Fashion’s biggest night is here. And like the timeless adage goes, the first Monday of May sees the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosting The Met Gala, with the theme “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.”
Words by Chidozie Obasi
Gallery by Gianmarco Gronchi
We get it: museums can be exhausting, particularly if you’re not really in the mood to get cultured but feel obliged to keep up a pseudo-intellectual facade amongst your art-grad peers. First world problems, eh? Fortunately, when sampling the cultural delights scattered around New York, luxury shelters for weary museum goers brim aplenty.
Now onto the Met itself though, because really, that’s what we’re all here for. Occasionally viewed as the “Oscars of Fashion”, the Met Gala is the annual fundraising event for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where the event is held. To honour this year’s inspiration of the eccentric Gilded Age (the epoch spanned from 1870 to 1890 coined by Mark Twain, which denotes a time of prosperity, industrialisation, innovation and growth), it suffice to say that looks featured opulent textiles and excess fringes, bows, ruffles and hyper-flamboyant, decorative details. To put it simply: excess. The theme for this year’s Met Gala is part two of the exhibit, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” which took place in September 2021 after lockdowns in New York City shifted the spring event to the fall. The 19th century grandeur of Gilded Glamour was the perfect backdrop for extravagant dresses with asymmetrical drawstrings, striped shirting panels and beautiful devorévelvets. As celebrities walked their way through the carpet, they appeared in all manner of bright and beautiful colours found in nature, including sunny yellows, poppy reds, creams and sky blues. The opulence and extravagance of the traditional Gilded apparel of the historical gentry was shown in all manner of hues: reds were evocative of classic hunting pink, popping brightly next to rustic tweeds and poplins expressing high society/s infinite wonderlust.
Livestreamed once again on Vogue.com (likewise across the publication’s social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook from 6pm ET), singer and actress Vanessa Hudgens, television personality La La Anthony, and Vogue Magazine’s editor-at-large Hamish Bowles were the livestream’s red carpet hosts for the evening, a position that was held by Keke Palmer and Ilana Glazer during last year’s edition. (To note, inside the event there’s a very strict no social media policy). Regina King, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and Lin-Manuel Miranda served as co-chairs of the Gala, while designer Tom Ford, Instagram’s Adam Mosseri, and Vogue’s Anna Wintour remained as honorary co-chairs.
In keeping with the post-crisis wardrobe theme, there was a mashup of the old and new: exaggerated hips, extravagant puffed sleeves, plunging necklines, thick wools, leather bondage style harnesses galore and silk scarves wrapped like streamers around wrists epitomised craftsmanship in all its glory. Feathers flitted through the carpet (as seen in Sarah Jessica Parker), to compliment the Gilded societal theme. There were also trademark coatdresses alongside floral tea-dresses that perfectly contrasted with the slicked-back hair and dark eye shadow that was applied right up to the guests’ beauty looks. Spiffing, darling.