MET Gala 2021: Simone Biles wears 40kg dress, took 100 people to make in 6,650 hours

US gymnastic star Simone Biles has been an icon in Olympic stage and showed her glamourous side at the MET Gala 2021 in New York on Monday (September 13) night. After hogging the limelight in Tokyo Olympics by raising the issue to depression among top athletes, Biles looked stunning on the red carpet at MET Gala in a dress designed by Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk of Area, the three-in-one outfit consists of a hand-embellished skirt covered in Swarovski crystals and weighing around 40kgs, a mini dress underneath and a glittering black catsuit decorated to look like a starry night’s sky.

It was a striking debut for the superstar gymnast, Area and Athleta, all of whom are attending the event for the first time to celebrate the new exhibit “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.”

Biles, a brand partner of Athleta, was attending as their guest. Working with stylist Leslie Fremar, Athleta came to Area to create an ensemble for Biles, fresh off the Tokyo Olympics.

“Okay, you have your active brand, you have an athlete, and you have a hyper glamorous brand from New York. Where do we all intersect? What’s the common ground? And one word was performance,” Panszczyk was quoted as saying by Vogue.

The inspiration for the look ended up being showgirls, particularly Josephine Baker. The skirt and dress are covered with crystals arranged to look like ostrich plumes.

Assembling the look was no easy feat. Over 100 people worked for 6,650 hours to embellish and craft the three garments, which were finished ‘around 4 am’ on Sunday, according to Panszczyk. The skirt, though it’s heavy, is actually padded, giving it a more similar feel to a weighted blanket than so much crystal-covered armor.

Fogg and Panszczyk wanted Biles to be comfortable, so she can detach the skirt and remove the mini dress as the night goes on and she wants to be more free to dance and move around.

Last month, the six-time Olympic medallist Biles decided she will not participate in the floor final, confirmed USA Gymnastics. “Simone has withdrawn from the event final for floor and will make a decision on beam later this week. Either way, we’re all behind you, Simone,” USA Gymnastics tweeted.

Jennifer Gadirova of Great Britain will replace her in the floor finals. Earlier on Saturday, USA Gymnastics announced that Biles will also not participate in Sunday’s vault or uneven bars apparatus finals. “Today, after further consultation with medical staff, Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from the event finals for vault and the uneven bars. She will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor exercise and balance beam,” read a statement from the US governing body.

“We remain in awe of Simone, who continues to handle this situation with courage and grace, and all of the athletes who have stepped up during these unexpected circumstances.”

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Sagar Biswas

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