Met Gala Behavior: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

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The annual Met Gala took place last Monday on the steps of the New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art, which serves as a night for fashion, fundraising and fun.

This event is every fashion fanatic’s wet dream, where renowned designers can showcase their best work. I’m personally excited to see what celebrities will bring to the carpet. Gaining a wider audience over the years, celebrities seduce the crowds with their outfits according to the theme of the evening.

This year’s Met Gala’s theme is “Gilded Glamor,” which encapsulates the fashions of America’s Gilding Age, from 1870 to 1900. When considering the Gilding era, think of corsets, puffy skirts, hats like centerpieces, and fabrics like satin and velvet. Of course, this represented only America’s aristocratic class, which defined a lavish lifestyle as the state began to develop rapidly economically and industrially.

Now, with abundant resources at the fingertips of stylists and celebrities, you’d think this year’s Met Gala theme wouldn’t be that hard to conceptualize, right? I was surprisingly proven wrong when lots of people hit the red carpet with designs that didn’t even scratch the surface of the Golden Age.

Like the other 30,000 viewers on Vogue Livestream, I sat there watching in a club t-shirt paired with cotton shorts. I used to be, and I’m not in a position to judge a stylist’s work, but I think that’s what makes the Met Gala such an interactive experience with live and virtual audiences.

This brings me to where we are now: reflecting on my favorite outfit of the night and, of course, the darnedest design I’ve ever seen. I must say that some of the outfits were beautiful on their own, but did not follow or represent the theme of the Gala, throwing myself and others into a continuous loop of disappointment throughout the night.

But honey, I present to you The 2022 Met Gala: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The good one

To start on a lighter note, some celebrities have followed the theme and stuck to directions. Celebrities like Billie Eilish, Normani, Laura Harrier, and Lizzo took their spin on the Golden Age and transformed glamorous silhouettes into modern versions of the era. Focusing on the foundations that created the Golden Age, they all go the safe route, featuring works by Gucci, Christian Siriano, H&M and Thom Browne.

On a more subtle note, celebrities like Blake Lively have also taken a modern twist on the Golden Age, where silhouettes didn’t play a role, but the conceptual designs of their dresses still manage to fit into the category. For example, the Versace Lively gown, which initially featured a dazzling bronze color, later turned into a long range of seafoam green. According to Lively, this dress represents the transformation of the Statue of Liberty, leaving the bronze state as it is today. The monument itself was built during the Golden Age, making its design fit the theme of the Met Gala to the T.

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Getting to the “bad” part of this article, some celebrities just don’t fit into the Gilded Glamor theme at all. Individuals like HoYeon Jung and Lori Harvey wore beautiful designs but did not conceptualize the Golden Age focus on luxury and wealth. Their dresses instead sported a modern, body-hugging silhouette in plain dark tones, representing almost ready-to-wear pieces that can be found on the brand’s website.

In particular, one dress that really stood out to me was Kim Kardashian’s dress. While viewing the live broadcast, it was noted that she chose to wear the used Marilyn Monroe dress that she wore for John F. Kennedy’s birthday. This dress received mixed reviews, questioning whether it was ethical to wear a gown by someone who had graduated and had great value or not. Despite this debate, the dress was made in the mid-1960s, far from the Golden Age. The gloss of the dress may have caught people’s attention, but the design itself didn’t match the sleek and puffy silhouette of the usual Golden Age gown, but rather the Hollywood premiere Red Carpet.

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Celebrities categorized under “ugly” don’t fit the theme, and their outfits don’t stand out to me in any way, shape, or form either. People like Amy Schumer wore what looked like almost lifeless and shapeless trench coat dresses that were unsightly. Similarly, the outfits worn by Emily Ratajkowski and Cole Sprouse may be a little too glamorous, featuring overriding rhinestones and gems that don’t quite fit the Golden Age.

Lastly, the outfit that made me physically cringe when I saw it was Kylie Jenner’s Off White party dress with a sheer short sleeve top. Paired with a snapback to the back and a white veil covering her face, the dress was too much of a tacky wedding gown. Simply put, the dress itself screams streetwear meets the wedding day. Jenner’s look feels unsatisfactory despite her long history of governing many fashion statements. It may just be a small bump in the road, but this design symbolizes ugly in my eyes.

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Overall, the Met Gala will always have good and bad moments that make history in the fashion world. The Gilded Age is a wonderful choice for designers and stylists to showcase their talents, continue to enhance or damage celebrity reputations, and I can’t wait to see a comeback for next year.

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