Celebrities who Dressed Appropriately According to the 2021 Met Gala Theme

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By Gianna Bernier, Staff Writer

The 2021 Met Gala was themed “American Independence,” with many renowned figures arriving at the popular event wearing extravagant outfits that pay homage to America’s fashion icons. The fashion industry’s Met Gala is a famous event in which A-list celebrities are expected to make an appearance dressed according to the year’s theme.

Many celebrities, however, disregarded the dress code and entered the gala in questionable attire. With stars including Billie Eilish, Timothee Chalamet, Kendall Jenner, Rihanna, and many more, only a handful of them successfully followed this year’s theme.

Picture of Kendall Jenner at the Met Gala
Kendall Jenner at the Met Gala (Teen Vogue)

Chance the Rapper was speculated to have been one of the celebrities who surprisingly dressed appropriately, for he arrived wearing American fashion designer Ralph Lauren’s classic suit, while adding an Americana spin to it as well. His suit jacket’s inspiration came from the ‘90s U.S. Olympics-themed Stadium collection. Also wearing Ralph Lauren is Kasey Musgraves, as many describe Ralph Lauren as being a symbol of American fashion. “Ralph Lauren, being a native of New York, New York, definitely emits a sense of American fashion in all of his designs,” remarks Isabella Bernier, a Sophomore at Wayne Hills High School.

Matthew Williams, an esteemed American creative director, had his design debuted by Kendall Jenner at this year’s Met Gala. Jenner entered the carpet with a beautifully jeweled Givenchy dress. The inspiration behind this outfit was Audrey Hepburn’s dress in the film My Fair Lady. Williams and Jenner wanted to pay their respects to Hepburn by deriving a modern take on her gown. 

Similar to Jenner’s homage to Hepburn, Kaia Gerber paid special honor to Bianca Jagger by wearing a version of Jagger’s dress that she first wore to the Met in ‘81. “I do believe that Jenner and Gerber are sticking to the theme of American Independence,” says Isabella Bernier, “as they wore outfits that honored icons who set American standards apart from all else.”

Picture of Nikkie de Jager at the Met Gala
Nikkie de Jager at the Met Gala (Teen Vogue)

In order to successfully stick to this Met’s theme, celebrities were forced to recognize the impressive, yet shattered, nature of America, and the individuals who actively deconstructed stereotypical mindsets that restricted societal progress. Influencer Nikkie de Jager, also known as Nikkie Tutorials, wore a fanciful gown designed by an Amsterdam designer. The dress ultimately paid respects to activist Marsha P. Johnson, for it had Johnson’s famous phrase “Pay it no Mind” embroidered on it. In 1969, Johnson led the Stonewall Riots, granting recognition to the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

Actor Gemma Chan’s gown also paid homage to a crucial figure in American history, Anna May Wong. Her outfit resembled Anna May Wong’s design on her dress back in 1934. She is known for being one of the first Asian-American performers in Hollywood. This year’s Met Gala theme allowed celebrities the freedom to honor individuals in America who ultimately changed subjective narratives and dismantled conventional beliefs, and only a handful of celebrities took advantage of this opportunity. 

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