The female looks at the 2021 Met Gala encompassed American fashion and extravagance


Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum

Billie Eilish rocking a Marilyn Monroe inspired look at The Met Gala 2021.

As the 2021 Met Gala took place this past Monday, I feel it’s time to address the mass media surrounding celebrities’ red carpet looks. The Met Gala was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and this year’s theme was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” The theme celebrates the Costume Institute’s latest exhibit, which opens to the public in September at the Anna Wintour Costume Center.

The Met Gala is one of my favorite events of the year; I wake up the morning after the event and scroll through all the celebrity looks—this year did not disappoint. In this article, I will only be reviewing women’s looks—but I feel the need to give a shout out to the immaculate look by Lil Nas X here—and of course, with the event hosting around 600 attendees, I cannot bring attention to all the women at the event; but, I will include those I feel must be commented on. If you’d like to hear a full report on Men’s Met Gala looks this year, read Veronica Vincent’s story here.

Welcome to a Grand Rapids high school girl’s take on the 2021 Met Gala. Time: 2:05 P.M. Location: my bed. 

Billie Eilish

I was shocked when I saw Billie Eilish’s outfit this year. Her look was a nod to Marilyn Monroe, which I thought went really well with the whole Americana theme of the Met. I wasn’t surprised by how stunning she looked; it was more how feminine the outfit was. Typically, we see Billie in a baggy-fitted, bright, bizarre-patterned outfit; so this nude, fitted-waist dress was off-brand in the best way. Her gown was by Oscar De La Renta, and it was truly gorgeous: I loved the sheer shoulder straps, the bodice, the train, the peach color, the tulle skirt, the drama, all of it. It was extremely glamorous and very on point with the theme of the gala. She looked incredible.

Emma Chamberlain

To be honest, at first look I was like, Wait, why is Emma at the Met? I feel like because my generation specifically knows her as a young YouTuber, we forget how iconic she is in the fashion industry. Emma looked gorgeous. Of course, we saw her in Louis Vuitton, and the dress was edgy; it had cutouts, and the entire thing was bedazzled in gold and silver. I really liked how the dress was a mini length with the side train, and the straps were gorgeous. Her makeup was particularly eye-catching; Emma isn’t someone we see in full-glam often, but when she does it, she does it. For her first Met, I thought she did really well. The only thing I will say is that I didn’t really see how it played into the theme—I believe she maybe was going for modernized American 60’s fashion, but it was slightly underwhelming, and I felt she needed a couple accessories.

Megan Thee Stallion

Calling herself “Megan Monroe,” we saw Megan Thee Stallion serve, like Billie, another homage to Marilyn. Megan wore a Coach ballgown with a ruffled hem, and it gave me strong Golden Age Hollywood vibes. I’ve seen mixed opinions on this look, but I thought she truly embodied what she was aiming for. Her makeup was flawless, and the hairstyle coupled well with the idea of glamour. It could’ve been a little more than it was, considering how extra Megan usually is, but overall, she looked beautiful.

Addison Rae

I did not like this. Addison is being bashed right now for her appearance at the Met, and a lot of that is stemming from people who think she should not have been invited—that’s not my reasoning. I wasn’t that surprised that Addison was invited to the Met this year, and I’m not mad that she was. I truly just don’t like her outfit. Addison wore a vintage, Tom Ford, red, corset gown. She just took the safe route, and it seemed like little thought went into her look. It also seemed like she was going for an old Hollywood glam look, but the wig she wore was super modern; at the very least, she could’ve put in some waves. This look could’ve been worn to any red carpet event, like the VMAs, for example, and no Met Gala look should be interchangeable with another event look.

Megan Fox

Megan Fox is one of the most gorgeous women to walk the planet, so I feel like it would have been pretty hard for her to screw up the Met Gala. She sported a red, plunge-neck, lace-up Dundas gown covered in sequins; Megan’s stylist, Maeve Reilly, said that it took about fifty people to embroider her dress. Megan was channeling Betty Paige with her black hair and bangs, and I definitely thought she pulled off the look. I was not a fan of the lacing on the dress, but the structure looked great on her.

Lupita Nyong’o

This was actually one of my favorite Met looks this year; Lupita’s hair was striking. Her outfit was a Britney Spears reference, and her hair was a nod to American art. This look encompassed the theme really well, and the denim vibe could not have been executed better. Versace did not fail.

Kim Kardashian

A lot of people just didn’t understand Kim’s look, but I took it as a statement on her silhouette’s impact on American fashion. She wore an all-black, form-fitted, Balenciaga outfit, and even her face was covered. I felt that her body being the only element in the look was really powerful, and it showed how influential she is by accentuating the fact that you don’t need to see her face to know it’s Kim K. It also went with the theme through its social commentary on American society constantly identifying her by her body to the point where it’s all we need to see to recognize her.

Kendall Jenner

Kendall looked absolutely stunning, and I thought she was one of the best dressed individuals at this year’s Met. Kendall paid homage to Audrey Hepburn’s My Fair Lady look in a see-through, nude gown covered in crystals. While we’ve all seen this before to some degree, this look by Givenchy in particular was spectacular. She killed it.

