Sarah Jessica Parker’s Met Gala looks over the years have led us to expect a few things every time she returns to the museum’s steps, namely, a whole lot of opulence, and a headpiece. So, when the actress arrived at the event on Sunday night in a black and white checkered ballgown with a veil topped with flowers and feathers, it was clear the Queen of the Met Gala had officially returned.
For her first Gala since 2018, Parker tapped Christopher John Rogers to design her look, and he delivered a corseted, off-the-shoulder gown with a silhouette perfectly representative of the “Gilded Age” time period. But the corseting wasn’t the only reference to the evening’s theme. Roger’s design pays homage to Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley, a seamstress, civil rights activist, and author, who made history as the first female Black fashion designer to work in the White House. Born into slavery in 1818, Keckley raised the money to free herself in 1855. Five years later, Keckley moved to Washington D.C. where she had the opportunity to design a dress for Mary Todd Lincoln. Keckley went on to make many dresses for the first lady throughout the years and the two became quite close.
According to Vogue, Parker’s dress is based off one of Keckley’s designs for Lincoln from 1862. The three-piece dress features a white and green check design with black wool buttons, which can be seen updated in Roger’s gown for Parker.
And, as stated, an SJP Met Gala ensemble is never complete without a headpiece, so the actress turned to milliner Phillip Treacy—who designed Parker’s golden mohawk for the 2013 Met Gala—to finish the look with the decorated veil. Leave it to Parker to crush a theme, reference an unsung woman in history, and stick to her personal style all at the same time. Future Gala attendees, take note.