Met Gala
Hillary Clinton attends The 2022 Met Gala, her first in 20 years, with a dress with hidden embroider...

The Hidden Embroidery In Hillary Clinton's Met Gala Dress Was Inspiring

This was her first Met Gala in 20 years.

by Ani Bundel
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The Met Gala may be one of fashion’s biggest nights, but that doesn’t keep affairs of the world off the red carpet. It's always a subtheme from 2021’s “Tax The Rich” dress on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to gowns with messages about the environment. For 2022, that was fulfilled by Hillary Clinton’s 2022 Met Gala dress as the politician made her “once every two decades appearance” at the annual event in a gown subtly embroidered with nods to all the women she admires.

Some of the biggest names in Washington, D.C. have made appearances at the Met Gala in the past. Clinton’s last appearance was at the 2001 Met Gala, a tribute to Jackie Kennedy’s time as First Lady. At that time, she wore something controversial, but in a very different way. (Leopard print. She wore leopard print.) But for Clinton’s return to the Met Gala in 2022, she made a more extensive statement, albeit in a less noticeable fashion.

At first glance, Hillary’s Altuzarra off-the-shoulder gown appears to be a safe choice, as she attended the event in a Bordeaux silk duchess satin gown with a demur collar. But looking closer, the red-on-red embroidery reveals a line of names — all women Clinton admires.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

In red carpet interviews, Clinton explained that the embroidery was done in Joseph Altuzarra’s handwriting and included 60 American women from all different spheres of influence that Clinton wanted to honor.

She rattled off some of the names that her gown honored. There were American historical figures from the country’s founding, like Sacagawea and Abigail Adams. Women who worked to change America for the better, like Harriet Tubman, were also included. In addition, there were more recent names like Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to run for President of the United States. Clinton also paid homage to the late Madeline Albright, the United States secretary of state from 1997 to 2001, and the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg, whose Notorious RBG status on the Supreme Court made her a legend.

However, not all the names on Clinton’s dress were from Washington, D.C. or famous figures from history books. Some of the names were less familiar, like Mary Oliver, the American poet who was the winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. These names were some of the women featured in Chelsea Clinton and Hilary Clinton’s The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience, which they published in 2019. While Clinton’s appearances at the Met Gala might be few and far in between, it’s clear she wanted to make a statement by calling out some of the women she most admires with this hidden detail.