2022 is quickly establishing itself as the year we dress boldly, shamelessly, and without compromise. Case in point, this year's Met Gala provided the stage for celebrities and designers to put their own original spin on the ‘gilded glamour’ and ‘white tie’ theme. In the late 1800s this would have meant black tailcoats, corsets, bustles and long gloves. In 2022, Oscar Isaac flips the narrative by sporting a trompe l’oeil white tie and tailcoat dress. Elsewhere, Kim Kardashian paid homage to Marilyn Monroe by wearing the original “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress on the red carpet.
(Left) Billie Eilish embraces the 19th century in upcycled Gucci fabric.
(Right)Kim Kardashian in Marilyn Monroe's original gown. Designed by Bob Mackie, nobody has worn this piece before.
The first Monday in May aka The Met Gala has established itself as one of the most important dates on the fashion calendar. Since 1948, it has functioned as a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute as well as an event to mark the opening of its annual fashion exhibit, this year looking back on America's fashion history.
The opulence of late 19th century style inspired some knockout golden looks namely from Amber Valetta, Chloe Bailey and Madelaine Petsch.
(Left) Chloe Bailey in Area. (Right) Madelaine Petsch in Moschino.
The Gilded Age of New York (1870-1890) signaled a period of economic and cultural prosperity reflected by the towering skyscrapers, the invention of the lightbulb and telephone, and the influx of immigrants seeking a better life.
However, the spoils of this period were not always available to everyone in society. As noted by Questlove, donning a quilt designed by black female designers from Alabama, “For African-Americans in this country, the Gilded Period looked a bit different.” This sentiment was also echoed by Riz Ahmed who wore a 4SDesigns look that paid tribute to the immigrant workers “who kept the Gilded Age golden.”
(Left) Questlove in Zegna and Gee's Bend. (Right)Riz Ahmed wears 4SDesigns.
In general, the last couple of years have produced a renaissance in men's red carpet fashion (Billy Porter, anyone?) with celebrities unafraid to make a statement. This year, Lenny Kravitz and Ben Platt both rocked their version of a corset while others experimented with golden embellishments and jewel-toned suits. Perhaps the most casual and era appropriate was Kodi-Smitt McPhee in a denim look (Levi-Strauss patented the jeans design for Gold Rush workers in 1873).
Mixing high/low fashion at the Met. Kodi Smit-McPhee wears Bottega Venetta.
So there you have it. Another Met Gala done and dusted. As the Gilded Age makes a comeback, we can't help but think the era of the sarong is fast approaching too. If it is, will you be wearing LOVI?