What Is the Theme of the 2021 Met Gala?

Rihanna Met Gala

Getty Rihanna at the 2015 Met Gala. The theme was China: Through the Looking Glass.

The 2021 Met Gala, the annual fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will take place on Monday, September 13.

This year’s theme is “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” The theme intends to pay homage to American fashion: where it’s been, and where it’s going.

Andrew Bolton, the curator of The Met’s Costume Institute, told Vogue, “I really do believe that American identity and fashion is undergoing a renaissance. I think young designers, in particular, are at the vanguard of discussions about diversity and inclusion, as well as sustainability and transparency, much more so than their European counterparts, maybe with the exception of the English designers.”

Tonight’s intimate gala is one part of two. A larger version of the event will take place on May 2, 2022. The theme of that event will be similar, with a slight change: “In America, An Anthology of Fashion.”


What Does American Fashion Really Mean?

When asked to define American fashion, Bolton came up with three words for Vogue: heterogeneity, diversity, and pluralism. Bolton is basically saying that you can’t put American fashion into a box. It is many things. It’s a melting pot of influences, like the country itself.

Editor-in-Chief of Vogue and Met Gala Chairwoman Ann Wintour told CNN, “American fashion is a celebration of exuberance, joy, and creativity. That hasn’t changed. What it has become in 2021 is a patchwork, reflecting the world we’re all living in, as seen through many different lenses.”

The garments worn by Hollywood A-listers tonight will soon be on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Costume Institute’s “In America” exhibition will be open from September 18, 2021 to September 5, 2022. Part two of the exhibition will open in May 2022.


How to Watch the Met Gala

Although the actual gala will not be filmed, Vogue will be live-streaming the red-carpet arrivals on their Twitter page.

For those with cable, E! will also air red carpet coverage. The stars will begin to arrive at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time.


Who Is Hosting This Year’s Met Gala?

This year’s hosts are actor Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name,” “Little Women), singer Billie Eilish, tennis pro Naomi Osaka, and inaugural poet Amanda Gorman.

All this year’s hosts are 25 or younger. In May, Chalamet posted an Instagram photo of the Metropolitan Museum of Art accompanied by photos of his fellow hosts Eilish, Osaka, and Gorman.


What Was Last Year’s Theme?

The 2020 Met Gala was canceled due to Coronavirus. The theme was supposed to be “About Time: Fashion and Duration.”

Although the gala was cancelled, The Costume Institute’s exhibition was still available for viewing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibit was a timeline of women’s fashion going back 150 years to when the Met first opened.

Writer Virginia Woolf, and specifically the 1992 film “Orlando” based on Woolf’s novel of the same name, inspired the theme.

“Fashion is indelibly connected to time. It not only reflects and represents the spirit of the times, but it also changes and develops with the times,” the Costume Institute’s curator Andrew Bolton told The New York Times in 2020.

READ NEXT: Who Is on the 2021 Met Gala Celebrity Guest List?


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