Asians at the 2021 Met Gala: Representation of all sorts

By Hanna Fernan ’24 for Fall 2021

The Met Gala has always sparked discussion and debate, specifically for everyone’s different takes on the theme. After COVID canceling 2020, the first part of this Met Gala finally took place, themed In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, in September of this year—leading to many diverse takes and appearances by Asian celebrities.

In terms of representation, “Blackpink member Rosé, alongside CL, made history this year as the first female K-pop stars to grace the Met Gala’’ (VOGUE). Other veterans like Mindy Kaling, Instagram head of fashion Eva Chen, and Gemma Chan attended, with Chan notably honoring Anna May Wong—the first Chinese-American old Hollywood actress. There was also a lot of athletic representation, with Olympic gold medalist Sunisa Lee, US Open Champion Emma Radacanu, and Olympian Naomi Osaka in attendance, with Osaka’s outfit featuring a koi fish print and obi-inspired belt as a tribute to her Japanese-Haitian-American heritage. Another notable heritage-inspired outfit would be rapper Saweetie’s gown, with a long train featuring the Black American Heritage flag and the flag of the Philippines. Altogether, these celebrities’ memorable appearances and looks leave us wanting more for Met Gala Part Two in May 2022.

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