Sometimes referred to as “fashion’s biggest night out,” the Met Gala has, in last decade or so, become a major red carpet event, thanks to its roster of A-list celebrity guests and dramatic, sometimes over-the-top fashion moments (who could forget Claire Dane’s iconic light-up Cinderella dress from 2016?) Benefiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, the gala was, like so many other events, canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for a time speculation raged as to whether the party would suffer the same fate in 2021. Well there’s good news for fashion fans and celeb-watchers alike, because the Met Gala is back on this year—albeit with some major changes.
Here’s what we know so far.
When is the Met Gala?
Due to ongoing restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic, the gala was delayed from its usual May date this year and moved, instead, to cap off New York Fashion Week, on September 13.
There will be another Met Gala next May.
How to watch the Met Gala
For dedicated red carpet watchers, Vogue is hosting an official livestream of the event hosted by Keke Palmer and Ilana Glazer. The coverage will kick off on Vogue‘s website as well as their Twitter at 5:30 p.m. EST tonight. Check out the live feed below:
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What is the theme?
For the duo of Met Galas (both tonight and in May), the Costume Institute chose the theme of American fashion.
“We very consciously wanted this to be a celebration of the American fashion community, which suffered so much during the pandemic,” Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute, told the New York Times. He added, “I think American fashion is undergoing a renaissance, with young American designers at the vanguard of discussions around diversity, inclusion, sustainability and conscious creativity. I find it incredibly exciting.”
The first show will be titled “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” and will focus heavily on contemporary designers. The second show, which will not open until May 2022, is called “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” and will celebrate 300 years of American fashion history.
Attendees will have to wear masks and have proof of vaccination.
In August Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a new mandate which requires proof of vaccination for a variety of activities including indoor dining, gyms, and performances.
“Currently, all attendees at The Met Gala on September 13 must provide proof of full vaccination and will also be expected to wear masks indoors except when eating or drinking,” a spokesperson for The Met told People in August. “We will update these guidelines as needed.”
The menu will be vegan.
In August, the gala announced that it would be serving and all plant-based menu with dishes from 10 New York-based chefs and influencers, including Junghyun Park (Atomix), Emma Bengtsson (Aquavit), Thomas Raquel (Le Bernardin), and Fabian von Hauske (Wildair). Leading up the the event, Vogue and Instagram will also be partnering up with the chefs for how-to videos shared through Instagram’s Reels using the hashtag #MetGalaChefs to give fans a taste of the types of recipes that gala-goers will enjoy.
The move is part rise in prominence for plant-based dining. Earlier this year, Eleven Madison Park (which has previously been deemed the Best Restaurant in the World by the World’s 50 Best) likewise pivoted to an all-vegan menu, creating a major stir in the culinary community.
Who is hosting?
It’s not just the Met Gala that is getting supersized. In May, it was announced that the Galas will be co-hosted by a roster of Gen-Z talent: actor Timothée Chalamet, singer Billie Eilish, tennis champion Naomi Osaka, and poet Amanda Gorman (who catapulted to fashion stardom after her stunning reading at the 2021 Biden inauguration.) Tom Ford, Adam Mosseri, and Anna Wintour will all reportedly serve as honorary chairs.
“Each of the Met’s four co-hosts embodies the defining factor of American style: individualism,” Vogue wrote of the announcement. “They may approach the concept differently, but their shared passion for expressing themselves through clothing connects with the exhibition’s theme.”
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