Met Gala 2021: The Good, The Bad, The Crazy


Billie Eilish’s Met Gala outfit. Graphic by Elizabeth Alexander

Alana Wasserman and Elizabeth Alexander

For one night each year, celebrities come together in New York City to dress in the craziest outfits fashion has to offer. The Met Gala is technically a fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s fashion exhibit, but in reality, it is the place where A-listers get dressed up in outlandish costumes that are supposed to fit the theme of the yearly exhibit. This year, the theme was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” which is vague enough that you wouldn’t think it would be that hard to find a fitting design. Unfortunately, there was a sad lack of inspiration across the board this year, though there were still a handful of celebrities who did “understand the assignment”. And, of course, there were others who made a splash, regardless of theme. There are far too many to talk about, so we’ll try to narrow it down to the best, worst, and straight-up weirdest of the bunch:



Billie Eilish

Her gorgeous peach ball gown reminded many of Marilyn Monroe, though she said her inspiration was a holiday Barbie doll. Eilish’s new haircut complemented the dress nicely, and it’s hard not to see the comparisons to Monroe.  Because she typically wears baggy clothes, she took a step out of her comfort zone to wear this beautiful dress.


Iconic model Iman looked radiant on the red carpet. She was dressed in a tiered gown and a massive golden headpiece to match. Not only is it attention-grabbing, it was also a “hopeful ray of light after all the darkness we felt,” as she said in an interview during the show.


The so-called queen of the Met Gala, Rihanna showed up fashionably late and was the last person to walk the red carpet that night. While not quite matching the theme, she still turned heads with a puffy black coat and hat. Her coat made people wonder if she had another dress underneath, but since she never took it off, I suppose we’ll never know…

Lupita Nyong’o

The actress had arguably one of the most on-theme looks of the night, wearing a denim dress with crystals that screamed Americana. Her silver jewelry was the perfect addition to cap off a simple but stunning look.

Barbie Ferreira

The Euphoria actress wore a cream-colored dress adorned with tons of pearls. The modern take on a 1920s flapper dress paid off because she looks elegant and inspired all in one.

Nikkie Tutorials

Flowers seemed to be on trend that night, and the YouTuber’s turquoise gown and flowered headpiece fit right into the bunch. While seemingly just another pretty look, the story behind it was what really sold it for me – it’s inspired by late drag queen and gay rights activist Marsha P. Johnson. Since Nikkie herself is trans, that background transforms the dress into something truly special.



Every guy who wore a boring black suit

Guys, this is the Met Gala. You’re free to wear something crazy. And if you don’t want to wear something crazy, at least make your suit blue or red. Please, give us something to work with!

Simone Biles

Yikes. She is amazing and beautiful on her own, but the dress is hideous. The silver part does not work with her frame at all, it looks ridiculously heavy, and the two parts clash horribly with each other. This iconic Olympian deserves a better dress.

Megan Thee Stallion

Megan is definitely the type to wear something show-stopping at the Met Gala, which makes this simple prom dress all the more confusing. It isn’t terrible, but it’s just boring and doesn’t fit her at all. The bunched-up section on the side was a rather unfortunate decision as well.

Debbie Harry

This is just laughably bad, to the point where it’s almost good. The denim jacket actually looks quite nice on her, but the skirt is where things rapidly go downhill. Not only is it uncreative, it also looks like a cat shredded it apart. And that’s not even mentioning the shaping cage underneath the fabric. I will give her designer props for sticking to the theme, but that’s the only compliment this disaster will get. 

A$AP Rocky 

The theme is “American”, not “My Favorite Quilt My Grandma Made Me When I Was 5”. The colors are okay, but it looks like he put this outfit together in less than 5 minutes, grabbed the quilt and wrapped himself in it.




Wearing the most controversial dress of the evening was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The simple white dress made waves with the red words on the back that said “Tax the Rich”. Whether or not you agree or disagree with her statement, it’s obvious that it got everyone talking.

Lil Nas X

He had three separate outfits, and he owned every single one of them. The singer looked regal in a long, king-inspired robe, followed by a gold robotic suit, and concluded with a paisley print bodysuit. He doesn’t match the theme, but the outfit changes made a splash and he showed up prepared for his first Gala.

Kim Kardashian

The most meme-able look of the evening came from social media mogul Kim K, and it was… unique, I suppose? She showed up decked out in flowy black fabric, covering her face and making her look like a silhouette. I feel like it’s also supposed to be a political statement, but I’m not sure what said statement is. Is she someone’s sleep paralysis demon? Is she the Grim Reaper? These are the questions everyone has, and it could have actually been a neat look had the execution been clearer.

Kim Petras

The final look I will review is from singer Kim Petras. Her long braid looks nice, but the actual dress is terrible (though weird enough that it escaped the “bad” tier). Ignoring the massive 3D horse head, the silhouette of the skirt is frumpy and doesn’t go with the rest of the dress. This would have fit better with 2019’s “camp” theme, but horse girls are American, so it’s hard to say which of the two Galas she should have gone to. 



Shrek Frank Ocean

His actual outfit, consisting of a black coat and silver chain necklace, is relatively simple, but it gets a pass because at least it wasn’t a boring black suit (plus it looks nice). The real highlight of this look is the green baby doll he carried, with his own hair dyed to match. For all we know, Shrek could have attended the Met Gala. Props were seldomly used this year, so I like how he bucked the trend and brought one anyway. Though, I’m curious as to how this relates to America?