A Critical Review of the Met Gala: Why Aren’t We Enforcing Theme?

The Met Gala. An evening of glitz and glamor, famous people, and designers all dressing under a specific theme chosen by the board. Or that’s what it’s supposed to be.

This year was one of the worst years that we have seen for following the theme. The Met Gala 2022’s theme was “Gilded Glamour” which is speaking directly to a period of time in the 1800s where there was a rapid prosperity, industrialization and growth in the US from 1870 to 1890. People dressed to show off their wealth and used fashion as a way to symbolize the prosperity of the era. Think very Downton Abbey (at the beginning) or, to a lesser extent, Bridgerton.

If this is the theme, why did Sebastian Stan show up in a hot pink suit ensemble that wouldn’t look out of place on any other red carpet? More importantly, why are such blatant deviations from the theme accepted? What’s the point of having a theme if the event organizers don’t enforce it?

To the rest of the world, this might seem like a trivial thing. But the gilded age was one for immense progress in relation to fashion and we still see the implications of it today. This theme was an extremely easy one to follow. Fashion has long had a reputation of not being important, of being something that only certain members of the human race can take part in. The Met Gala is the fashion event of the year, and with a set theme, the organizers are telling people how to dress. When people ignore the theme, it is yet another snub to fashion as an art form.

I’m all for modernizing and creating a contemporary version of the theme, Billie Eilish did this impeccably well. Kendall Jenner also looked amazing and on theme, while also bringing a modern edge to it. And of course, we cannot forget the Met Gala queen Blake Lively. None of these three women wore anything that would be considered old fashioned, yet all of them followed the theme really closely.

When can we expect this of everyone else invited? When will The Met Gala organizers enforce a dress code and start seeing fashion as an art form again?

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