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


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

NEW YORK – The cost of a seat at the Met Gala on Monday night started at $ 35,000 and tables have gone from $ 200,000 to $ 300,000. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., walked into the room full of celebrities and wealthy people (often one and the same) with a message: A white dress with blood red letters on the back saying, ” TAX THE RICH. “

Speaking to the Washington Post as she walked the beige carpet at the event, Ocasio-Cortez said she expected a backlash to attend a gala deemed elitist, and in the midst of a pandemic nothing less.

“I mean, I think I’m kinda at the point where no matter what I do, if I wake up in the morning, there will be someone who has something to say about it,” he said. she stated as Megan Fox and Diane. Kruger crossed the carpet behind her.

Formerly known as the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit, the Black Tie Extravaganza is one of the most photographed events of the year, an Oscar equivalent, but with many more fascinating fashion risks. . (Kim Kardashian, for example, wore a head-to-toe black Balenciaga haute couture outfit that made her ghostly and faceless, making comparisons to a bank robber wearing pantyhose to hide his face, or a Harry Potter Dementor. .) pomp has a noble purpose: The Night is a fundraiser for the Museum’s Costume Institute, which is hosting an exhibition on American fashion. The 2021 gala raised a record $ 16.75 million and is the main source of the institute’s annual budget.

Instagram sponsored the gala and many billionaires were in attendance, including Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman and Joe Gebbia, Airbnb co-founder. Guest celebrities, including famous members of Congress like Ocasio-Cortez, are part of the raffle and attend for free.

Indeed, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Mayor Bill de Blasio were also on the same mat and barely raised an eyebrow. Representative Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., wore a dress adorned with the suffrage movement’s purple, white and gold colors and a scarf that read “Equal Rights for Women”. Her bag read “ERA YES”, referring to the proposed equal rights amendment that would amend the United States Constitution to eliminate discrimination based on sex.

But none received the conservative backlash amassed over Ocasio-Cortez. One Twitter user pointed out that she needed help walking down the steps, like most women in their gigantic dresses, like she was royalty. Another joked that she now sells “Tax the Rich” caviar for $ 10,000 a box. Someone else replaced “Tax the Rich” with “Let Them Eat Cake” in a photo. “BACKLASH: AOC Under Fire for wearing the ‘Tax the Rich’ dress to the Ultra-Elite Met Gala in New York,” Sean Hannity wrote on his blog.

There was, however, an unlikely defender. “Not a hater @aoc. But come on, going to an event for the super-rich with ‘tax the rich’ written on your ass, won’t change a thing,” commented political commentator Ana Navarro-Cárdenas. noted on Twitter. “It’s a stunt to justify his presence to a fancy shin-dig that doesn’t match his political personality. She is always prettier than Kim K in a bat outfit.

Ocasio-Cortez, 31, has been a conservative lightning rod since being elected the youngest MP in history in 2018, and is seen as representing a liberal faction in the Democratic Party that often disagrees with moderate members and sometimes even the president. Joe Biden. She has been one of the most vocal members of Congress advocating for tax code reform and the taxation of the ultra-rich to pay for social services such as child care and health care. When Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Slept on the steps of the Capitol to protest the end of the pandemic-related eviction moratorium, Ocasio-Cortez was one of Bush’s first colleagues to join her.

On Wednesday, she retweeted Biden, who had written: “It’s about time the super-rich and big corporations pay their fair share of taxes.”

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

Ocasio-Cortez was joined by Black Canadian and Ghanaian dress designer Aurora James, Founder and Creative Director of Brother Veilles, a luxury accessories brand focused on maintaining traditional African design techniques, as well as Founder of 15 Percent Pledge, a nonprofit that boosts black brands. Like the member, she wore suffrage white. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour often paired these guests with designers who custom-designed what they wear out of courtesy.

“I feel like if the congressman was going to come to the Met, she might as well come with a message,” said James, who pointed out that Ocasio-Cortez’s dress was the product of a lot of hard work. strenuous by many people in New York’s Garment District.

Ocasio-Cortez was still a bartender when she first heard from James, she said on the carpet Monday night. “And I remember being totally blown away at the time, working behind the bar saying, ‘Oh my gosh it’s possible and she did,’ referring to James who won a prestigious CFDA award. / Vogue Fashion Fund in 2015.

She had been inspired, Ocasio-Cortez said, by the way James “started just a few years ago with three thousand dollars in his pocket,” selling his clothes at the Brooklyn flea market, and was now at the Met Gala. “This is really the story of our city,” she said. “This is the story of we should be centered, especially as a black immigrant designer in an industry where this is severely under-represented.”

After the gala – which included a menu of plant-based dishes from 10 emerging New York chefs and a performance by Justin Bieber – Ocasio-Cortez appeared to be trying to avoid some criticism before it began.

“And before the enemies break loose,” she tweeted, “New York elected officials are regularly invited to and attend the Met because of our responsibilities in overseeing and supporting the city’s cultural institutions for the audience. I was one of many in attendance at that party. It ended with a hugging face emoji.

So she posted a statement on Instagram on Tuesday.

She had thought about the criticisms she would receive for her departure, Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “but honestly my body and I have been so heavily and relentlessly monitored politically from all corners since the moment I won my election. that it’s kind of become expected and normalized for me.

If she had been afraid of criticism and not wearing the dress, she wrote, she might have been called “inauthentic” or “overly calculated.”

“But we all had a conversation about Taxing the Rich in front of the same people who are pushing against it, and broke the 4th wall of excess and spectacle,” she continued in the statement.

She was there in her capacity as a public official trying to support a public artistic institution, she concluded. Then she encouraged everyone to come to the Met to see the exhibit, adding that New York residents can even pay whatever they want.

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