No matter what theme is announced for the annual Met Gala in New York City, it always lacks just enough specificity to leave room for a wide range of interpretations. The theme for this year’s 2022 Met Gala (not to be confused with the dress code of “Gilded Glamour and White Tie”) was, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.” While some may argue over which attendees “understood the assignment” and which ones didn’t comply with the theme, it could be said that “An Anthology of Fashion” in America could refer to almost anything. As with any red-carpet event, many celebrities opted for golden gowns and gilded details; but for the most part, designers seemed to interpret the 2022 Met Gala theme however they saw fit, and without one designated point of focus. Here’s what 25 celebrities wore for the evening and the designers they showcased (and perhaps a little insight to their fashion choices).
As one of the faces of Ralph Lauren, Janelle Monae made her appearance as the perfect representation of the American designer and his legacy in the realm of American fashion. Her column dress with mermaid skirt was beaded and embroidered with roughly 36,000 jet-black rhinestones.
Known for her bright and flashy fashion choices, Gwen Stefani did not disappoint with her electrifying neon gown, custom designed by Vera Wang.
Jared Leto and his twin for the evening – Creative Director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele – wore matching double-breasted suits with gold beads, pearls, and floral bouquet embroideries. According to a statement by Gucci, their look was inspired by mid-19th century photography that “reproduced photos in series, creating optical illusions that reshaped reality.”
Paying homage to tradition and Burberry’s heritage, Naomi Campbell attended the 2022 Met Gala in a custom, crystal-embellished wool gown and gloves featuring Burberry’s signature Equestrian Knight.
If Gucci drew inspiration from America’s Gilded Age, which took place between 1870 and 1900, then they nailed the Met’s dress code with Billie Eilish. Billie’s custom corseted gown was made of duchesse satin with a lace underlay, padded bustle, and – the best part for eco-conscious fashionistas – it was upcycled.
Thom Browne’s designs were all over the Met Gala red carpet this year. Lizzo had a particularly fabulous fashion moment with a corset dress and a stunning duchess satin coat with gold (aka “gilded) embroidery. Her flute wins for best accessory.
For Gemma Chan’s Met Gala ensemble, the Louis Vuitton interpreted the Met Gala theme of a fashion anthology by using an archived look and updating it for the occasion – something the brand refers to as “circular creativity.” Fellow attendees Phoebe Dynevor, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Eve Jobs were also dressed in archival Louis Vuitton looks that had been previously worn.
The late Off-White designer, Virgil Abloh, designed Kylie Jenner’s Met Gala wedding dress. Kylie stated that her main focus of the evening, more so than the gala’s theme, was to honor the American designer by wearing his creation. Spot on.
It doesn’t get more “on theme” than showing up in a gown previously worn by Marilyn Monroe. Kim Kardashian had the honor of wearing Marilyn’s “Happy Birthday, Mister President” dress, which is by far the most talked about fashion moment of the 2022 Met Gala. Valued at a whopping $4.8 million dollars, it’s said to be the most expensive dress in the world.
With the 1990s having made a triumphant comeback, it could be said that Kate Moss – even though she’s British – is the embodiment of a significant chapter of American fashion history. (Who remembers her Calvin Klein ads and countless magazine covers?) For the Met Gala, the supermodel wore a reconstructed velvet trench gown, custom made by Burberry.
Sarah Jessica Parker
One of the best aspects of the Met Gala is when celebrities can bring attention to extremely talented, but lesser-known designers. For this year’s look, Sarah Jessica Parker wore a ballgown by Christopher John Rogers, with a patchwork bodice and a custom headpiece by Philip Treacy. The designer interpreted the 2022 Met Gala theme and dress code by revisiting the Gilded Age and drawing inspiration from an 1860s ensemble by Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley. Elizabeth was a well-known seamstress, designer, author, philanthropist, and social activist of her time.
Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian
From now on, we’re billing Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian as one item. The couple showed up to Kourt’s first Met Gala in Thom Browne – Travis, abiding by the dress code in a white tie ensemble, and Kourtney wearing a deconstructed version of his look.
Another Kardashian first-timer, Khloe K made her Met Gala debut in a beautiful golden number by Moschino. Gilded and glamourous – a safe, yet perfectly fitting interpretation of the night’s theme.
Kendall Jenner had a pretty epic Met Gala fashion moment in a stunning black tulle top, paired with a double silk satin skirt with hand-pleated details, custom made by Prada. While her top was modern, the skirt provided the perfect allusion to America’s Gilded Age.
Who doesn’t love an on-carpet fashion transformation? Blake Lively is topping many “Best Dressed” lists for the evening, wearing a customized Versace creation. The tulle dress was embroidered with multiple materials including crystals and metallic leather, and an oversized foil bow at the waist was untied to cascade down into a second look in a color that mimics the bronze and oxidized green of the Statue of Liberty. As an extra special touch, the duchesse train depicts a hand-painted celestial map inspired by the 12 zodiac constellations that grace the ceiling at Grand Central Station. The Versace team was also inspired by American designer Charles James, and art deco landmarks like the Empire State Building.
Iris van Herpen had some fantastic ensembles showcased at the 2022 Met Gala, including the “Mythosphere gown” worn by Teyana Taylor. The dancer refers to her look as, “Gilded Galaxy” – an unexpected, yet perfectly apropos interpretation of this year’s theme.
Leslie Odom Jr.
Dressed to the nines in Fendi, Leslie Odom Jr. sported an ensemble designed to be sleek, streamlined, contemporary, and as understated as it is attention-grabbing.
It’s great to see Moon Knight making an appearance at the Met. Oscar Isaac and his wife, Elvira Lind, wore somewhat of a switched pair of ensembles by Thom Browne. While Oscar was donning a “white tie and tails trompe l’oeil” dress, Elvira wore a tailored white tie suit with ankle trousers.
It’s not a true celebration of American fashion and culture unless Native Americans are also represented; so it’s a beautiful thing to see Quannah Chasinghorse at the 2022 Met Gala. The model wore an upcycled tulle trapeze dress by Prabal Gurung, elevated by gorgeous tribal accessories.
Singer Chloe Bailey played off the “Gilded” component of the dress code by wearing a gorgeous AREA gown with a sculpted, exaggerated silhouette.
Versace revisited the late-1800s by designing a custom puffer opera coat in silk duchesse for Gigi Hadid, modernized by a latex catsuit with a boned corset.
The details of Bad Bunny’s Burberry ensemble were surprisingly on-theme for this year’s Met Gala. Aside from the gilded flowers placed in the rapper’s feminine updo, his trench dress alludes to the classic trench coat, while the balloon sleeves is a reinterpretation of the popular “mutton sleeves” worn during the 1820s.
Dressed in a striking and ethereal number by Iris van Herpen, model Winnie Harlow channeled Swan Lake-like glamour with a modern and contemporary flair.
However Thom Browne chose to interpret the Met Gala theme for producer Jordan Roth doesn’t even matter – because the artistry and transformation elements of the look were incredible. Part sculpture, part wearable art, the designer was inspired by gogottes, which are naturally occurring sandstone clusters that take millions of years to form. Jordan’s overcoat-turned-removable-skirt is a fantastical combination of mohair, satin, faille, and sequins.
If opera length gloves make a comeback, then we’ll credit Jasmine Tookes and Zuhair Murad for making them look as exquisite as they did at the Met Gala. The model wore a rich emerald lame gown with an overlay train and thigh-high slit. While the look may not have been as avant-garde as some, it’s beautifully effortless in its glamour; and it serves as extra inspiration for bridesmaid dresses or a “second dress” for a wedding reception.