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AOC's Met Gala Dress Has a Message

Congresswoman wore dress reading 'tax the rich' to Monday's high-society event
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2021 6:46 AM CDT
AOC's Dress Gets Political at Met Gala
A screen shot of AOC's "Tax the Rich" dress.   (YouTube/NBC New York)

(Newser) – The Met Gala red carpet was dotted with political messages, including from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Attending her first high-society Met Gala, where tickets reportedly cost $35,000, the New York congresswoman wore a floor-length white gown with the words "tax the rich" emblazoned on the back in red. "While the Met is known for its spectacle, we should have a conversation about it," said the Democrat, who was joined at Monday's event by dress designer Aurora James, founder of Brooklyn-based clothing company Brother Vellies.

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Ocasio-Cortez said she and James—founder of the 15 Percent Pledge, which asks major retailers to dedicate 15% of shelf space to Black-owned businesses—had discussed "what it means to be working-class women of color at the Met, and we said, 'We can't just play along, but we need to break the fourth wall and challenge some of the institutions,'" per NBC News. She added most conversations about taxation "are happening among working and middle class people," per Reuters. "I think it's time that we bring all classes into the conversation."

Another New York congresswoman, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, also made a political statement at the event, where the theme was "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion." She wore a dress decorated with the phrase "Equal Rights for Women" running from shoulder to floor, per USA Today. The Democrat also carried a handbag reading "ERA YES," in support of the Equal Rights Amendment. "As the Met Costume Institute reopens w/ their inaugural exhibit celebrating American designers, I am calling 4 the certification of the ERA so women can be equal once and for all," she tweeted.

Meanwhile, Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Versha Sharma carried a clutch reading, "Protect Roe; kill the filibuster." In an essay, she wrote that Texas' new law, allowing "a near-total ban on abortion," is "the most serious threat yet" to the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which gave women "the crucial right to make decisions about their own bodies, health, and futures." She added eliminating the filibuster, an "archaic Senate procedure that allows the minority party in the upper chamber of Congress to stall or stymie any progress on proposed legislation from the party in power," could help protect reproductive rights. (Read more Met Gala stories.)

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