For the second May in a row, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Met Gala will skip the red rug rollout and stars gracing the museum steps. But you can still expect to find some legendary looks at an”intimate gala” in September to kick off a two-part exhibit by the Met’s Costume Institute. This year, the display will touch on sociopolitical themes including body inclusivity and gender fluidity, according to organizers.
Here’s what things to understand about how”fashion’s biggest night out” is once again adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is your Met Gala?
The Met Gala is a fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. It’s organized by Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, and typically is timed to coincide with the opening of the museum’s yearly style exhibition. Many top Hollywood stars, style moguls and creatives flock to the event every year, which kicks off with a high profile red carpet arrival. Beyond Met Galas have given us iconic seems like Princess Diana’s 1996 navy Dior slide dress and Rihanna’s 2015 Guo Pei yellow gown having a huge rail .
Each year, attendees foundation their outfits around the exhibit’s theme. In 2019, for example, the Met Gala theme was”Camp: Notes on Fashion,” which surrounded the idea of”love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration,” Vogue reported. Guests dressed in everything from a chandelier to wings and feathers . In 2018, the subject was”Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” Invitees donned veils, capes and even nativity scene headpieces. Needless to say, the themes are very much open to interpretation.
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When will this year’s event take place and who’s chairing it?
The Costume Institute’s two-part display kicks off with”In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” opening Sept. 18 at the Anna Wintour Costume Center in the Met. This display will be laid out like a house, according to Vogue, with rooms named to reflect our relations with style, such as”Well-Being” for your kitchen galleries and”Aspiration” for your office. Themes such as joy, rebellion and nostalgia will be incorporated into each room. The porch, for example, will reveal heat and attribute coats from designers such as André Walker. The backyard will represent joy and feature the Oscar de la Renta floral apparel Taylor Swift wore to this year’s Grammys.
A gala marking the display’s opening will occur Sept. 13. It’ll be co-chaired by Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, Naomi Osaka and Timothée Chalamet. Though a smaller event, you may still expect to catch some epic ensembles (Eilish, for one, is no stranger to making a style statement). However, Vogue states ,”due to pandemic guidelines, the celebrity-studded red carpet will be a smaller affair than usual.”
Part two of the display, known as”In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” opens May 5, 2022. This will concentrate on style inclusivity and will happen in the period rooms of this museum’s American Wing. Each room will include cinematic scenes by American film directors who depict a different history of American fashion.
“Key themes will include the emergence of an identifiable American style and the rise of the named designer with an individual aesthetic vision,” Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, told Vogue.
There’ll be a second Met Gala on May 2, 2022, to observe the opening of this next portion of the display.
What’ll be the topic of the gala?
In addition to celebrating American designers, the gala’s theme will honor the cultural, political and social events that have happened during the pandemic.
“I think that the emphasis on conscious creativity was really consolidated during the pandemic and the social justice movements,” Bolton told Vogue. “And I’ve been really impressed by American designers’ responses to the social and political climate, especially about issues of human anatomy inclusivity and gender fluidity, and I’m simply finding their job very, very self-reflective. I truly do think that American style is experiencing a Renaissance.”
Over the past several years, designers like Kerby Jean-Raymond, Angela Luna and Victoria Beckham have raised awareness for issues like Black Lives Matter, the refugee crisis and AIDS on their runways. Following the police killing of George Floyd last year in Minneapolis, Marc Jacobs shared a series of Instagram posts denouncing racism and supporting Black Lives Matter. Meanwhile, Black designers like Aurora James have promoted support for Black-owned brands.
This is all taking place as more people call for change in the fashion industry, which they say has long failed to address racism. Last year, Beverly Johnson, the first Black model to be on the cover of Vogue in 1974, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post slamming both the fashion industry and the magazine, writing,”my race restricted me to substantially lower compensation than my white peers,” and that”the sector was slow to add other black people in different facets of the fashion and beauty sector.” This came shortly after Wintour reportedly wrote an email to Vogue staff acknowledging the magazine hasn’t adequately supported Black staffers and has featured images or stories that were “hurtful or intolerant.”
Who usually shows around the Met Gala?
Some of the world’s top actors have graced the Met’s red carpet, including Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Jared Leto, Lady Gaga, along with Harry Styles. Vogue says around 600 individuals attend the event every year.
The inventive , extravagant and occasionally outrageous ensembles donned with these celebrities are commonly dissected on social media and by different books. Outfits like Ezra Miller’s 2019 Met Gala look, where he carried a facial mask on a pole and had his own face painted with five optical-illusion eyeballs beside his actual eyes, often make headlines and become a point of conversation for fans and critics alike in the days — and sometimes years ahead.
How much does it cost to go?
If you’re an invited guest, you do not have to pay anything to attend. If you score an opportunity to buy tickets, get ready to fork over approximately $30,000, and another $275,000 for tables, based on Vogue. Pocket change, really.
What happened to the Met Gala last year?
With rising concerns within the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Met Gala was postponed indefinitely on March 16. This came a couple of days after the Metropolitan Museum of Art said it would temporarily shut to help curb the spread of the virus. In May, the museum announced that year’s gala was officially cancelled.