Panniers, bustles, extreme corsets: The fashion elements that were so in vogue in high-society America in the 20th century feel, well… a bit different today. It didn’t take long for those who threw it back to the latter at the 2022 Met Gala on Monday night to prompt references to BBLs (aka Brazilian butt lifts) on Twitter, where critics have unsurprisingly been among the toughest. As always, the commentary has been amusing—as well as a bit cruel. But who can blame the loquacious onlookers in the latter camp when none other than the evening’s honorary cochair Tom Ford didn’t mince words about his true feelings about the red carpet just days prior? “It’s turned into a costume party,” the designer and Council Fashion Designers of America chairman said in an excerpt from Amy Odell’s upcoming biography of Anna Wintour. “[It] used to just be very chic people wearing very beautiful clothes going to an exhibition about the 18th century. You didn’t have to look like the 18th century, you didn’t have to dress like a hamburger, you didn’t have to arrive in a van where you were standing up because you couldn’t sit down because you wore a chandelier.”
Whether or not they had the same gripes as Ford, the commentators had plenty to say. That was true even before the official livestreams kicked off, and especially so by the time Blake Lively hit the red carpet. The event cochair caused the first scene of the evening when she revealed the fact that her Atelier Versace gown featured a train that transformed her look into an homage to the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. The response has largely been positive, but as always with any and every look at the Met, also proven divisive. Watch this space for the best Twitter reactions and memes of the evening.