Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect the official announcement of the 2021 Met Gala and Costume Institute exhibition from the The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday, April 12.
After being postponed and then eventually canceled in 2020, the Met Gala is making its return for 2021, as officially announced by The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday. The “Super Bowl of Fashion” or “Oscars of the East Coast” is scheduled to come back in the fall — September 13, specifically, pending government guidelines — a few months after its traditional first Monday in May date.
While last year’s red carpet theme was inspired by the Costume Institute's About Time: Fashion and Duration exhibit, the upcoming event’s dress code will be inspired by American fashion. The Met’s Costume Institute will hold its next major exhibition as a two-part show that will last through 2022. The first part, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, will be on view from Sept. 18 to Sept. 5, 2022, which will explore the “modern vocabulary of American style,” as well as celebrate The Costume Institute’s 75th anniversary.
The second part of the exhibition, titled In America: An Anthology of Fashion, will explore the history and development of American fashion since the 18th century through to present time. This exhibit won’t open until May 5, 2022 and its celebratory Met Gala will take place on May 2, 2022. That means we get two Met Galas with the same theme for this year and next year.
“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,” Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, said in an official statement.
“This two-part exhibition will consider how fashion reflects evolving notions of identity in America and will explore a multitude of perspectives through presentations that speak to some of the complexities of history with powerful immediacy,” added Max Hollein, the Marina Kellen French Director of The Met. “In looking at the past through this lens, we can consider the aesthetic and cultural impact of fashion on historical aspects of American life.”
Though the Met Gala never took place in 2020, Vogue and the Met still made sure that there was at least some sort of celebration. Instead, the fashion publication hosted an exclusive YouTube livestream called “A Moment With The Met,” which featured a performance by Florence + The Machine and a DJ set by Virgil Abloh. The online event also raised funds for both the Costume Institute and Vogue's A Common Thread initiative to help fund the fashion industry during the COVID-19 crisis. In lieu of a red carpet, Billy Porter hosted a #MetGalaChallenge that invited fans to recreate their favorite Met Gala looks from years past on Instagram. Meanwhile, High Fashion Twitter hosted its own hf twitter Met Gala, a digital replica of the IRL event.
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