The Met Gala Returns After COVID Cancellation in 2020


Louise Brickman, Staff Writer

COVID has been the daunting “No” police for over a year now.

It’s been a year with no concerts, no big social gatherings, no sporting events, and above all else for fashion fans, no Met Gala.

Until now. 

It has been scheduled for Sept. 13, 2021 – not on the typical first Monday in May as tradition has been in past years. This year’s theme will be “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” This slates the 2021 Met Gala at the end of New York Fashion Week.

A Lexicon is referring to the language or the vocabulary of a person…. So here it would be taking a deep dive into the dictionary of fashion

The Met Gala is obviously well known and associated with the A list celebrities that receive an invite and what they are given to wear on the iconic first Monday in May. Often, the audacious fashion displays overshadow the fact that the Met Gala is actually a major art fundraiser for The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This year, the first party or “installment” of the exhibit will be more intimate than in years past, for obvious reasons.

This costume exhibit will be a two-part survey of American Fashion.

Part one will take place in the iconic Anna Wintour Costume Center. This exhibit will explore American style, putting an emphasis on the different “expressive qualities of dress deeper associations with issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion,” according to The Met. 

These gallery walls will be transparent and will have the illusion of overlapping and intersecting to give the effect of burying the room boundaries. Both 20th century and 21st-century fashion will fill the galleries, representing customs and different behaviors.

A new niche that will be featured this year is different designs by pioneers of American sportswear. Alongside these new categories of designs will be the contrasting contemporary designers, emphasizing the shift in American fashion. 

This contrast of contemporary designs and sportswear is to show that fashion is defined by feelings. Feelings such as fear, delight, happiness, and loneliness, among so many others, are all expected to come into play for this first exhibit. 

“Over the past year, because of the pandemic, the connections to our homes have become more emotional, as have those to our clothes,” said Met curator Andrew Bolton to Vogue. “For American fashion, this has meant an increased emphasis on sentiment over practicality”

Bolton is exactly right. With the pandemic keeping us home for a year, there has certainly been an emphasis on comfort over cute. 

In response to this shift in style, part one will showcase a more modern version of American fashion based on these new expressive qualities. 

Part two of this exhibit, titled “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” will not be released until May of next year.

Said to be a retrospective overview of fashion history, the exhibition will present different narratives exploring the timeline and development of American fashion from the 18th century to the present day. It will relate to the messy, complex, and layered histories that made fashion what it is today. 

“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,” Bolton added. 

Hopefully, by September, we will see the abundance of celebrities of all kinds gathering and taking pictures on the iconic themed carpet.

Both parts of the installations will officially close on September 5, 2022.

It will be a big year for fashion, and no one wants COVID to get in the way of fresh fits.