Although Covid meant the 2021 Met Gala was postponed from its usual first Monday in May date, the biggest night in fashion went ahead last night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. And the stars did not disappoint, hitting the red carpet in full force with more glamour and glory than ever.
This year’s gala celebrates the Costume Institute’s latest exhibition In America: A Lexicon of Fashion—which will open to the public on September 18th. It explores American design both past and present, along with a look at the cultural, political and social events that have occurred during the pandemic.
We’ve rounded up a selection of the most noteworthy looks—prepare for a heady dose of escapism, creativity, and sparkle.
It’s only fitting that Anna Wintour, honorary chairman of the Met Gala, graced the red carpet first. She wore a custom gown by Oscar de la Renta that was crafted from a pressed flower cotton poplin with a tiered pleated skirt—finished off with her signature shiny bob no less.
Digital darling and head of fashion at Instagram Eva Chen took a joyous approach in a colour-blocked gown by Christopher John Rogers, accessorised with a pair of check gloves for added drama. Swipe through to see the satin-faced organza train in all its rainbow glory.
Singer and songwriter Billie Eilish stunned in an Oscar de la Renta gown, a homage to old Hollywood inspired by the tulle dress that Marilyn Monroe wore to attend the Oscars in 1951.
The pop sensation is also a co-chair for the Met Gala this year, alongside other Gen-Z superstars such as Timothee Chalamet and Naomi Osaka.
Zoë Kravitz had a ‘less is more’ moment in this twinkling Saint Laurent dress. She accessorised the diamanté latticework number with drop earrings layered up her ear from New Zealand-born jewellery designer Jessica McCormack.
Atlanta rapper Lil Nas X stole the show with not one, but three, dramatic Versace looks, symbolic of stripping back the layers of protection from the prejudices faced as a queer person of colour.
A sweeping cape was removed to reveal a golden suit of armour, that was then followed by a skin tight body suit to represent his final form—living life as his true self.
Local songstress Lorde paid homage to the sun-worshipping themes in her latest album Solar Power, her two piece ensemble by New York designer Bode—known for an eclectic, hand finished approach to materials—was topped off by a beaded crown.
Tennis superstar Serena Williams stunned in a superhero inspired Gucci lace bodysuit that was framed by a sweeping ombré feather cape. She accessorised the look with a miniature silver version of the brand’s iconic Jackie 1961 bag and platform heels.
Actress Whoopi Goldberg wore a custom Valentino cape, dress, and gloves designed by the Italian fashion house’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli. Dramatic tiers of violet ruffles were topped off with a contrasting pair of green gloves and the star’s signature round spectacles.
Rihanna turned up fashionably late with new beau, rapper ASAP Rocky, on her arm—the pair making a dramatic entrance in Balenciaga, and LA-based label ERL, respectively.
Queen Ri sported head-to-toe black, opting for a sculptural gown with an exaggerated neckline, while ASAP arrived in a colourful puffy patchwork quilt that he then ditched to reveal a classic black tuxedo.
For more show-stopping inspiration, take a look at the best red carpet looks from the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and the 2021 Venice Film Festival.