How Old Hollywood Charm Ruled at this Year's Met Gala

From recreating the glamour of Marilyn Monroe to an Audrey Hepburn-inspired naked dress, stars took us on a trip down memory lane, one fabulous outfit at a time.  

The Met Gala made its much-awaited return on the eve of September 13th, fulfilling all our expectations of glamour, extravagant fashion and Insta-worthy moments. The theme for 2021 was "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”, and celebrities showed up for fashion's biggest night out all decked up in cowboy fringes, couture denim, star-spangled gowns and shades of red and blue. From Kendall’s modern take on Audrey Hepburn to David Byrne’s homage to Bing Crosby (with an unconventional denim approach), many celebrities made it clear that American fashion in their book was an expression of old-world Hollywood glamour. Here are a few such examples, and the inspiration behind each of their outfits.

 

Billie Eilish in Oscar de la Renta

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Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Met Gala co-chair Billie Eilish stepped out on the red carpet in a diaphanous peach Oscar de la Renta gown, looking like a modern-day embodiment of Marilyn Monroe. The gown featured cold shoulder drapery, a corseted waist, masses of tulle and a long, flowing train. On the beauty front, she sported Monroe’s iconic tousled blonde bob and red lips. 

Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish

grace kelly

Grace Kelly

The Bad Guy singer swapped her Oscar de la Renta peach tulle for a dark ruby-toned caped dress, one inspired by yet another Hollywood Icon, Grace Kelly. Billie’s second Oscar de la Renta gown might have been a tad simpler, but the effect was no less mesmerising than the first. 

 

Emily Blunt in Miu Miu

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Hedy lamar

Hedy Lamarr

Emily Blunt returned to the Met Steps in a custom Miu Miu frock, a modern-day take on the legendary Ziegfeld Follies. Donning a star-adorned headpiece and draped in diamonds, Emily’s look was inspired by Hedy Lamarr, the star of the iconic film Ziegfeld Girl (1942).

 

Kendall Jenner in Givenchy

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audrey hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

One of the most popular looks this year, Kendall Jenner embodied a modern-day Audrey Hepburn in a sheer gown embellished with glittering rhinestones. In fact, Audrey Hepburn’s Givenchy gown in the film My Fair Lady (1964) featured the same jewel-embellished sleeves and a choker, minus the sheer factor.

 

Yara Shahidi in Dior

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josephine baker

Josephine Baker

Yara Shahidi graced the red carpet in a custom Dior gown with intricate embellishments, a long, trailing train, elbow-length gloves and a Cartier neckpiece. A classic 1920s look, her's paid tribute to the legendary Broadway performer and activist Josephine Baker.

 

Megan Thee Stallion in Coach

megan thee stallion

Megan Thee Stallion

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Megan Thee Stallion dubbed herself “Megan Monroe” for the evening, serving up vintage glam in a bedazzled Coach ballgown- featuring a classic American silhouette reimagined with a modern twist. The rapper complimented her look with glamorous, Marilyn-inspired curls, a Coach kiss lock frame bag and Stuart Weitzman open-toed collar heels.

 

Gemma Chan in Prabal Gurung

gemma chan

Gemma Chan

anna may wong

Anna May Wong

“This year we wanted to give a nod to and pay tribute to Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American film star of Hollywood’s golden era,” Gemma wrote on Instagram as she posted a series of images of the late actress. Gemma’s Prabal Gurung custom sequin mini-dress featured stunning dragon embroidery and a dramatic pale-green train. Her structured braided up-do was the replica of a hairstyle previously seen on Anna May. 

 

David Byrne in 3.1 Philip Lim

david byrne

David Byrne

bing crosby

Bing Crosby

When the theme was American style, there had to be denim. Singer, Bing Crosby was once denied access into his hotel room for wearing jeans, which lead Levi’s to create a denim tuxedo for him. David Byrne’s denim suit bore an uncanny resemblance to that iconic Levi’s denim tux.

 

Kaia Gerber in Oscar de la Renta

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bianca jagger

Bianca Jagger

The 20- year old paid homage to Bianca Jagger by donning an exquisite, black Oscar de la Renta number- featuring a fitted bodice, cut out details and a floor-length tiered skirt. She completed the effect with a wavy hairdo reminiscent of Bianca's signature style. Her outfit was a replica of the gown worn by the former actress and social activist at the Met Gala circa 1981, designed by Christian Dior.