The famous red carpet will be rolled out once again for this year’s Met Gala. After being postponed last year—for the first time in 18 years—fashion’s biggest night is ready to make a comeback. 

The First Monday in May

For decades, the Met Gala has invited high-profile celebrities and public figures to come together for one night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The invite-only event is held in order to benefit the museum‘s Costume Institute. But what is now a night filled with celebrities, wasn’t always the case. First starting as supper to benefit for the Costume Institute in 1948, the Met Gala slowly evolved closer to the glamorous night we know today. It wasn’t until 1995 that Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, began to overlook the event. She famously cemented the annual date to the first Monday in May.

This Year’s Theme

The last Met Gala held, brought Camp fashion to the red carpet. Hollywood’s biggest names wore out all sorts of abstract clothing—some even going as far as bringing decapitated heads as accessories. Vogue announced that the Met Gala would be a two-part exhibition on American Fashion for this year and 2022. The theme for part one of the exhibition will be “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, tells Vogue he wanted the shows to be collection-focused exhibitions. “The main one was the fact that the American fashion community has been supporting us for 75 years, really since the beginning of the Costume Institute, so I wanted to acknowledge its support, and also to celebrate and reflect upon American fashion,” he said. 

Bolton states that now is the best time to showcase these themes, as recent sociopolitical events have inspired creatives to be more inclusive in fashion. “I’ve been really impressed by American designers’ responses to the social and political climate, particularly around issues of body inclusivity and gender fluidity, and I’m just finding their work very, very self-reflective. I really do believe that American fashion is undergoing a Renaissance,” he said, “I think young designers, in particular, are at the vanguard of discussions about diversity and inclusion, as well as sustainability and transparency, much more so than their European counterparts, maybe with the exception of the English designers.”

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this year’s theme will “illustrate a shifting emphasis in American fashion defined by feelings of fear, delight, comfort, anxiety, well-being, loneliness, happiness, belonging, self-reflection, and self-representation among other qualities.”

When Will the Met Gala be Happening?

Since 2005, the Met Gala has been held the first Monday in May. This year, there’s been a change of plans. Vogue announced the first part will be held on September 18, 2021, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The event will return in less than a year from then, in May 2022, for the second part of the exhibition, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.” According to the Met, the gala will be “more intimate” than the others.  

Who Can We Expect to Attend

The invite list to the Met Gala ranges from different celebrities every year, however, there are always a few familiar faces seen every year. According to LA Mag, “the list is all handled by Wintour and a large Vogue team, with the help of New York major fashion event/pr company KCD.” Between the three, they are able to determine who to invite and in what order they will arrive on the carpet. “The red carpet is only an hour-long—you have to stagger arrivals. The most important star is always the last: Rihanna, Beyoncé, Madonna. Anna likes to mix the models, the stars, and the designers up, so you don’t have one block of the same type of people arriving together,” LA Mag reports.

In recent years, most of the Kardashian-Jenner family have attended the Met Gala, so it’s likely one or more of the sisters will attend in September. Beyoncé and Jay-Z may have skipped out on the last Met Gala, but Beyoncé has attended the event since 2008, so there’s a high chance the Carters may show up. Harry Styles attended his first Met Gala in 2019 and has made his mark in fashion—and given his success, it can be assumed he will be invited back. Sarah Jessica Parker, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Irina Shayk, and Donatella Versace, are among others who usually make an appearance at the event. 

This year’s host is rumored to be poet, Amanda Gorman, who read “The Hill We Climb” at the 2021 presidential inauguration.

What Will They Be Wearing?

The theme, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” invites attendees to explore fashion in America. According to Vogue, “the brands on display will include Pyer Moss, LaQuan Smith, Oscar de la Renta, Prabal Gurung, Andre Walker, and Ralph Lauren, among others.” Those invited will most likely wear some of the designers named.

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