It seems like it was not too long ago that celebrities last walked the Met Gala stairs, dressed in their best take on “American Fashion.” Host Billie Eilish came in Grace Kelly drag, Zoë Kravitz made a statement in Saint Laurent, and Kim Kardashian proved her silhouette is as American as it gets. Normally, we would have to wait 12 months for another spectacle of this kind, but just eight months after September’s festivities, we are getting yet another Gala, this one also celebrating American fashion—plus, as came to light midway through March, “Gilded Glamour.” Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 Met Gala ahead of its usual date on the first Monday in May, from the coinciding exhibition to the star-studded hosts.
What’s the theme of the 2022 Met Gala?
The theme for the 2022 Met Gala was previously announced to be “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” playing off the previous theme of “In America: A Lexicon in Fashion” and rounding out the museum’s two-part America-themed exhibition. But in case that wasn’t specific enough, last month New York Times critic Vanessa Friedman broke the news that the theme will specifically be “Gilded Glamour,” which will likely ensure everyone is “very dressed-up indeed.” Then, Vogue added yet another stipulation, writing on the invitations, that the dress code will also be white-tie.
Most likely, this means guests are expected to take inspiration from the late 19th century fashion. Think Gilded Age on HBO where balls were a weekly occurrence and Fifth Avenue was lined with one-family mansions. Expect excess, in the form of jewels, size, and, of course, glamour. Bustles will likely take up room on the stairs, and top hats may obstruct the view of photographers. It’s going to be an over-the-top night, one that anyone who finds themselves in the upper echelon of New York (or Hollywood) society wouldn’t dare miss.
Didn’t we just have a Met Gala?
The pandemic has messed with the timelines of multiple events and projects over the past few years, including the Met Gala. The Costume Institute had to cancel their 2020 festivity due to COVID-19, and they didn’t want to miss out on another year. Met Galas are fun red carpet and celebrity events, yes, but they are also fundraisers, so the Institute decided to delay the 2021 Gala to September instead of sitting out once again. This year, we will return to the normal schedule with the Gala being held on the first Monday in May (this year, on May 2), meaning it will have been only eight months since the last one.
Vanessa Hudgens and La La Anthony will hold court on the red carpet, where they’ll be interviewing celebrities for a livestream on Vogue’s YouTube. Inside, Blake Lively and her husband Ryan Reynolds will be heading things up with Lin Manuel-Miranda and Regina King, who is also among the eight directors key to this year’s exhibition. As was the case last time, the honorary chairs are Tom Ford, Instagram’s Adam Moressi, and Anna Wintour.
Who will attend?
It’s often hard to parse out who will attend the Gala before the night arrives, but we can assume all of the regulars will be there. Hopefully, 2022 will be the year Zendaya returns to the Met Gala red carpet after taking the year off in 2021. Most likely, we will see Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, and possibly the return of Kylie Jenner who also missed last year’s event. In addition, Wintour will likely invite her best donors (don’t forget this is a fundraiser), and big fashion houses will likely have their tables to fill up with celebrities. There are always a few wild cards, but in general, the guest list remains fairly stagnant year to year.
What will they wear?
We’d have bet that Lively would go with one of her many suits, but the 34-year-old actor will no doubt go all out with an evening gown now that the theme is Gilded Glamour. For proof of that, look no further than the one she wore to the “Heavenly Bodies” Met Gala in 2018; it featured so much embroidery, Versace claims it took a whopping 600 hours to make. It was certainly her most opulent look to date, but by no means has Lively shied from glamour on the red carpet of the event since first attending it in 2008.
Ahead of last year’s Gala, there was anticipation for a red carpet filled with American designers and attendees highlighting some young up-and-coming talent. Unfortunately, that didn’t really come to total fruition. Considering the hefty price tag associated with attending the event, the bill is often picked up by established, usually European, fashion brands that invite guests they expect to wear their label. Last year, Lewis Hamilton bought a table and invited numerous Black designers, musicians, athletes, and creatives to fill it, allowing for them to wear whatever designer they wished. Hopefully, there will be more opportunities like that this year, and we can get a red carpet that truly represents the current state of American fashion.
Who will not attend?
Alas, Zendaya won’t be among the many celebs to hit the red carpet. “I’m sorry to disappoint my fans here but I will be working,” the Euphoria star said earlier this month. “Your girl’s gotta work and make some movies. So I wish everyone the best.” You can see who else we’re betting will be no-shows—including, unfortunately, Dua Lipa and Rihanna—here.
Will there be Met Gala merch?
Surprisingly, yes. Beloved New York designer Christopher John Rogers is offering everyone the chance to join in on the fun of the “High Fashion Met Gala Extravaganza” by emblazoning the phrase on a series of t-shirts sold exclusively on the Met Store’s Instagram.
And while the gala is decidedly inaccessible to the public, all are welcome to attend the exhibition it celebrates. Whereas “A Lexicon in Fashion” focused mainly on 20th- and 21st-century fashion and its ties to equity, diversity, and inclusion, part two will focus on fashion from the 19th century to the mid-late 20th via approximately 100 examples of men’s and women’s dress from “this formative period.” The show will also delve into what Costume Institute curator Andrew has described as “unfamiliar sartorial narratives filtered through the imaginations of some of America’s most visionary film directors.” Sofia Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Regina King, Chloé Zhao, Janicza Bravo, Julie Dash, Autumn de Wilde, and Tom Ford will all create what the committee is referring to “cinematic vignettes,” will be set in the period rooms of the museum’s American Wing.
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