fashion

The Met Gala will return this year but not on the first Monday in May

Updated 13th April 2021
Rihanna floors on-lookers in her trailing canary yellow gown at the 2015 Met Gala.
Credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
The Met Gala will return this year but not on the first Monday in May
Written by Oscar Holland, CNN
The star-studded Met Gala, canceled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will now return twice in quick succession, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art announced Monday.
Considered one of the most important nights on the fashion calendar, the exclusive fundraiser will next be held in September before reverting to its usual slot -- the first Monday of May -- less than eight months later.
The gala event is typically held once a year, raising money for the Met's Costume Institute and launching its biggest blockbuster exhibition. In a break from tradition, the newly announced dates will both tie in with the same exhibition, described by organizers as a two-part exploration of American fashion.
Part one, "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion," will consider the "modern vocabulary of American fashion," according to the museum. Part two, titled "In America: An Anthology of Fashion," will meanwhile offer a historical perspective going as far back as 1670.
With tickets starting at $35,000 each, the invite-only event is a crucial source of funding for the Costume Institute, raising $15 million in 2019, according to the New York Times. It is hosted by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, whose tenure as chair has seen it transformed into a hotly-anticipated-carpet event that brings together many of the biggest names in fashion and entertainment.
Anna Wintour attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion.
Anna Wintour attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for The Met Museum/
Last March, just days after the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, organizers postponed the May event.
While that didn't stop celebrities from playfully recreating their favorite Met Gala looks from home, the cancellation will have posed a serious financial challenge to the Costume Institute. In Monday's press release, the Met described the annual gala as the Institute's "primary source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, operations, and capital improvements."
The museum did not reveal further details about the September benefit, simply saying it would be "a more intimate" version of the event and that plans are "pending government guidelines." But the Costume Institute's curator, Andrew Bolton, did provide further details about the accompanying two-part exhibition.
Jared Leto wore an embellished Gucci robe to the the 2019 Met Gala as he posed with a replica of his severed head.
Jared Leto wore an embellished Gucci robe to the the 2019 Met Gala as he posed with a replica of his severed head. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for The Met Museum/
"Over the past year, because of the pandemic, the connections to our homes have become more emotional, as have those to our clothes," he said in a press statement. "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."
Both parts of the exhibition will remain on view at the Met until September 2022.