Met Gala: Stars wear daring sparkly looks from the golden era

Blake Lively smiled for the cameras in a big Versace dress, with husband Ryan Reynolds in brown velvet, Billie Eilish went with a recycled green lace dress from Gucci and Cynthia Erivo wore a sheer white Louis Vuitton with a matching headpiece like the Met Gala returned to its place on the first Monday in May after years of pandemic upheaval.

The celebration of American design was themed around golden glamour, sprouting classic black tuxedos for many men and lots of black and white dresses for women. Others paid literal homage to New York City and even more shimmered in metallic gold and silver.

“Black and white are THE colors of the evening,” said Holly Katz, stylist and host of the Fashion Crimes podcast.


Lively, one of the co-hosts of the evening, wore a bronze and rose gold look that changed into a shimmering layer of baby blue when a large bow was drawn. Lively’s look was inspired by both the Statue of Libertythe Empire State Building and the blue ceiling of Grand Central Station.

“Instead of looking to fashion to influence dress, I looked to New York architecture,” Lively said.

Camila Cabello worked a huge white dress with a midriff-baring top, by Prabal Gurung, while theater producer Jordan Roth provided his own reveal, stripping a black egg-like shell from a matching bulbous trouser suit. Janelle Monáe offered a regal wave in a bedazzled black and white headpiece and bodycon dress with head covering.

Met Gala, Met Gala 2022, Met Gala Theme, Met Gala Venue, Met Gala Hosts, Met Gala Anna Wintour Anna Wintour leaves the Mark Hotel before attending the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Benefit Gala celebrating the opening of ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion’ in New York City. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

“Amazing. I’m proud to be American. I’m proud to wear Ralph Lauren. It’s gold glamor from the future,” Monáe told The Associated Press.


New York City Mayor Eric Adams put politics front and center in a tuxedo emblazoned with “End Gun Violence” on the back. Former presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton wore a burgundy dress designed by Joseph Altuzarra with the names of historic women sewn into the hem and neckline. They include Abigail Adams, Shirley Chisolm and Madeleine Albright.

Clinton’s last Met Gala was a while ago.

“I told Anna I would come every 20 years,” she said.

The cast of Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” joined forces in sparkling suits, capes and dresses by Prada. The film’s star, Austin Butler, wore a cropped suit and a silk scarf with a jeweled brooch. Luhrmann said his film was, ultimately, about America.

Maude Apatow, in a black off-the-shoulder look, accessorized with Cartier, including a large diamond choker.

Met Gala, Met Gala 2022, Met Gala theme, Met Gala venue, Met Gala hosts, Camila Cabello attends the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Benefit Gala celebrating the opening of the ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion’ exhibit. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Vogue livestream co-host Vanessa Hudgens walked the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a vaguely Victorian black lace dress with a long train. She was joined by La La Anthony, her fellow Vogue host who wore a dark red look with cutout shoulders by LaQuan Smith.

“I’m practically naked,” joked Hudgens.

Anthony said: “These stairs are intimidating.”

And if the return of the Met Gala sounds like one of those moments, it already is.

It’s been just under eight months since the last gala, an annual fundraiser that raises eight-figure sums for the Met’s Costume Institute. Before the pandemic, around 600 A-listers from fashion, sports, music, film, TV, tech and beyond were invited. This year and last, the numbers were closer to 400. The 2020 gala has been cancelled.

Over $16.4 million was raised last year. The star-studded event is the main source of the institute’s budget.

This year’s gala coincides with the opening of the second part of a two-part exhibition at the Costume Institute focusing on American fashion and style. The dress code for the evening is gold glamor and white tie, à la Gilded Age, that tumultuous period between the Civil War and the early 20th century known for its robber barons, drama and grandeur.

This year, the rise of the Grand Staircase, lined with red roses, brings the gala back to its legendary place on the first Monday in May, with the official livestream appearing on Vogue’s website.

Vogue’s Anna Wintour, who has led the gala since 1995, wore feathered Chanel and a jeweled tiara that has been in her family since 1910. She continues to be one of the evening’s honorary co-chairs, alongside by designer Tom Ford and Instagram’s Adam Mosseri. The other official co-chairs for 2022 are Regina King and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

While many on Wintour’s carefully curated guest list follow the dress code, others go their own way. Interpretation is everything. Think Rihanna in a papal hat, Billy Porter as a sun god carried on a litter by shirtless men and Lady Gaga peeling off diapers as the fashion world stopped to watch.

Eilish wore a custom Gucci corset look in ivory and duchess satin with green lace and padded bustle. Erivo’s look came with a big train as she held hands with Sarah Jessica Parker, who wore custom-made Christopher John Rogers, a white and black striped Cinderella ball gown with a pink and black headpiece.

Met Gala, Met Gala 2022, Met Gala theme, Met Gala venue, Met Gala hosts, Billie Eilish at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Benefit Gala. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Alicia Keys’ Ralph Lauren dress is inspired by her hometown of New York, with a cape evoking the New York skyline surrounded by tiny hand-placed crystals. Her husband, Swizz Beatz, also from New York, donned a New York sports jacket.

Keys said her dress was meant to “represent an empire state of mind and a city of the gods here tonight.”

Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, showed up with his mother, Maye Musk, a former model decked out in Chopard pearls and other jewelry. Her son went with a classic tuxedo with tails.

Tessa Thompson, meanwhile, chose a sparkly Carolina Herrera cotton-candy ink-colored tulle gown, with designer Wes Gordon at her side. She said her look was made from 200 yards of tulle. Gordon said Thompson told him pink was his favorite color and he took it from there.

Ariana DeBose looked stunning in Jeremy Scott’s gold Moschino.

“This guy turned me into a fashion Oscar,” she said.

And the gala included a marriage proposal. Former state assembly candidate Bobby Digi Olisa knelt down to ask the stunned Laurie Cumbo, the city’s cultural affairs commissioner.

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