The 2021 Met Gala — which was postponed to September 13 from its usual first Monday in May due to coronavirus concerns — is set to be a comeback event like no other. Co-chaired by trendsetters Billie Eilish, Timothée Chalamet, tennis star Naomi Osaka and inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, the star-studded ball plans to make its mark with the theme “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” but what does that mean?
Here’s what we know. The themes for both the 2021 and 2022 events — which are fundraisers for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute — have been revealed based on the New York City museum’s two-part American fashion exhibit that is coming up.
Part one of the exhibit is titled “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” and will honor the Costume Institute’s 75th anniversary. The focus of the exhibit, which will debut in September 2021, is the exploration of modern American Fashion. In 2022, part two, titled “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” will go back in time and highlight fashion development in America.
“Over the past year, because of the pandemic, the connections to our homes have become more emotional, as have those to our clothes,” head curator of the Costume Institute, Andrew Bolton, previously revealed in a statement. “For American fashion, this has meant an increased emphasis on sentiment over practicality.”
Menswear designer Thom Browne‘s husband added, “Responding to this shift, part one of the exhibition will establish a modern vocabulary of American fashion based on the expressive qualities of clothing as well as deeper associations with issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Part two will further investigate the evolving language of American fashion through a series of collaborations with American film directors who will visualize the unfinished stories inherent in The Met’s period rooms.”
“Camp: Notes on Fashion” — defined by the late Susan Sontag as “a sensibility that revels in artifice, stylization, theatricalization, irony, playfulness and exaggeration rather than content” — was the theme for 2019’s event, which was co-chaired by Harry Styles, Serena Williams, Lady Gaga and Gucci artistic director, Alessandro Michele. In 2020, the Met Gala was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.