- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to criticism online that her Met Gala dress and attendance were hypocritical.
- She wrote on Instagram that she was invited to the ball and that her dress was borrowed.
- Critics were upset that she appeared at an event that reportedly costs $30,000 a head wearing a designer gown.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended her decision to attend Monday night’s annual Met Gala after causing a stir on social media for appearing at the glitzy fashion event.
Critics zeroed in on the Democratic congresswoman’s white strapless dress, which had the words “tax the rich” emblazoned in bright red on the back. The message on the dress, they said, contradicted how much Ocasio-Cortez would have spent on a ticket to attend the ball — which reportedly costs $30,000 a head.
Ocasio-Cortez, an outspoken progressive, clarified her position and attendance in an Instagram post.
“The medium is the message,” she wrote.
“And yes, before anybody starts wilding out — NYC elected officials are regularly invited to and attend the Met due to our responsibilities in overseeing our city’s cultural institutions that serve the public. I was one of several in attendance,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
She also wrote that her dress was borrowed from Brooklyn-based brand Brother Vellies and praised the gown’s designer, Aurora James, for helping her “work together to kick open the doors at the Met.”
“The time is now for childcare, healthcare, and climate action for all. Tax the Rich,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez.
Many of those who disapproved of the look were from the GOP. Donald Trump Jr., for one, took to Twitter, where he described Ocasio-Cortez as a “fraud” for mingling with wealthy elites while wearing the dress.
—Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 14, 2021
Tina Forte, a Republican congressional candidate for New York, wrote on Twitter that she wanted an investigation launched into Ocasio-Cortez for receiving the Met ticket and designer dress.
—Tina Forte for Congress (NY-14) (@Tina4congress) September 14, 2021
Meanwhile, New York Times fashion director and critic Vanessa Friedman tweeted that the congresswoman’s appearance and gown were “a complicated proposition.”