The Best and Worst Looks of the 2021 Met Gala

Which celebs nailed “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” and which failed miserably?


Siena Griffin

Quannah Chasinghorse, Yara Shahidi, and Debbie Harry at the Met Gala.

After the devastating cancellation of last year’s Met Gala due to the pandemic, fashion lovers (including amateurs, like ourselves) everywhere rejoiced that the gala would return in 2021 with the theme “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” The Met Gala, exclusively attended by the biggest celebrities and designers, is a fashion benefit that raises money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York. Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, and Naomi Osaka hosted this year’s event, which took place on September 13 instead of the usual first Monday in May. A vaccination mandate was in place for all guests, allowing attendees to ditch their masks. 

Interviewed by actress Keke Palmer and director Ilana Glazer, the world’s most notable celebrities graced our screens via Vogue’s Twitter livestream. “In America” proved a difficult theme to adhere to; some guests’ looks hit the mark, while others made us want to throw our phones across the room. Here are the best and worst five looks of the 2021 Met Gala:

Best Looks

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  • Yara Shahidi: Shahidi was one of many whose looks were inspired by 1920s jazz entertainer Josephine Baker at this year’s Met Gala. Wearing Dior head to toe, Shahidi stunned in her beaded, floor-length gown and veil.

  • Kendall Jenner: Paying homage to Audrey Hepburn’s iconic dress in My Fair Lady, Jenner takes sheer to a whole new level. Since her first Met Gala in 2014, we have always been able to count on Jenner to deliver on the red carpet.

  • Lupita Nyong’o: Most people know that classic denim is a staple of American fashion. Nyong’o was right on the mark—and one of the only guests with an obvious connection to the theme—with her all-denim Versace gown.

  • Anok Yai: Yai reimagines another classic Josephine Baker look with her celestial Oscar de la Renta gown. Both her star-studded black dress and fluffy coat were incredible, and the epitome of Met Gala fashion.

  • Quannah Chasinghorse: Indigineous model Chasinghorse honors her Navajo heritage in Peter Dundas. Her look represents the forgotten indigenious peoples in modern America, a beautiful and welcome interpretation of the theme.

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Honorable mentions include Billie Eilish, Timothée Chalamet, Gabrielle Union, Kim Kardashian, Lorde, Dan Levy, Lili Reinhart, Zoey Deutch, and Gemma Chan.


Worst Looks

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  • Camila Cabello: Cabello went with a purple Michael Kors dress and boa—an awkward choice, one that did not fit the theme and class of the Met Gala.

  • Ciara: A neon green dress inspired by husband Russell Wilson’s football jersey was not the move for this year’s (or any) gala. Her football-shaped clutch was not the move, either.

  • Debbie Harry: Though right on theme, Harry’s look by Zac Posen may be more suited for the Fourth of July than the Met Gala. Her denim top and red-and-white hoop skirt were simply ugly and bordered on obnoxious.

  • Kid Cudi: Cudi’s brightly colored sweatshirt and plastic flare pants felt out of place among so many formally dressed attendees. Though his fit might be fashionable in another setting, he looked like he was on his way to a slumber party rather than fashion’s biggest night.

  • Kim Petras: No words. Just… wow.

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