The Met Gala is full of rich people. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a dress with a message: 'Tax the Rich.'

The Met Gala is full of rich people. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a dress with a message: ‘Tax the Rich.’


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and designer Aurora James at the gala. Nina Westervelt / The New York Instances

NEW YORK – The expense for a seat at Monday night’s Met Gala started at $35,000, and tables went for $200,000 to $300,000. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., walked into the space comprehensive of stars and abundant people today (usually a single and the same) with a message: A white robe with blood purple letters on the back looking through, “TAX THE Rich.”

Speaking with The Washington Put up as she walked up the event’s beige carpet, Ocasio-Cortez said she was anticipating some blowback for attending a gala witnessed as elitist, and in the middle of a pandemic no less.

“I indicate, I consider I’m form of at the point the place no issue what I do, if I wake up in the early morning, there’s likely to be an individual who has a thing to say about that,” she claimed as Megan Fox and Diane Kruger crossed the carpet at the rear of her.

Formally recognized as the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute advantage, the black-tie extravaganza ranks as 1 of the most photographed events of the year, an equal of the Oscars, but with numerous far more interesting fashion dangers. (Kim Kardashian, for example, wore a head-to-toe black Balenciaga haute couture outfit that rendered her ghostly and faceless, drawing comparisons to a bank robber sporting a pantyhose to disguise their deal with, or a Dementor from Harry Potter.) All the pomp has a noble goal: The night time is a fundraiser for the museum’s Costume Institute, which is putting on an exhibition on American vogue. The 2021 gala elevated a report-breaking $16.75 million and is the major supply for the institute’s annual spending budget.

Instagram sponsored the gala and a good deal of billionaires were being in attendance, which include Blackstone Team CEO Stephen Schwarzman and Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb. Invited celebs, which includes superstar congresswomen like Ocasio-Cortez, are element of the draw and go to for absolutely free.

In truth, New York Town Comptroller Scott Stringer and Mayor Invoice de Blasio have been on that same carpet, as well, and barely lifted an eyebrow. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., wore a robe adorned with the purple, white and gold colours of the suffrage movement and a sash that read “Equal Rights for Gals.” Her bag examine, “ERA Yes,” referring to the proposed Equivalent Rights Amendment that would amend the U.S. Constitution to reduce discrimination on the foundation of sexual intercourse.

But none have gained the conservative backlash heaped on Ocasio-Cortez. A person Twitter user pointed out that she required support obtaining down the actions, as did most women in their gigantic gowns, as if she ended up royalty. A different joked that she was now promoting “Tax the Rich” caviar for $10,000 a can. Anyone else changed “Tax the Rich” with “Let Them Consume Cake” in a photograph. “BACKLASH: AOC Less than Fireplace for Donning ‘Tax the Rich’ Gown to NYC’s Extremely-Elite Satisfied Gala,” Sean Hannity wrote on his website.

There was a single not likely defender, although. “Not an @aoc hater. But come on, likely to an party for tremendous-loaded with ‘tax the rich’ written on your ass, will not modify a thing,” political commentator Ana Navarro-Cárdenas explained on Twitter. “It’s a stunt to justify her existence at an fancy shin-dig that does not match her political persona. She however seems to be far better that Kim K in the bat outfit.”

Ocasio-Cortez, 31, has been a conservative lightning rod ever considering the fact that she was elected as the youngest congresswoman in historical past in 2018, and is seen as symbolizing a liberal faction of the Democratic Party that is usually at odds with reasonable members and at times even President Joe Biden. She’s been a single of the most outspoken users in Congress advocating for reforming the tax code and taxing the ultrawealthy to shell out for social products and services these kinds of as boy or girl care and health and fitness care. When Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., slept on the steps of the Capitol to protest the conclusion to the pandemic-similar eviction moratorium, Ocasio-Cortez was one particular of the initially of Bush’s colleagues to join her.

On Wednesday, she retweeted Biden, who’d published, “It’s time the super-rich and huge organizations spend their honest share in taxes.”

The Met Gala is full of rich people. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a dress with a message: 'Tax the Rich.'
Designer Aurora James, still left, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the gala. – Mike Coppola / Getty Visuals

Accompanying Ocasio-Cortez was the dress’s Black, Ghanaian Canadian designer, Aurora James, founder and imaginative director of Brother Veilles, a luxurious accessories brand name centered on retaining classic African design and style tactics alive, as perfectly as founder of the 15 % Pledge, a nonprofit that boosts Black manufacturers. Like the congresswoman, she wore suffrage white. Vogue’s editor, Anna Wintour, normally pairs these attendees with designers who customized-style what they dress in as a courtesy.

“I really feel like if the congresswoman was going to arrive to the Fulfilled, she could possibly as properly arrive with a concept,” mentioned James, who pointed out that Ocasio-Cortez’s dress was the merchandise of a large amount of hard perform by a lot of people today in New York’s Garment District .

Ocasio-Cortez was nevertheless a bartender when she 1st listened to of James, she claimed on the carpet Monday night. “And I try to remember currently being fully blown absent at the time, functioning from behind the bar saying, ‘Oh, my God, it is probable and she did it,” referring to James successful a prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award in 2015.

She’d been impressed, Ocasio-Cortez mentioned, by how James “started out just a few of decades in the past with 3 grand in her pocket,” providing her dresses at the Brooklyn Flea industry, and was now at the Fulfilled Gala. “That’s truly the tale of our metropolis,” she said. “It’s the tale of we need to be centered, primarily as a Black lady immigrant designer in an industry where that is severely underrepresented.”

Soon after the gala – which incorporated a menu of plant-primarily based dishes from 10 mounting New York chefs and highlighted a efficiency by Justin Bieber – Ocasio-Cortez appeared to be hoping to head off some criticism prior to it started out.

“And prior to haters get wild flying off the take care of,” she tweeted, “New York elected officials are routinely invited to and go to the Fulfilled thanks to our tasks in overseeing and supporting the city’s cultural institutions for the public. I was one particular of a number of in attendance in this night.” It finished with a hugging encounter emoji.

So she launched a statement on Instagram Tuesday.

She’d imagined about the criticism she’d get for heading, Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “but truthfully I and my overall body have been so heavily and relentlessly policed from all corners politically considering that the moment I received my election that it’s variety of come to be expected and normalized to me.”

If she’d been fearful of the criticism and not worn the costume, she wrote, she might have been termed “inauthentic” or “too calculated.”

“But we all experienced a conversation about Taxing the Prosperous in front of the pretty people who lobby from it, and punctured the 4th wall of excess and spectacle,” she ongoing in the statement.

She was there in her potential as a public official making an attempt to support a community arts establishment, she concluded. Then she inspired anyone to go to the Satisfied to see the exhibit, including that New York City people can even fork out what they want.

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