After being an enthusiastic guest for several years, Blake Lively has finally risen the rich people ranks from invitee to Met Gala co-chair, which I assume is probably a big honor if you’re a fan of the fashion, or have actively been one of Anna Wintour’s long-term favorites. Blake and her husband, Ryan Reynolds, were named two of the six co-chairs for this year’s gala, which means Blake couldn’t slack on the commitment to the theme. That is, unless she wanted her fellow co-chair Tom Ford to give her some bitchy backhanded compliment about keeping the costume rental industry in business. Blake came through, but not with just one Gilded Glamour-appropriate gown, but technically two. Blake channeled her inner Drag Race contestant and sashayed up the Met Gala red carpet in a gown that transformed into a mid-staircase reveal.
There were plenty of people shouting the internet’s most overused example of exaggerated praise of, “They understood the assignment!” last night, but one could argue that Blake really did take her assignment package, sat down in the library, took too many notes, and fully comprehended what last night’s Met Gala theme could be about. “Gilded Glamour” covered many aspects of American fashion and aesthetics, but generally most people agreed that the Met Gala was telling attendees to source their looks and vibes from the Gilded Age of New York (1870 to 1890) for inspiration.
Blake didn’t just grab a dress that looked Gilded Age-y; she decided to get creative with it. Which could have been a choice that turned campy, like wearing a dress that looked like the Brooklyn Bridge, but Blake probably figured Katy Perry had that look covered. So Blake decided to be inspired by another famous New York City icon of the Gilded Age, the Statue of Liberty! Blake even provided a helpful little history lesson with her gown. People magazine says that Blake explained that her gown, by Atelier Versace, was inspired by the architecture of the time, and that her whole look from head to toe is a nod to Lady Liberty, right down to the color change in her dress and gloves:
[Blake] told LaLa Anthony during the Vogue livestream that the color choices were to represent the patina aging that copper undergoes over time. “The draping [represents] the Statue of Liberty, plus the crown which has seven tiers, the Statue Liberty has seven rays representing the sun’s rays and then also the 7 seas and continents which represents welcomeness, inclusivity, and freedom,” she continued. “I sound like a Wikipedia page – she has 25 windows so Lorraine [Schwartz] put 25 stones at the bottom, so they’re all New York City references.”
Here’s Blake transforming from old copper Liberty to current-day mint green Liberty on the Met Gala carpet:
— Variety (@Variety) May 2, 2022
Asking to look like a fully-realized high-fashion version of the Statue of Liberty could have ended very differently, considering Miss Liberty is a look that has been done a million times and can lean pretty heavily on costumey. But Blake definitely succeeded in interpreting the Statue of Liberty for the Met Gala. The only problem is, she just can’t hold a candle to the best Statue of Liberty gown of all time, aka Brittany Murphy’s tinfoil-covered Lady Liberty look from Drop Dead Gorgeous. No literally, Blake can’t hold a candle, because she didn’t even bring a candle or a lighter! And honestly, that’s the truest commitment to the theme. But for the second-best Statue of Liberty look of the modern era, here’s more of Blake and Ryan, and the quickest-change ensemble this side of a Day-to-Night Barbie.