The Best and The Worst of The Met Gala 2021

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Isabella Harmel, Editor

The stakes were higher than ever at fashion’s biggest night this year.

After the pandemic canceled last year’s gala, expectations were high for the rescheduled event where celebrity invitees  would follow the theme “America, a Lexicon of Fashion ”. There were a plethora of creative looks inspired by American fashion icons, the star and stripes and other aspects of American culture. And while some stylists hit it out of the park, others missed the mark. Here are my picks for the best and the worst of the Met Gala red carpet of 2021. 

 

  1. Jennifer Lopez in Ralph Lauren

I’ve seen lots of hate for this outfit on the internet and I will not stand for it. Jennifer Lopez has achieved the perfect balance between spectacle and high fashion that makes the Met different from other red carpet events. One of the only people to channel the wild west, J-Lo translates snake skin print, furs and cowboy boots from dingy to high fashion. Only Jennifer Lopez could pull off an outfit like this, and I’m happy she was there to do it. 

  1. Evan Mock in Thom Browne

Evan Mock is a first time Met attendee who rose to fame for his role on the Gossip Girl reboot. But this outfit makes me hope he isn’t invited back. The outfit is confusing on its own, with the PPC material mask with spikes on top of it and the short suit, but I have no idea how it fits the theme. What does the mask mean? Why are you wearing shorts with a suit jacket like a toddler? Maybe there is a profound statement about American culture somewhere in his outfit, but it seems like he thought we were doing camp again this year. 

  1. Lili Reinhart in Christian Siriano and Jimmy Choo shoes

When I first saw this dress I thought it was beautiful, but didn’t quite get how it matched the theme. However after I read that the dress included all 50 state flowers, my love for it grew. The cut is perfect for Lili’s figure and this is a perfect use of a train. The colour of the dress, the flowers and her makeup compliment her skin tone beautifully. Overall, this dress manages to look stunning while incorporating the theme in an unique way.

  1. Kacey Musgraves in Ralph Lauren

I include this look not because it’s the worst of the night, but because it’s the most disappointing. Going into the Met, I was very excited to see what Kacey Musgraves was going to come up with; as the reigning queen of country music, this theme was made for her. But this outfit is bland, uninspired and missing any hint of wild west charm her music is known for. 

Kacey, we were counting on you. 

 

  1. Margaret Qualley in Chanel

Sometimes simplicity is best, and Margaret Qualley exemplifies that in her 1920’s inspired outfit. According to Vogue the gown was embroidered with over 95,000 embroidered glass beads, sequins, and crystals. The beautifully crafted lace gave this look an uncanny timelessness few other designers have achieved.

 

  1. Channing Tatum 

Channing Tatum is representative of all the mediocre white men that obviously do not care about the Met Gala. There should be a rule that anyone who shows up to the Met Gala in a plain tux gets turned away at the door. If you are going to be at a fancy event that exemplifies wealth inequality in America, I want to at least be entertained. 

 

  1. Nikkie De Jager

This may be my favourite look of the night. Nikkie de Jager, more commonly know as Nikkie Tutorials chose to pay tribute to Marsha P. Johnson, an American transgender activist thorough her outfit. The flowing teal dress looks stunning against her skin and the arm bands give it a joyful youthfulness Marsha was known for. The sash on the bottom that reads “pay it no mind” is another iconic Marsha quote and ties the dress together wonderfully.

De Jager came out as transgender in January of 2020, after being present in the Youtube space for over 5 years. To see her pay tribute to another trans icon is heartwarming, and it adds to my love for the dress.

 

  1. Hamish Bowles in Thom Browne 

I feel like I don’t need to elaborate on this one, it looks like a $50 monopoly man costume you would get from the halloween store. The two beautifully dressed icons flanking him just add insult to injury. 

  1. Quannah Chasinghorse in Dundas

This was 19-year old Chasinghorse’s Met debut, and she gave a masterclass on mixing activism with fashion. Her eye-catching metallic dress is stunning, but the real stars of the show are the accessories. She is wearing traditional Navajo pieces, courtesy of friends and family, to honor her Indigenous heritage. The traditional makeup finishes off the look and reminds us that American culture did not begin with the star spangled banner, but rather goes back thousands of years and is passed on through the traditional owners of the land. 

10.Yara Shahidi in Christian Dior

This dress is the antithesis of 2019’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion” theme. Yara Shahidi chose to pay tribute to iconic black entertainer Josephine Baker through her look. Baker and designer Christian Dior were very close friends, so as a Dior representative, Shahidi and her team had access to archival photo and dress designs of Baker to help them create this outfit.

I am in love with this outfit from head to toe. The stunning silver details on the off-gold dress look luxurious, but classy. While I’m not usually a fan of gloves, they deserve their place here as they add to the vintage flair. But my favourite part is Shahidi’s impeccably styled hair and silky flowing veil. She managed to look stunning while channeling Joesphine Baker and old Hollywood opulence with this ensemble, definitely one of the top of the night.