As each one of these events does, this year's Met Gala yielded a wide array of looks from its celebrity guests. There were those who stayed on the theme—"In America: A Lexicon of Fashion"—and those who strayed outside of it. And while some stars looked very much like themselves, others used the night to try something new. Frequent invitee Kim Kardashian was quite literally unrecognizable because you couldn't see her face, and Dickinson star Hailee Steinfeld walked the 2021 Met Gala red carpet in a look that had fans watching at home questioning whether the photos of her were even labelled correctly.
Steinfeld usually has dark brown hair, but for the Met Gala, the 24-year-old went blonde with bleached eyebrows and makeup that differed dramatically from her usual appearance. She also wore a stunning sculptural and environmentally conscious dress. Read on to see Steinfeld at this year's event and to check out a couple some of her past Met Gala looks—including her first visit, as a child star.
Steinfeld attended her first Met Gala in 2011.
Steinfeld first came to fame in 2010 when she starred as Mattie Ross in the remake of True Grit alongside Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. The following year, she attended her first Met Gala when she was only 14 years old. For that year's gala, she wore a Stella McCartney dress. As Steinfeld pointed out on her Instagram Story on Monday, she has attended every year since, making this year her tenth Met Gala. (Last year's gala was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
Her past looks weren't as shocking.
Steinfeld highlighting all of her past Met Gala looks on her Instagram Story only emphasizes how different she looked this year. In each of the past years, she wore her brown hair either straight, wavy, or in an updo, except for in 2019 when she tried out a curly look. Her outfits have also generally been pretty understated—at least by Met Gala standards. Again, the exception is 2019 when she tried out something louder for the "Camp: Notes on Fashion" theme and wore a Viktor&Rolf dress that said "No Photos Please" in huge letters.
This year, she was unrecognizable with platinum hair and bleached brows.
Steinfeld was practically incognito this year because of her hair, eyebrows, and makeup. The actor and singer went with blonde long bob and bleached eyebrows (or at least heavily made-up ones) to match. She also wore matte makeup that was one tone, without much color on her lips or cheeks.
Many who were following along with the event on Twitter pointed out that it really was hard to tell that the person in the photos was Steinfeld. "I keep staring at this picture and I just cannot see how this is Hailee Steinfeld. It's just not processing. Are we sure?" wrote one Twitter user. Another added, "I'm over here comparing photos….does not look like her. Crazy."
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Her dress has an interesting backstory.
Steinfeld wore a dress by Dutch couture designer Iris van Herpen. The Instagram page for van Herpen's line explains that the dress Steinfeld chose, the Magnetosphere dress, is made out of recycled ocean plastic. "The Magnetosphere dress is created with Parley Ocean Plastic®️, sourced from upcycled marine debris in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans," reads an Instagram post from July.
Other stars who wore van Herpen's work at the Met Gala include Gabrielle Union, Grimes, and Tessa Thompson.