The theme of Met Gala 2022 revolves around Gilded Glamour and White Tie. Stretching from around 1870 to 1900, this age refers to a time of rapid economic growth, industrialization, and extravagant displays of wealth. Aside from that, it also has something to do with increasing wealth inequality and rampant poverty.
All About Gilded Fashion (and, how Met Gala attendees missed the mark)
However, it is worth noting that not all of the attendees have any control over what they wear to such an event. Of course, designers could interpret Gilded Glamour in their own way with excess and grandiosity that defined the decades.
What is Gilded Fashion?
With that said, designers seem to have missed the mark on their interpretation of the Gilded Fashion Era. From full dresses with full skirts, puffed sleeves, and tightly corseted bosom to the lean silhouettes and high waist of the pre-war years. Aside from that, they would have over-the-top outfits to feature a lot of corsets, structured dresses, white ties, and plenty of jewels.
Authors Mark Twain and Dudley Warner coined the term ‘Gilded Age’ in the 1873 book The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today. It revolved around the time when the upper classes covered their flaws and societal issues with the appearance of fortune.
What should have been worn during the 2022 Met Gala?
Although there were attendees who had actually followed the theme, many flopped — including the Bridgerton girls themselves who actually lived in gilded style during filming said show. Attendees should have shown up featured in a combination of many textiles. This would include satin, silk, velvet, and fringe, adored with over-the-top textures like lace, bows, frills, and ruffles.
Attendees who wore the best modern interpretation of this theme would include Riz Ahmed. He paid homage to the immigrant workers who kept the Gilded Age going. At the time, rapid economic growth benefited the wealthy while exploiting the majority of immigrant workers. He arrived in a silk shirt and undershirt, topping it all off with an understated Cartier necklace.
Aside from Riz, a Met Gala reporter stole the show and went viral with her look. Dressed in a stunning golden Lucia Rodriguez gown, Genesis Suero definitely had a better look than other attendees.
Sza also clearly understood the assignment in modernizing Gilded Fashion. She wore a bright purple Vivienne Westwood. Her waist is cinched, and her head was clad with a dramatic headdress. And, the modern interpretation of Gilded Fashion definitely hit the mark.
Even Emma Chamberlain who served as carpet correspondent for Vogue smashed the modernized version of Gilded Fashion. She wore a Louis Vuitton two-piece ensemble, decorated with ornate Cartier jewelry, and a tiara atop her platinum blonde hair.
Of course, we can’t forget Billie Eilish who showed up in Gucci. She wore a mint green boned corset with a gorgeous square neckline, embellished with a giant purple flower. She also wore a bustle, everybody — A BUSTLE, which is a huge must when replicating this era’s fashion style.
Blake Lively (and Ryan Reynolds)
It comes with no surprise that Blake Lively smashed the Gilded Fashion. Her gorgeous Versace gown referenced the ceiling of Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty. Adorned with ornate crystal embellishments which add hints of baby blue, mint green, and coral orange hues to a layer of brown fabric.
The drama was definitely Gilded Fashion. As she ascended the red carpet steps, she performed the ultimate reveal, unraveling the oversized bow at her waist, showcasing a copper green train underneath. This also became an ode to the changing color of the Statue of Liberty. When the Lady Liberty was unveiled during the Gilded Age in 1886, it was copper brown.
Since then, it has oxidized to a rich shade of green, hence her interpretive transformation. Even her husband Ryan Reynolds hit the mark on Gilded Fashion. He wore a burgundy tuxedo and white tie. Watching his wife transform her look in front of him, his jaw dropped in awe.
Although attendees like Dove Cameron, Dakota Johnson, and Kim Kardashian among others looked amazing, their looks did not necessarily fit the Gilded Fashion theme of the 2022 Met Gala.
Angela Grace P. Baltan is a Communication graduate from Colegio de San Juan de Letran. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, and mental health among others.