The 2021 Met Gala’s American Theme Winners: Who Did It Best?

This year’s Met Gala was a smaller, more intimate affair due to the ongoing pandemic, with only about a third of the usual guest list invited to participate in fashion’s biggest night. But even so, there was certainly no shortage of major Americana fashions gracing the red carpet. This year’s Gala theme is “American Independence” which gave attendees a wide berth of ideas to play with from founding fathers in powdered wigs and star-spangled gowns, to Lady Liberty cosplay and, of course, all things red, white, and blue. Given that the exhibit accompanying the event is 70% young American designers, most of whom have never even been invited to the Gala let alone shown in a museum, the guest list also featured Gen Z tastemakers, including the evening’s co-chairs Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, and Naomi Osaka. The curator of the Met’s Costume Institute, Andrew Bolton, told Vogue that he felt it was time to reexamine American identity through the lens of recent social justice movements. “I’ve been really impressed by American designers’ responses to the social and political climate, particularly around issues of body inclusivity and gender fluidity, and I’m just finding their work very, very self-reflective,” he said. “I really do believe that American fashion is undergoing a renaissance.” And here are some of the biggest celebrities of the night who proved that patriotic looks really can go beyond just stars and stripes.

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