Star-studded Met Gala to return – twice

Star-studded Met Gala to return – twice
Lady Gaga attends the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala on May 6 2019 in New York (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

The Met Gala, the annual high-wattage celebration of both fashion and celebrity, is coming back – not once, but twice.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that the event – cancelled last year because of the pandemic – will return in person, first in September, then again in 2022 in its usual slot of the first Monday in May.

The galas, a “more intimate” version on September 13 of this year and a larger one on May 2 2022, will launch a two-part exhibition, a survey of American fashion to be on view for almost a year.

In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, opening on September 18, will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the museum’s Costume Institute and “explore a modern vocabulary of American fashion”, the museum said.

Fashion is both a harbinger of cultural shifts and a record of the forces, beliefs, and events that shape our lives

Max Hollein, director of the Met

Part two, In America: An Anthology of Fashion, will open in the museum’s popular American Wing period rooms on May 5 2022 and will explore American fashion, with collaborations with film directors, by “presenting narratives that relate to the complex and layered histories of those spaces”.

Both parts will close on September 5 2022.

Filmmaker Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim) has been commissioned to create an open-ended film to project in the galleries, with content changing during the course of the exhibition.

There was no immediate word on who the celebrity hosts, or chairs, would be for the galas, traditionally a heady mix of luminaries from fashion, music, film, TV, sports and other arenas.

The first gala in September will be smaller, and held in accordance with government coronavirus guidelines.

The second next May is intended to be larger, in line with previous galas which typically hold about 550 guests.

The gala is a major fundraiser, providing the Costume Institute with its primary source of funding.

In 2020, the gala was cancelled but fans were invited to engage in a social media challenge to recreate favourite red carpet looks.

Over the past year, because of the pandemic, the connections to our homes have become more emotional, as have those to our clothes

Andrew Bolton, curator

“Fashion is both a harbinger of cultural shifts and a record of the forces, beliefs, and events that shape our lives,” said Max Hollein, director of the Met, in a statement.

“This two-part exhibition will consider how fashion reflects evolving notions of identity in America and will explore a multitude of perspectives through presentations that speak to some of the complexities of history with powerful immediacy.”

As always, the exhibits will be the work of star curator Andrew Bolton.

“Over the past year, because of the pandemic, the connections to our homes have become more emotional, as have those to our clothes,” he said in his own statement.

“For American fashion, this has meant an increased emphasis on sentiment over practicality.”

He said that in accordance with 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”.

As for Part Two, it 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”.

In addition to Matsoukas, other confirmed collaborators from the film world include cinematographer Bradford Young, whose projects have included Selma and When They See Us; production designers Nathan Crowley and Shane Valentino; and Franklin Leonard, film executive and founder of The Black List, a listing of top unproduced screenplays.

More in this section

Lifestyle
Newsletter

The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up