Behind the Look: Sarah Jessica Parker’s Met Gala Dress References Iconic Black Designer Elizabeth Keckley

By: Anita Hosanna (@anitahosanna)

For this year’s Met Gala (click here to see who made best-dressed), the dress code was white-tie, ‘Gilded Glamour’. Allow us to break that down a bit: fashion in America during the the gilded age was known for it’s top hats, corsetry and multi-colored bustles. With that in mind, you can understand our audible gasp when Sarah Jessica Parker entered the building wearing a Christopher John Rogers gown that emulated an iteration of exactly that!

Not only was her execution of the theme fully realized – finished with Swarovski crystal buttons and a custom Philip Treacy headpiece – but the true beauty behind the look lies in the clear nod to African-American couturier Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley.

Photo: Getty

Elizabeth Hobbs was an accomplished seamstress and dressmaker from the late 19th century who called First Ladies Varina Davis and Mary Todd Lincoln regular clients. She was born in Virginia during slavery and later bought her freedom through her exceptional abilities as a seamstress and dressmaker. This is when she’d make her way to Washington, D.C. where her legacy would continue to flourish.

Keckley rose to fashion fame, sewing and tailoring for the women of notable families at the time. Apart from being a dress maker, she was also an author and activist in her own right. Elizabeth Keckley is an inspiration to many designers, past, present and future.

Photo: Getty

A telling story of what gilded glamour means from another perspective. We commend SJP for such an iconic fashion moment, and for using this occasion to showcase black talent and shed light on black history! What a true class act.

What say you?

Main Image: Getty




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