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How Sarah Jessica Parker’s Met Gala Gown Honored Black American History

History was told on the 2022 Met Gala red carpet, and the best dressed celebrities carried the message. Among them, Sarah Jessica Parker left her mark in a striking Christopher John Rogers gown. The “And Just Like That” star wore a Victorian-inspired, off-the-shoulder frock with a sweetheart-neckline corset and a pleated ballroom skirt in charcoal shades.

Her ivory silk faille and silk moiré design recalled a “three-piece cape and gown ensemble” the late Mary Todd Lincoln wore circa 1862, a look that’s been credited to an unsung Black seamstress, Elizabeth Keckley. Keckley was born into slavery in 1818, and her dressmaking skills helped her purchase her freedom in 1855. She went on to launch one of the most successful clothing businesses in Washington DC. Braving the long history of racism in the United States, Keckley became the first Black designer to be engaged by the White House. While few, if any, of her creations have been preserved, they were known for their impeccable tailoring and sophisticated design. Parker shared this untold chapter of history at the Met Gala, choosing a Black designer to orchestrate this spectacular moment. She took things up a notch with a dramatic feathered headpiece designed by Philip Treacy, another classic element of Gilded Age fashion.

The “Sex and the City” actress brought style and substance to the event, similar to Gabrielle Union, who paid tribute to the Black and brown people whose labor generated the wealth of the Gilded Age. “When you think about the Gilded Age and Black and brown people in this country, this country is built off of our backs, our blood, sweat, and tears,” Union said in a live interview with Vogue. The 49-year-old star accessorized her Atelier Versace dress with a fringe red crystal hair tie to “represent the blood spilled during the accumulation of gross wealth by a few during the Gilded Age.”

Appreciate Parker’s historic Met gala appearance ahead.

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