In the fashion industry, the first Monday in May is its own kind of holiday.
The Met Gala (formerly known as the The Costume Institute Gala, and informally known to me as “your favorite celebrity’s favorite red carpet”) is a fundraiser, co-sponsored by Anna Wintour and Vogue, supporting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Costume Institute in New York City. It’s also the soft launch of the Metropolitan Museum’s annual summer fashion exhibit. An unabashed love letter to the craft and art of fashion, the night’s red carpet is more iconic than the gala itself.
Designers invite celebrities as their guests to wear masterfully constructed, and often avant-garde, “costumes” based on a central theme. This year’s theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” gave a me a bit of pause. Little did I know that 20GayTeen would once again work it’s magic when I least expected it!
Eleven out queer women and non-binary folks walked the carpet last night, more than any previous record. We have all of those looks for you here! We also included a few special extras that we didn’t want you to miss.
Grab a quick mid-afternoon lemonade and enjoy!
The Best Lesbian, Bi, and Queer Looks
Lena Waithe, in a custom Carolina Hererra.
Heard y’all were looking for me? pic.twitter.com/1o49tCltGg
— Lena Waithe (@LenaWaithe) May 8, 2018
Is there anyone else we would have started with? As a black masculine-of-center lesbian, Lena Waithe was already going to make an impact in her Met Gala debut just for walking the carpet in her signature well tailored suit and perfectly beat face. She took it further. She made sure that we were in the room, and that everyone would know it. Lena always puts her community on her back, this time literally, and we can’t help but love those who are out there loving us so openly.
To really take in the weight of this costume choice, we can’t forget that the theme of last night’s gala — “Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”. It was criticized by many for being insensitive to the history of the church’s relationship with homophobia, sexual abuse, and racism. Lena turned her red carpet moment into a statement of defiant pride, solidarity, and visibility.
A real life black lesbian superhero.
Seriously, what did we do to deserve her? What a time to be alive. Waithe also took time on the carpet to talk with Vogue about the significance of her fashion choice, including the decision to include black and brown (representing people of color) with the Pride flag rainbow.
Janelle Monáe, in Marc Jacobs with Jennifer Fisher Jewelry.
— NYT Fashion (@NYTFashion) May 8, 2018
Janelle Monáe returned to her iconic black & white aesthetic, using the gold brim of her hat to play on the event’s theme — it’s meant to cast a “halo” framing her face. It’s been a while since Monáe brought back the black & white uniform of her early career, but as she reminded Vanity Fair last night, “My black and white is meant to honor my working-class parents. My mother was a janitor, both my fathers, my biological father and my stepfather, were custodians, sanitation workers, post-office workers.” They wore uniforms everyday. It wasn’t about what they were wearing, but who they were.
Miley Cyrus, in Stella McCartney.
Miley, along with Autostraddle “Vapid Fluff” regular Paris Jackson and Stella McCartney, who dressed both women, talked about the future possibilities of sustainable fashion and the environment.
Amber Heard, in Carolina Herrera.
— E! News (@enews) May 7, 2018
Stella Maxwell, in Moschino.
Sadly, she left KStew at home.
❤️ Stella Maxwell in a custom made Moschino cream silk-satin strapless gown with harness detail and printed artwork depicting visages of Madonna, completely embroidered with crystals, baguettes, sequins and gems, at the #MetGala! @ITSJEREMYSCOTT 🙏 https://t.co/qn2J7HYHGM pic.twitter.com/xk5RNZEMFf
— Moschino (@Moschino) May 8, 2018
Ruby Rose, in Tommy Hilfiger with Judith Leiber Accessories.
Oh and Ruby left a ‘lil message for ya on their Instagram ?
Yeah they will.
Cara Delevingne, in Dior Haute Couture.
— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) May 8, 2018
No pictures of Cara with her alleged girlfriend Paris Jackson on the carpet last night, but you know, a girl can dream.
Kiersey Clemons, in a custom H&M.
