While some defended the provocation, the Congressman's "Tax the Rich" dress acerbic from all political backgrounds.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York arrived at the Met Gala on Monday night wearing a Brother Vellies custom ivory wool jacket dress with an organza ruffle and the message "Tax the Rich " emblazoned in red on her back.
In video footage shot before her arrival, she can be seen walking towards the vehicle that brought her to the gala, a masked assistant holding the train of her dress as she smiled brightly and waved to her fans.
LCreators and corporate sponsors usually pay the full price of admission: $ 35,000 a ticket, or $ 200,000 to $ 300,000 per table - for gala guests, which typically include a quorum of Kardashians, celebs Hollywood and models. The star-studded event is often referred to as the Fashion Oscars.
Many New York City elected officials are also invited, as " museum guests "who do not pay to attend.
In any event, the presence - and dress - of Representative Ocasio- Cortez provided easy fodder for his most trusted critics. On Twitter, Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of the former president, called her a fraud for sending a message about the taxation of the rich "while hanging out with a group of 'rich left elites ".
Representative Jim Banks, Republicain from Indiana, tweeted that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is the "gift that keeps on giving ".
But more surprising than the judgments by At the heart of her political opponents was the criticism Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, drew from the left - a chorus of dissatisfaction from progressives and self-proclaimed socialists disappointed with a move they called a cartoonish progressive cause. and stressed their feeling that she is not maximizing her ability to fight for congressional workers.
Briahna Gray, the former press secretary National Senator Bernie Sanders' 2020 Campaign and podcast co-host "Bad Faith " said Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is "subject to a single standard exactly because people expect more of her " . She said part of the gradual backlash for the dress resulted from a more general disappointment with some of her stance.s policies.
"People are disappointed with his behavior outside of this context, and this seems to reflect a lack of commitment that has been shown in a purely political context, ”Ms. Gray said.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was first invited to the Met Ball in 2019, the year after her victory over former Rep Joe Crowley - the biggest upset for a Democratic incumbent in more than a decade. She did not attend and the following year's gala was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year Ms. Ocasio-Cortez sat at the table of Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and Artistic Director of Conde Nast, who is the longtime co-host of the gala.
Some supporters had a simple negative gut reaction to his decision to attend. "The Met Gala is aevent shunned by sincere socialists ", writes John Ganz, a Gawker.com columnist who described himself as a supporter who at other times considered Ms. Ocasio-Cortez as a "ray of hope.
Danny Haiphong, a socialist activist and writer, said what offended him was not the dissonance of a self-proclaimed democratic socialist dating the elite, but that "AOC and the team are not leveraging her huge base of support to demand the very thing she put on her dress." be a steadfast defender of progressive causes. It was the only Democrat to oppose the AIDS relief program$ 484 billion oronavirus last year, claiming it found it too generous to corporations without providing enough help to working class people.
Next to Mr. Sanders, she lobbied for triple the amount of money proposed by President Biden to improve the country's aging public housing system .
Recently, she joined the marathon protests on the Capitol steps against the expiration of a federal moratorium on evictions in the 'time of the pandemic that neither the White House nor Congress had acted to stop until then.
"She is generally happy to spark people's enthusiasm for a different view of America, "said Faiz Shakir, director of Mr. Sanders 's 2020 presidential campaign. "There is an art in there: politics is theater. Looking for ways to liven it up. "
Indeed, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez used the " Tax the Rich "before , on campaign articles, which Republicans have criticized in the past.
But a group of activists further to the left tried to push the party further and became increasingly critical of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.
Some had demanded that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and others withhold their votes for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, unless she agrees to put the Medicare for All bill to a floor vote. They also urged Ms Ocasio-Cortez to use her position to force a vote on a minimum wage of $ 15 and to formulate sharper criticisms of the Biden administration for pushing back requests a global cancellation of student debt .
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is seen as a supposed stranger to Congress, Ms. Gray said, but "doesn't really do the kinds of things that might actually attract the real reactions and difficulties that some people expected." do it, given the way she presented herself. "The image of her " socializing with these people "on Monday night angered some on the left, she said.
The slogan over dress was also an issue, according to Ms Gray - not because it was too radical but because it was too innocuous; Reuters / Ipso poll findss of 2020, a majority of American voters support a wealth tax for the very rich .
" If she had chosen to highlight a message that was not already so widely received, then her act would have been considered more subversive, as opposed to a pageantry comparable to the "Peg the Patriarchy shirt. "by Cara Delevingne " Ms Gray said - another Met Gala outfit that caught the eye for the message she wore.
Other New York politicians were at the gala this year, including Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who represents Manhattan's former Silk Stocking neighborhood, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has hisute the ball for years before breaking his streak of absences on Monday evening, in the last months of his town hall.
"This n 'is not my cup of tea "said de Blasio during an appearance in NY1 nce in 2019 when asked about his absence. “It's an elite gathering, I'm not an elite guy. This is really - let's simplify it, it just isn't my thing. It's the kind of place the elite go and like to be together, and I take a different approach.
Among Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's supporters was Maya Wiley, the former New York mayoral candidate whose campaign Ms. Ocasio-Cortez supported earlier this year. Ms Wiley said the Met Gala is part of the fabric of New York City, and identifying as a Democratic Socialist does not mean hating or avoiding the rich who show up.
"NWe turn everything into a purity contest, ”Ms. Wiley said. “Politics shouldn't be about purity. She did the right thing by not avoiding it, saying it's part of who we are, and let's have a conversation that includes the Met Gala. "
" Enter a space devoted to art, fashion, luxury and wealth and say: "Here is the conversation we need face it, but I'll face it in the vernacular of the event, is awesome, ”Ms. Wiley said.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez may have managed to highlight a problem at the heart of what Democrats are asking for in the reconciliation bill they are trying to push through by the end of the month. Most importantly, the dress served as Rorschach's last test on Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, and whether she is seen as fighting for the people or aligning with the elites.
" I don 't want to "said Sumathy Kumar, president of the New York City Democratic Socialist Association." Faced with this question:' Do I go to this event and 'use as an opportunity to broadcast the message, or am I boycotting it? "she usually chooses to broadcast this message.
Ms. Kumar added, "Whether you agree with a tactic or not, more and more people are talking about taxes on the rich and at least this conversation is taking place. We'll take what we can get.
On Tuesday Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who declined to comment for this article, defended herself against criticism in a long Instagram post. "Me and my body has been so heavily and relentlessly monitored politically from all sides since I won my election "she wrote.
Ultimately, she said, "We all had a conversation about taxing the wealthy in front of the same people who lobby against it, and pierced the 4th wall of excess and spectacle. In a follow-up fundraising email, she asked supporters to buy their own "Tax the Rich " outfit. A t-shirt costs $ 27 and a hoodie costs $ 58.