The Past Hits of the MET Gala

By Caelyn Swendner, Yearbooker

The biggest night in fashion has returned. The annual Met Gala, which usually takes place on the first Monday of May, but was postponed because of COVID-19, is a night where designers, stars, and models assemble to showcase the year’s most inventive outfits and set the stage for both the art and fashion world. This year’s theme was “American Independence.” Though some of this year’s looks are already iconic, I thought I’d go back and rank my top five Met Gala “past hits.”

5. Gisele Bündchen in 1999, “Rock Style” Exhibition

This Versace gown is a classic. The bronze glow totally reminds me of ‘70s rock shows performed by bands like Queen. It’s simple and yet fully delivers the chic and edgy nature of rock and roll. The solar flare designs covering the dress paint a picture of the fire inherent in classic rock.

4. Lady Gaga in 2019, “Camp” Exhibition

When prompted with the unusual theme of “Camp” for the 2019 gala, a lot of celebrities fell short, but as usual, Gaga absolutely delivered.  “Camp” is the perfect word to describe Gaga’s shocking and usually controversial fashion, delivered by way of a meat dress. “Camp” can be described as theatrical, ostentatious, or something that gets its value from its ironic and overblown nature. When she arrived in a hot pink gown that consumed the entire carpet, all eyes were on her. Not only did she serve four different looks which were unveiled as she walked down the carpet, but the absolute theater and high drama of the reveals could only be described with one word: “camp.” The showmanship is really what defines the look. Gaga truly understood the assignment. She achieved high “camp” without the one-dimensional visions others showed up in.

3. Cher in 1974, “Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design” Exhibit

Wearing Bob Mackie, Cher originated this sheer near-nude look that celebs still emulate to this day. Cher absolutely nailed this. When I think of Cher, this sort of room-commanding glamour is exactly what comes to mind. In those days, the Time Magazine cover was usually reserved for world leaders or important news events. When Cher was put on the cover for wearing this dress, it sold out almost immediately, and was even banned from selling in some places because of the controversy over the sheer fabric. That kind of stir became the blueprint for a staple of the Met Gala, controversy.

2. Blake Lively in 2018, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” Exhibition 

Blake Lively showed up in a Versace gown that was genuinely heavenly, and just so happened to match the carpet. This look is so regal and elegant, and it perfectly encapsulates the gorgeous architecture of Roman Catholic churches and decorations. The head piece is absolutely my favorite part, as she looks like she came straight from the sun. 

1. Zendaya in 2018, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” Exhibition

Another look from 2018, Zendaya showed up in an armoured dress as Joan of Arc, the patron saint of soldiers in France. The way the “chainmail” drapes in a waterfall-like design is absolutely gorgeous. It’s so intricately sewn, with numerous little details. The wig was controversial to say the least, but you can’t do Joan of Arc without that infamous hair. The dress was constructed in such a way that it’s instantly iconic. It’s powerful and importantly, it’s not expected. This is my all time favorite Met Gala look, as Zendaya continues being at the top of her game. 

 

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