Met Gala: Kim Kardashian, Billie Eilish, and Lil Nas X shine on a weird and wonderful night
The annual extravaganza attracted a who's who of the celebrity world to New York City for an unfamiliar September slot after skipping a year due to the pandemic.
While much was different about this Met Gala, the evening delivered its usual mix of the weird and wonderful, with A-listers out in force to celebrate the theme of America: A Lexicon of Fashion.
Kim Kardashian, no stranger to memorable Met Gala looks, added another outfit to the collection with a faceless custom ensemble from Balenciaga.
The billionaire cosmetics entrepreneur rocked a full-body covering, hiding her face with a black mask alongside a matching bodysuit. Kim also wore a floor-length ponytail. She posed for a picture on the carpet with estranged husband Kanye West, who was similarly concealed in an all-black outfit.
Meanwhile, J.Lo arrived at the Metropolitan Museum of Art appearing to nod to the Wild West, adorned by a wide-brimmed cowboy hat. She wore a muted brown ensemble complete with a feathered jacket.
Billie Eilish channels Marylin Monroe and Barbie
Billie Eilish was leading the new stars of Hollywood, but channelled Old Hollywood glamour at the Met Gala in a nude, flowing Oscar de la Renta gown. The 19-year-old pop prodigy – also a Met Gala host – had her blonde hair cut short and said Barbie was her inspiration for the look.
Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly were also references.
Eilish said she had only recently felt confident enough to walk the Met Gala carpet.
Poet Amanda Gorman, who shot to fame following a reading at Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony in January, was one of the co-hosts. The 23-year-old wore a deep blue Vera Wang dress inspired by the Statue of Liberty – a reference to the night's celebration of US fashion. Gorman also carried a book-shaped clutch purse emblazoned with the words "give us your tired," a line from the poem The New Colossus, which is engraved on the New York landmark.
"I wanted the energy and the spirit of my outfit to be about America welcoming the world," she told Vogue on the carpet.
Timothee Chalamet, the 25-year-old Hollywood star already seen as a leading figure in men's fashion, chose a more laid-back look. The co-host arrived in a smart white jacket teamed with white tracksuit bottoms and matching Converse high-top trainers.
And tennis star Naomi Osaka, another of the evening's hosts, nodded to her Haitian-Japanese heritage with her dress. The 23-year-old wore a Louis Vuitton dress with a psychedelic pattern.
Another of Hollywood's next generation delivered a statement look at the gala.
Lil Nas X, the chart-topping rapper, arrived in a gold oversized cape, which he shed to expose gold Versace armor. The 22-year-old then removed the armor to reveal an ornate jumpsuit.
Megan Fox and the Biebers catch the eye
Megan Thee Stallion channelled Old Hollywood in a strapless nude dress with frilled details at the bottom.
She described the look as "Megan Monroe."
Her fellow rap star Saweetie turned heads in a Valentino metallic silver dress with a plunging neckline.
Serena Williams, who co-chaired the 2019 Met Gala, served up an ace at Monday's event. She wore an elaborate silver bodysuit under a feathered Gucci cape. The 39-year-old tennis legend was joined on the carpet by husband Alexis Ohanian.
Hollywood actor Megan Fox said there was power in celebrating her beauty as she arrived in an extravagant red gown showing off her cleavage. The intricate dress took a team of workers to create, she said.
Asked by Vogue how the outfit referenced the US theme, Fox quipped: "It's on an American girl."
Supermodel Ima brought her own twist on Americana to the carpet. The widow of David Bowie stood out in a giant feather headdress and hooped skirt adorned with golden feathers.
The Biebers – Justin and Hailey – were also in attendance. Hailey, wearing a YSL gown, said her look was inspired by Old Hollywood stars including Kelly. Bieber wore a suit from his own Drew brand.
Rita Ora arrived at the event with filmmaker Taika Waititi, who described himself as her "date." The pop star wore a diamond-encrusted Prada dress and told Vogue she wanted to channel American glamour. Waititi wore a Prada suit and said he wanted to complement Ora's outfit.
Nicki Minaj sparks vaccine controversy
The Met Gala, which raises money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, usually takes place on the first Monday in May but this time was split into two events.
The second part is scheduled for May 2, next year.
While Dame Anna Wintour, who oversees the Met Gala, said she wanted to send the message "New York is back," there were a number of pandemic-enforced changes to this year's event.
They included guests being required to wear masks unless eating, show a negative Covid-19 test and proof of vaccination.
The latter rule led to rapper Nicki Minaj being unable to attend. She told fans on Twitter she was yet to receive the vaccine and would not be going to the gala as a result.
Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / UPI Photo