The beauty of the annual Met Gala is that its red carpet is largely without rules, encouraging entertainment's most fashionable figures to challenge themselves (and others), by arriving in fresh, forward-thinking looks. Jaden Smith, one of last night's best-dressed, found a way to work within the framework of classic eveningwear silhouettes, while also challenging the confines of gendered clothing and proudly gripping a symbol of his Blackness for the media to help instantly make iconic.
Having previously been the face of Louis Vuitton womenswear, the 18-year-old maverick appropriately wore an all-black-everything Louis Vuitton look pulled from the brand's fall '17 womenswear collection--proof, for the umpteenth time, that style should never be designed for the binary, but instead for the individual body. Of course, Smith is not the sole pioneer of shattering these stagnant norms, but he's certainly become a visible vehicle for awakening the masses who value his famous, and thus credible, opinion.
Smith's choice of footwear was also a sly, powerful decision, especially when wide-reaching cultural compasses, such as Vogue, are still stuck on heels being the marker of a woman's shoe. "Man heel" is what his square-toed ankle boots were lazily labeled by the publication, further solidifying the social importance of Smith's selection last night. We don't see a "man heel," but a pair of stunning, sophisticated heels--just heels--forever etched into our envious brain, as we sit here salivating and looking at our shoes today with distaste.
But the accessory everyone's justly freaking out over most is Smith's own bleach-blond dreadlocks, which he held bundled in his hand as if it were a trophy. The actor recently shaved his head for an upcoming movie role, but thankfully didn't leave the dreads at home. While he told a reporter they were his date in replace of Willow, who couldn't attend the Gala, Smith's dreads became an important, visible emblem for his African American heritage--significant in a country that's painfully divided under the Trump administration and still plagued by inexcusable racial inequality.