When the Met Gala provides celebrities and designers with a clear-cut theme, the results tend to be stunning. Think 2018’s Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination with its spectacular plays on religious iconography. (Rihanna wore a pearl-encrusted pope hat!) Or 2019’s Camp: Notes on Fashion with its unabashedly kitsch and kooky couture experiments. (Like Lady Gaga’s iconic hot pink striptease.)
Last night’s Met Gala was guided only by the phrase (and exhibition title) In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. And its vagueness was evident all over the red carpet.
Billie Eilish took the opportunity to run straight towards old-school Hollywood glamour in a divine Oscar de la Renta gown. “I’m so excited. I have butterflies,” Eilish told E! News. “I couldn't be happier.” Same, Billie. Same.
Emily Ratajkowski took that “lexicon” and read it as vamp, in Vera Wang:
A few people embraced the “America” part of the theme. Like Debbie Harry in her flag stripes and blue denim:
And Pharrell Williams and his wife Helen Lasichanh, who did a matching leather cowboy thing:
But if I’d have had to guess what the theme of the evening was last night, I’d have said Glamping: Survivalist-Wear For a Post-COVID World. Nowhere was this more visible than in the ensembles of Rihanna and A$AP Rocky.