The Golden Age of Hollywood is clearly where America’s fashion lexicon was born. Industry experts, along with all of Twitter, have started a mandatory sweep of the looks and references after the highly anticipated Met Gala in 2021 has ended. There were many faux pas and famous looks, but one theme emerged: Hollywood’s forever romanticized glamour.
Can you talk about American fashion without paying tribute to the Marilyns, Audreys, and other icons of American fashion? It is important to emulate celebrity fashion, especially when it comes down to evening wear and iconic gowns. You can recreate the red carpet of last night’s event by following these 21st-century icons and references.
BILLIE EILISH AS MAARILYN MONROE
When Billie Eilish’s huge tulle gown arrived at the Met, shock ensued. Billie looked soft and very blonde in her tulle gown, a departure from the era of neon green and emo as a teenager. Her parallels to American sweetheart Marilyn Monroe are obvious, as she was wearing custom Oscar de la Renta created by co-creative directors Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim. Everything was designed to match the iconic look of the film star, except for the huge train that prevents Billie from flinging her dress up.
GEMMA CHAN AS ANNA May WONG
Gemma Chan, announcing Anna May Wong’s inspiration for her Met Gala look in 2021, said that she was a trailblazer and fashion icon. Prabal Gurung and Gemma Chan collaborated to create a stunning gown that reflected Wong’s iconic look as the first Chinese-American film star in Hollywood’s golden age. Wong’s iconic dragon motif is most prominently seen in the design. It was also featured in the look since the 1930s.
YARA SHAHIDI, JOSEPHINE BAKER
Yara Shahidi’s tributes to Josephine Baker were a true flashback to the ’30s. Shahidi’s portrayal of Christian Dior was flawless, from her outfit choices and accessories to replicating the look with Dior, she did a great job. Baker is best known for her fame in France. However, Baker was American-born and a major institution for American culture. Yara is right on the theme.
KENDALL JENNER ASAUDREY HEPBURN
It was a miracle that Kendall Jenner managed to recreate Audrey Hepburn’s look. Kendall stunned social media with her stunning Givenchy gown, conceived by Matthew Williams. It was inspired by Audrey’s Cecil Beaton outfit from My Fair Lady 1964. Kendall’s look was perfected by mirroring the pattern of jewelled embellishments and sleeves with a large neck.
CHLOE AND HALLE BAILY AS MARILYN MONROE and TINA TURNER
Halle Bailey and Chloe Bailey are both R&B’s breakout stars. They attended their Met Gala debut with archival references. The sister-duo Rodarte dressed them both in a white gown reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe. Halle Bailey wore a bodysuit akin to Tina Turner’s. Chloe chose a white gown that evoked Marilyn Monroe’s style, while Halle chose a bodysuit similar to Tina Turner’s. All the icons.
JENNIFER HUDSON AS ARETHA FRANKLIN
Although Aretha Franklin may not be a member Hollywood’s Golden Age herself, Jennifer Hudson’s tribute to the ’60s R&B icon is a must. Hudson wore the AZ Factory red look, which was a continuation of her character, Respect, at the Met Gala. Alber Elbaz, who sadly died earlier in the year, was simultaneously honored by wearing AZ Factory to Gala.
KAIA GERBER AS BIANCA JAGGGER
Kaia Gerber’s reference in Golden Age of Hollywood to Bianca Jagger is another lookalike moment. Kaia, who collaborated with Oscar de la Renta to revive Jagger’s Halston look at the 1981 Met Gala was almost her exact image forty years later. Evidently 2021 will be the year for archival restoration.