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Our Favorite Looks From the Met Gala 2021

Did you really think we were going to let the month go by without giving you our thoughts on this year’s Met Gala?! If it feels like it’s been a while since we’ve talked about Met Gala looks, that’s because the Met Gala was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This year the annual fundraiser for the Met's Costume Institute returned with the theme In America: A Lexicon of Fashion to mark the opening of its banner fashion exhibition. 

If you’re anything like us, this is the one night where we all get to come together and judge glamorous looks from the comfort of our favorite PJs. Here are some of our favorite looks from the star-studded event: 

1. IMAN

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Iman did not come to play! The Somali-American fashion model and entrepreneur arrived in a breathtaking gold feathered headpiece, a strapless gold jumpsuit and a hoop skirt cage layered on top. She added in gold earrings, bracelets and rings. How could you not fall in love with this look?! Designer Harris Reed partnered with Dolce & Gabbana to create this look and told Vogue it took 400 hours of "hand-tacking, hand-gluing, hand-embellishing, gold-leafing, finessing" to bring the supermodel's look to life.  All of which was absolutely worth it because this is a serve!

2. ANOK YAI 

Source: Theo Wargo Getty Images

Let's get into South Sudanese model Anok Yai’s flawless look. This captivating Oscar de La Renta dress from the Spring 2022 collection hugged Yai’s figure perfectly with a plunging neckline and crystals shaped as flowers and stars. Her look was inspired by activist and artist Josephine Baker and was a nod to “Old Hollywood Glam.” The Oscar de La Renta Instagram page described her look as a “skimming celestial crystal gown.” She wore Giuseppe Zanotti heels, matching sheer black opera gloves and an oversized shawl bursting with black feathers added by Stylist Carlos Nazario. This look was effortless, sleek, and fit her poise presence perfectly. 

3. YARA SHAHIDI

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Yara Shahidi’s look was giving us high-class and old Hollywood glamour. 

Shahidi told Ilana Glazer, a Met Gala Livestream co-host that her look was inspired by the style of activist and artist, Josephine Baker. Her look included a custom strapless Christian Dior gown, embroidered with beading, a thin belt, and a long, sheer trail. The ‘Grownish’ star finished the look with a braided cap, a diamond choker, and elbow-length gloves which were lined in matching beading. 

4. QUANNAH CHASINGHORSE

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Quannah Chasinghorse, an Native American model and activist based in Fairbanks, Alaska made her debut at this year's Met Gala bringing a piece of her history and culture with her. She wore a gold lamé dress paired with turquoise jewelry from Jocelyn Billy Upshaw’s personal collection and featured Navajo artists from the Southwest. Chasinghorse is of Hän Gwich’in (a tribe found in Alaska and Canada) and Oglala Lakota (a tribe found in South Dakota) descent. Chasinghorse told My Modern Met,“The turquoise jewelry represents protection, guidance, and love in Navajo culture,”  The model’s facial tattoos, known as Yidįįłtoo, are another way she honored her culture. The traditional hand-poked designs were done by her mother (tradition dictates they be done by a woman) and they commemorate events in one’s life. These tattoos are on her chin and at the corner of her eyes. She told Vogue, "To be able to bring (the tattoos) back is a powerful thing — you feel empowered knowing that you’re carrying on a tradition that was meant to be erased."We loved her choice to represent her ancestry in such a unique and valuable way at one of fashion’s most prominent nights. We hope to see more of Chasinghorse’s ancestry represented in her looks. 

5. LIL NAS X 

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Lil Nas X gave us not one, not two but THREE looks, all of which were stunning! The rapper arrived at the Met wearing a regal cape which he then removed to reveal his gold suit of armor. He wasn't done yet… under his armor was a bodysuit covered in Swarovski crystals. He didn't leave us wanting more, he gave us more than enough and for that, we loved these looks! 

6. RIHANNA 

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Every single year, Rihanna blesses us with her presence and a look that commands attention at the Met Gala. This year, her look was unlike anything she had worn before on the red carpet and the meaning behind the look is what we loved! She wore a black Balenciaga overcoat and a matching black hat from Stephen Jones Millinery. The voluminous black ruffles on the jacket covered her body and the added Bvlgari jewelry brought added glamorous elements. The singer and entrepreneur told journalist Gia Peppers, who represented Essence, “Well, I wanted a look that seemed very powerful, yet feminine, yet like a Black hoodie, which is usually the thing that we are incriminated by as Black people,” She added, “I wanted to empower that and take it and make it mine and make it fashion.” Rihanna’s choice to take the theme of this year’s Gala to represent the Black American experience in a way that has never been done before was iconic and brilliant. 

