The first Monday in May became the second Monday in September on the occasion of the 2021 edition of the Met Gala. After a year-long hiatus brought about by COVID-19, the annual benefit made its return, right after New York Fashion Week.
While initially planned to be a 'smaller-scale' affair, there was little doubt that the 2021 Met Gala was the usual high-octane fashion spectacle that it typically was. A star-studded host of attendees made their entrances before the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, before making their way inside for the actual festivities—including a surprise performance by Justin Bieber that ended the night.
The dress code was 'American Independence', in honour of the the first exhibition of the two-part exploration of American fashion: In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. It was almost expected then that guests would turn up in designs largely created by American fashion brands. Thom Browne was an overwhelming favourite, outfitting Sharon Stone, Evan Mock, Pete Davidson, Erykah Badu, and more. Rising fashion brand Bode made its Met Gala debut by outfitting country musician Leon Bridges, Lorde, Instagram's Adam Mosseri, and GQ's Will Welch. And of course, the usual suspects of American fashion the likes of Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger each had their fair share of celebrities wearing custom creations for the event.
But even if the outfits didn't exactly fit the theme, we're honestly just glad that outlandish, creative and inspirational fashion returned once again. And even if at times, they seem to be too much (we're looking at you, Dan Levy), the joy of witnessing such unbridled freedom of expression was simply cathartic.
Scroll the gallery above for our picks of the standout looks at the 2021 Met Gala.