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lupita nyong'o, amanda stenberg

Source: Taylor Hill; Theo Wargo / Getty

The 2021 Met Gala took over New York City on September 13, 2021 and we all watched in awe as our favorite celebrities arrived in jaw-dropping looks. For this year’s biggest night in fashion, attendees were dressed to align with this year’s theme of the Museum of Metropolitan Art’s latest exhibition “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” which will open on September 18.

Two of the night’s showstoppers were Lupita Nyong’o and Amandla Stenberg. Nyong’o arrived in a Versace denim dress but her hairstyle, inspired by Brooklyn artist Lorna Simpson, took our breath away. Hair stylist Vernon François said with Nyong’o’s hair, he “wanted to imitate the effortless wave and movement that she conveys in her work.”

“This technique gives a stunning contradiction of strength and fragility, highlights, and shadows,” he said in a statement. “The transparent folds conjure a feeling of tulle material from romantic American fashion, inspired by the theme of this year’s Met Gala.  It’s so exciting bringing this ethereal, fine, lightweight, delicate, hairstyle to life within the afro hair experience, with a muse that not only has kinky coily hair, but who can effortlessly wear and showcase the beauty of every hair texture.”

François was also behind Stenberg’s durag-inspired look. Instead of using an actual silk durag, he used her braids and cornrows to reimagine it and added a “dramatic train” in the back.

“Durags are linked with often quite masculine African American culture, most often worn to protect hair or extend the life of a hairstyle,” François added.  “Embracing the durag worked perfectly for Amandla, as a nod to the Met Gala’s American Fashion theme, while levelling out the gender balance aesthetic of her overall look.”

François specifically used Redken hair products to create these innovative styles for their kinky and curly hair. Take a look at the breakdowns on how you can also make these styles your own.

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