Influencers, Politicians Take Center Stage at Fashion Gala


The Met Gala, an annual event which benefits the Costume Institute, happened for the first time since 2019, and, in typical fashion, the star-studded event had its share of controversy.
The theme of the Sept. 13 New York City event was “American Independence,” which resulted in outfits many saw as controversial. Each year a theme is presented which the designers draw inspiration from. Many young designers were featured on the industries top names, including the event’s co-chairs Billie Eilish and Timothée Chalamet, along with poet-turned-celebrity Amanda Gorman and tennis star and mental health advocate Naomi Osaka.
The Gala was started in 1948 by fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert to benefit the then newly founded costume institute and its annual exhibit in the Met Museum. Since then it has happened annually, with exception of 2020 due to the pandemic.
Among those walking the red carpet were many prominent social media influencers such as Addison Rae, Dixie D’Amelio, and Emma Chamberlain. Some students on campus debated whether these influencers belonged at the event.
“I think that as social media influencers become more prominent in pop culture and the fashion industry, it is logical for their attendance at big events like the Met Gala,” said Lily McAmis, a senior from Northampton, Mass.
Senior Sarah Drucker, a boarder from Great Barrington, Mass., agrees.
“As times are changing, social media influencers are becoming just as popular if not more popular than big movie stars,” she said. “Nowadays there is a lot of crossover between social media influencers and being in movies and other types of media, so I think it’s perfectly okay that they attended the Met Gala.”
The theme of American independence comes at a time in which many have been questioning the meaning of such a statement. Attendees played into this uncertainty, such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose dress was emblazoned with the slogan “Tax the Rich.”
Lily said, “one of my least favorites was probably AOC’s ‘Tax the Rich’ dress just because to me, it felt kind of performative and belittling of the cause, as well as ironic or hypocritical, to be wearing it at the Met Gala.”
Other outfits garnered more positive reactions.
“I think Kim Kardashian did it well because she made a statement about her body becoming a sex symbol and influencing American culture just by being herself, by doing a silhouette of her body,” Sarah said.