Met Gala due to make its return in two-part exhibition focused on American fashion

Jessica Carvalho explores the traditions and expectations of the highly anticipated event set to take place later this year. 

After last year’s cancellation, the Met Gala is back stronger than ever, and doubled; the yearly Metropolitan Costume Institute’s exhibition will consist of two parts showcasing American fashion. The first of the two events will take place far later than the first Monday in May the Gala typically falls on; opening September 18, three days following the closing of New York Fashion Week. As for the second event, it is set for 2022, following business as usual and landing on the very first Monday in May. 

Notorious for its themes known to invoke creativity in the masses, the Met Gala will use the exhibits to explore two different aspects of American fashion. The 2021 exhibition is named “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”, which is an ode to the very community that has propelled the event to the world-renowned status it currently has. 

American designers and cultural, political, and social events are due to take centre stage this year. Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu curator in charge of the Costume Institute, hopes to capture “the emphasis on conscious creativity” observed throughout the “pandemic and the social justice movements”, as said in a statement. 

Furthermore, the second instalment of the exhibition follows a similar train of thought and is called “In America: An Anthology of Fashion”. Both exhibitions will run until September 2022. 

After the foundation of the Costume Institute, the Met Gala was established in 1948 as a rather modest dinner celebrating the opening of its annual exhibit and was perceived as just that until the ‘70s, where the Gala gained the glamorous connotations it is still associated with to this day. It was during this time period that themes were also introduced, and exhibits started to be held at the Met. 

Though considerably smaller, the roster for the Met Gala remains as star-studded as always, and despite the events of the past year, the essence of the event remains the same – funding of the Costume Institute, and a celebration of fashion. 

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