September 14, 2021—“What does American style mean to you?” was the question the adorable Keke Palmer asked every guest she interviewed on Vogue’s live from the red carpet stream of the Met Gala. The query lined up with the theme of this year’s exhibition In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.
Some people answered the question about American style with classic ideas: western looks, sportswear or denim. Others interpreted the subject by channeling iconic American celebrities such as Josephine Baker or Marilyn Monroe. The largest number of guests jumped off the script of traditional definitions and explained American style meant inclusion, diversity, multiculturalism and gay pride. In other words, they chose qualities the nation reflects when we are “a more perfect union.”
The curator Andrew Bolton explained that he took inspiration for the exhibition from a Jesse Jackson invocation “…America is like a quilt—many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven and held together by a common thread.”
How did this translate into jewelry on the red carpet? Well, it wasn’t just American labels (and that was true of the fashion as well). The strongest thread through all the looks was actually diamonds. And if I want to be cheerful about this review, and I do, that jibes with this nation’s passion for the gem or better yet Marilyn Monroe’s beloved anthem.
See the best jewels from the evening in the round up below.
Rihanna layered two diamond necklaces and one diamond earring from Bulgari’s High jewelry collection. The star also had on two bracelets under her Balenciaga coat from Bulgari’s Heritage collection. On her finger was a pear-shape diamond ring by Thelma West that is being sold in Sotheby’s Brilliant and Black auction.
Jennifer Lopez tossed on an array of silver and leather jewels to match her hat tip to western style by Ralph Lauren. The jewels also appear to be from the American fashion house that has always dabbled in jewelry.
Kate Hudson paired a dazzling diamond necklace by Lorraine Schwartz with her Michael Kors ensemble.
For her Statue of Liberty inspired look, poet Amanda Gorman paired Chaumet sapphire and diamond jewels with her Vera Wang gown.
Iman’s elaborate gown and headdress were designer Harris Reed’s tribute to ballroom culture described by the house as an aesthetic gone “non binary.” The show stopping look included several vintage jewels from Fred Leighton and citrine earrings that were made by the legendary jeweler’s Chief Creative Officer, Rebecca Selva.
Alicia Keys wore Van Cleef & Arpels diamond earrings and necklace with her custom AZ factory ensemble.
Zoë Kravitz layered two pairs of diamond earrings by Jessica McCormack with a Saint Laurent crystal beaded gown.
Singer, songwriter and rapper CL wore a necklace from Fred Leighton with a denim ensemble by Alexander Wang.
Tracee Ellis Ross wore jewels by Tiffany with a Balenciaga coat.
Megan Rapinoe wore diamond earrings by Ana Khouri.
Billie Eilish’s tribute to Barbie’s style included diamond jewels by Cartier and an Oscar de la Renta gown.
Hailey Bieber, who said she was inspired by the “Grace Kelly’s of the world,” wore a diamond and platinum Tiffany necklace with a Saint Laurent gown.
Gabrielle Union wore a Messika diamond choker from the label’s High Jewelry collection with an Iris van Herpen gown.
Yara Shahidi’s tribute to Josephine Baker included Cartier earrings and two necklaces. One was worn in her hair as a headband.
Megan Thee Stallion, renamed herself “Megan Monroe” for the Met Gala. Part of her bombshell look included earrings by Hanut Singh.
Hostess with the mostess, Keke Palmer paired Ana Khouri earrings with her Sergio Hudson gown.
Timothée Chalamet wore Cartier diamond brooches on the hip of his white sweatpants.
Ciara wore diamond earrings and her husband Russell Wilson’s Super Bowl ring with a football jersey inspired gown by Peter Dundas.
Emily Blunt’s tribute to silver screen star Hedy Lamar included Messika diamond earrings and a Miu Miu gown and star headdress.
Rita Ora layered diamonds from DeBeers Jewellers with a Prada two-piece gown.
Lupita Nyong’o layered diamonds by DeBeers Jewellers with a denim Versace gown.
Simone Biles wore diamonds from Fred Leighton with an Area gown.
Margaret Qualley wore a Chanel gown, headband and earrings.
Venus Williams wore an Atelier Prabal Gurung and colorful pendant earrings.
Maisie Williams wore jewels by Cartier with an outfit inspired by The Matrix and designed by her boyfriend Reuben Selby.
Diane Kruger coordinated her neon Prabal Gurung with colorful earrings by Tasaki.
Meghan Fox wore earrings by Lorraine Schwartz with a Peter Dundas dress.