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Met Gala 2021 outfits remind me of video game heroes and villains

Did they choose Renegade or Paragon?

The annual Met Gala event took place last night as some of the world's most famous people gathered to celebrate fashion. This year's theme was "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion", which is wildly inaccurate since most of the attendees decided to dress as video game heroes and villains. Fashion brands like Balenciaga and Versace designed outfits that wouldn't be out of place on a JRPG antagonist or in a Platinum game. Let's look at which celebrities decided to take the Paragon route and dress as a hero and who decided to go full Renegade, dressing as a video game boss.

Lil Nas X went full-on JRPG final boss. His three different outfits mirror the three-phase boss battles of classic RPGs, like Final Fantasy VI's Kefka. His three-tiered outfit isn't the only way he pays homage to JRPGs of old. In countless JRPGs players go from fighting critters at the beginning of the game to killing God by the end. Lil Nas X's oversized, glimmering cape would perfectly fit any number of Final Fantasy bosses as they descend from the heavens to destroy your party. You've used every potion in your inventory and finally defeated Lil Nas X, or so you think as he sheds his cape, restores his health bar and reveals his golden Versace armour.

If we want to stay on this Final Fantasy train a while longer, artist Grimes donned a sword literally made out of an AR-15 assault rifle. Many have taken Grimes's sword as a political statement or a performance piece possibly commenting on the military industrial complex or a culture of violence since the official theme for the event was "In America". But I'm here to set the record straight, the gunblade that she's chosen to equip is an interpretation of some iconic Final Fantasy weapons. She's likely to be referencing Final Fantasy VIII's Lion Heart, or Lightning's awesome gunblade as seen in Final Fantasy XIII. Grimes's fashion references appear even more layered when you consider Final Fantasy XIII's history in the fashion industry.

Dan Levy could either be a hero or a villain but it depends what game he's in. If he wants to wear his outfit in a Pokémon game, he'll be relegated to Team Rocket's villainous operation, or at best, a rival gym leader. This is mainly due to his colourful outfit by Loewe – Levy would be a perfect part of Team Rocket's ensemble as they perform their 'Double Trouble' number.

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In any other game, Dan Levy would definitely be in the player's party, if not the main character. He has an outfit that absorbs attention like a gravity well, distracting from any other character's look. His different shades of blue probably means he can harness the power of water – useful against fire-type enemies.

Kim Kardashian's plain black Balenciaga outfit is an enigma, straddling the line between video game hero and villain. You'd assume any NPC dressed like Kim K would automatically be an enemy. Her all-black, faceless persona is certainly unsettling but if you ask me, she's just trying to protect her true identity as she does some vigilante work. Her dark outfit is used to sneak up on criminals in the dark, picking them off one by one with the wrath of a tortured superhero.

Some fans think she totally defies the hero/villain discourse. Kim appears to many as an unloaded texture – perhaps this is some kind of commentary on the difficulties of video game development. It's always nice to see celebrities champion important causes. She could also be mistaken for the placeholder silhouettes in fighting games, before you've unlocked a certain character. Maybe Kim Kardashian is just waiting to show us her true power.

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About the Author
Kaan Serin avatar

Kaan Serin


Kaan Serin has been floating around as a games media freelancer ever since graduating with an English/Film degree. He now spends his free time campaigning for Banjo-Kazooie’s return