Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Met Gala Dress Had a Stark Message

"This woman has more balls than any man in Congress," one fan said of the look.

new york, new york september 13 alexandria ocasio cortez attends the 2021 met gala celebrating in america a lexicon of fashion at metropolitan museum of art on september 13, 2021 in new york city photo by kevin mazurmg21getty images for the met museumvogue
(Image credit: Mike Coppola)

It's the first Met Gala for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), and the representative absolutely did not waste her moment. She's in a white Brother Vellies dress (with matching Brother Vellies shoes), according to Vogue, with the back reading in bright red lettering, "Tax the rich." It's very much in line with her policies and also an impressively impactful statement, given the visibility of the event. Her bag repeats the messaging, just in case we missed it the first time. I love her.

Fans on Twitter also loved it and were impressed—particularly that she chose the high fashion, star-studded event to do it: "AOC wearing this dress at an event full of rich people ... this woman has more balls than any man in Congress." And "AOC wearing a Tax the Rich dress at the #MetGala with Kris Jenner over her shoulder wow icon." According to Andrea González-Ramírez, there's another, more subtle message in her look: She's also wearing a flor de maga (the national flower of Puerto Rico). AOC has advocated for Puerto Rico in the past, including civil rights and disaster relief.

AOC walked with Aurora James, who started the 15 Percent Pledge (to bring 15 percent or more of Black-owned businesses to major brands like Target) and is founder of Brother Vellies. In James' own words:

“We can never get too comfortable in our seats at the table once they’ve been given ... We must always continue to push ourselves, push our colleagues, push the culture and push the country forward. Fashion is changing, America is changing. And as far as this theme goes, I think Alexandria and I are a great embodiment of the language fashion needs to consider adding to the general lexicon as we work towards a more sustainable, inclusive, and empowered future.”

Here's the full picture of the gown:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

(Image credit: John Shearer / Getty Images)

And another angle:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/MG21 / Getty Images)

And the front (so deceptively simple!!):

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/MG21 / Getty Images)

Here's a picture of it in motion:

See more

Gorgeous. And meaningful!

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Met Gala 2021

(Image credit: (C)Kevin Mazur / Getty Images)

Met Gala 2021

(Image credit: Mike Coppola / Getty Images)
Katherine J. Igoe

Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.