15 Royal Inspirations Behind Met Gala Looks That Served Gilded Age Glamour
With each passing year, the Met Gala surprises us with its red carpet debut. Celebrities and designers use their creativity to dazzle us with pieces that perhaps we can only see at that event. In 2022, the gilded glamor theme made its guests embody the greatness of a prosperous period, rich in cultural exchange and industrialization in New York, when skyscrapers seemingly arose overnight.
We at Bright Side reviewed all the looks from this year’s Met Gala to discover the ones that surprised us the most because of the message behind them. In some of them, the glamour of the Gilded Age emerged and in others, there is a powerful statement that many did not notice.
1. Blake Lively
Blake Lively is one of the celebrities who never disappoints at the Met Gala. She arrived at the event dressed in a rose gold gown by Atelier Versace. Her dress was an ode to New York. Featuring an art-deco glass-encrusted bottom layer, inspired by the architecture of the Empire State Building.
Walking up the stairs, Blake Lively removed the bow from her waist, revealing a gorgeous train. Her dress changed into a light blue skirt covered with an embroidered celestial map based on the ceiling of Grand Central Station. The message behind the colors mimicked the original copper Statue of Liberty and the now teal color that resulted due to oxidation.
2. Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish was one of the most accurate celebrities to wear a Gilded Age look. Her fitted bustier dress designed by Gucci was inspired by John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Madame Paul Poirson, painted in 1885.
Billie Eilish was greatly inspired by the portrait of the Victorian socialite, from her hairstyle to her accessories, and even her pose. She also explained that the nearly identical dress to Madame Poirson’s was completely upcycled to be as eco-friendly as possible.
3. Riz Ahmed
Actor Riz Ahmed was one of the guests who sent a powerful message with his look. As a tribute to the immigrant workers who sustained the Gilded Age, he chose immigrant designer 4S Designs to dress him for the gala. Wearing a navy blue jacket, over a white tank top and tall leather boots, his look was a statement.
At a time when there was great class disparity, Riz Ahmed’s look gave voice to those who, without their work, the Gilded Age would not have existed.
4. Madelaine Petsch
Madelaine Petsch also evoked the Gilded Age with her dress, which seems to be inspired by a painting by Carl Bunzl. The portrait of an elegant lady in a yellow dress from 1894 was the perfect inspiration for Madelaine’s dress. Bearing a clear resemblance to the silhouette-focused, glamorous 1890s, this Moschino look is a mix between modern fashion and the Gilded Age.
5. Quannah Chasinghorse
Model Quannah Chasinghorse has been changing the traditional fashion industry with her unique beauty that embraces her culture and roots. She is an advocate for indigenous representation, and it is no surprise that she chose the Met Gala to make a statement with her look.
As the gala celebrated the opening of the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibit, Quannah’s look was definitely an American treasure. She wore an upcycled hand-brushed tulle gown in aqua and hand-embroidered beading on the bodice. Her intricate jewelry and feather hairpieces were made from traditional materials to celebrate the native community.
6. Emma Corrin
Emma Corrin’s costume was one of a kind and gave us a unique look away from corsets and big dresses. She was inspired by Evander Berry Wall, also known as the “King of the Dudes,” a member of the New York socialites of the 1880s with an exquisite and refined look.
The Miu Miu look featured an oversized double-breasted plaid coat, a black vest and shorts, white tights, and lace-up pointed-toe boots. The cherry on top was the towering top hat. Emma said that she was specifically inspired by a vintage drawing of Evander, in which he is wearing a similar plaid coat and hat.
Singer Rosalía made an impressive representation of a futuristic look from the Gilded Age. Hitting the red carpet in a heavily structured corset gown with voluminous off-the-shoulder sleeves, Rosalía served a look that was worthy of a John Singer Sargent painting. This Givenchy dress mixes the traditional codes of Haute Couture with modernity and the singular personality of the singer.
8. Adwoa Aboah
Adwoa Aboah stepped into a historic fashion moment during the Met Gala. The dress she wore resembles John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Mrs. Edward Darley Boit. Inspired by the socialite vibe of New York in the ’80s, Adwoa and designer Tory Burch created a look that mixes elegance and chic style.
9. Nicola Coughlan
At this Met Gala, Nicola Coughlan was her own muse. The Irish actress, famous for playing Lady Whistledown on the series Bridgerton, took inspiration for her look from her own character. She showed up to the event in a pink and black embroidered and feathered dress, with a matching cape and black gloves.
The feathers on the dress were a subtle reference to her character Penelope Featherington, aka Lady Whistledown.
10. Gabrielle Union-Wade
Gabrielle Union was one of the celebrities who also shared a powerful message with her gown. Every detail of the dress, like the crystals on the flower, represents and pays tribute to people of color during the Gilded Age. The red flower is a strong symbol of the charm of the time.
11. Kylie Jenner
When Kylie Jenner showed up at the Met Gala in a wedding dress, many had different thoughts about it. But the truth is that this look has a special message. Kylie wore this wedding dress that was designed by Off-White founder, the late Virgil Abloh. As she explained on her Instagram, she was supposed to attend the Met with Virgil before it was postponed in 2020.
To celebrate the designer’s legacy, Kylie chose to honor American fashion. Virgil was an icon of the spirit of street style. That’s why she decided to add a youthful and unexpected twist to the wedding dress as a tribute.
12. Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker hit the red carpet in a dress that evoked the Gilded Age. She revealed that her dress was inspired by Elizabeth Bobbs Keckler, a seamstress and civil rights activist who made history as the first black fashion designer to work in the White House.
Sarah chose one of Elizabeth’s designs to inspire her Met Gala look, adding her own personal extravagant touch.
13. Bad Bunny
This was the first time rapper Bad Bunny appeared at the Met Gala. Known for being a risk-taker when it comes to serving up looks on the red carpet, the Puerto Rican musician decided to embrace the theme with a touch of personality.
Bad Bunny personally researched the golden age in his home country. He later worked with designer Tisci, referencing the puffed collars women used to wear and the tailored suits worn by men. This is how they ended up mixing both looks into one. The extra special accessory was a pair of monocle glasses.
14. Chloe Grace Moretz
Chloe Grace Moretz was one of the celebrities who served an unexpected but very accurate look at the Met Gala. She stepped out on the red carpet in a metallic silver coat adorned with a long trains and curved military-style lapel sleeves. Her outfit paid homage to the Regency era of the 1880s.
15. Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian decided to take massive inspiration from the American fashion icon Marilyn Monroe. She decided to not only be inspired by her, but to wear the original dress that Marilyn wore when she sang “Happy Birthday” to John F. Kennedy.
To fit into the original dress, Kim Kardashian underwent a strict diet and training regimen. In addition, the whole team was very careful with the dress, and she was only allowed to wear it on the red carpet. Once Kim went upstairs at the Met Gala, she changed into a replica of the dress.
Which of the Met Gala 2022 looks was your favorite? Share it with us in the comments and tell us why.