The First Monday in May is a holiday in the fashion world. Outside of awards season, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute Gala (also known as the Met Gala) is the most star-studded celebrity event of the year. In 2020, the event, like pretty much everything else in 2020, was canceled because of COVID-19.
In 2021, it has been postponed to September—but on the first Monday in May, Vogue made a big announcement: Its 2021 Met Gala co-chairs are Billie Eilish, Timothée Chalamet, Naomi Osaka, and Amanda Gorman.
Yes, with the vaccine rollout underway, this year’s Met Gala is officially on. Here’s all we know so far.
The 2021 Met Gala will happen on September 13.
In a normal, non-pandemic year, the Met Gala, which is a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, would have taken place on May 3 (the first Monday in May 2021), but this year is not normal. The museum will host its famous gala on Monday, September 13, 2021, pending government guidance. The Met confirmed the date days after Page Six first reported it, so it’s official.
Why not the first Monday of September? Well, that day happens to be Monday, September 6, which is Labor Day, a holiday. And with the vaccine rollout well underway, a September date should give guests enough time to get vaccinated and to reduce the risks attached to group gathering right now amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
There aren’t a ton of details available about the safety measures that will be put in place at the event, but those should come out in the months ahead.
The theme for the 2021 and 2022 Met Galas will honor American Fashion.
The theme for the next two Met Galas has seemingly been set, and they’ll be honoring American fashion. The Met has a two-part American Fashion exhibit upcoming.
Part One, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” will debut in September. It will honor the Costume Institute’s 75th anniversary and explore modern American Fashion. In 2022, Part Two, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” will showcase American fashion development.
Andrew Bolton, the curator in charge of the Costume Institute, said in a statement, “Over the past year, because of the pandemic, the connections to our homes have become more emotional, as have those to our clothes. For American fashion, this has meant an increased emphasis on sentiment over practicality.”
“Responding to this shift, Part One of the exhibition will establish a modern vocabulary of American fashion based on the expressive qualities of clothing as well as deeper associations with issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Part Two will further investigate the evolving language of American fashion through a series of collaborations with American film directors who will visualize the unfinished stories inherent in The Met’s period rooms.”
Recent past themes for the event have included “Camp: Notes on Fashion” (2019), “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” (2018), and “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between (2017). And don’t forget 2016, when Zayn Malik wore robot-arms to Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.
The 2021 Met Gala will be much more “intimate” than past years.
The Institute announced that this year’s gala would be more “intimate” compared to past events—presumably due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The exhibit the gala is celebrating will feature “designs by pioneers of American sportswear” that will be “displayed alongside works by a diverse group of contemporary designers.” Imagine how that translates to red carpet fashion.
The In America: A Lexicon of Fashion exhibit 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,” according to the Institute’s statement.
The Institution has not released details yet on how many people are coming to the September event.
The Met Gala’s co-chairs are Billie Eilish, Timothée Chalamet, Naomi Osaka, and Amanda Gorman.
Rumors of Gorman’s involvement stem back for weeks: Page Six reported in early April that Gorman, the poet at Joe Biden’s inauguration and the National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017, is being considered to host the post-pandemic 2021 Met bash. The 23-year-old has become a breakout star since she performed her original piece titled “The Hill We Climb” at the January 20 ceremony.
She also performed an original poem at the Super Bowl in February this year.
On May 3, Vogue announced that Gorman is one of four co-chairs. Nineteen-year-old singer Billie Eilish, 25-year-old actor Timothée Chalamet, and 23-year-old tennis player Naomi Osaka will also be organizing the event.
“Each of the Met’s four co-hosts embodies the defining factor of American style: individualism,” Vogue wrote of the selection. “They may approach the concept differently, but their shared passion for expressing themselves through clothing connects with the exhibition’s theme. Chalamet, Eilish, Osaka, and Gorman have all developed a distinct visual language for their public personas, one that is informed by the legacy of iconic fashion made in the U.S.A.”
Tom Ford and Adam Mosseri will be honorary co-chair.
Page Six reported in April that the Council of Fashion Designers of America chairman has been approached to join Gorman and Vogue‘s Anna Wintour as hosts. Vogue announced in May that Ford will be an honorary co-chair, along with Wintour and Instagram head Adam Mosseri.
The 2021 Met Gala has reportedly already sold out.
Page Six reported on May 2 that the September Met Gala had already sold out “with solo tickets reportedly costing $30,000 and tables going for $275,000.”
No guest count has been officially confirmed though, along with what the 2021 gala’s more “more intimate” red carpet will look like.
The 2022 Met Gala will be in May again—and be more like past years’.
The second exhibit “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” will open on May 5, 2022, with the 2022 Met Gala themed around it. The 2022 Met Gala will be the first Monday in May again, so May 2, 2022.
The exhibit will “feature women’s and men’s historical and contemporary dress dating from the 18th century to the present in vignettes installed in select period rooms,” according to a statement released by The Costume Institution. The museum announced they would open the American Wing for the second exhibit, which will host around 550 guests, pending government guidelines.
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