Met Gala 2021: American creators and the tributes we wish we had seen on the red carpet
In America: a fashion lexicon, the premiere of the Costume Institute’s two-part exhibition, celebrates the underrated facet of fashion history, helping to highlight that American culture and creativity are an important vehicle for contemporary fashion. From jeans to Stephen Burrows Lettuce Hemlines, the emergence of streetwear as a fashion category, the liquid jersey dresses of Donna Karan, or the Air Force sneaker from Nike, American culture has given and continues to spread the style for generations to come in an insurmountable way. The above is purely design related, but American icons, artists, and celebrities have been equally influential in fashion over the past century. These numbers are forever anchored in our minds like Josephine Baker, Diana Ross, Audrey Hepburn, Prince, Jackie Kennedy and a few of this year’s Met Gala attendees like Rihanna — and the list goes on.
The world watched the 2021 Met Gala red carpet as celebrities, influencers and fashion industry notables flocked to the steps of the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art in what we had hoped to be a range of. vibrant sets of vibrant American fashion designers from the past and present. Of those who wore American designer outfits, the bulk of the designs were from designers Michael Kors, Prabal Gurung, Ralph Lauren, and Thom Browne. Other notable designs that amplify the sophistication of American fashion include the Oscar de la Renta chiffon dress worn by Billie Eilish, Eva Chen’s rainbow column dress by Christopher John Rogers or Keke Palmer. serving her a Diana Ross inspired look in a sequined mermaid dress by Sergio Hudson. Conversely, despite the transparent theme of American fashion, an incredible number of participants wore clothes designed by European houses and designers.
Despite the American style, culture and design inspiring many collections from major European fashion houses over the past three decades, and tangentially inspired by American fashion icons in the worlds of entertainment, sports, politics, etc. Over the past hundred years, the American fashion system has consistently remained underdog compared to its European counterparts. American fashion has been mistakenly seen as less artistic than European fashion with its simplified, accessible, diverse and elegant spirit. Conversely, some of the most artistic feats in fashion history have emerged thanks to American ingenuity.
Since Monday night, many have been debating that American fashion has such a rich history, was there a reason for a European fashion-related presence for this Met Gala? Without bias, American designers worked for European houses like Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton – Marc Jacobs was also there before Abloh worked in women’s fashion. Then there is Daniel Rosberry at Schiaparelli. As a result, fashion is no longer built in a vacuum and is more globally connected than previous generations. On the flip side, if you look at the Costume Institute exhibits and Met Gala themes over the past 20 years, they all have a strong white-Eurocentric academic angle. Thus, this year could have clearly shown the dynamism of American fashion and all its creative and diverse perspectives. In addition, there is no unique American identity. This trend may have motivated the large amount of creations from European fashion houses on the carpet, a mandate that could have been sent to all the designers and stylists who dressed their clients in European fashion to create outfits inspired by American culture. . But in the previous point, what a dynamic Met Gala it would have been to see all attendees wearing only American designers, stressing that American fashion can be self-sufficient.
Looking at the designers represented at the Met Gala, there was undoubtedly an aesthetic that it would have been astonishing to see on the red carpet. For the gala evening, many designers dream of seeing their outfits seen by millions of people around the world. Therefore, having a gala mostly populated by American designer fashions, and not just fashion inspired by American design, culture and people, would have sent an encouraging message to the American public and designers who felt overshadowed by the constant need. to follow Paris. . First, there was a lack of native designer designs. Navajo designer Orlando Dugi has an incredible repertoire of couture-worthy designs, deeply rooted in his culture. Apart from Prabal Gurung and Joseph Altuzzara, there was also a lack of young Asian American talent. Jason Wu’s rapid ascendancy came after he dressed First Lady Obama for the two Inauguration Balls; thus, his talent would undoubtedly have shone that night. Another rising talent, Peter Do, is known for his bespoke and deconstructed pieces and could have lit up the red carpet.