The ‘Gilded Glamour’ (and Unchecked Folly) of the 2022 Met Gala

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Lizzo smiles broadly, while wearing gold hoop necklaces, a black bodice and ornate black and gold coat. He is clutching a gold flute.
Lizzo walks the red carpet at the 2022 Met Gala, celebrating the new "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

If you, like me, feel as if the 2021 Met Gala only just happened, give yourself a hearty pat on the back for your instincts are correct. The last one was all of six and a half months ago, which is easy to remember because everyone showed up wearing tents. (September in New York, eh?)

Initially, due to the “Gilded Glamour” theme, it seemed like MG’22 was simply going to be a chic affair that made everyone not in attendance feel like gross, poverty-stricken plebeians. (Which it kind of does every year once you realize that it costs $35,000 per person to attend. Meaning a single table costs between $200,000 and $300,000.)

Indeed, the theme did lend itself to attracting many elegant and enviable gowns. Like Janelle Monáe’s, which took her established android vibe to an even more stunning place than usual:

Janeelle Monae in a sleek black gown with short train, low back and a silver hood and chest embellishment.
Janelle Monáe in an outfit that immediately made me think of that one Beastie Boys song where Ad-Rock shouts, "Don't touch me 'cause I'm electric! And if you touch me, you'll get shocked!" ... In a good way. (Cindy Ord/MG22/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

Then there was Tessa Thompson looking like an actual dream:

Tessa Thompson wearing a pale pink dress with sculpted bodice and skirt and layered train.
Tessa Thompson in that one dress every girly girl has been dreaming about since they were 4 years old. (John Shearer/Getty Images)

Sabrina Carpenter somehow made a belly-dancing-costume-inspired ensemble seem effortlessly cool:

A gold bra, bare midriff and flowing gold skirt shouldn't work in this particular context, but holy crap, it so does on Sabrina. (Kevin Mazur/MG22/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

Lizzo showed up looking like royalty, stopping only to play the flute (a goddamn gold flute!) on the red carpet:

Lizzo wearing a black ensemble with gold embroidery plays a gold flute on the red carpet, hair cascading over her shoulders.
We must protect this woman at all costs. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

While Kid Cudi demonstrated how you Man Fashion without making a sorry spectacle of yourself:

Kid Cudi wearing a white shirt with frilled cuffs, black bow tie, bold blue suit and a matching blue cape.
Yes-yes. Yes-yes-yes. (Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Which is kind of the opposite of what Bad Bunny did in this butcher paper moment and matronly up-do:

Bad Bunny in a slender, full-length beige coat with puffy sleeves and a white shirt and black tie underneath.
Bad Bunny wearing a face that suggests he's having a really hard time trusting this process. And frankly, who can blame him? (Kevin Mazur/MG22/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue )

Also cringe was the kid from The Power of the Dog who showed up looking like he slept through his alarm, rolled out of bed and, in a panic, made a quick stop at grandma’s to grab a brooch and her best dishwashing gloves. (Who did this to you, Kodi Smit-McPhee?)

Kodi Smit-McPhee wearing a white shirt, tucked into casual blue jeans with no belt. A brooch sits at his collar where a tie would ordinarily be, and his hands and forearms are covered by bright red gloves.
Kodi Smit-McPhee's stylist heard the words "Gilded Glamour" and came up with ... this. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

At the opposite end of the effort scale was fashion entrepreneur (whatever that means), Fredrik Robertsson. Robertsson showed up in an ensemble so patently ridiculous, people thought he was Jared Leto for a full 10 minutes. (I mean... the self-satisfied glare does bear an incredible similarity...)

A white man wearing a silver ensemble with layers of tendrils stretching up and around from his body.
Somebody at some point looked at this ensemble and went: "You know what this needs? Bell bottoms." (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

All of which managed to make Jared Leto look less like a cult leader for a spell. And—who knew?—all he had to do was arrive wearing ... not a be-tendrilled silver skin suit from a 1970s roller disco movie in space.

Jared Leto in a cream double breasted suit with black collar and button and red bow tie. He also wears dark sunglasses and black leather gloves.
Is Jared Leto, like, normal now? Or did that Fred guy just mess with my perspective? (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Wait! No! There it is!

Allesandro Michele and Jared Leto stand on the Met Gala red carpet in head-to-toe matching outfits.
Jared brought a twin with him, in the form of Italian designer Alessandro Michele. That's more like it, Jared, you insufferable fool! (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Still, even as some of the kook on display took itself to a trying-too-hard place, some stars got weird in the best way possible.


Like Winnie Harlow, who took a Flash Gordon headpiece and some taffeta and made it frickin’ fabulous:

Winnie Harlow in an ethereal short white, lily-like dress with silver embellishments, plus white headdress with tiers of wings either side of her face.
Now THIS is how you headdress. (Kevin Mazur/MG22/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

And Emma Corrin, who somehow made ‘Pageboy From A Haunted Painting In Tilda Swinton’s Country Mansion’ work:

Emma Corrin, wearing white tights, a sleeveless black military coat, black oversized shorts, pocket watch and black top hat, with tartan coat slung over her shoulder.
If you say "Princess Diana" three times into a mirror during a full moon, this is what appears behind you. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Kendall Jenner also deserves an honorary mention for having faith that she would look dope with with no eyebrows. Because, it turns out, she looks dope with no eyebrows:

Kendall Jenner wears her long brown hair in a center part with simple teardrop earrings. Her eyebrows have been bleached and are now almost invisible.
Like the vast majority of women who were alive in the late-1990s, Kendall Jenner no longer has any eyebrows. (Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Other things to note that no one actually wants to see here:

  • Elon Musk showed up looking like the haunted mannequin from Kodi Smit-McPhee’s grandma’s attic.
  • Bella Hadid arrived like the shadow person from Kodi Smit-McPhee’s grandma’s basement.
  • Gigi Hadid came dressed as an inflatable red slide from The Fifth Element, thereby bringing the ’90s revival to its natural conclusion.
  • Dakota Johnson was dressed like an updated version of Zuul from Ghostbusters, but it was kinda-sorta okay (even though a Rottweiler accessory would really have completed the look).
  • Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson looked actually very cute together and I can’t talk about it while I’m still processing.
  • Travis Barker decided he simply must put his tongue in Kourtney Kardashian’s mouth on the red carpet, lest there was a person left on Earth that hadn’t seen him do that yet.
  • Kylie Jenner wore a wedding-veil-attached-to-a-white-baseball-cap and no one cares if you married Travis Scott dude.
  • I don’t want to say anything bad about the wonder that is Chloe Bailey, so I’m just going to leave this photo here, back out of the room slowly like Homer Simpson into that hedge, and glare at her stylist from afar.
Chloe Bailey wears a gold gown with high leg slit that appears at first to be form fitting, but features strange angles and lumps protruding from the bodice at strange angles.
Is that the shape of your dress, or are you just hiding giant Easter eggs from me? (Arturo Holmes/MG22/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

This year’s Met Gala was hosted by Regina King, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds—all of whom looked lovely in a forgettable sort of way. Probably because they were paid to be there and don’t need the column inches.


Until next year! (Or... you know... six and a half months—pandemic conditions permitting.)