— H&M (@hm) May 7, 2018
Did we mention that out actress Kiersey Clemons has a new gay movie coming out? It’s called Hearts Beat Loud and its going to have a limited release this summer. Be on the lookout for it!
Sasha Lane, in Tory Burch.
Speaking of young actresses to be on the lookout for, check out this bi actress and future star of the film adaption to the lesbian cult classic The Miseducation of Cameron Post. 20GayTeen is going to be her year!
Evan Rachel Wood, in a custom Altuzarra.
Angelic Vision: Evan Rachel Wood wears a Custom Altuzarra Gold Paillette and Thread Embroidered Feather Cape, Black Jumpsuit and ‘Kiss’ Bag. #MetGala #MetHeavenlyBodies @evanrachelwood pic.twitter.com/fahz2ONNmb
— ALTUZARRA (@ALTUZARRASTUDIO) May 8, 2018
Evan Rachel WOULD, indeed.
Sarah Paulson, in Prada with Tiffany & Co. Jewelry.
.@MsSarahPaulson wore #Prada while attending The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala celebrating the opening of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” in New York. ⠀#PradaPeople ⠀#MetGala⠀#MetGala2018#MetHeavenlyBodies pic.twitter.com/7bvFktyjPi
— PRADA (@Prada) May 8, 2018
Even More Looks From Favs That We Didn’t Want You To Miss!
Tessa Thompson, in Thom Browne with Tiffany & Co. Jewelry.
— Emilio Doménech (@Nanisimo) May 8, 2018
In her MET GALA DEBUT!!!! Come thru Tessa!!! I am so ready for your astronomical rise ?? ?? ??
Lynda Carter, in Zac Posen.
— Devan Coggan (@devancoggan) May 7, 2018
Wonder Woman!!!!! Fresh out of Themyscira and into our hearts.
Rihanna, in Maison Margiela.
I went to Catholic high school, and I can 100% promise you I would have paid more attention if these pictures had been in our religion textbooks.
Damn Rih. You want to see that outfit in motion, don’t you? Well, if you watch one video from last night, let it be this one from Rihanna and Vogue.
View this post on Instagram
Who else but @badgalriri could pair a custom @maisonmargiela by John Galliano mitre and a minidress? She strutted among the statues of the Greek and Roman galleries. #metgala Directed by @bardiazeinali DP @kellyjeffrey Movement @mettenarrative Steadicam @yoshisteadiop Production @prodn_artandcommerce Edit & Post Production @modern.post Music @depechemode
Paris Jackson, in Stella McCartney.
— ExtraTV (@extratv) May 8, 2018
Solange Knowles, in Iris van Herpen.
— EBONY MAGAZINE (@EBONYMag) May 8, 2018
The night before the Met Gala, Solange uploaded three potential outfits from her Twitter followers to choose from. She picked this, a clever take on an hip hop angel (notice how the bottom of the outfit invokes a famous Missy Elliott aesthetic), because as one of her followers put it, “God Loves Durags.”
Cardi B, in Moschino.
— CNN (@CNN) May 8, 2018
Cardi B as a pregnant Madonna is what I need in my life.
Zendaya, in a custom Versace with Tiffany & Co. Jewelry.
— MTV (@MTV) May 8, 2018
Zendaya pulled her inspiration from Joan of Arc, the unofficial Catholic saint of tomboy lesbians everywhere.
Frances McDormand, in Valentino.
— E! News (@enews) May 7, 2018
Stay weird. Do you.
Ashley Graham, in Prabal Gurung.
— The Metropolitan Museum of Art (@metmuseum) May 7, 2018
For all of its moves towards inclusivity in recent years, the Met Gala is severely lacking when it comes to body diversity. At least Ashley Graham was there to represent — and damn does she look great! Still, it’s far from being enough. As we take in all the drama and beauty, let’s also keep pushing for more of us to be seen each year.
Did you have any favorite Met looks from 2018? Are you already custom ordering your Pride Cape for all your summer gay needs? Let us know in the comments!