In gilded we trust. At the 2022 Met Gala, attendees were given the assignment of dressing for a Gilded Age theme, with interpretations ranging from head-to-toe gold sequins (i.e. Cardi B in custom Atelier Versace) to painterly, bustled historic revival looks (like Billie Eilish in custom Gucci).
Jewelry, however, is elemental to the Gilded Age’s history — a time in the late 19th century when new industrial wealth and pre-existing old money and monarchy coexisted to create a perfect storm of opulence. It was in this climate — which, like today, also saw record economic disparity — that famed jewelry houses like Van Cleef & Arpels and Bulgari were established. It was also when Tiffany & Co. hit its stride as a New York City-based high jeweler.
At Monday evening’s Met Gala, attendees accentuated their looks with jewelry that recalled the excess enjoyed by the Gilded Age’s elite ruling class. No wonder, that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who at the last Met Gala wore a dress inscribed with “Tax the Rich,” was not in attendance.
Kendall Jenner wore a 25-carat pear-shaped diamond on one ear — that one furnished by Lorraine Schwartz. Blake Lively, like other attendees, wore a tiara — also by Schwartz — recalling the debutante balls of a bygone age. Hers was custom-made for the evening in an ode to the Statue of Liberty.
Kate Moss, with a history book’s worth of lived fashion experience, went to the source. The supermodel paid a visit to the storied New York antique fine jewelry dealer A La Vieille Russie, and pulled a tableau of archival precious gems — many of them hailing from the original Gilded Age.
Click through to see WWD’s picks for the 12 best jewelry looks from the 2022 Met Gala.