Getting Ready With

Quannah Chasinghorse Wants To Be A Safe Space For Met Gala First-Timers

“I know that if I had someone I could go to ... I would've felt a lot more like I belonged.”

Over the weekend culminating with May 6’s Met Gala, you might’ve seen celebrities and fashion people of all sorts going for facials from Joanna Czech or Sophie Carbonari — but for Quannah Chasinghorse, a pre-glam steam at the spa at The Carlyle holds a different meaning. “It was a great way to start the day and kind of reset,” the 21-year-old model and actress tells NYLON. “And for Native Americans, we have sweat ceremony, so it was just my alternative to realigning myself before I have a big day. My auntie and my mom are with me, so it was really grounding to have them with me.”

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

“It was such a delight to partner with Quannah on her Met Gala gown,” adds Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor and head of womenswear design for H&M. “The dramatic silhouette, periwinkle color, and lavish fabric were inspired from archival H&M garments from the 1940s and 1950s, as well as the natural world, per this year’s theme. Quannah looked absolutely stunning, and I loved how she styled the dress.”

Below, come along as NYLON gets ready with Chasinghorse with chicken tenders, Cassie, and some reflection on being a shoulder to lean on for Met Gala first-timers.

Describe the getting-ready process.


We started hair and makeup at about 1 p.m., but I got to do a gloss treatment, so we started that at 12 p.m. for my hair. We've got [my hairstylist and makeup artist] Katey [Denno] and Paula [Peralta] with us today. They both did my look last year, so getting to have them with me this year is awesome.

I just can't do coffee, so I've been drinking a lot of tea. I had a great breakfast, though. I had a little bit of French toast, eggs Benedict, some fruit. And then before glam came over, we went down to the spa, and I steamed. Then we came back up and started hair and makeup. I had some chicken tenders, some fries, some chips. I’m trying to eat good today so I'm not starving on the carpet.

What are you listening to?


It's kind of all over the place — I've just had it on shuffle. I've got some Ariana Grande going, I've got some 070 Shake, I've got some Doja Cat. I've even got some oldies but goodies — they're not old, but they're from the 2000s. We've got Nelly Furtado, some Cassie.

What’s the inspiration behind your H&M look?


We collaborated, and I decided to do the forget-me-not, which is the Alaska state flower. When they come through the snow, they're tiny, tiny flowers. They're sometimes hard to find, so when you see them, you know summertime is coming. And they have this really pretty periwinkle color that has a shimmery iridescence to it at different angles. And so I wanted to play into the colors and do a look that has the iridescence of the pinks, the purples, and the blues.

How would you describe your hair and makeup?


The look is very ethereal in a way, whereas the hair is going to be the edgier part to the look. But the makeup is very ethereal, very glowy, shiny, glimmering. That kind of matches the jewelry in a subtle way, but it's very editorial. [Editor’s note: Chasinghorse’s hair was styled with Paul Mitchell products, while her makeup was done with Half Magic Beauty and Live Tinted products.]

How do you feel wearing the dress?


Oh, I love it. What's really cool is it's actually really, 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 bring a little bit of an edginess to my looks, but this one is going to be more on the femme side, so I'm really excited.

You've spoken in the past about how attending the Met Gala is important for representation. How has that message changed for you this year?

I'm really excited to see Lily Gladstone going this year and to see how she is adorned, because I know she's probably going to come through with some amazing Native artistry as well. My first year going, I did this article explaining that when you're in those 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've come so far from that. And the fact that I'm going for my fourth time, it's an honor and it's a blessing that I keep getting invited back to these spaces.

I've actually talked to quite a few people who have told me it's their first year going. You get the nerves, but it's really nice to be able to be almost like a safe space for someone. It's really cool to have a bit more experience in those spaces ... I know that if I had someone I could go to, just how these people are coming to me, I would've felt a lot more relaxed and a lot more like I belonged.

What do you have planned for after the Met Gala?


I might pop out to some after-parties. My first year, I just went back to my room — I was just so overwhelmed but in a good way. I was like, “Wow, I just went to the Met,” so I needed that night to just embrace that feeling. And my mom and my auntie were there, so it felt really good to be in community with them and share my experience. My second year, I went to one after-party, and it was really fun. Last year, though, I was so wiped I just stayed in my room. But this year, I'm going to try to go out and enjoy the after-parties.