AAmerican fashion will be the theme of the Costume Institute’s highly anticipated two-part Met Gala, which premieres in September after last year’s cancellation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Met Gala has gone on to become the Oscar of fashion and is traditionally hosted by a well-dressed public figure. Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old inaugural poet who recited her poem during Joe Biden’s inauguration, would be this year’s co-host alongside Met Gala President and Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and by American designer Tom Gué.
Gorman became a fashion staple when she wore a sunshine yellow Prada headband and coat at the grand opening. She appeared on the May cover of American Vogue in Louis Vuitton and Dior. The Costume Institute did not deny the rumors, but said they “have yet to announce the co-chairs of the gala.”
The Institute’s blockbuster fashion exhibition, which opens at the end of New York Fashion Week, is also the opening night of the annual exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This year’s event is titled In America: A Lexicon of Fashion and will open on September 18. The second part is titled In America: An Anthology of Fashion, and will open – as is tradition – on the first Monday in May 2022.
The theme will celebrate American designers, as well as political, cultural and social events of the past year. “I think the focus on conscious creativity has been really solidified during the pandemic and the social justice movements,” Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu’s curator in charge of the Costume Institute, told Vogue.
Inspired by Home: A Short History of an Idea by Canadian writer Witold Rybczynski, an in-depth essay that examines the evolution of domestic life, comfort and culture, Bolton will transform the Anna Wintour Costume Center into an imaginary home. Matching pieces range from coats and tracksuits Bonnie Cashin by sportswear pioneer Claire McCardell to the floral Oscar de le Renta dress by Taylor Swift and activewear from socially responsible brand Collina Strada.
While waiting for the pandemic guidelines, the celebrity-strewn red carpet benefit – which generates the majority of the Costume Institute’s funding – will be smaller but nonetheless starred. Outfits from designers such as Kerby Jean-Raymond de Pyer Moss, a black designer who used the catwalk to address the erasure of African-American narratives in popular culture, will likely appear alongside those of Prabal Gurung, whose show 2020 “Who get to be American?” Addressed social inclusion. Other designers whose work will appear on the red carpet as well as on the exhibition include Virgil Abloh, Ralph Lauren and 70s label Halston.
The last time the Met Gala addressed only American designers was in 1998, American Ingenuity, a decade dominated by labels such as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. This year’s theme is believed to be an attempt to show a more diverse and varied landscape.
“I really believe there is a renaissance in American fashion,” Bolton said. “I think young designers in particular are at the forefront of discussions about diversity and inclusion, as well as sustainability and transparency, far more than their European counterparts, perhaps with the exception of English designers.