In America: “A Lexicon of Fashion” 

The Met Gala, often called “fashion’s biggest night,” was held on Sept. 13 after being postponed due to COVID-19. The highly exclusive and anticipated event is meant to honor creativity in the fashion industry. The Gala also serves as a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art where it takes place, and in previous years, according to Vogue magazine (, more than $12.5 million has been raised in a single night.

The Met Gala consists of a red-carpet event followed by a dinner, but the hype surrounding the event comes from each year’s theme and the fashion looks that are generated to honor it. The theme gives designers and their celebrity clients the opportunity to be creative; an interpretation of the theme can make or break a look. The theme is decided by fashion curators and chairpersons with the utmost consideration, and each theme tells its own story. Past themes have included, “Camp: Notes on Fashion”; “China: Through the Looking Glass”; and “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Church.”

This year’s theme was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” and is the first part of a two-part theme. The May 2022 Met Gala theme will be its second installation, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion. According to Vogue, the 2021 theme was chosen by The Met’s head curator Andrew Bolton, and it centered around the question, “Who gets to be American?” It is believed that American fashion is in the state of a Renaissance, and the theme pays homage to that. Bolton told Vogue, “American designers are at the forefront of conversations around diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, gender fluidity, and body positivity.”

The gala is typically held on the first Monday in May, but due to COVID-19 restrictions at the time, the event was postponed. September and February have unofficially been nicknamed “fashion months,” four-week periods when top designers showcase their pieces for the upcoming seasons. In each “fashion month,” there is a specific week when the largest womenswear shows occur in the “Big 4” fashion capitals of the world: New York, London, Milan, and Paris.

The week that these shows fall on is referred to as “fashion week” and is a highly anticipated week for the fashion industry. September 2021 Fashion Week fell on the week of September 8. Coincidentally, the Met Gala was postponed and ended up concluding Fashion Week. It is argued that it was more appropriate for the Met Gala to be held during this time, rather than in May. But, as the world is returning to normal, so are traditions, and the Met Gala 2022 will be held during its usual time in May. As one Met Gala concludes, the preparation for another begins.

This year’s Met Gala produced some unforgettable outfits and moments that corresponded with the theme “A Lexicon of Fashion.” Sophomore Michael DeJoseph said, “Barbie Ferreira had one of my favorite looks of the night. Her dress was reminiscent of the 1920s-era flappers, upscaling to be fit for the Met. I thought her look was stunning.”

Senior Lorelei Dillon said, “I thought that a lot of the looks from the Gala did not incorporate the theme very well, but there were a select few that I think had a great interpretation of the theme.” Dillon’s favorite look was Lily Reinhart’s, whose gown represented the 50 different state flowers. ‘I thought that this was a very interesting representation of the theme, despite a lot of other people’s opinions,” Dillon said.

Rapper Lil Nas X made his Met Gala debut with an elaborate show. He first arrived in a gold velvet cape, designed by Versace. When he tore off the cape, a reflective suit of armor was revealed, and underneath the armor was his final look of a crystal-studded catsuit. This was reminiscent of the previous Met Gala when Lady Gaga arrived with a four-piece outfit performance.

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles wore a silver gown by Beckett Fogg. The dress, which weighed 88 pounds, required a team of six people to help Biles walk up the steps of the red carpet. German singer Kim Petras arrived on the red carpet to represent all the “horse girls” of America. Her Collina Strada dress was brought to the next level because of the 3D horse-head bustier. Her look made a statement and will not be forgotten when looking back on the boldest Met Gala outfits.

The event is known for its glamour and exclusivity, as the guest list consists of top celebrities. This year’s Met Gala stayed true to form but received some backlash for the types of celebrities invited. According to NBC News (, for the first time, all the co-hosts at the event were Gen-Z celebrities: singer Billie Eilish, poet Amanda Gorman, tennis player Naomi Osaka, and actor Timothee Chalamet.

Many social media influencers, such as Addison Rae and Emma Chamberlain were also included on the guestlist and were received with scorn. There was worry that the exclusivity of the Met Gala would start to deteriorate, but the presence of Gen-Z celebrities can draw the event into the eyes of younger viewers. If the purpose behind this year’s theme was to enhance the idea that America is on the road to becoming more inclusive, why wouldn’t celebrities with different career paths be invited?

Sophomore Kayla Paxinos said, “I personally feel that these influencers should not have attended the Met Gala. They are not as influential as other celebrities like Timothee Chalamet or Whoopie Goldberg because of the way that they were brought to fame.”

Despite the appearance of new faces at the Met Gala, many familiar faces were missing from the red carpet: Bella Hadid, Zendaya, Blake Lively, Halsey, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Harry Styles, and Kylie Jenner. It was revealed that the guest list was cut down by almost one-third this year due to the presence of COVID-19. There was also a vaccine mandate in order to attend, so unvaccinated celebrities did not show.

There is hope that COVID-19 regulations will allow more guests to attend the Met Gala in 2022, and for all the missing faces to be in attendance, as well. Preparation for the 2022 Met Gala is already in full swing, and fans are eager to see what outfits their favorite celebrities come up with.