The “Met Ball” gala is to fashion what the Oscars are to the film business: The occasion for the biggest stars to walk across the red carpet in even bigger gowns.

This year the gala opened the exhibition "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion", which will be open to the public from Saturday and will showcase 100 items of clothing by American designers.

The motto of the exhibition was also the motto of the fashion gala. 

Maria Wiesner

Editor in the Society department at FAZ.NET.

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Amanda Gorman took this very literally.

"I wanted the energy of my outfit to be about America welcoming the world," said the 23-year-old poet, who read a poem at the inauguration of American President Joe Biden. She came in a thin blue dress with glittering bay leaves in her hair. In her hand she carried a bag modeled after a book. "I chose the Statue of Liberty theme," Gorman explained her costume.

Just vaccinated, that doesn't suit everyone

Prior vaccination was a requirement for all guests. Actress Whoopi Goldberg defended the strategy in an interview on the red carpet: "If you don't get vaccinated, you should really ask yourself how you feel about this country." Nicki Minaj is said to have stayed away from the gala for precisely this reason, on Twitter however, she described corresponding headlines in American media as wrong. A few days ago, however, she tweeted about a cousin and a canceled wedding after his vaccination - one may be confused about that.

Most of the guests who attended a gala for the first time after a long pandemic-related break were not confused, but overwhelmed.

Actress Sienna Miller said she was "a little overwhelmed" and Kris Jenner also admitted: "I'm a little nervous when I'm with so many people."

Appearance à la Gaga

In recent years the gala has been an event of spectacular performances. In 2019 Lady Gaga wore four different outfits, which she peeled off by slowly taking off the different layers on the way up the stairs to the costume institute. This year, the rapper Lil Nas X tried it: He came in a golden cloak, under which a golden armor was hidden, under which he wore a golden skin-tight suit. Like any real knight, he needed the help of a few assistants to take off his armor. 

The same thing happened to gymnast Simone Biles.

Her dress was adorned with so many crystals that she wore a costume weighing 40 kilograms.

The athlete stood upright in it, only when it was time to climb the steps, six people had to lend a hand to heave the glittering train upwards.

Kim Kardashian caused an even bigger sensation, completely veiled in a black Balenciaga creation, bringing a little fetish to the gala. 

Political statement at Ocasio-Cortez

The New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, however, made a political statement. On the back of her white dress she carried in red the request to tax the rich ("Tax the Rich"). That may seem a bit ironic given an audience paying $ 35,000 for a gala ticket, but Ocasio-Cortez defied any headwinds on Twitter. She wears the dress of the black designer Aurora James, who worked her way up from the flea market in Brooklyn to a recognized fashion designer. "And before the hatred breaks out again: New York MPs are regularly invited to such events and take part in the Met Gala in order to support the cultural institutions of our city for the public." 

The Met Ball gala is a fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute.

The multi-million dollar revenue from the Costume Institute Benefit makes up the annual budget of the institute, which is celebrating its 75th birthday this year and is now named after Anna Wintour.

But now the question is: Do you like Lil Nas X's armor best?

Or Timothee Chalamet in a white jacket?

Or maybe Grimes, who had a sword with her as an accessory - vote: