With a crumbling judicial system, an ever-mutating virus, and the lingering threat of World War III, there are few constants in our country that remind us of what it’s all about: rich people, and good fashion. In early May, the 2022 Met Gala served these American values with this year’s theme: “Gilded Glamour.” If you’re in need of a distraction from the thought that maybe Margaret Atwood wasn’t writing fiction, here’s a list of the top ten best and worst looks from the gala, provided by my expertise as a Vogue-skimmer at dentist appointments, and avid fan of Rupaul’s Drag Race.
Narrowing down hundreds of gowns and underwhelming tuxedos into a top ten was exhausting, but disregarding the labor that I undertake for every issue on The Franklin Post, here are my personal top ten outfits from this year’s gala. It should be noted that each ranking is based on execution, how well they captured the theme, and whether or not I liked an album they made.
10) Kim Kardashian in Bob Mackie (begrudgingly):
There’s a lot to say about Kim Kardashian’s appearance at the Met Gala last month, but I really only included her on this list to address the man I thought I knew: what happened to the guy who auditioned for SNL in a Spiderman T-shirt? Fame has changed you, Pete. Anyways, she wore the Marilyn Monroe replica well (although between the backlash she received from her harmful weight loss comments regarding fitting into the original gown, and from Mackie himself, who publicly denounced her wearing the genuine article, it’s difficult to see this as a win for Kim).
9) Danai Gurira in Head of State:
Gurira’s stunning royal blue gown and accessories drew inspiration from classic 19th century silhouettes and African culture: Gurira notably carried a fly whisk on the red carpet, used in traditional African societies by elites and regarded as a symbol of prestige. It may also be used to shoo away James Corden if he tries to talk to you.
8) Bad Bunny in Burberry:
Despite comparisons of Bad Bunny’s puffy trench coat to other famous anthropomorphic detectives, his gold jewelry and beige brogue shoes make him a standout from his predecessors; something to make the Great Mouse Detective proud.
7) Isabella Boemeke in Schiaparelli:
The gold material on Boemeke’s baroque dress shares a passing resemblance to a plucked corn cob, but a couture plucked corn cob. Plus, she could cut someone up with those nails: fashion that serves a purpose.
6) Billie Eilish in Gucci:
Eilish’s look at the gala this year was made entirely with sustainable materials, including her vegan platform shoes! Although you can’t actually see the shoes because her gown hits the floor (and if Rupaul’s Drag Race has taught me anything, it’s that a gown with a short hemline is a heinous offense).
5) Kasey Musgraves in Prada:
It’s difficult to top the Moschino Barbie-inspired dress Musgraves wore to the 2019 Met Gala, and by God, I don’t think she did it here. Even though it was more subdued than her 2019 look, she still captured the theme and looked opulent.
4) Quannah Chasinghorse by Prabal Gurung (gown), and Lenise Omeasoo (accessories):
Chasinghorse’s aqua tulle gown was elegant, but her accessories crafted by Lenise Omeasoo especially stood out. Made from materials gifted by various Native American designers, the jewelry set makes a powerful statement considering the theme. Chasinghorse’s mother told Vogue, “It is important to understand that for Native Americans, the Gilded Age represents a period of United States policies of removal, genocide, and assimilation all creating generations of trauma for Native Americans. Yet, we are still here—and Quannah gracefully reminds the world of our strength, beauty, talent and resilience in every space.”
3) Lizzo, by Thom Browne:
According to an associate of designer Thom Browne, Lizzo’s black satin coat required 22,000 hours to embroider, but it’s really the $55,000 flute that does it for me.
2) Blake Lively in Versace:
Typically when anyone shows up to a gala dressed as the Statue of Liberty, they’re escorted from the premises and charged with disorderly conduct; however, Lively’s color-changing Art Deco nod to New York is undeniably gorgeous and only had her charged with premeditated upstaging.
1) Taylor Hill, by Miss Sohee (Dolce & Gabbana):
When grandma embroiders a useless decorative pillow and gives it to you for your birthday, most people immediately donate it to Goodwill. But Taylor Hill had it sewn into a French blue ballgown, and if that isn’t feminism, I don’t know what is. Either way, she looked stunning.
