NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — Blake Lively smiled for the cameras in a gorgeous Versace gown, with husband Ryan Reynolds in brown velvet, Billie Eilish went with a green lace-trimmed dress from Gucci and Cynthia Erivo wore a matching The sheer white Louis Vuitton wore with the Met Gala headpiece returned to its berth on the first Monday of May after the upheaval of the pandemic.
The celebration of American design was based on gilded glamour, with many dresses featuring the classic black tuxedo for men and plenty of black and white for women. Others pay a literal tribute to New York City and still more shimmer in metallic gold and silver.
“Black and white are the colors for the evening,” said Holly Katz, stylist and host of the Fashion Crimes podcast.
One of the evening’s co-hosts, Lively, wore a bronze and rose gold look, which turned into a shimmery layer of baby blue when a large bow was drawn. Lively’s look drew inspiration from both the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the blue roof of Grand Central Station.
“Instead of looking for fashion to influence the dress, I looked to the architecture of New York City,” Lively said.
Camila Cabello worked a voluminous white gown with a midriff top from Prabal Gurung, while theater producer Jordan Roth ditched a black, egg-like shell in a matching bulbous pant suit. Janelle Monae offered a royal wave in a slinky gown with a black-and-white glazed helmet piece and headpiece.
“Amazing. I’m proud to be American. I’m proud to wear Ralph Lauren. It’s gilded glamor from the future,” Monae told the Associated Press.
New York Mayor Eric Adams has put politics front and center in a tux with “end gun violence.” Former presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton was dressed in a Bordeaux-colored gown designed by Joseph Altuzarra with the names of historic women sewn across the hem and neckline. These include Abigail Adams, Shirley Chisolm and Madeleine Albright.
Clinton’s last Met Gala was a while back.
“I told Anna that I would come every 20 years,” she said.
The cast of Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” joined forces in Prada’s sparkling suit, cape, and gown. The star of the film, Austin Butler, wore a jeweled brooch with a cropped suit and silk scarf. Luhrmann said that his film is ultimately about America.
Maud Apatow, in a black off-the-shoulder look, accessorised with a Cartier look, including an elaborate diamond choker.
Vogue livestream co-host Vanessa Hudgens made her way to the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a fuzzy Victorian black sheer lace gown with a long train. She was joined by La La Anthony, her fellow Vogue host, who wore a dark red look with cut shoulders from Laquan Smith.
“I’m practically naked,” joked Hudgens.
Anthony said: “Those stairs are intimidating.”
And if the return of the Met Gala feels like one of them, moment already, it is.
It’s less than eight months since the last gala, an annual fundraiser that raises eight-figure funds for the Mets’ Costume Institute. Before the pandemic, nearly 600 A-listers from fashion, sports, music, film, TV, technology and beyond were invited. This year and last time, the number was closer to 400. The 2020 gala was cancelled.
More than $16.4 million were raised last year. The Starring Program is the primary budget feeder of the Institute.
This year’s gala coincides with the opening of the second part of a two-part exhibition at the Costume Institute focused on American fashion and style. The dress code of the evening is gilded glamor and white tie, la the Gilded Age, a tumultuous period between the Civil War and the turn of the 20th century, known for its robber barons, drama and grandeur.
This year’s climb up the Grand Staircase, adorned with red roses, returns the gala to its famous berth on the first Monday of May, the official livestream of which is featured on Vogue’s website.
Vogue’s Anna Wintour, who has been running the gala since 1995, wore feathery Chanel and a jewel-clad tiara that has been in her family since 1910. She continues as one of the night’s honorary co-chairs alongside designer Tom Ford and Instagram’s Adam Mosseri. The other official co-chairs for 2022 are Regina King and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
While many on Wintour’s carefully-kept guest list follow a dress code, others go their own way. Explanation is everything. Think Rihanna in a papal hat, Billy Porter as a sun god is carried over to the litter by shirtless men And Lady Gaga is peeling off the layers as the fashion world comes to a standstill to inspect.
Eilish wore a custom Gucci corset look of ivory and Duchess satin with green lace and padded bustle. Erivo’s look came with a big train as she teamed up with Sarah Jessica Parker, who wore a custom Christopher John Rogers, white and black striped Cinderella ballgown with a pink and black headpiece.
Alicia Keys’ Ralph Lauren dress was inspired by her native New York City, with a cape outlining the New York City skyline in tiny hand-held crystals. Her husband, Swizz Beetz, a New Yorker originally, wore a New York sports jacket.
Keys said that her dress was “here tonight to represent the state of an empire and the city of the gods.”
Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, appeared alongside his mother, Maye Musk, a former model dressed in Chopard pearls and other jewelry. Her son went with a classic tux with a tail.
Meanwhile, Tessa Thompson chose a bright cotton candy ink tulle Carolina Herrera dress by her side, designer Wes Gordon. He said that his look is made of 200 meters of tulle. Gordon said that Thompson told her that pink was her favorite color and that she took it from there.
Ariana DeBos was resplendent in Golden Moschino by Jeremy Scott.
“This man turned me into a fashion Oscar,” she said.
And the gala included a marriage proposal. Bobby Dizzy Olisa, a former state assembly candidate, got down on one knee to question the city’s cultural affairs commissioner Laurie Kumbo.
Associated Press writers Nardos Hale and John Carucci in New York contributed to this story.
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