NEW YORK (AP) — Well, hello first Monday in May.
The year’s biggest night in fashion, the Met Gala, returns to its usual berth on the social calendar this year after pandemic upheaval. If it seems like it’s one those moments that you already know, then it is.
It’s been just under eight months since the last gala, an annual fundraiser that raises eight-figure sums for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Before the epidemic, 600 A-listers were invited from all walks of fashion, media, music and technology. Last year, it was closer to 400. The gala in 2020 was cancelled.
In 2013, more than $16.4 million were raised. The starry event is the institute’s primary budget feeder.
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This year’s gala coincides with the opening of the second part of a two-part exhibit at the Costume Institute focused on American fashion and style. The evening’s dress code is gilded glamour and white tie, a la the Gilded Age, that tumultuous period between the Civil War and the turn of the 20th century known for its robber barons, drama and grandeur.
This year’s walk up the Grand Staircase at the Met returns the gala to its legendary berth on the first Monday in May, with the official livestream appearing on Vogue’s website.
Andrew Bolton prepares last-minute preparations for the preview of “In America. An Anthology of Fashion,” a 2022 Costume Institute exhibit at The Anna Wintour Costume Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on February 15, 2022.
Vogue’s Anna Wintour has run the gala since 1995. She continues as one of the night’s honorary co-chairs, along with designer Tom Ford and Instagram’s Adam Mosseri. Official co-chairs of 2022 include Blake Lively and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The cost for a seat at last year’s Met Gala started at $35,000, though some attend for free. Some celebrities have their tabs covered by other designers, or are invited to join them. Fashion’s inclusion focus this year could celebrate more undiscovered designers than ever before.
This event was created by Eleanor Lambert (a fashion publicist who is as influential as Wintour of her time). Her challenge was to create a means to fund the Costume Institute. It is the Met’s only department which must generate its own funding.
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While many on Wintour’s carefully tended guest list follow the dress code, others go their own way. Everything is up to interpretation. Consider Rihanna with a papal headpiece. Billy Porter as a sun godCarried on a litter of shirtless men Lady Gaga peeling off layersAs the fashion industry came to an impasse, it was impossible to keep up with.
The gala also serves as a twisted time capsule of love gone wrong for celebrity couples who didn’t make it. Ye and Kim Kardashian, former KanyeWest, attended for the first times in 2013. Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Alex Rodriguez attended in 2008. Jennifer Lopez was there with Marc Anthony in 2011 and Alex Rodriguez in 2017. Alex Rodriguez also attended in 2018, 2018 and 2019. After she had walked by herself, Ben Affleck joined her in the inside.
Charlize Theron and Sean Penn were among the “it” couples invited in 2014. In 2017, Selena Gomez, The Weeknd and their friends showed up together.
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