After years of abstract, imaginative themes like “Heavenly Bodies” and “Camp”, the 2021 Met Gala offered its most straightforward dress code yet: “American Independence”.

And yet, as we saw at fashion’s biggest night out, several celebrities seemed to have missed the memo. The event, which took place at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, is meant to mark the museum’s new exhibition, “In American: A Lexicon of Fashion”. The exhibition embraces the whole spectrum of American fashion, featuring designers both established and emerging. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said of the red carpet.

There were some champions, however. Eva Chen, director of fashion partnerships at Instagram (which is sponsoring this year’s Met Gala), arrived in a rainbow Christopher John Rogers gown — almost as exuberant as the other CJR gown spotlighted at the Met’s exhibition.

Blondie singer Debbie Harry, who is an American icon in all real senses of the word, could have simply gone as herself but she instead tapped Zac Posen to dream up her striped gown inspired by the American flag. And how can we forget A$AP Rocky, who actually upstaged Rihanna — the Queen of the Met Gala herself — with a quilt-inspired look that practically mirrored the concept of the Met’s exhibition?

This year’s Met Gala co-chairs, meanwhile, offered somewhat half-hearted attempts: Timothee Chalamet, once again dressed in a Haider Ackermann suit, finished his look with a pair of Chucks, while Billie Eilish, the face of the future, looked to the past and came in Marilyn Monroe drag, complete with an Oscar de la Renta ballgown.

Below, discover all the best red carpet looks by celebrities who actually understood the assignment at the 2021 Met Gala.

Billie Eilish in Oscar de la Renta (Photo credit: John Shearer / WireImage)
Timothée Chalamet in Haider Ackermann and Converse sneakers (Photo credit: Mike Coppola / Getty Images)
A$AP Rocky in ERL, Rihanna in Balenciaga couture (Photo credit: Getty Images)
Lupita Nyong’o in Versace (Photo credit: Mike Coppola / Getty Images)
Zac Posen, Debbie Harry in Zac Posen. (Photo credit: John Shearer / WireImage)
Eva Chen in Christopher John Rogers (Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images)
Lorde in custom Bode (Photo credit: Matt Baron / Shutterstock)
Rosé of Blackpink in Saint Laurent, with designer Anthony Vaccarello (Photo credit: Getty Images)
Gossip Girl star Jordan Alexander in Christopher John Rogers (Photo credit: Getty Images)
Met Gala host Keke Palmer in Sergio Hudson (Photo credit: Getty Images)
MET Gala 2021
Erykah Badu in Thom Browne (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Header photo credit: Getty Images

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore

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