Not everyone played fast and loose with the American theme. The red carpet thrummed with looks tied to American legacies: old Hollywood glamour (Billie Eilish
in Oscar de la Renta), disco (Keke Palmer
in Sergio Hudson), the Southwest (J.Lo in Ralph Lauren), rockabilly (Megan Fox in Dundas), denim (Debbie Harry in Zac Posen and Lupita Nyong’o in Versace), and good old fashioned Converse Chuck Taylors (Timothée Chalamet). On paper, those looks checked off the box marked “American.” Meanwhile, other attendees paid homage to iconic American women, including Yara Shahidi channeling Josephine Baker, Kaia Gerber dressing up as Bianca Jagger, Kendall Jenner finding inspo in Audrey Hepburn, and Eiza Gonzalez going á la Rita Hayworth. More used their clothes to make comments on today’s political landscape in America, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who wore a “Tax the Rich
” gown by Brother Vellies designer Aurora James. Amanda Gorman
, co-chair of the event, wore a Vera Wang Haute gown, designed to embody the Statue of Liberty, and a book-shaped clutch with the words, “Give Me Your Tired,” in reference to the poem engraved on the monument. Actor Dan Levy’s Loewe look made a statement about marriage equality. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney wore her stance on the Equal Rights Amendment stitched on her dress.