It’s the second Monday in September, which, were it any other year, would mean nothing but a typical return to the 9-to-5 grind. In 2021, however, it's fashion’s biggest night: the Met Gala. After 16 long months without bathroom photos and step selfies, not to mention the most extravagant of ensembles, the “Oscars of Fashion” are back for Anna Wintour’s in-list — or anyone who could afford an estimated $30,000 seat.
Following the first in-person New York Fashion Week since February 2020, this year’s Met Gala is all about American fashion. Separated into two exhibitions — “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” and “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” — the Costume Institute at NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art will attempt to tell America’s history through fashion and answer the question, “Who gets to be American?” But, what does that mean for the red carpet? Political and societal commentary obviously plays a heavy role in the sartorial choices of this year’s Met Gala attendees to varying degrees of effectiveness, as are looks borrowed from the archives of America’s most famous designers from the past, like Stephen Burrows, Halston, and Oscar de la Renta. We were most keen to see which contemporary designers would be represented and, in a way, canonized, like Christopher John Rogers, Pyer Moss, Prabal Gurung, and more.
See all the most telling looks from the 2021 Met Gala red carpet, ahead.