Hailey Bieber

Hailey wore a deep-cut, Saint Laurent gown. She was opting for simplicity with this look, but it was honestly pretty boring. We’ve waited over a year for this Met, and this look did not, by any means, go above and beyond. She gave context to the inspiration behind the look, saying she was going for “timeless” and referencing Grace Kelly. Timeless, though, does not mean bland.


Rihanna wore a Balenciaga overcoat with a matching black beanie. She added some crystal embellishment to the beanie, giving a glamorous aspect to this outfit, which I thought was necessary. I think the overcoat went with the theme in the sense that it’s an American essential, but I’m not really sure. Regardless, the look was chic, and Rihanna is perfect.

Camilla Cabello

Camilla was referencing Cher with her two-piece, purple, sequenced, Michael Kors outfit. I really liked the skirt and the addition of the feathers to it, but something about this outfit looks cheap; perhaps it’s the cropped tank she paired with it. She served a sort of Euphoria makeup look though, which I thought looked stunning on her.

Lily Rose Depp

Lily Rose Depp: her father is Johnny Depp, her ex is Timothee Chalamet, and she is quite literally the American beauty standard, so it would be pretty hard for this girl to not kill the Met. Lily wore a black and pink two-piece, reminiscent of the 1950s. The color combination and the skirt profile created by Chanel served a modern take on Grease. Even her shoes matched the flower theme. There was something fun about the textural element of the two-piece, as it was fuzzy and shiny at the same time. The look as a whole served ballerina, and she definitely pulled it off.

Hailee Steinfeld

Iris Van Herpen created this look from recycled ocean plastic, so we need to first give credit to Hailee for choosing creativity over comfort. She was wearing a piece of art. I know a lot of people are discussing Hailee’s big transformation to blonde, but honestly I almost wish she wouldn’t have made such a dramatic change in appearance because it upstaged the dress. I feel like Hailee Steinfield is so underrated from a stylistic perspective; she looks incredible at every event. This was definitely one of my favorite looks of the night.

Dixie D’Amelio

First of all, I think it’s absolutely insane that Dixie was just graduating high school in Connecticut but that she’s become such a social media star that she’s now at the Met. Dixie arrived at the gala in an extremely chic, dramatic feather dress. Her makeup, by Patrick Ta, was stunning, and she definitely hit the theme in a 50s/60s way. What I loved most about this look was the fact that, even though it was her first Met Gala and she was one of the youngest individuals to attend the event, she didn’t play it safe. This is an unpopular opinion, but I thought Dixie nailed it.

Gigi Hadid

I am obsessed with Gigi Hadid’s hair color at the Met Gala this year. She wore a high ponytail, and her hair was a deep red. The dress was edgy, but also elegant, and I thought the Prada hair-clip was a nice touch to the ponytail. I just liked Gigi’s look a lot; she looked classy but sexy at the same time, and overall her outfit was stunning. She embodied the ideals of American fashion.

Madison Beer

Madison Beer is a breathtaking human; they could’ve put this girl in virtually anything and she would’ve looked incredible, which is why her look was by far the most disappointing of the night. Her hair was in a bun; her makeup was a standard glam look. There was nothing remotely special going on. Madison wore an emerald green gown by Patricia Voto, and I hate to say it, but she looked like she was on her way to highschool prom. It was her first Met Gala, and I think she definitely deserved to be invited, but the look was not creative, it wasn’t authentic, it wasn’t flattering, and it was a huge let down. 

Olivia Rodrigo

I’m definitely a fan of Olivia Rodrigo, and I think she looked great, but I don’t know how her look plays into the theme of the event. She’s a big-name American popstar, and she had a huge year in terms of her music career, so I felt like she could’ve done a lot more with this theme. She wore a Saint Laurent catsuit with feather detailing, and said she was going for “punk rock feminine.” This look would’ve made a lot more sense for 2013’s Met Gala theme—”Punk: Chaos to Couture”—than this one. I was in awe over Oliva’s custom look by Marc Jacobs at the VMAs; that ensemble was over-the-top, so I had high expectations for her Met outfit that were simply not exceeded.

Anna Wintour

Last, but certainly not least, we have to talk about Anna Wintour, the fashion industry’s idol. Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief and chairwoman of the Met Gala event, arrived at the event first. The fashion legend wore a floral, long-sleeved, Oscar de la Renta gown with a mermaid shape. Viewers were surprised to see her in Oscar de la Renta, as she has worn Chanel to the past decade of Met Galas, but according to The New York Times, she selected this gown “as an homage to my dear friend Oscar de la Renta” (Twitter: Vanessa Friedman).

The Met Gala is a runway party. There’s no room to play it safe; over-the-top extravagance is the expectation. At the very least, celebrities should be unique and aim to look like walking art. The Met is one of the greatest events at one of the most esteemed art museums in the world. You’d be disrespecting the venue, the previous gala attendees, designers, Anna Wintour, and fashion in itself to not go big.