Everything To Know About The Met Gala Theme “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”

Julia Marzovilla
Everything To Know About The Met Gala Theme “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”
Photo: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Newsroom.

The first Monday in May came and went and my little fashion-loving heart was feeling heavy. But here’s some good news: This week, The Met Gala will return—and it’s going to look a little different. But that may not be such a bad thing! Let’s unpack all the deets, including the theme and some very exciting celeb hosts.

First of all, this year’s event will be broken up into two smaller, more focused exhibits instead of one massive one. The overarching theme? Fashion in America. Featured designers include everyone from LaQuan Smith and Halston to Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss and Virgil Abloh of Off-White.

The first exhibit, titled “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” opens on September 18. This installment will focus on the vocabulary used in American fashion and how each of those terms translates into different designs. The Anna Wintour Costume Center will be transformed into a large imaginary “house,” where each room will have a specific emotional theme. Think concepts like “warmth,” “nostalgia” and “rebellion.” Clothes will be displayed as they pertain to each of these larger emotions.

If you’re still confused, this video from Vogue‘s YouTube channel—narrated by Met Gala organizer and European Editor-at-large for Vogue, Hamish Bowles—breaks down the theme in all its glory.

The second installment, titled “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” unfortunately won’t be on display until May 5, 2022. This event will take place in the Museum’s period rooms and will further break down the timeline of American fashion and will explore ideas of race, inclusivity and gender. It will run through September 5, 2022—yay for basically a full year of fashion at the Met!

According to Vogue‘s official announcement of the new themes, one of the questions that the Met hopes to address within this second exhibit was raised previously at Prabal Gurung’s 2020 show: “Who gets to be American?” And further, “Who was able to inhabit the rooms and who was barred from doing so?”

Each installment will be introduced by a party, obviously—what is the Met Gala if not a fashionable soiree? The first will be held on September 13 of this year (for the first time since 1948!) and the second will take place on May 2, 2022.

And now, for the celebrity hosts of this new two-phase extravaganza! Timothee Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka and Amanda Gorman are the young stars on which all eyes will be for this glorious occasion. Given the theme, it makes sense that four young people who each have their very own distinct sense of style would be selected. These four hosts are even more special given their varied backgrounds and talents: Chalamet, a born-and-bred New Yorker and actor, will be joined by two Los Angeles natives: musician Eilish and poet Gorman. Tennis star Osaka was born in Japan and moved to New York as a child.

All in all, it’s safe to say that fashion’s biggest night is back, baby! Here’s hoping for memorable moments like the time Lady Gaga stepped out onto the carpet in a four-part Brandon Maxwell gown-turned-bustier. Swoon. If you need me, I’ll be trying to dig up some dirt on who’s wearing what come September.

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