This year’s Met Gala featured a number of first-time appearances by Asian and Asian American celebrities, from world-renowned female K-pop stars to record-breaking athletes. The event was much more of an intimate gathering — it had only about a third of the normal guest list size due to the ongoing pandemic — but the stars showed up and turned heads nonetheless.
With the theme “American Independence,” here are some of our favorite looks and what fans had to say about them.
Rosé, in Yves Saint Laurent
Blackpink’s Rosé became the first female K-pop star to appear at the annual fundraiser event, along with rapper CL. An ambassador for Saint Laurent, she wore a classic black dress and attended alongside the designer house’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello.
— E! News (@enews) September 14, 2021
CL, in Alexander Wang
CL’s denim outfit is one of the most talked-about looks at this year’s event as it perfectly embodies the American theme with accents inspired by Korean culture. The all-denim coat is tied at the center with two long straps — a design feature called the “otgoreum” of the traditional Korean hanbok.
CL in classic american denim tied with traditional korean hanbok knot and hair inspired by a headpiece worn mostly by queens— yes that’s how you make a met gala debut 💯
— springkies (@jekkibby2) September 14, 2021
she understood the assignment
— kait (@kaitlynmarianne) September 14, 2021
Simu Liu, in Fendi
Liu reflected on the night with a hilarious Tweet saying, “No more stock photos for this guy” in reference to his previous stock photo modeling gig. GQ said it best when they tweeted, “Breaking box office records and hearts everywhere.”
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) September 14, 2021
Naomi Osaka, in Louis Vuitton
Osaka’s dress was also inspired by her Japanese and Haitian background and was put together with the help of her sister. “Americana means a mix of cultures,” the tennis star was quoted as saying, according to Marie Claire. Fans on Twitter are also admiring her makeup look, which one user described as a “modern twist on Japanese Geisha makeup.”
— British Vogue (@BritishVogue) September 13, 2021
Emma Raducanu, in Chanel
It’s only been a few days since Raducanu made history as the only qualifier to win a grand slam title. And yet here she is, making a grand first-time appearance at the Gala.
— POPSUGAR UK (@POPSUGARUK) September 14, 2021
Saweetie, in Christian Cowan
From the front, Saweetie’s red gown lights up the room as it features “ten million hand placed crystals which are draped to adorn her body” as the designer explained. On the back, emblazoned on the long train are two flags that represent her heritage, the Black American Heritage flag and the flag of the Philippines.
— Brandon 🦕 (@followbrandn) September 13, 2021
— BARBIA (@CROCSCHANEL) September 14, 2021
Lee’s Olympic-gold gown represents exactly what it appears like! The three-time Olympian said to Access that she wanted to highlight the hard work put into her performance in last month’s Olympic Games.
Here is Suni Lee at the #MetGala. Now we can’t wait to see what she wears on the premiere of @DancingABC on September 20th on @ABCNetwork. #SuniLee #MetGala2021 #fashion #celebrity #DWTS
(Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) pic.twitter.com/nEMW2B28dB
— On The Red Carpet (@OnTheRedCarpet) September 14, 2021
suni lee was really like “my theme is the gold medal that i won” love her
— Delia Cai (@delia_cai) September 14, 2021
Eugene Lee Yang
Lee Yang’s fit was put together in a moment of desperation, though you wouldn’t be able to tell. He admitted in an interview with Vogue that his original plans for a dress fell through only hours before his appearance on the red carpet. “Someone was my size, I threw on the suit, and here I am. And I’m still American — Gay, Asian and American, Hallelujah.”
— Variety (@Variety) September 13, 2021
Eva Chen, in Christopher John Rogers
Instagram’s director of fashion herself appeared at the Met Gala in a bright and bold ensemble. Fans online praised the children’s book author for her fun look.
— The Cut (@TheCut) September 13, 2021
this christopher john rogers on eva chen brings me joy though pic.twitter.com/fuE9qQKzbY
— clowntown 4 straight to DVD (@ejknoodles) September 14, 2021
Olivia Rodrigo, in Yves Saint Laurent
— livies hq 💜 (@LiviesHQ) September 14, 2021
Gemma Chan, in Prabal Gurung
Another one of the most-talked about looks, Chan’s gown paid tribute to Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American Hollywood star. Fans on Twitter were left in awe of the actor and in love with the reference.
— ً (@bIairswaldofs) September 14, 2021
— ophelie SAW SHANG CHI (@CAPTAINLARS0N) September 14, 2021
love of my life gemma chan inspired by legend anna may wong i’ve fallen and i can’t get up pic.twitter.com/ZZfpNiT1Ov
— author + nana osaki’s wife ⚔️🥀 (@cherieIiquor) September 14, 2021
Featured Image via Getty