It's the fashion world's equivalent of the Oscars and the Met Gala 2021 will go down in history as the night savvy celebs used fashion to make political statements and as a bargaining tool for change.
Billie Eilish's nude tulle dress and its megawatt 15 feet train was so much more than a Cinderella-meets-Marilyn Monroe confection from the designers at Oscar de la Renta.
It was a prime example of a Generation Z superstar, with an Instagram following of over 90 million, and an invited co-chair of the event in New York using her leverage to have fur dropped by a leading fashion house and now she wants all designers to follow suit.
The New York Times reported that the 19-year-old set a condition for wearing the dress to the Costume Institute's 'In America: A Lexicon in Fashion' at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and that was no more fur.
In an Instagram post last night alongside a photo of herself wearing the gown, Billie, who is a vegan and animal rights supporter said it had been "an honor to wear this dress knowing that going forward Oscar de la Renta will be completely fur-free."
Billie said she was "beyond thrilled" that the entire team heard her on this issue "and have now made a change that makes an impact for the greater good, not only for animals but also for our planet and environment too. I'm honored to have been a catalyst and to have been heard on this matter. I urge all designers to do the same."
Billie Eilish is possibly the only Met Gala guest in history to have elicited an ethical change from a company as a condition to wearing one of their gowns and it was a very interesting fashion twist to come out of the night where the four co-chairs of the event - Billie Eilish, actor Timothée Chalamet, poet Amanda Gorman and tennis star Naomi Osaka were all Generation Z super heroes.
Meanwhile, the creative handiwork of super talented Irish designer JW Anderson, from Magherafelt, was used on the red carpet by one of the most popular stars of lockdown TV to "celebrate queer love and visibility".
Dan Levy, the Canadian actor/writer and co-creator of the Netflix hit, Schitt's Creek, worked with JW Anderson, creative director at the luxury brand Loewe, and his team, to create an ensemble celebrating "the resilience and the love and the joy" of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Making his Met Gala debut on the night where the dress code was 'American Independence', Dan wore a puffed sleeved look in blue, green and pink which featured a portrait of two men kissing by the late American multimedia artist and LGBTQIA+ activist, David Wojnarowicz .
The TV star acknowledged how the Irishman and the design team built upon an image but rather than feed on the message of hate, they wanted to celebrate queer love and visibility and to present the image in a way that offered a hopeful message.
Supermodel Cara Delevingne also took advantage of the red carpet spotlight to let her clothes do the talking. In this case, it was all about female empowerment and gender equality and her Dior outfit designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, came with a very visible slogan of 'Peg the Patriarchy' on her chest.
However the red font size on the front of Cara's top was way, way smaller than the three word slogan which politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) had stamped on the rear of her dress and which took some of the guests at the $35k a ticket event rather by surprise when she swung around.
"Tax The Rich" was the message the Democratic Socialist congresswoman had emblazoned on the back of her white dress which was designed by Brother Vellies' designer, Aurora James who accompanied Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the red carpet. Aurora James launched last year's Fifteen Percent Pledge urging brands to buy 15 pc of products from black-owned businesses.
Meanwhile Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney also used the Met Gala event to send out a political message and she wore a gown in the suffrage colours of purple, white and gold.
The 75 year old political veteran who represents New York's 12th Congressional District wore a colourful outfit with flowing sashes spelling out the words 'Equal Rights for Women' which could be seen from all angles. She also carried a bag with the word 'ERA YES,' referencing the Equal Rights Amendment.
Before going to the Met Costume Institute event, she posed in front of the Women's Rights Pioneers Monument in nearby Central Park and posted on her Instagram account saying "across the country, women's rights are under attack".
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said she had long used fashion "as a force for change". As the Met Costume Institute reopens with their inaugural exhibition celebrating American designers, she said she was calling for the certification of the ERA "so women can be equal once and for all."