The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced that its Costume Institute Benefit, also known as the Met Gala, will take place twice in the coming months — September 2021 and May 2022 — in conjunction with the Costume Institute’s two-part exhibition based around American fashion.
The Met Gala is typically held every May as a fundraiser for the Costume Institute’s annual exhibit, drawing international attention for its celebrity red carpet and designer clothing based around that year’s exhibition theme. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Met Gala event was canceled.
The in-person Gala this September will coincide with Part One of the Costume Institute’s exhibition, opening in the Anna Wintour Costume Center of the New York museum on September 18th, 2021, and running through September 5th, 2022. Titled In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, the exhibit will celebrate the Costume Institute’s 75th anniversary and “explore a modern vocabulary of American fashion,” according to a statement from the Met. The September Gala event will be a “more intimate” event and will follow up-to-date Covid-19 safety guidelines.
Part Two of the exhibit, In America: An Anthology of Fashion, will open on May 5th, 2022, and will receive a second in-person Met Gala event. Part Two will open in the Met’s American Wing period rooms and will close on the same date as Part One, on September 5th, 2022.
“Fashion is both a harbinger of cultural shifts and a record of the forces, beliefs, and events that shape our lives,” Max Hollein, the Marina Kellen French Director of the Met, said 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. In looking at the past through this lens, we can consider the aesthetic and cultural impact of fashion on historical aspects of American life.”
Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, added: “Over the past year, because of the pandemic, the connections to our homes have become more emotional, as have those to our clothes. For American fashion, this has meant an increased emphasis on sentiment over practicality. Responding to 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. 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.”