When you arrive to the Met Gala as a co-chair, we’re more critical of your adherence to the theme and there’s a sense of proving why you deserved to be on the committee. It’s definitely all eyes on you. You were one of the earliest confirmed attendees, so we’ve had extra-long to anticipate and construct ideas in our heads about what you’re going to give us, so a surprise goes a long way. Which is why Billie Eilish, in an off-the-shoulder peach tulle ball gown by Oscar Del La Renta, is my best dressed.
Normally, a traditional gown like this wouldn’t really do it for me but Billie ticked so many boxes. First and foremost she looks stunning in it and it felt like she was completely confident in her look, happily posing for every camera and sharing laughs with press on the way in. Secondly, it’s larger than life. That massive train took over the carpet, beautifully tumbling down the Met steps. That’s the drama we’re looking for at a gala hosted by the Costume Institute. But most impactful, this is a look we’ve never seen from her on the red carpet. This traditional glamour is something she hasn’t wanted to do in the past. In fact, if you look at most of her past carpet looks she’s almost subscribed to a uniform: baggy pants and a baggy long sleeve shirt or jacket. Some of those looks were great, but after a while it felt repetitive and by nature a uniform can feel stifling to someone as creative as Billie. Just look at Janelle Monáe’s fashion evolution. On the carpet, everyone kept asking Billie why she wanted to really switch up her look and she told everyone this felt like the right moment.
"It just was time. It was time for this and I feel like I've grown so much in the last few years and my confidence. I’m so excited. I have butterflies. I couldn't be happier.” (E! News)
Billie had actually planned on attending the Met Gala pre-pandemic. The style director for British Vogue and the person responsible for styling her last night, revealed she always knew it would be a ballgown, but she thought it would be acid green to match her old aesthetic. I might have loved that too. It was her headline making British Vogue cover that catalyzed the style evolution.
Another reason I love this look takes us behind the scenes of the business dealings of a celebrity-fashion house Met collaboration. Billie agreed to wear Oscar De La Renta because at her request the American label agreed to going completely fur-free. Billie took to Instagram to reveal the news, urging all designers to follow suit.
The last box this look ticks is the theme. This year it was especially rare to see some interpreting the theme in a creative way, or even acknowledging the theme in some cases. Billie’s referencing Marilyn Monroe’s 1951 Oscar dress and there’s some Grace Kelly inspiration in there as well. Two icons of American style. At the event Billie also said she wanted a look that felt like Holiday Barbie, a toy she wanted for Christmas every year. The look was just a hit all around but I don’t think this aesthetic is here to stay which makes me excited about what’s next.