Before moving on to the most insulting looks of the night, I’d like to thank a few guests for showing up and being themselves (which is worth more than Lizzo’s flute): Kieran Kulkin, or the 2nd most revolting Roy sibling in HBO’s “Succession,” wore tennis shoes on the red carpet; I have nothing but respect for doing exactly what is expected of him. Hillary Clinton and Questlove also made an appearance, along with David Harbour wearing a top hat and chewing a cigar. It was adorable.
Back to being negative! I’ve compiled a list of the looks I consider to be the lowest of the low from the gala, based on my highly mathematical scale from rotted to all-out gutted.
10) Chloe Fineman, by Miss Sohee (Dolce & Gabbana):
To be clear, I have no issue with the outfit. Who I do have an issue with is the hairstylist who purposefully made her hair look like she just ran seventy-five consecutive laps for the FitnessGram PACER test. It was a choice, and it was a bad one.
9) Regé Jean-Page in Armani:
Again, I have no issue with the look on its own. But, considering the show he’s known for starring in, this is disappointing. Jean-Page has dressed for historical themes on “Bridgerton” for two years, and he makes his Met Gala debut in this? He would have been better off borrowing from his wardrobe on set.
8) Alicia Keys in Ralph Lauren:
Remember what I said earlier about most people who show up dressed as the Statue of Liberty? The same goes for people who show up dressed in a cape with the bedazzled outline of skyscrapers. It’s just tacky.
7) Camila Cabello, by Prabal Gurung:
Although it doesn’t capture the theme, Cabello’s Fruity Pebbles dress definitely isn’t bad; this is mostly just revenge for having to listen to “Señorita” every time I turn on the radio.
6) Awkwafina in Gucci:
I don’t have much to say here; it’s just not a great look. You know those mini challenges on Rupaul’s Drag Race where the contestants have to make a dress made out of materials from the dime store? That’s what Awkwafina is giving.
5) Priscilla Presley in Prada:
This dress is less “Money Honey” and more “Rip it Up.”
4) Kourtney Kardashian, by Thom Browne and Kris Jenner, by Oscar de la Renta:
I’m bringing the family together, because these two looks are so underwhelmingly heinous, I don’t feel they deserve separate rankings. If we’re being real, Kourtney’s outfit on the red carpet is inarguably the worst; unfortunately, it’s the worst in such a boring way that it’s been docked to 4th place. Kris Jenner dressed to emulate Jackie Onassis, in theme with Kim Kardashian’s homage to Marilyn Monroe. “Fashion has always told a really big story in my life,” Jenner told Vogue. Well, the story I’m getting here is “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake”.
3) Kodi Smit-McPhee in Bottega Veneta and David Lauren, apparently by the GAP:
We let Ben Platt get away with wearing blue jeans last year, but that’s because they were cool jeans. This year, the jeans were not cool, and it’s getting out of control. Reading Kodi Smit-McPhee’s interview with Vogue, I feel tempted to copy and paste the whole thing so I can criticize every word, but I will summarize by saying this: wearing blue jeans (I do not care if they’re made of leather) to the Met Gala is not avante-garde. It’s lazy.
2) Sarah Jessica Parker, by Christopher John Waters:
Many of the outfits on the red carpet last month were made from upcycled materials: Sarah Jessica Parker’s gown and fascinator, for instance, were made using duvet covers from Target, and those faux-feather earrings we all bought from Claire’s in the 2010s.
1) Kylie Jenner, in Off-White:
Before I get into Kylie Jenner’s wedding gown, I would like to acknowledge that the designer of her outfit sadly passed away last year, and she wore the dress to honor him. The pain of lost life and fear that it can be taken without warning certainly isn’t foreign to most of us, given the war crimes being committed in Ukraine, the lives lost due to Covid-19, or the persistent threat of gun violence. A grim shadow has been cast upon all of us, not only in the United States but globally. Soon enough, the things in our lives that create a sense of normalcy seem frivolous and wasteful in comparison to these larger events, like it’s all meaningless. But a baseball cap? Come on.