, since 2015, smartphones are prohibited there. Which does not fail to arouse curiosity around the biggest evening of the year.
Unless you are the guest of a fashion brand or a designer, you have to pay. Behind the most popular party in the fashion industry is in fact a formidable slot machine. In 2016, the New York Times unveiled the prices for attending the evening, from $ 30,000 per seat to $ 275,000 per table. Thanks to these sums, the Met Gala is the main source of funding for the Costume Institute. It also generates tremendous traffic for the exposure it introduces. The exhibition China : Through the Looking Glass has, for example, accumulated more than 800,000 visitors. An institution in its own right, the evening was even the subject of a documentary film. The First Monday in May by Andrew Rossi, released in 2016. All of this contributes to assimilating fashion to museum material, studied and preserved.
The Met Gala is held annually at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Those who have not had the opportunity to visit this museum have surely already seen it in one of the many audiovisual productions having Big Apple like theater. It is for example on its steps that Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen feed themselves almost exclusively on plain yogurt and instigate their little plots to be the queens of the Upper East Side in Gossip Girl.