Gilded Glamor: Was It a Hit or a Miss At This Year’s Met Gala?


Jack Huot and Emily Osit

Ball gowns, extravagant hair, corsets, and exaggerated jewelry pieces are just some of the trends within the Gilded Age. Hosted by Anna Wintour every year, the Met Gala is a time for messages to be heard, and clothing to be criticized. According to, the 2022 Met Gala theme was In America: An Anthology of Fashion, following the first part of this exploration of American fashion in the 2021 Met Gala, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. Clearly, this theme is up for interpretation, but most viewers and guests interpreted the dress code as “Gilded Glamor.” 

After two years without the Gala due to COVID-19, the event finally took place in its usual spot, the first Monday in May. Each year, celebrities make their way down the carpet in the most extravagant outfits possible, from a chandelier dress (worn by Katy Perry during the 2019’s Camp: Notes on Fashion), to a full body Balenciaga mask (worn by Kim Kardashian in 2021’s Gala). However, many people took to social media to express their disappointment in this year’s outfits. 

Britannica Online describes the “Gilded Age” as, “a period of gross materialism and blatant political corruption in U.S. history during the 1870s that gave rise to important novels of social and political criticism.” However, the Gilded Age was also a time of cultural change, unprecedented prosperity, and industrialization. Although each guest walks onto the carpet with detail-oriented couture, the question is, did this year’s guests correctly follow this theme?

@lanemckelvie tweeted, “where are the corsets, where are the boned bodices, where are the giant bows and frills and lace” Another user @koralinadean explained, “i just feel like the met gala should be conditional upon arrival like an outfit check at the door and if ur not on theme ur getting sent home! sorry the local mall is down the street let’s try again”. 

These tweets are generally speaking, however many focused on certain celebrities. Sebastian Stan walked on the carpet in neon pink head to toe, which surely would stand out in a formal, white-tie gilded glamor setting. Another controversial outfit worn by Kim Kardashian was the notorious “Happy Birthday Mr. President” gown. Originally worn by Marilyn Monroe in 1962, the gown seems to be a few decades late for the theme of the night.

However, many celebrities please their twitter audience, showing up to the gala nailing that “Gilder Glamor” theme. Blake Lively walked onto the carpet with an eye -catching dress that not only matched the theme, but represented aspects

 of New York City late 19th century and early 20th. Lauren Tappan wrote an article for Town & Country describing the symbolism as, “An ode to Lady Liberty. This metamorphosis of sorts mirrored the changing color of the Statue of Liberty. When the Statue of 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 Lively’s interpretive transformation.

Another outfit had viewers gasping for air, however it was not worn by a celebrity, rather a reporter on the carpet. Génesis Suero, who was covering the event for the Spanish television network Telemundo, looked stunning in her gold gown. Not only was the dress beautiful, but it was perfect for this year’s theme. Suero didn’t even have professional photos taken, rather was sniped by an iPhone on the carpet. 

Each year, the Met Gala opens the door for fashion criticism online. In past years, celebrities were praised for their fashion efforts, with themes like “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and Catholic Imagination” and “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” However, this year critics were especially disappointed with not only the failure to hit the themes mark, but the outfits that missed in general. So the question remains, should guests be required to wear outfits oriented with the theme?