Story at a glance
- New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) made a political statement with her first appearance at the 2021 Met Gala.
- Ocasio-Cortez donned a Brother Vellies white gown with a tulle hem and “tax the rich” emblazoned in red across the back.
- Her statement dress has received mixed reactions.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) made a political statement during her first appearance at the 2021 Met Gala, which has received mixed responses.
Ocasio-Cortez made her entrance in a Brother Vellies white gown with a tulle hem and “tax the rich” emblazoned in red across the backside.
A self-described democratic socialist, the congresswoman wore a statement in line with her repeated calls for higher taxes on the wealthy. However, her outfit garnered mixed reactions online.
“AOC said this was about how revolutionary it is that two working-class women of color like them are now able to attend the Met Gala and I think we should leave it at that,” journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote. “We need praxis to be courageous, not perfect.”
Some believed the statement dress was a good way to generate interest and research into tax policy.
— Batli (@batlijoselevitz) September 14, 2021
“sorry but i thought AOC’s dress was cool and kinda daring,” journalist Talia Lavin tweeted.
Others pointed out that the event itself costs about $30,000 per ticket.
Incredible how @AOC wore a “tax the rich” dress to an event that costs at least $30,000 to attend.
— Isabella Riley (@isabellarileyus) September 14, 2021
Some still support Ocasio-Cortez for her beliefs but took issue with the medium.
“I am a big admirer of the work of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in government and on the public stage, and think tonight looks, in the moment, like a weird misstep,” Variety TV critic Daniel D’Addario tweeted. “There’s changing the system from within, and then there’s…”
Aurora James, founder and creative director of Brother Vellies, defended the look and the message she believes it sends.
“We can never get too comfortable in our seats at the table once they’ve been given,” James told Vogue. “We must always continue to push ourselves, push our colleagues, push the culture, and push the country forward. Fashion is changing; America is changing. And as far as this theme goes, I think Alexandria and I are a great embodiment of the language fashion needs to consider adding to the general lexicon as we work towards a more sustainable, inclusive, and empowered future.”
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