Behind the Scenes: Sarah Jessica Parker’s Met Gala Dress Is Inspired by Iconic Black Designer Elizabeth Keckley

For this year’s Met Gala, the dress code was white tie, “Gilded Glamour.” Let’s expand on this a bit: fashion in America in the Gilded Age was known for top hats, corsets and colorful crowds. With that in mind, you can understand our audible breathing as Sarah Jessica Parker entered the building wearing a Christopher John Rogers dress that represented just that.

Not only is her understanding of the theme fully realized, complete with Swarovski crystal buttons and a custom headdress by Philip Treacy, but the real beauty behind the look is the overt affection of African American couturier Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley.

Photo: Getty

Elizabeth Hobbs was a successful late 19th century seamstress who regularly called on first ladies Varina Davis and Mary Todd Lincoln. She was born in Virginia during slavery, and later bought her freedom with her exceptional skills as a seamstress and dressmaker. She then moved to Washington, D.C., where her legacy will continue to thrive.

Keckley rose to prominence in the fashion world by sewing and tailoring for prominent women of the time. She was an author, and activist in her own right addition to being a dressmaker. Many designers, past, present, and future, have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Keckley.

Getty Images

A fascinating look at what golden glamor means from a different angle. SJP deserves credit for creating such a cult fashion moment and for using it to highlight black talent and illuminate black history! What a class act.

What are your thoughts?