Met Gala 2021: The most memorable celeb looks from fashion's wackiest night out

(Clockwise from top left) Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky and Kim Kardashian at the Met Ball on Sept 13, 2021.
(Clockwise from top left) Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky and Kim Kardashian at the Met Ball on Sept 13, 2021.PHOTOS: AFP, NYTIMES

SINGAPORE - It was a great, expectedly bizarre, day for fashion, as the Met Gala returned in full force on Monday, after being cancelled last year (2020) due to the pandemic.

The annual fund-raising gala organised by Vogue magazine for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City is easily the most anticipated - and wackiest - event on the fashion calendar.

This year's theme - In America: A Lexicon of Fashion - celebrated American independence and the resilience of American fashion.Stars in attendance pulled out all the stops in their varied interpretations. There were political statements, homages to American history and downright puzzling looks.

It was also a notably youthful edition, with singer Billie Eilish, 19, actor Timothee Chalamet, 25, poet Amanda Gorman, 23, and tennis star Naomi Osaka, 23, co-chairing this year's gala.

The Straits Times rounds up the most memorable looks of the event.

Billie Eilish


PHOTOS: AFP

The Grammy award-winning American singer stole the show for her Met Gala debut, trading her usual logomania and edgy aesthetic for a deeply elegant Oscar de la Renta gown that channelled Hollywood royalty Marilyn Monroe.

A vegan and animal rights activist, Eilish reportedly agreed to wear the custom gown on the condition that Oscar de la Renta stop using fur.

Rihanna and A$AP Rocky


PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Arriving late in the evening, Barbadian pop star Rihanna made it worth the wait when she showed up with her new beau, rapper A$AP Rocky, wearing Balenciaga and Eli Russell Linnetz respectively. The two shared many a sweet moment on the red carpet.

Rihanna's look had a powerful message behind it too. She told a journalist Gia Peppers: "I wanted a look that seemed very powerful, yet feminine, yet like a Black hoodie, which is usually the thing that we are incriminated by as Black people."

Kendall Jenner


PHOTO: AFP

American model Kendall Jenner went full peekaboo in a Givenchy dress in illusion tulle embroidered with crystals.

Complete with a diamond choker, the ensemble was inspired by Audrey Hepburn's iconic glittering dress in the 1964 classic My Fair Lady.

Proud mama Kris Jenner was even present to video-record her red carpet entrance.

Kim Kardashian


PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP

The most famous Kardashian has already spawned countless memes for her faceless, Dementor-like Balenciaga getup designed by Georgian fashion designer Demna Gvasalia.

Explaining her all-black look in an Instagram post, Kim wrote: "What's more American than a T-shirt head to toe?!"

Was that even really her gracing the event? Only her family will know.

Dan Levy


PHOTO: AFP

In bespoke Loewe printed polo and trousers, American actor Dan Levy made his Met Gala debut as an imagined "gay superhero", with a tribute to late LGBTQ activist and artist David Wojnarowicz via the suit's detailed embroidery.

Amanda Gorman


PHOTO: AFP

The 23-year-old poet already proved she was a fashion force when she donned Prada at the presidential inauguration earlier this year.

For the Met Gala, she wore a royal blue draped Vera Wang minidress inspired by the Statue of Liberty, paired with a book-shaped clutch that bore text from The New Colossus poem on display inside the landmark.

Timothee Chalamet


PHOTO: AFP

It takes serious sartorial courage to pair a Haider Ackermann tuxedo jacket and sweatpants with Converse high-top sneakers and vintage Cartier. But Timothee Chalamet totally rocked the look

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


PHOTO: NYTIMES

The US representative nicknamed AOC made her Met Gala red carpet debut in a statement-making 'Tax The Rich' dress from Canadian designer Aurora James' fashion label Brother Vellies.

Lil Nas X


PHOTOS: NYTIMES, AFP

In an outfit-changing stunt once executed by pop star Lady Gaga, American rapper Lil Nas X stunned with not one, but three fabulous gold looks from Versace - telling a three-part story linked to his personal journey as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

The first, a dramatically regal cape, represents concealing one's true self. Beneath the cape was gleaming armour as a symbol of protection.

Finally, this last layer was shed to reveal a skin-tight crystal bodysuit - representing living life as one's true, unguarded self.

Lili Reinhart


PHOTO: AFP

Riverdale star Lili Reinhart was perfectly sweet in a sheer Christian Siriano dress featuring the official flower of all 50 states - befitting the actresses' girl-next-door persona.

Naomi Osaka


PHOTO: AFP

Celebrating America's melting pot of cultures, tennis wunderkind Naomi Osaka paid tribute to her Japanese-Haitian heritage in a striking gown from Louis Vuitton. The bold print started as a digital watercolor piece by her sister and retired tennis pro Mari, who incorporated a koi fish motif in a nod to her Japanese roots.

Finneas


PHOTOS: AFP

Not to be outdone by his little sister, Billie Eilish's brother and frequent collaborator Finneas O'Connell donned an all-red Givenchy ensemble, complete with red patent leather boots and a red balaclava embroidered with red crystals.