The Met Gala is set to return on the first Monday in May, after several postponements thanks to COVID-19.
Fashion’s biggest red carpet will take place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 2, and is sure to draw major star power.
While 2021’s “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”-themed gala was pushed to September, this year’s will serve as a continuation of sorts, with a slightly tweaked (but still all-American) theme and a new dress code that’s sure to inspire everyone from Kim Kardashian to Rihanna.
With hosts Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Regina King and Lin-Manuel Miranda leading the charge alongside honorary co-chairs Tom Ford and Anna Wintour, the 2022 event will be packed with A-list names.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about the theme and what to expect on the red carpet.
What’s the theme?
“In America: An Anthology of Fashion” — which, sure, doesn’t sound much different than last year’s theme. But there won’t be any dress code déjà vu; this time around, it’s all about “gilded glamour.” (In 2021, invites called for guests to channel “American independence” with their outfits instead.)
“Dust off Edith Wharton’s ‘Age of Innocence’ and ‘The House of Mirth,’” says Vogue. “The 2022 Met Gala will ask its attendees to embody the grandeur — and perhaps the dichotomy — of Gilded Age New York.”
What is “Gilded Glamor”?
The Gilded Age spanned from 1870 to 1890. Coined by Mark Twain, the term denotes a time of prosperity, industrialization and growth.
Among the many inventions of the period, including the lightbulb and the telephone, were machines to speed up the process of clothes-making. Suffice to say a mix of textiles and an excess of fringe, bows, ruffles and other decorative details would fit right in on this year’s red carpet. In a word: excess.
Who determines the dress code?
Anna Wintour, along with head curator of the Museum of Modern Art’s Costume Institute Andrew Bolton, are in charge of choosing the exhibit theme, the pieces displayed and, ultimately, everything about the event.
The Vogue head honcho is so meticulous about the entire affair, she even curates the guest list and often advises attendees on what to wear.
Why “Gilded Glamor”?
Bolton told Vogue that the second half of the “In America” exhibit provides “historical context” to the last.
“The stories really reflect the evolution of American style, but they also explore the work of individual tailors, dress-makers, and designers,” Bolton said. While the exhibit will feature works by Oscar de la Renta and Halston, it will also spotlight lesser-known fashion talents throughout history.
Will anyone actually follow the dress code?
Keeping with the Americana theme, expect US designers like Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and Prabal Gurung to have better showings. However, European labels like Versace and Valentino are sure to bring the (gilded) glamor and drama from overseas.
Kim Kardashian has teased that her look requires “shape-shifting,” while Katy Perry — known for her “kooky, crazy, wild, big, fun, colorful” getups (her words) — told Page Six Style she’s playing a “different card ”this year.
While 2021’s broad interpretation of “American independence” allowed for more creativity, it seems celebs will have no choice but to sparkle and shine in unison this year.
What were past themes?
There weren’t always back-to-back exhibits. Before the pandemic, stars wowed at the 2019 “Camp: Notes on Fashion” Met Gala in looks inspired by chandeliers, showgirls, ancient Egyptian gods and more.
Other notable themes from past years include “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” (2011), “Punk: Chaos to Couture” (2013), “China: Through the Looking Glass” (2015), “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” (2016) and “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” (2018).