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modesty at the met gala

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

The Met Gala is the one night of the year when the biggest and most famous people gather for a prestigious affair, and everybody is free to wear whatever they want. I love following the red carpet and seeing everyone glistening in jewels, covered in extravagant clothes, and ensembles by luxury designers looking both exquisite and outrageous. To me, this event is the fashion equivalent of the Super Bowl, so every eccentric, unique yet glamorous look is a touchdown. With all the glitz and the glam of the night, a few attendees chose to make a statement of modesty in their Met Gala glamour. Take a glance below at some of the few that decided to incorporate a modest touch to their looks.

Maria Sharapova in Gabriela Hearst

The Olympian arrived on the Met stairs in a mustard yellow custom dress with billowing multicolored pleated sleeves on a simple yet elegant A-line shaped gown. The garment was inspired by Hester Diamond (an iconic American art collector) and was specially made for Maria out of recycled silk schappe, linen, cashmere, and silk. At first, I was not so in love with the gown, but the simplicity of the dress mixed with the dramatic sleeve and her dazzling gold jewels made the modest look a favorite.

Margaret Qualley in Chanel

Although it may seem basic from a distance, this Chanel spring 2020 couture white lace dress took 1300 hours to create! If you look carefully, you'll appreciate the countless exquisite details of the dress. It was composed of luxurious organza and silk tulle and embroidered with 95,000 sewn glass beads, sequins, and crystals. The delicate tiara and combination of pearl and diamond jewelry worn with the elegant white embossed midi made the look go from plain to perfection in my eyes.

Sophia Roe in Halston

This custom cape gown was designed as a tribute to Roy Halston himself! The creative team settled on a stunning and slightly sheer orchid caftan gown with metallic flower accents throughout the long flowing cape dress. With the gala's theme being American fashion, the evening's chef instantly thought of her disco nostalgia and integrated it into the gown's aesthetic. Roe was one of few chefs that curated the evening's menu, it's not every day that the chef gets a massive amount of attention on the Met's red carpet, but this complete ensemble deserved the spotlight.

Sharon Stone in Thom Browne

The actress looked flawless in a custom Thom Browne design with individual bias panels and topped with a black love bird, and numerous macco beads on the bold black tailored gown. Thom Browne's style approach ensured that the actress looked classic while still being Met Gala-worthy, so while it may appear to be a simple black sheath from a glance, the massive silk faille cape elevated the overall look. She posed in the black cloak and then dropped it onto the floor, which was precisely the dramatic Met Gala fashion I was waiting for.

Rebecca Hall in Batsheva

This dress was exclusively designed for the actress out of PVC and floral print taffeta. Batsheva Hay described the design process as fun and exciting since she loved combining the delicate florals and the dark PVC for an unexpected style and a true "hodgepodge" (the exact term the designer used). The bold PVC applied to the dress made for a distinctive and unique look and was definitely one of the most modest looks of the night. At first, I hated this dress, but soon realized it was a fun mix of modesty and style, with a dash of eccentricity for a genuine Met Gala flair.

Allyson Felix in Fendi

The Olympian was full of feathers in Fendi couture. The athlete made her Met Gala debut in one of the evening's most spectacular and dramatic ensembles, which featured 200,000 ostrich feathers on a massive ballgown silhouette. If the feathers weren't enough, the gown was additionally embellished with crystal beads that suited the garment's pastel blue color. This gown was one of my favorite looks of the night, big, bold, and covered up while also serving Met Gala drama.

Isabelle Huppert in Balenciaga

The French actress looked radiant in this Balenciaga Fall 2021 gown, which featured a rich velvet fabric, a high neck, and long sleeves with a large peplum hem in a fiery red hue. The gown's exaggerated hemline and velvety texture were both daring and lively, a dress I'm not used to seeing from her, though she managed to keep it elegant and tasteful while also playing into the night's theme.

Lily Aldridge in Ralph Lauren

In this custom Ralph Lauren outfit, the model exuded major western vibes at the 2021 Met Gala. The micro fringe skirt was made with 10 pounds of bicone Swarovski glass crystals and beading and complemented the hand-painted linen silk shirt seamlessly. If she had just buttoned up the top a little more, it would be an entirely modest look; nevertheless, she kept her style respectable while still looking positively chic.

Elizabeth Cordry Shaffer

Anna Wintour's daughter-in-law looked pretty in pink in a glistening gown with a large puff sleeve. It was easy to see all of the shimmer and radiance of the dress since her hair was swept up, which brought attention to all the sparkle of the A-line sequin gown. This dazzling pink beauty was the perfect blend of modesty and glamour!

Anna Wintour in Oscar de la Renta

The queen of the evening was the picture of modesty, dressed in an Oscar de la Renta custom gown with a stunning floral print on cotton poplin fabric. With its mermaid silhouette and ruffled train, the long-sleeved and V-neck dress was nothing but elegant. The evening's star definitely made a statement in this glorious gown from one of the most renowned American designers. One of my absolute favorite dresses of the night!


My Met Gala 2021 Best Dressed:

As much as I appreciate and value modesty, I couldn't keep my focus away from a select few of the evening's most lavish gowns. Check out my not-so-modest Met Ball winners below!

Kendall Jenner in Givenchy

Audrey Hepburn's famous shimmering dress from My Fair Lady inspired this crystal-embellished sheer gown, so how can I not love it?

Kaia Gerber in Oscar de la Renta

For her first Met Gala, the model donned a classic black gown inspired by Bianca Jagger's nearly similar Dior gown from 1981. I know The Met Ball is known for its over-the-top ensembles and unconventional fashion, but this simple and timeless strapless Oscar de la Renta gown absolutely took my breath away.

Nicola Peltz in Valentino

Everything about this Valentino couture look screams my name: the bright pink shade, the intricate lace, the satin gloves. I'd give anything to wear this gown!

Jasmine Tookes in Oscar de la Renta

I never thought Jasmine could look any better than she did in her exquisite wedding gown just a few days ago, then she showed up in this blue silk faille fitted dress with a bow at the neck, and I was instantly captivated by her elegance.

Billie Eilish in Oscar de la Renta

When I first saw the young eighteen-year-old walking up the Met steps, I was utterly taken aback. This was a significant change from Billie's typical style, and I loved it. She looked like a dream in this creamy tulle ballgown with its corset bodice. The hair, makeup, and the whole Marilyn Monroe-esque look delivered just the right amount of drama and sophistication for her first Met Gala look.


What were your favorite gowns at this year's Met Gala? I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and let me know, and don't forget to subscribe to stay up to date on all red carpet fashion.


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