In what is being billed as an unprecedented move in the history of the event,
The 2021 Met Gala is poised to return in a monumental way
with the announcement recently of two exhibits interlinked with
a unifying theme that is aimed to make up for the cancellations last year
due to the global pandemic.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art officially announced that this year’s Met Gala with Vogue
will return on September 13th in a two-part exhibition focused on
American fashion – the first part debuting in 2021
and the next edition already scheduled for 2022.
Although eager fashion enthusiasts and patrons will have to wait a bit longer
to revel in one of the biggest events in the industry,
the fête is being described as a more intimate affair than previous years.
After the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Vogue’s annual fashion event
was indefinitely postponed – and subsequently canceled – in 2020
due to COVID-19 concerns,
the recent press release reaffirms the organization’s commitment
to raising money and taking the event back to the forefront of the industry as it should be.
The American Way: Deconstructed & Re-Designed
The museum’s upcoming exhibition is primed to include a curated series of events that celebrate America and its influence on fashion. Part one, entitled ‘In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion’, debuts on September 18th, 2021 and runs through September 5th 2022 in celebration of their 75th anniversary. The exhibit will explore American fashion from sportswear to contemporary designers, dating back to the 17th century. Additionally, the spotlight will be on the social change that has transformed the country from its earliest days to present times.
Part two of the exhibit, entitled ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion’, is set to premiere May 5th 2022 and will explore the evolution of American fashion through narratives that dissect the complex and multi-layered history of those spaces.
The exhibit will feature clothing history in America from as early as 1670 through to 1915. Attendees can expect to see period rooms by Charles James,
previous Met Gala honoree. Also on tap is a review of the Battle of Versailles,
the legendary clash between two notable French and American designers of the era.
How the Two Exhibits Are Interlinked
The two exhibits will mark a dramatic return to the world stage
in The Costume Institute’s Anna Wintour Costume Center and
will display American sportswear pioneers next to
the creations of contemporary designers in a way that
illustrates the complicated and diverse feelings which have yielded
some of the most important and iconic works in fashion history.
Attendees can expect to learn about historical menswear and womenswear
dating back from the earliest days of the Union and the emphasis
on practicality in the early years to sentiment across generations.
In essence, part one is being billed as more intimate and will establish American fashion lexicon as a way to express the deeper associations with issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion – pivotal components of the country’s history.
Part two delves further by investigating the evolution of American language
and its effects on the fashion industry through a series of collaborations
by noted American film directors, including two centerpieces: a mini
American home featuring transparent walls, and a projection by Melina Matsoukas.The Reckoning and Reasons for Two Exhibits
Organizers of The Met Gala in 2021 consciously made the decision to
go bolder than ever before as a way to kickstart revenue for the Costume Institute
and to resurrect fundraising efforts that were curtailed by the global pandemic.
Without question, the entire fashion community has been affected
during this time and with vaccinations now ramped up worldwide,
the sentiment among many is that now is a time for grand celebration in such a way
that rejuvenates the industry and places it back to its former glory.
According to most confirmed reports, creative director Tom Ford and
inaugural poet Amanda Gorman are set to host the events –
an official announcement is expected in late April.
No one expects Anna Wintour to go for anything less than
a spectacular guest list for the upcoming event and although it is now unconfirmed
who will make the final roster of attendees, the fact that the affair will be more intimate than previous years dictates a number less than the usual of 500 patrons.
There are guaranteed to be a few surprises,
with Mark Zuckerberg rumored to be in attendance as
one of the show’s main sponsors.
Who Will Wear It Best?
With an emphasis on American designers for this year’s Met Gala,
expect Wintour and patrons in attendance to select from stateside designers,
including more Black designers – in particular Christopher John Rogers,
Willi Smith, and Telfar Clemens.
But with Europeans fashion houses also named as major supporters,
expect to see them in the mix over the course of the event.
Will the Pandemic Have an Effect?
Because of the cancellations last year and the implications of another possible one
this year, the Costume Institute has learned from their previous mistakes and have cautioned the upcoming September 13th date
as tentative pending government guidelines. A great indicator of it
will go on as planned is if the IRL fashion shows at the CFDA a week beforehand proceed.
Where to Watch the Event
Details are still tentative, but in previous years,
The Met Gala has been broadcast on E! Network, with live streams on Hulu
and Vogue’s social media channels.