What to Know About the 2021 Met Gala

Christopher Luu
·3 min read

The Met Gala is coming back to the fashion calendar after a year off. According to Entertainment Weekly, the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art fundraiser will take place in September 2021, forgoing its usual slot of the first Monday in May. Here's everything you need to know about the next two Met Galas.

Lady Gaga 2019 Met Gala
Lady Gaga 2019 Met Gala

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

2021's theme is "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion." That may seem straightforward after 2019's "Notes on Camp," but it was a conscious decision, according to Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute. But that's not the only shift. The Met Gala will actually be in two parts. The first will take place on September 13, 2021, and the second installment, "In America: An Anthology of Fashion," will happen on May 2, 2022 — which puts the event back on the first Monday in May. The new 2021 date puts the Met Gala at the end of New York Fashion Week and happens to commemorate The Costume Institute's 75th anniversary.

Harper's Bazaar reports that Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka, and National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman will serve as co-chairs for this year's events. Anna Wintour, Tom Ford, and head of Instagram Adam Mosseri will serve as honorary chairs. In 2019, Harry Styles was the youngest person to ever co-chair the event at age 25. Eilish, age 19, will now take the title as youngest co-chair. Osaka and Gorman are both 23 years old, perhaps indicating that 2021's event is hoping to attract a younger and more diverse crowd than past galas.

"Each of the Met's four co-hosts embodies the defining factor of American style: individualism. They may approach the concept differently, but their shared passion for expressing themselves through clothing connects with the exhibition's theme," Vogue writes. "Chalamet, Eilish, Osaka, and Gorman have all developed a distinct visual language for their public personas, one that is informed by the legacy of iconic fashion made in the U.S.A."

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People notes that the first party will be more "intimate" than it has been in past years and is still up in the air "pending government guidelines."

"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," Bolton said in a statement.

The second museum exhibit will open to the public on May 5, 2022, and feature both men's and women's fashion from the 18th century to the present day. That event, fingers crossed, will be a return to form with over-the-top outfits on celebrities from movies, music, and TV along with the models of the moment and (as usual) surprise guests.

"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.

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2020's event, "About Time: Fashion and Duration," was never rescheduled after being postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, a live-streamed YouTube event titled "A Moment with the Met" worked to raise money for the museum in place of the gala.