— Beauty

Met Gala returns after pandemic cancellation

NEW YORK (AP) — Billie Eilish went full glam in a many peach ball gown at the pandemic-delayed Met Gala on Monday night. At the same time, a fellow host of the evening, Amanda Gorman, was breathtaking in cobalt blue custom Vera Wang with a diamond laurel wreath in her hair.

Rihanna, the Met Gala queen, showed up late in a vast black Balenciaga look and hat accompanied by A$ap Rocky in a multicolored quilted number. She wore over 267 carats of Bulgari diamonds, including two choker necklaces.

Co-host Timothée Chalamet raced onto Fifth Avenue to take selfies with fans before walking up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for his entrance after a marching band, and gymnast Nia Dennis kicked off the long-awaited evening. Last year’s gala was canceled due to the pandemic.

This year’s official fundraiser theme for the museum’s Costume Institute was “American Independence,” leaving plenty of room for interpretation. Just ask Lil Nas X, who did a Lady Gaga-esque striptease on the carpet in gold Versace, from cape to armor to the embellished jumpsuit.

Eilish, the belle of the ball, wore Oscar de la Renta. She told Vogue: “It was time for this. I feel like I’ve grown so much over the last few years.”

Chalamet had Converse sneakers on his feet but diamonds on his look. Chalamet called his look, including Rick Owens sweatpants, as “a bof everything,” just like America. Alfonso Navas, the fashion editor for Esquire, lauded his fashion choices as “a smart play on the theme by interpreting American icons in sportswear.”

Gorman’s dress, which included more than 3,000 hand-sewn crystals, was made to evoke a starry night sky. She told Vogue she felt like Lady Liberty, reimagined. Her crown, the star poet said, was a nod to publishing. Another of the hosts, Naomi Osaka, wanted to celebrate all her cultures — Japan, Haitian, and the U.S. — and picked a Louis Vuitton gown designed in collaboration with her sister, Mari Osaka. It was a swirly blue, aqua, and purple print with long black ruffle sleeves and a wide red sash.

If this gala produced a trend, it’s substantial statement sleeves, with some stars and stripes thrown in. There was a smattering of red, as in the American flag’s red, white, and blue. Karlie Kloss wore red Carolina Herrera with huge ruffles at the neck and sleeves. Jennifer Hudson also chose red sans sleeves.

Also in red: Ella Emhoff, the daughter of the country’s second gentleman, Doug Emhoff, and Vice President Kamala Harris. She wore a bodysuit and high-shine trousers by Stella McCartney with a sheer top and a crystal design in all the right places. She wore Adidas by McCartney embellished in red and made part of a recycled material derived from ocean plastic.

The gala, drawing standouts in fashion, TV, film, sports, tech, and beyond, included tiny but mighty Olympian Simone Biles in an 88-pound Area embroidered gown of silver with a top adorned in a firework burst pattern, and a considerable train carried up the museum steps by six men. The dress was a collaboration with Athleta.

Ralph Lauren dressed Jennifer Lopez in fur with a brown look in her signature plunge at the neck and high slit, a wide-brimmed Western-style hat on her head. She and Ben Affleck smooched with masks on after their red carpet came out in Venice.

Dan Levy took the party’s theme to the extreme in a blue confection from Loewe. According to the brand, “printed leg of mutton sleeves” on a polo shirt with an applique of two men kissing.

Yara Shahidi wore a silver custom Dior complete with a light hood. She said she was inspired by Josephine Baker. In collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana, Harris Reed put Iman in a vast golden feathered headpiece and equally adorned crinoline skirt with a jacquard bustier.

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