What did you wear last night?
With all good will, no Western human being could have been unaware that the most important kermesse in the fashion world took place last night. Dame Anna Wintour, the creator and godmother of the Gala, the very powerful lifetime director of Vogue magazine, is a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where she has organized charity events that have raised $50 million for the Costume Center dedicated to her (which houses her fashion collection and was inaugurated in 2014 by Michelle Obama, ) of the museum. At the latter is held the annual Met Gala (also called Met Ball), an evening that falls every first Monday in May (pre-covid period) and that has been compared to the Oscars of fashion, in which various celebrities participate and are invited to dress according to a theme chosen by Wintour.
This year's theme In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion was of course interpreted in its most colorful meaning (one wonders if some of the celebrities knew the meaning of the word Lexicon, but let's move on), from a Jennifer Lopez in ranchera (in a Ralph Lauren Western look), a controversial Kardashian in total (total) black/total coverage…
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Throwing a message, bringing havoc with a slogan effect: strategy already seen on many red carpets, and that is always appreciated. From the "Tax the rich" painted on the Aurora James dress worn by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the "Peg the Patriarchy" of the Dior bodice worn by Cara Delevigne, up to the empowerment phrases worn by Carolyn Maloney and the activist cluch of Megan Rapinoe.
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New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney made a bold statement on the 2021 Met Gala red carpet Monday, donning a floor-length gown displaying the colors of the suffragette movement (purple, white and gold) along with sashes embroidered with the words "equal rights for women." The 75-year-old Democrat also wore a bag emblazoned with "ERA YES," an endorsement of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, which would add a line to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex. (The amendment has been taken up by various state legislatures in recent years after an unsuccessful campaign to ratify it in the '70s.)
A Tweet from the NYT
Fellow New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made her debut appearance at the gala wearing a white gown by Brother Vellies with the political slogan "Tax the Rich" splashed across the back in red lettering. The Democratic congresswoman, 31, told reporters that the gown was "really about having a real conversation." "It's about fairness and equity in our system and I think that this conversation is particularly relevant," Ocasio-Cortez said of the inspiration behind the statement.
Of the backlash she inevitably faced from some, Ocasio-Cortez told reporters, "I think I'm kind of at the point where no matter what I do, if I wake up in the morning, there's going to be someone who has something to say about that. So at the very least, what we should do is act in our integrity and do things with intention and purpose."
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These are two manifestations of revolt suggested through an unusual medium, and perhaps lifting the veil from hot topics by communicating in a non-institutional way will help to keep it from falling under bureaucracy, votes, referendums. And the fact that it was done by two state women instead of starlets is probably in line with the times and with contemporary means of communication.