Sarah Jessica Parker used her 2022 Met Gala ensemble, designed by Christopher John Roberts, to highlight a Black woman who made history during the Gilded Age.
Parker — who previously admitted that she spends around ten months piecing together her Met Gala looks — paid homage to Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley, the first Black fashion designer to work for the White House, Vogue reported.
Born into slavery in 1818, Keckley lived as a history-making dressmaker, author and civil activist. The seamstress purchased her and her son’s freedom in 1855 before she later moved to Washington D.C. in 1860, according to the Chicago History Museum. It was only a year later — after starting her own dressmaking business in the nation’s capital — that Keckley met First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of President Abraham Lincoln.
The designer went on to become First Lady Lincoln’s personal designer and confidante — and the source detailed that Keckley’s signature was “creating dresses with impeccable fit and sophisticated, understated design.” Keckley died in 1907.
Christopher John Rogers detailed on Instagram that the And Just Like That… actress’ look consisted of “a contoured, patch-worked bodice and pleated ball skirt in shades of Black, Charcoal, Elephant and Ivory silk faille and silk moiré with Swarovski crystal buttons, silk moiré bows, and custom Philip Treacy headpiece.”
The contemporary designer told Vogue that Keckley is “someone that people don’t really talk about.”
“The idea was to highlight the dichotomy between the extravagant, over-the-top proportions of the time period, and the disparity that was happening in America at the time,” Rogers said of Parker’s look.
“What excited me the most about dressing her is how much of a fashion lover and historian she is,” the designer said of Parker, adding, “She’s intentional about everything that she wears.”
Yesterday evening’s Met Gala marked the event’s return to being celebrated on the first Monday of May after a two years hiatus due to the pandemic.
Often referred to as “the Super Bowl of fashion,” celebrities, socialites, titans of art and fashion and those rich enough to attend were encouraged to adhere to this year’s theme: white tie, gilded glamour.
As MADAMENOIRE detailed in our previous coverage of the 2022 Met Gala, the theme is a nod to the Gilded Age, a time from 1870 to 1900, post the Industrial Revolution, in which stark economic success juxtaposed the era’s immense social upheaval.
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