Fashion at the Met Gala 2022 - Defying Gender Norms
Monday, November 28, 2022
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The men in skirts at the Met Gala made defying gender norms look fun If the clothes make the man, all the men in dresses and skirts at the 2022 Met Gala made a statement. Fashion is a form of play, and at long last it appears everyone has permission to dabble in the whole toy box. At a moment of gender panic, it was a delightful reprieve to see male movie stars, professional athletes and couture collectors mark the most important event on the fashion calendar — Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute — in clothing and accessories long reserved for women.

 Oscar Isaac and Elvira Lind attend the 2022 Met Gala

Oscar Isaac and Elvira Lind at the  2022 Met Gala - Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York 


In both looks, Isaac did something different than British singer Harry Styles choosing to wear a frock on the cover of Vogue or actor Billy Porter donning ballgowns for the Oscars. Isaac wears skirts and dresses in a way that calls into question the assumption that such garments are inherently feminine.


 NBA superstar Russell Westbrook on the red carpet for the 2022 Met Gala

NBA Superstar Russell Westbrook on the Red Carpet for the 2022 Met Gala


Pro basketball player Russell Westbrook did the same thing in a pleated Thom Browne skirt and top hat — and so did Christine Baranski, channelingnot so much her society dowager character on “The Gilded Age” as the robber baron railway magnate who lives across the street. The skirts on these outfits weren’t flowing or fanciful but edifices supporting the rest of the ensembles — and showcasing the personalities of the stars who wore them.


 Paapa Essiedu attends the 2022 Met Gala


Paapa Essiedu attends the 2022 Met Gala in New York on May 2


Browne wasn’t the only designer playing with these ideas. Other men sported corsets, bustles, barrettes, delicate embroidery and flowing capes that played tribute to the late Vogue magazine editor-at-large André Leon Talley. Paapa Essiedu, the British Shakespearean and television actor, wore a velvet suit with delicate jewelry from Veert. Julia Lang, who founded that company, has suggestedthat “an undeniable longing for tastefulness and positive self-expression” can unite people across the identity categories that otherwise define them.


 Garrett Wilson a wide receiver who played at Ohio State

 Garrett Wilson - Wide Receiver who Played at Ohio State


Such excellent taste probably isn’t what conservatives who have gone to war with what they call “gender ideology” are thinking. The future that scares them probably looks a bit more like Swedish fashionista Fredrik Robertsson in an Iris Van Herpen dress that made him look less like a man or a woman than a being from a different galaxy altogether.

 met gala 2022 fredrik robertsson

Social Media Personality Fredrik Robertsson Arrives for the 2022 Met Gala


Most people will never have access to the sort of clothes on display at the Met Gala. But everyone can approach clothes with the same sense of joy and curiosity if they want. Moments such as the Met Gala reveal just how little rigid gender norms have to offer as an alternative to people who are interested in beauty, style and self-expression.


Ben Platt Christian Cowan Corset and tux

 Superstar Benn Platt 


In a scruff-tastic jumble of formal dress codes, Ben Platt broke the rules in his Christian Cowan corset and tux. The designer said during the Gilded Age “queer culture was, of course, subversive, so in this piece, we have taken a gender f(*k approach to the traditional white tie.” Note the steel-boned corsetry and nails. Benjamin Schiff Platt is an American actor, singer, and songwriter. He began his acting career in musical theater as a child and appeared in productions of The Sound of Music and The Book of Mormon, rising to prominence for originating the title role in Broadway coming-of-age musical Dear Evan Hansen.


Actress Blake Lively at the 2022 Met Gala in New York

Actress Blake Lively at the 2022 Met Gala in New York


Ryan Reynolds Blake Lively 1

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively Arriving Met Gala 2022


Sure, plenty of men looked impeccable in more traditional tuxedos: Ryan Reynolds, for example, knew better than to distract from wife Blake Lively’s gorgeous tribute to the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. But confining men to basic black and white and to conservative cuts of traditional formalwear is to deny them opportunities for joy and curiosity.


Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson 1

Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson Arrive at the Met Gala 2022 


The Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny staunch queer ally

Puerto Rican Rapper Bad Bunny Attended the Mega Gala 2022


The Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, staunch queer ally, and Queerty Instastud went to the Met Gala in a floor-grazing, gender-fluid Burberry number by Riccardo Tisci (also an Instastud). Actually, let’s be proper about this and quote Burberry verbiage: “a custom wool-linen boilersuit tailored with puff sleeves and a detachable reconstructed skirt” — which, he reportedly said, “I much prefer to pants.”



Oscar Issac Attended the Met Gala 2022 in a Skirt


“Life just feels so much better if you wear a @maisonvalentino dress made out of sequins and rainbow colored feathers — you should try it,” Robertsson wrote on Instagram in April. And it appears that, increasingly, more men are willing to follow that advice.