The 2021 Met Gala, held on Monday, has been trending on Twitter thanks to the event being attended by over a hundred celebrities. They include Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Timothee Chalamet, Jennifer Lopez and Naomi Osaka. The annual fundraising event, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has a fashion theme every year. This time, it was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”. 

Stars stepped on to the red carpet, with some following the American theme by sporting motifs of stars and stripes, cowboys, horses and Marilyn Monroe, while others didn’t quite adhere to the theme. However, an eye-turning appearance was made by a model and activist named Quannah Chasinghorse. The Native model paid tribute to her Indigenous American culture by wearing a Navajo turquoise necklace and silver jewellery, and showcasing her traditional tattoos. 

“It’s extremely important to represent and bring authentic and true American culture to this year’s theme, as Native American culture has been appropriated and misrepresented in fashion so many times,” the activist explained to Vogue.

The look was completed by a gold lamé dress with chain accents by designer Peter Dundas. “Reclaiming our culture is key—we need to show the world that we are still here, and that the land that everyone occupies is stolen Native land”, she said. The indigenous look has been making waves on Twitter since the gala night. 

The 19-year old model is of Hän Gwich’in ancestry on her mother’s side, and Sicangu and Oglala Lakota on her father’s side. Although based in Alaska, Chasinghorse was born and partially raised on the Navajo Nation in Arizona. The model and land protector paid tribute to her Navajo culture with her jewellery which was designed by Jocelyn Billy Upshaw, a former Miss Navajo Nation (’06). 

The model is outspoken on issues of Native erasure, environmentalism, domestic abuse and gendered violence. Recently, she did a photoshoot for an indigenous American-owned hat company called ThunderVoice Hat Co. 

Read Chasinghorse’s Instagram post on her traditional tattoos and their cultural significance.

Also read: MET GALA: This year’s best looks from fashion’s biggest soirée



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