Kim Kardashian returned to the Met Gala red carpet in a covered up, edgy look

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Kim Kardashian West made a grand entrance at the 2021 Met Gala — without even showing her face!

While Kardashian West, 41, is known for baring it all on the carpet, this year, she arrived at the star-studded event in a black Balenciaga look that covered up her entire body.

The Keeping Up with the Kardashians alum wore a custom ensemble, featuring a long-sleeve turtleneck bodysuit worn under an oversize T-shirt dress with long pleated train. The edgy outfit was complete with jersey boots, jersey gloves and a mask that covered her face and head.

MET Gala 2021 Kim Kardashian
Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty

While some fans thought she arrived to the carpet with her ex-husband Kanye West, she walked the grand staircase with Demna Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga, also covered from head to toe in a black hoodie and sweatpants.

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"Even though Kanye is not attending tonight, his presence will be felt on the carpet," a source tells PEOPLE. "It was Kanye who introduced Kim to Demna and was instrumental in the newly formed relationship between her and Balenciaga."

The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion
Credit: Getty

He also supported his ex-wife in embracing her new approach to dressing. "This look on Kim is like a new subculture and fashion statement," the source adds. "No logo, no face, but everyone knows it's her. Kanye gave her the courage to push creativity and people's imagination through art. It's the ultimate confidence."

kim Kardashian
Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty

While Kardashian West didn't show her face, her makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic was still on-hand for glam anyways. He showed off the products he used on the star on Instagram. Her go-to hairstylist Chris Appleton was also around and slicked back her hair into a sleek high ponytail, which extended out of her head covering.

Kardashian West has been teasing her Met Gala look ahead of the event. When she arrived in New York City this weekend, she stepped out in a head-turning leather look that also completely covered her face — and left fans shocked.

Be sure to check out all of PEOPLE's Met Gala coverage to get the latest news on fashion's biggest night.

She posted some photos of the outfit and simply captioned them with a knife emoji.

She wore a similar stretchy all-black Balenciaga catsuit and full face mask to one of West's Donda listening parties last month.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art confirmed the gala would be back in two parts after the 2020 Met Gala was indefinitely postponed — and ultimately canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's exhibition will include a series of events celebrating American fashion. Part one, titled In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, will debut on September 18, 2021 and run through September 5, 2022 to "celebrate The Costume Institute's 75th anniversary and explore a modern vocabulary of American fashion," the release stated.

Part two, In America: An Anthology of Fashion, will open on May 5, 2022 and "will explore the development of American fashion by presenting narratives that relate to the complex and layered histories of those spaces." It will also close on September 5, 2022.

To maintain safety amid the rising Delta variant COVID-19 cases, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Vogue are enforcing a vaccination mandate and mask requirement. "Currently, all attendees at The Met Gala on September 13 must provide proof of full vaccination and will also be expected to wear masks indoors except when eating or drinking," a spokesperson for The Met confirmed to PEOPLE. "We will update these guidelines as needed."

Kardashian West has attended the Met Gala every year since 2013, when she joined as West's plus-one while pregnant with their first child, North West. At the time, the red carpet invite felt like a major moment for the reality star. "Kanye [West] was performing so I wasn't actually invited, I was just Kanye's plus one. And that was okay with me because I never really dreamed I would be at the Met Ball," she said in a Vogue video. "I know no one really probably wanted me there at the time.

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Kim Kardashian's memorable Met Gala moments through the years. From left: wearing Balmain in 2016, Roberto Cavalli in 2015, Lanvin in 2014 and Givenchy in 2013.
| Credit: Getty; Startraks; WireImage; Getty

By the next year, Kardashian West officially scored her own invite to the famous Met Ball — and the rest is history.

Despite filing for divorce from West seven months ago, sources recently told PEOPLE that the aspiring lawyer has no plans to legally change her last name. "All the kids have the last name West, so Kim is keeping it as is. Kanye hasn't asked her to change it either," the insider said.

The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion - Arrivals
Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West
| Credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage

The former couple has worked to maintain a positive and supportive co-parenting relationship post-divorce. Notably, Kardashian West supported her ex-husband's work, bringing their four children to the first two listening parties for West's album, Donda. During West's controversial third listening party in Chicago, Kardashian West shocked fans when the exes seemingly recreated their wedding.  

As traditional wedding music played throughout Chicago's Soldier Field stadium, a figure entered in the short-sleeved white ballgown, with her face obscured by the long white veil. Fans immediately speculated that it might be Kardashian West inside the ensemble; it was later confirmed that she did participate in the finale while wearing the Balenciaga Haute Couture wedding gown.

Khloe Kardashian Instagram
Credit: Khloe Kardashian Instagram

However, Kardashian West has no desire to rekindle their romance.

"It's always been important to Kim to have a good relationship with Kanye. They are not getting back together though. For a long time, Kanye was very upset and disappointed that Kim filed for divorce. She understood why and gave him space," the source said adding that they are now "able to make amicable decisions that benefit the kids."

Kardashian West and the rapper, 43, share four children: daughters North, 8, and Chicago, 3, and sons Saint, 5, and Psalm, 2.

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