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Quannah Chasinghorse prepares for the 2024 Met Gala

Over the weekend culminating with the Met Gala on May 6, you may have seen celebrities and fashion people of all kinds getting treatments from Joanna Czech or Sophie Carbonari — but for Quannah Chasinghorse, a bath of Pre-glam steam at the Carlyle spa organizes a different meaning. “It was a great way to start the day and reset,” the 21-year-old model and actress told NYLON. “And for Native Americans, we do a sweat ceremony, so that was just my alternative to realigning before a big day.” My aunt and my mother are with me, so it was really rewarding to have them with me.

Although this is Chasinghorse’s fourth Met Ball, her excitement about pairing a custom H&M look with accessories by Native American artist Heather Dixon comes through over the phone as she describes how the shape of the dress nods to the forget-me-not, the state flower of Alaska. “It’s a way of paying homage to where I come from,” Chasinghorse says. “And if you look from the top and even the sides (of the dress), they kind of mimic petals, and the way the shoulders stick out, it looks like a blooming flower.”

“It was such a pleasure to collaborate with Quannah on her Met Gala dress,” adds Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor and head of womenswear design at H&M. “The dramatic silhouette, periwinkle color and sumptuous fabric were inspired by archive H&M clothing from the 1940s and 1950s, as well as the natural world, in keeping with this year’s theme. Quannah looked absolutely stunning and I loved the way she styled the dress.

Below, follow NYLON get ready with Chasinghorse with chicken offerings, Cassie, and some thoughts on being a shoulder to lean on for Met Gala newbies.

Describe the preparation process.

We started hair and makeup around 1 p.m., but I had to do a gloss treatment, so we started at 12 p.m. for my hair. We have (my hair and makeup artist) Katie and Paula with us today. They both did my look last year, so being able to have them with me this year is awesome.

I just can’t have coffee, so I drink a lot of tea. However, I had an excellent breakfast. I ate some French toast, eggs Benedict, some fruit. And then before the glamor happened, we went to the spa and I smoked. Then we came back and started on hair and makeup. I ate chicken fillets, fries, chips. I’m trying to eat well today so I don’t starve on the mat.

What are you listening to?

It’s all over the place – I just put it on shuffle. I have Ariana Grande, 070 Shake, Doja Cat. I even have a few oldies: they’re not old, but they’re from the 2000s. We have Nelly Furtado, a certain Cassie.

What is the inspiration behind your H&M look?

We collaborated and I decided to do the forget-me-not, which is the state flower of Alaska. When they break through the snow, they are very small flowers. They’re sometimes hard to find, so when you see them, you know summer is coming. And they have this really pretty periwinkle color that has a shimmery iridescence at different angles. And so I wanted to play with colors and create a look that had the iridescence of pinks, purples and blues.

How would you describe your hair and makeup?

The look is very ethereal in a way, while the hair will be the boldest part of the look. But the makeup is very ethereal, very glowy, shiny, sparkling. It kind of matches the jewelry in a subtle way, but it’s very editorial.

How do you feel wearing the dress?

Oh I love it. What’s really cool is that it’s actually really heavy, but because it fits so well and hugs my body, it’s not heavy because it’s secured with the corset. I love it because it’s so bold and big, and it’s very different from what I usually wear. I’m bringing a little bit of edginess to my look, but it’s going to be more feminine, so I’m really excited.

You’ve spoken before about how important attending the Met Gala was for representation. How has this message changed for you this year?

I’m really looking forward to seeing Lily Gladstone take part this year and seeing how she’s adorned, as I know she’s probably going to show off some amazing indigenous artistry too. My first year, I wrote this article explaining that when you’re in these spaces and you don’t see anyone who looks like you, you’re just kind of alone and you don’t feel like you belong. And we are so far from it. And the fact that I’m participating for the fourth time, it’s an honor and it’s a blessing that I continue to be invited back into these spaces.

In fact, I’ve talked to quite a few people who have told me it’s their first year. We’re nervous, but it’s really nice to be able to almost be like a safe space for someone. It’s really cool to have a little more experience in these spaces… I know that if I could have spoken to someone, given the way these people come to me, I would would have felt much more relaxed and much more like I belonged.

What do you have planned after the Met Gala?

I could attend after-parties. My first year I just went back to my room – I was so overwhelmed but in a good way. I was like, “Wow, I just went to the Met,” so I needed that night to embrace that feeling. And my mom and my aunt were there, so it felt really good to be in community with them and share my experience. My sophomore year I went to an after-party and it was really fun. Last year, however, I was so wiped out that I stayed in my room. But this year I’m going to try to go out and enjoy the after-parties.