How the stars interpreted Met Gala 2021’s ‘In America’ theme

From the red, white, and blue ensembles to old Hollywood glamor, here are some of the best fashion moments at this year’s Met Gala

When talking about the US, what are the things that come to your mind? Is it Lady Liberty standing proud in New York? How about the glittering world of Hollywood? The cowboys, rodeos, and the wild West? Is it offensive if racism also comes to mind? This year’s Met Gala aims to find the answer to that by giving a visual and sartorial depiction of what the nation is with the theme “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.”

Photos by Getty Images; Artwork by Ariana Maralit

“American designers are at the forefront of conversations around diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, gender fluidity, and body positivity,” Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute’s Wendy Yu Curator in Charge, tells Vogue. “The framework of the show enables us to focus on the younger designers who are engaging thoughtfully and deeply with those ideas.”

Traditionally held on the first Monday of May, the benefit event for the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York becomes the cherry on top of the fashion festivities happening in the city this September. Celebrities, fashion elites, and notable personalities come together to witness the Met Museum’s newest displays while wearing their best depiction of what American fashion is. From wearing Uncle Sam's colors and donning star spangle garbs to presenting their causes on the beige carpet, here are some of the best fashion moments at the Met Gala 2021.

Megan Rapinoe, Debbie Harry, and Tracee Ellis Ross

Red, white, and blue

America’s colors are present in the gala. Some stars chose to highlight a single hue like Jennifer Hudson in AZ Factory and Tracee Ellis Ross in Balenciaga. While some embodied the beauty of the American flag fully like Megan Rapinoe in Sergio Hudson and Debbie Harry in Zac Posen.

Gigi Hadid, Billie Eilish, and Barbie Ferreira

Old Hollywood glam

Think of Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, and the other leading ladies of the golden years of Tinseltown. Looking elegant and enchanting as those screen actresses are Billie Eilish in Oscar de la Renta, Gigi Hadid in Prada, and Barbie Ferreira in Jonathan Simkhai,

Imaan Hammam, Emily Blunt, and Zoë Kravitz

Sheer and sparkle

Lighting up the night with all the sparkles, with some skin-baring moments, are Kendall Jenner in Givenchy, Zoë Kravitz in Saint Laurent, Emily Blunt in Miu Miu, and Imaan Hammam in Versace.

Cara Delevingne, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Gemma Chan

Statement looks

With all of the world’s eyes focused on them, attendees take advantage of the event to rebel in style. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wears a Brother Vellies piece with the statement “Tax the Rich.” Cara Delevingne calls out the patriarchy with her Dior look. Gemma Chan pays homage to pioneer Asian-American actress Anna May Wong with her Prabal Gurung ensemble.

Lupita Nyong'o, Jennifer Lopez, and Ciara

All-American fare

American heritage and pop culture are the inspirations behind many of the stars’ looks. Jennifer Lopez takes us to the rodeo with her Ralph Lauren ’fit. Ciara brings us to the Super Bowl Dundas design featuring her husband’s jersey number. Showing how to make an all-denim look elegant is Lupita Nyong'o in Atelier Versace.

Olivia Rodrigo, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian

Scene-stealers in black

Bringing drama and non-basic black looks are Rihanna and Kim Kardashian, both in Balenciaga, Evan Mock in Thom Browne with a full leather mask, and Olivia Rodrigo channeling punk glam with her Saint Laurent jumpsuit.

Photos by Getty Images