After six months, Vogue magazine has announced the return of fashion’s biggest night, the Met Gala. On May 2nd 2022, the first Monday in May, the Met Gala will be returning to its usual schedule after being postponed to September 2021 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Dubbed as the “Oscars of fashion”, the annual event marks and celebrates the opening of the Costume Institutes yearly exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Divided into two parts, this year’s Met Gala theme, In America: An Anthology of Fashion, is a continuation of 2021’s Met Gala theme, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. Spanning across three centuries of fashion, “In America” is heavily rooted in identity through the lens of politics.
As a collective, the “In America” exhibition explores American Fashion. It aims to spotlight American designers at the forefront of the fashion industry, who continuously facilitate conversations around inclusivity, diversity, gender fluidity, body positivity and sustainability.
Part one of this instalment, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, provides an extensive review primarily focused on the individual moments in Fashion that played a pivotal role in history. The first instalment tackles ideas of acceptance, belonging, and identity, asking, who gets to be American?, thus placing emphasis on America as a cultural melting pot.
As a continuation, part two of this instalment, In America: An Anthology of Fashion, refers to a whole collection of art that explores the development and evolution of American Fashion and style. Curated by Andrew Bolton, “Anthology of fashion” addresses the complex and layered history of American Fashion. With this, the theme “Anthology of fashion” highlights individual dressmakers, tailors, and designers and pays homage to American fashion design’s anonymous and unsung heroes.
Although created on the same premise, “An Anthology of Fashion” is more detailed and delves into the parts of American Fashion, style and design that are often overlooked.
This year, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” focuses on America’s Gilded Age. Announced by the New York Times’ Fashion Director, Vanessa Friedman revealed on Twitter that this year’s sub-theme for the Met Gala is Gilded Glamour.
Taking place between the 1970s and the start of the 1900s, the American Gilded Age was a period of rapid industrialisation and major economic growth. With industrialisation at its peak, there was an increase in labour jobs and an influx of European immigration. Although this era consisted of significant economic growth and prosperity for wealthy industrialists and bankers, this came at the cost of poverty for all working-class citizens. This age saw many Black Americans prohibited and denied access from participating and benefiting from this economic boom.
The term “gilded” means to coat a surface in a thin layer of gold, summarising the period in short; corrupt and greedy industrialists, bankers, and politicians enjoyed wealth, political power and opulence at the expense of the working class. The American Gilded Age got its name from Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner’s 1873 novel, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today. With this in mind, An Anthology of Fashion will highlight individual designers and dressmakers who worked in the United States from the 19th century to the mid-late 20th century. Given the theme, Gilded Glamour, the red carpet is expected to see A-listers dripping in gold metal embellishments and accessories, corseted gowns, bodices and gloves.
Hosted by Actress and Filmmaker Regina King, Playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, Actress Blake Lively and her husband, Actor Ryan Reynolds, the MET gala highlights and explores the role of dress that forms the American Identity.
With only one month left, we cannot wait to see what the “Super Bowl of Fashion” has to offer us.
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