AOC and Carolyn Maloney turn heads at Met Gala with political fashion statements
New York, New York – Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned heads at the 75th Met Gala for her daring fashion statement, but some progressives wonder whether she chose the most effective means of getting across her message.
From the front, AOC's gown looked like a fairly simple white mermaid dress with convenient pockets.
The stunner came when the congresswoman turned to show the back of the dress, displaying the message "Tax the Rich" in bright red letters.
She also carried a matching red handbag with the same slogan.
On Instagram, AOC said the look was created by a "Black woman immigrant designer" named Aurora James, who also accompanied her to the event.
While many have praised AOC's bold fashion statement, others criticized what they see as the congresswoman's hypocrisy for attending the gala, where tickets cost around $35,000 per person, NBC reported.
AOC said she did not pay for her ticket, writing on Instagram, "BEFORE anybody starts wilding out – NYC elected officials are regularly invited to and attend the Met due to our responsibilities in overseeing our city’s cultural institutions that serve the public."
"When Aurora and I were first kind of partnered, we really started having a conversation about what it means to be working-class women of color at the Met, and we said, 'We can’t just play along, but we need to break the fourth wall and challenge some of the institutions,'" she said during a red carpet interview with the designer.
Still, some critics pointed out that while AOC was brushing shoulders with the rich and famous inside the Met, Black Lives Matter protesters were rallying against the event directly outside. New York police responded with violence and arrested several of the demonstrators, The Grio reported.
AOC has already released a "Tax the Rich" merchandise collection on her official campaign store.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney dons Equal Rights Amendment gown
AOC wasn't the only elected official to make a political fashion statement at the gala.
Fellow New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney appeared in a green, purple, yellow, and white dress calling for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and long sashes reading, "Equal Rights for Women."
The ERA, first proposed in 1923, seeks to guarantee equal rights regardless of sex.
At the moment, the US Constitution shockingly does not say that women have equal rights to men.
When the 1979 deadline for states to adopt the ERA was extended to 1982, the count fell three states short, but that hasn't stopped advocates from continuing to fight for its advancement.
Pressure to pass the ERA has increased in recent years following the #MeToo movement, with several more states ratifying the amendment, including Virginia in 2020.
There are now theoretically enough states to pass the amendment, but it's unclear whether that will be possible given the expired deadline.
In March, the House passed a resolution to remove the ERA deadline with strong bipartisan support, but the measure is still pending a vote in the Senate.
Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / UPI Photo