Goth-aissance, Gender-bending and Other Trends That Ruled the Met Gala

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Photography courtesy of Getty Images

Fashion’s biggest night was full of statement silhouettes, unique textiles and modern takes on gilded glamour.

We’ve come to expect the unexpected at the Met Gala and this year was no different. The highly anticipated “gilded glamour” dress code was met with edgy, modern and ostentatious interpretations (think Ben Platt in a corset, Cardi B quite literally covered in gold and Kim Kardashian doing her best Marilyn Monroe impression) but the most shocking trend of the night? All-black ensembles. Indeed, in 2022, it appears gilded glamour is goth.

Both the exhibit and the dress code were an ode to the late 19th century and the aesthetics of this era immediately evoke images of gold-painted opulence, colourful layers and gaudy saturated embroideries. But instead of looking like an extra from HBO’s new show aptly titled The Gilded Age, many stars chose to subvert expectations by gracing the steps of the Met in monochromatic dark frocks. Is it a reflection of the dark times we’re currently facing? Is it a reaction to the Serotonin-boosting brights we’ve been seeing all spring? Did these celebs just run out of things to wear? Who knows.

Nevertheless, while many looks deviated from the theme (as per usual), the 2022 Met Gala was full of grandiose style moments worthy of fashion’s biggest night. Below, we break down the biggest red carpet statements, from the white-tie goth-aissance to gender-bending glamour.

Goth meets glitz

Just because it’s black, doesn’t mean it’s. basic. These monochromic and moody looks can be interpreted as a rejection of the vibrant opulence found within Gilded Age fashion. The bold colour symbolizes power, elegance and sophistication and many guests brought it all to the steps of the Met.

Normani, Phoebe Dyvenor, Irina Shayk, Maude Apatow, Kendall Jenner and Joan Smalls were among the list of stars who pulled up to the white-tie event in all-black. Some attendees embraced bondage imagery, like Lenny Kravitz and Bella Hadid, who opted for leather and lace corsetry details in their ensembles. Others, like Vanessa Hudgens and Karlie Kloss, channelled stylistic sorceress vibes in dark gowns with sheer lace-embroidered detailing and moody makeup.

The mainstream embrace of goth has been growing for some time, and with so many all-black Met Gala looks, the notion of challenging norms is a surefire trend for 2022.

Modern bustles made a debut

Bustles are a staple of Gilded Age fashion. Traditionally, the padded undergarments were used to add fullness to a dress and elongate the wearer’s backside. It should come as no surprise, then, that the bustle’s recognizable silhouette was all over the red carpet.

Billie Eilish was one of the few guests to don a historically accurate bustle. Her custom Gucci corset gown was both Gilded-Age-appropriate and sustainable, having been made out of deadstock fabric.

Several guests took a different approach, arriving in contemporary, never-before-seen iterations of the garment. Dove Cameron was a perfect example of this, as she wore an avant-garde design by Iris Van Herpen that featured a sharp spheroid silhouette signifying the bones of the bustle.

Franklin Leonard offered a gender-fluid take on the piece by pairing two padded undergarments with a tuxedo. Other stars like Anitta, Gemma Chan and Chloe Bailey strayed from traditional bustle styles and instead incorporated imaginative structural elements to their dresses.

Gender-bending is the new go-to

By now, we all realize the gender is construct. But in the late 1800s, this was not the case. Like with most time periods, clothing was used to enforce strict gender roles. Women wore big, billowy gowns and men donned top hats and waistcoats. However, on the steps of the Met, gender fluidity took centre stage.

Throughout the event, stars deviated from gender norms with clothing that merged ideas of traditional masculinity and femininity. Case in point: all the men in skirts. Stars like Bad Bunny, Travis Barker, Oscar Isaac and Russell Westbrook traded in traditional trousers for tailored skirt bottoms. Jordan Roth took this trend up a notch in an oversized suit bodice with an inflated (removable) voluminous skirt.

On the other hand, celebs like Jessie Buckley, Emma Corrin, Christine Baranski, Janicza Bravo and Chloë Grace Moretz showcased rebellious takes on the suit with subversive top hats, shimmery textiles and commanding silhouettes.

Capes came out to play

Let’s be honest — we love a good #OTT moment and that’s truly where the Met Gala delivers. And what is a gilded glamour tribute without a cascading cloak? Fashion icon Lizzo went viral when she arrived at the event in an opulent gold embroidered cape atop a historically accurate corset designed by Thom Browne. And she wasn’t the only one.

Alicia Keys showed her love for New York in a lengthy Ralph Lauren cloak with rhinestones illustrating the city’s skyline. Gigi Hadid channelled the extravagance of the Gilded era in a weighty red quilted cape by Versace. Other attendees put their own personal style twists on the shawl such as Alton Mason, Stormzy, Conan Gray and Kid Cudi.