2022 Met Gala: Hillary Clinton, Eric Adams make political statements

Last night was the year’s biggest night in fashion. The Met Gala sets trends. It creates clout around celebrities. And in recent years, many are using it as a tool to make political statements.

This year’s theme was “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” focusing on the Gilded Age. Some guests view the event as an opportunity to make political statements en vogue.

Who made political statements at the Met Gala 2022?

Hillary Clinton attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibition on Monday, May 2, 2022, in New York.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

One of the most notable appearances came from the former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who attended the gala for the first time in 21 years. The former secretary of state wore a gown with the names of famous female leaders she admires embroidered into the collar, including names such as Madeleine Albright, Abigail Adams, Harriet Tubman and her own mother, Dorothy Rodham.

Joseph Altuzarra, the designer of the dress, told Vogue, “When someone like Hillary goes to The Met, it’s not just, like, ‘There’s Hillary at The Met and she’s wearing a dress.’ It has a lot of significance. I felt like I had to be very thoughtful about what the dress would mean to the theme and to the occasion.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams sported a suit jacket with a bold call to “End Gun Violence.” Adams is a gun control advocate, but has received backlash for his approach to how to curb gun violence, per The New York Times.

In his first three months in office, the city experienced multiple shootings, and Adams has launched plans that hearken back to the “tough on crime” rhetoric of the 1990s, according to The New York Times.

The plan leaves both advocates and critics raising concerns about “the possibility of racial profiling of young Black and Hispanic men in the neighborhoods targeted for enforcement and most afflicted by violence,” write Katie Glueck and Ashley Southall for The New York Times.

Riz Ahmed poses for photos at Met Gala

Riz Ahmed attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibition on Monday, May 2, 2022, in New York.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Actor Riz Ahmed dressed in simplistic garb, as a “love letter” to immigrant workers in America.

“Part of what I really value about this place are the waves of immigrants and workers that have kind of kept this city running,” Ahmed told GQ.

Billie Eilish pauses for photos at the Met Gala

Billie Eilish attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibition on Monday, May 2, 2022, in New York.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Musical artist Billie Eilish had a sustainability and climate care message, requesting a dress that was made from already existing fabrics. “I just wanted to be as eco-friendly as possible,” she told Billboard.

Camila Cabello walks up stairs for photo at Met Gala

Camila Cabello attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibition on Monday, May 2, 2022, in New York.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Camila Cabello, another musical artist, also wore a dress made from sustainable materials.

Sarah Jessica Parker in gingham ball gown poses for photos

Sarah Jessica Parker attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibition on Monday, May 2, 2022, in New York.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

A more subtle nod came from “And Just Like That” actress Sarah Jessica Parker. She paid homage to Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley, who was the first Black female fashion designer in the White House.

Who made political statements at the Met Gala in the past?

For the 2021 Met Gala, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a memorable white dress with the message “Tax The Rich” painted in red on the back by designer Aurora James.

In 2018, actress and writer Lena Waithe wore a rainbow-colored cape to support the LGBTQ+ community. “I’m repping my community, and I want everybody to know that you can be whoever you are, and be completely proud, and be doing it,” Waithe told Vogue.

The 2019 Met Gala hosted multiple guests who offered their own statements supporting the LGBTQ+ community during the year with “camp” as a theme. Those included Dan Levy, Megan Rapinoe and Waithe sporting a jacket that said, “Black drag queens invented camp.”

Carolyn B. Maloney with drewss and flags that say “ERA”

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” exhibition on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in New York.

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-NY, sported her own political statement gown with banners calling for voters to say yes to the Equal Rights Amendment.

Proceeds from the popular gala go to The Metropolitan Costume Institute and serves as an opening celebration for the institute’s yearly fashion exhibit.

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