The Gilded Gala: Glamour or Gore?


Nina Kremer, Writer

Fashion’s biggest night of the year, the Met Gala, has left us all dazzled once again. On May 2, 2022 a star-studded guest list of actors and actresses, musicians, influencers and designers arrived, looking fabulous, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. Co-chairs of the event included Regina King, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The gala, held on the first Monday of May, celebrates the opening of the institute’s annual fashion exhibit. The guests are asked to match their formal attire to the theme of the year’s exhibit. This year’s theme, “Gilded Glamour and White Tie,” draws inspiration from The Gilded Age, a time period from 1870-1900 known for its extravagant fashion. There has been much debate over who followed the theme, and who fell short. Let’s take a look at some of the night’s most notable looks. 

Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe’s iconic gown known as the “Happy Birthday” dress, that she wore while singing the song to President Kennedy. It was loaned to Kim by the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum, and she wasn’t allowed to make any alterations to the gown. The stunning Bob Mackie dress is a pale tan color and is covered in jewels. While it isn’t entirely appropriate for the theme, it is beautiful nonetheless. 

Blake Lively’s gown was a genius concept that was stunningly executed. The dress initially had a large copper colored bow tied around her waist, which was unraveled to reveal a green train. The look, by Versace, drew inspiration from the Statue of Liberty. The revel represented the oxidation of the statue which turned it from copper to green.

Billie Eilish was one of the many stars whose look was made out of recycled materials, a conscious effort to promote a more eco-friendly world. The fashion industry accounts for 10% all of global carbon emissions. Celebrities worked with designers to create sustainable looks to combat this problem. The pastel gown incorporated a corset and a classic silhouette from the time period.

Cardi B had her own interpretation of the gilded theme. She said, “I feel like a lot of fans don’t get the theme because they think ‘Gilded’ is supposed to be like an era, but gilded is gold, it’s regal, it can be any era. I love it.” Her showstopping gold Versace look blinded onlookers with its spectacular presence. It took a team of 20 designers 1,300 hours to complete.

Gigi Hadid, in Versace, seemed to mimic the red carpeted stairs with her over-sized red coat. The actual inspiration, according to Versace’s Instagram post, was “inspired by the volume and dramatic change in womenswear silhouettes of the late 1800’s.” Some said the jacket resembled a sofa, but Gigi took a risk while most of the men attending opted for a boring black suit.

With that being said, one man was able to commit to the theme, and he did so beautifully. (And no, that was definitely not Pete Davidson.) Shawn Mendes, wearing Tommy Hilfiger, blew everyone away with his time period appropriate look. In addition to his outfit, the singer had his nails painted by nail artist Betina Goldstein. She told Popsugar, “We wanted to take inspiration from Shawn’s Tommy Hilfiger look and brought that out in his nails, which resulted in a matte navy-blue look with an iconic feature nail and gold clusters for an extra pop.”

There are hundreds more outfits to critique, but one thing is for certain the Met Gala remains a stunning spectacle, and the incredibly talented fashion designers never disappoint. We can’t know for sure what went on inside the event, but let’s hope that Billie Eilish sang happy birthday to Kim Kardashian, and that in the coming years more designers will opt to use sustainable materials.