7. JEREMY POPE 

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Broadway actor Jeremy Pope, who also made an appearance on the final season of FX’s Pose, used the Met Gala theme as a moment to remind us all that America was built on the backs of enslaved Black people. Pope wore a custom all-white compact cotton jacket and pants set by Australian designer Dion Lee, cotton boutonniere flower by Denim Tears, white Tabi Boots by Maison Margiela, and a long cotton Broadcloth Picking Sack by designer James Flemons of Phlemuns. In a powerful caption posted on the actor’s Instagram page, he wrote, “They planted seeds of beauty,⁣ tended to fields with unspeakable strength, ⁣& harvested a kind of excellence that would outlive them for centuries. So that we could one day stand up, stretch toward the sun, & tell their story.⁣”  You can’t mention America without facing the fact that this nation was built on the backs of Black people. We love that Jeremy Pope made sure to include the work of his ancestors into his fashion in an unforgettable way. 

8. TESSA THOMPSON 

Image Source: Getty / Theo Wargo

Tessa Thompson’s look was really doing it for us. She wasn’t doing too much but it wasn't underwhelming, it embodied her bold, captivating and intriguing aura and we love it! Thompson wore a beautiful short red ruffle dress with a detailed sheer neckline designed by ​​Iris Van Herpen. The black heeled cowboy boots and cowboy hat were bold choices that tied the look together and fit in so well with the American theme. She served a look that fits her aesthetic and pulled it off perfectly.

9. ALTON MASON

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Alton Mason stepped out in an all-white embellished suit designed by Theophilio. The suit had a silver fringe on the ends of his sleeves and pants paired with boots covered in pearls. 

10. CHLOE X HALLE 

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Chloe X Halle never miss! The dynamic duo hit the Met Gala red carpet for the first time in looks designed by Rodarte. Chloe Bailey wore a white gown with a high slit and a long train. Halle Bailey was channeling Tina Turner with her pink fringe bodysuit with a V-Neckline. The pair usually coordinate red carpet looks but this time around, they chose to change it up a bit, and it was still a vibe. 

11. NORMANI

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Normani decided to tame her wild side with her beautiful mustard yellow Valentino couture gown with puff sleeves, a cinched waist, and a plunging neckline. 

She told Yahoo News, "I feel like Black Girl Magic. You know, yellow looks great on dark skin. I'm very, very excited." The singer looked like absolute royalty and we expected nothing less.

12. MARY J. BLIGE

Getty / Dimitrios Kambouris

Mary J Blige’s look was absolutely beautiful. The singer arrived in a gold long-sleeved gown with slight silver swirl detailing, a plunging neckline and a high slit designed by Dundas. 

13. KEKE PALMER 

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Keke Palmer can do no wrong in our eyes, to be honest. She hit the Met Gala red carpet in a glittering turtleneck gown designed by Sergio Hudson. Her hair was a nod to the legendary Diana Ross; one of America’s most iconic singers who became Motown's most successful act during the 1960s and one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. 

Keke Palmer was also one of the red carpet hosts, she did an amazing job connecting with every guest and bringing out their best energy. 

14. LEWIS HAMILTON 

Image via Dimitrios Kambouris

Lewis Hamilton put his own spin on a classic black and white suit. This Kenneth Nicholson-designed look included white lace detailing, bringing elegance and grace to the Met Gala red carpet.

15. MALUMA

Image via Jeff Kravitz

Maluma was serving cowboy in this red and gold fit. The red-hot outfit was designed by Versace and included a very meaningful bejeweled glove by ASLAN. "We have this glove that says 'Papi Juancho.' That is the name of my album," he explained to E! News. "Then we have 'Maluma' over here, some stars. You know, it's like full of dreams. It's a handful of dreams." 

This year’s Met Gala brought together an array of looks and interpretations of American fashion. There weren’t as many eye-catching looks compared to previous years, and some of our favorite stars weren’t in attendance. Nevertheless, some of our favorite looks represented historical moments and figures to Black and Native cultures in America. We can't wait to see what the iconic Gala brings next year.


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