Several of this year's Met Gala attendees used the annual fashion extravaganza to wear symbolic looks that paid tribute to the LGBTQ community.
One of the first looks noticed was "Schitt's Creek" star Dan Levy's outfit, which was created in collaboration with fashion label Loewe's creative director Jonathan Anderson.
His custom fit featured printed maps and meaningful illustrations. Anderson explained in an Instagram post that the look featured seminal works by the late artist and LGBTQ activist David Wojnarowicz, "crafted with the brief of imagining what a 'gay superhero' might wear."
"The Loewe bespoke polo and trousers depicts two men kissing, from a 1984 artwork that deftly reappropriates a homophobic cartoon to instead celebrate same-sex love," Anderson said. "Photos of Wojnarowicz and his friends surround the couple, amid a background of world maps, indicating the arbitrary borders and divisions the queer community faced."
"The work asserts visibility for queer people -- exposing the hatred and bias experienced daily, while celebrating love and joy," Anderson said.
Further honoring the collaboration, Loewe made a donation to Visual AIDS, an organization that promotes AIDS awareness and education. It also was a platform that Wojnarowicz supported.
- 1September 14, 2021
Another statement-making look was seen on star YouTuber Nikkie de Jager, better known as NikkieTutorials, who made her first Met Gala debut.
Hosted by YouTube's Head of Fashion & Beauty and Director of Public Figures Derek Blasberg, Jager wore a custom look by Edwin Oudshoorn Couture inspired by legendary gay liberation activist Marsha P. Johnson.
PAY IT NO MIND 🏳️⚧️ when I got asked to join the Met Gala(!!!!!) I knew I wanted to pay homage to a trans icon who was at the forefront of the Stonewall Riots… Marsha P. Johnson paved the way for so many of us, and I hope I made my community proud 😮💨💕 #MetGala pic.twitter.com/k8bC6Cpfgd— NikkieTutorials (@NikkieTutorials) September 14, 2021
"When I got asked to join the Met Gala(!!!!!) I knew I wanted to pay homage to a trans icon who was at the forefront of the Stonewall Riots… Marsha P. Johnson paved the way for so many of us, and I hope I made my community proud," Jager wrote in a Twitter post.
The dress also included the words "Pay it no mind," which Johnson would famously say is what the "P" in her middle name stood for and in response to questions about her gender," according to The Marsha P. Johnson Institute.
In 2020, Jager publicly came out as transgender in a YouTube video titled "I'm Coming Out."
Soccer star Megan Rapinoe's Met Gala look also included a subtle but noticeable message through her blue Edie Parker clutch that read "In Gay We Trust."
The custom accessory was worn along with Rapinoe's red Sergio Hudson suit.