Met Gala 2021: The best and the worst


Payton Zagacki and Madeleine Herion

On Sep. 13, 2021 the long awaited “Oscars of Fashion” returned to the steps of the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, New York. To say the least, the 2021 Met Gala was certainly not a disappointment. The theme was “American Independence” which corresponds to the museum’s newest exhibit “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” and it was hosted by Hollywood’s best young personalities: actor Timothée Chalamet, singer Billie Eilish, poet Amanda Gorman and professional tennis player Naomi Osaka.  Celebrities flooded the steps dressed head to toe in exclusive, personalized designer outfits with the hopes of claiming the title of Best Dressed. Based on three rating categories: connection to theme, originality, and overall aesthetic, these are our picks for which A-listers made the cut and which shouldn’t have been let out of the limo.

The Top 5:

5. Eiza Gonzalez in Versace

Eiza Gonzalez, best known for 2017 “Baby Driver,” starts off the list with the fifth best dressed. Gonzalez sported a classic red halter gown designed by Verasce for the night. The bodycon silhouette and sparkle detailing added a special twist to the Old Hollywood inspired attire.  Her hair, makeup and accessories were simple and elegant. Gonzalez looks positively fabulous and perfectly captured the aura of 1920’s icons like Coco Chanel. 


4. Billie Eilish in Oscar De La Renta

Claiming the fourth spot is co-host Billie Eilish, who recently broke records at the 2020 Grammys as the youngest solo artist to win Album of the Year. Her influence on the music industry is undeniable, as is her timeless blush ball gown. Her inspiration for the look was Marilyn Monroe and her designer, Oscar De La Renta, portrayed it beautifully. De La Rente and Eilish accomplished the practically impossible: extravagant Met Gala style while still producing a stunning carpet ball gown.


3. Anok Yai in Oscar De La Renta

De La Renta swept the gala this year as another one of his designs makes our top five. Newcomer to the fashion runway, model Anok Yai surprised us all with her celestial sheer ensemble paired with a feather shawl. Yai broke into the modeling scene in 2018 after becoming a viral Instagram sensation for her breathtaking features.  She paid homage to Jospehine Baker, one of the first widely popular black female entertainers in the 1920’s, a seamless connection to the gala’s theme of “American Independence.” 


2. Yara Shahidi in Dior

In second place is actress Yara Shahidi, known for the ABC sitcom “Black-ish.” Shahidi has attended three Met Galas now, and she is always serving looks. Both Shahidi and Yai based their attire on Josephine Baker but certainly took the idea in different directions. Shahidi’s strapless dress and matching gloves are sure to awe. Her hairstyle is a replica of Josephine’s quintessential curl with a diamond flapper headband. All around, the color palette, exquisite beading detail and sheer cape cinched Shahidi’s success and allowed her to stand out on the carpet.


1. Amanda Gorman in Vera Wang

Finally, rounding out our list is co-host and critically acclaimed poet, Amanda Gorman. Gorman stuns in her royal blue, dual-length dress. The delicate sparkles, silver makeup and hair piece come together to create the perfect “American Independence” Met Gala look. Lady Liberty was Gorman’s influence and the subtle hints of the symbol are portrayed throughout. The clutch purse disguised as a book, similar to the one the statue holds, reads “Give Us Your Tired,” the first line of the poem by Emma Lazarus which is etched into the Statue of Liberty itself. Gorman’s one-of-a-kind Vera Wang is what every Met Gala attendee should aspire to wear. It is simple, yet interesting enough to match the extravagant party that the gala is.


Honorable Mentions: 

Kendall Jenner in Givenchy

Timothee Chalamet in Haider Ackerman

Lupita N’yong in Versace


Fashion’s biggest night can quickly turn into its biggest nightmare. There are always a few people at the Met Gala who go above and beyond in the worst way possible. Here are our top five picks for the worst dressed celebrities at this year’s Met.

The Top Yikes:

5. Dixie D’Amelio in Valentino

Our first TikTok star of the night walked the red carpet in Valentino couture hoping to pay homage to the great Audrey Hepburn. Unfortunately, she looked more like a lampshade than the late starlet. While the dress looked positively glamorous on the runway, it fell flat on the influencer with an ill fitting silhouette and boring colors.


4. Addison Rae in Tom Ford

Yet another influencer to fail at this year’s Met. Wearing what looks like a hand-me-down from her new bestie Kourtney Kardashian, Rae walked the carpet in what she called “vintage” Tom Ford from 2003. According to antique experts, something is not usually considered vintage until it is at least 30 years old, and it is clear that Rae does not know this. Not only is it not vintage, it looks like something that could be bought off of Shein.


3. Kim Kardashian in Balenciaga

Kim is famous for serving looks at the Met and this year is no exception. The only difference is this year Kim showed up in a Balenciaga Morphsuit instead of a glittering gown. People say she was making a statement that her silhouette was enough for people to recognize her as the icon she is. To me, that sounds a little conceited. If I’m being honest, I didn’t recognize her or the message. I thought she was repping her newly ex husband’s new album, which was just as bad as this look. Better luck next time Kim.


2. Natalia Bryant in Connor Ives

As much as I love Natalia Bryant, and I really love Natalia Bryant, even I can’t ignore how horrendous this look was. This dress is doing absolutely nothing for her. She looks like an easter egg and an oompa loompa had a child. Someone needs to hire a new stylist because whoever allowed her to go out in this look should be fired. I’m all for bold looks at the Met, but this was an all-around flop. 


1. Kim Petras in Collina Strada

Dedicated to horse girls everywhere, singer-songwriter Kim Petras showed up to this year’s Met with a horse head attached to her dress. The Met is a place for celebrities to make big fashion statements, but this took it a little too far. Why Kim felt the need to pay homage to horse girls, the world may never know. All I do know is that I was truly terrified when I saw a horse head staring at me through the screen of my computer. The dress underneath the horse head made the overall ensemble even worse than it already was. The fabric used looks like it was stolen off of some poor grandma’s wall. This was hands down the worst look of the Met.


Honorable mentions:

Hailee Steinfeld in Iris Van Herpen

Camila Cabello in Michael Kors

Erykah Badu in Thom Browne