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Image / Style / Fashion

Met Gala 2022: A crash course on ‘gilded glamour’ ahead of the main event


By Sarah Gill
30th Apr 2022

AP Images

Met Gala 2022: A crash course on ‘gilded glamour’ ahead of the main event

Returning to traditional scheduling on the first Monday in May, the 2022 Met Gala celebrates the second volume of the two-part American fashion exhibition.

As big name celebrities and industry giants descend on the Metropolitan Museum of Art for one of the biggest nights in the fashion calendar, I — for one — am thoroughly looking forward to playing fashion police from the comfort of my couch this Monday, 2 May.

The Met Gala carpet never fails to induce shock and awe as some of Hollywood’s most well-respected faces make their way to the exhibition inside. Over the years, we’ve seen show-stopping looks from the likes of Zendaya, Rihanna, Billy Porter and Lil Nas X. We’ve seen Lady Gaga squeeze in four costume changes, Cara Delevingne and AOC don political statements, and Katy Perry be, well, Katy Perry.

So, with the event right around the corner, it’s time to brush up on all things Met Gala 2022.

The theme

Organised and presided over by Anna Wintour, the Met Gala serves as a fundraiser for the museum’s Costume Institute and takes place ahead of the opening of its annual fashion exhibition. Last year’s Gala celebrated part one of the American fashion exhibit, entitled ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’.

This year, ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion’ opens across 13 of the period rooms of the American Wing and celebrates the unsung heroes of US design. The exhibition addresses the question of who exactly gets to be American through a strong focus on inclusivity.

Andrew Bolton, head curator of the Museum of Modern Art’s Costume Institute, told Vogue, “The stories really reflect the evolution of American style, but they also explore the work of individual tailors, dress-makers, and designers… So one of the main intentions of the exhibition is to spotlight the talents and contributions of these individuals, and many of them are women.”

Gilded glamour

Each year, Met Gala invitations prescribe a unique dress code inspired by the overall theme of the exhibition. In 2020, ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’ the dress code was one of studied triviality, and last year’s ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’ was all about American independence.

This year, gilded glamour is the order of the day. A formal white-tie event, 2022’s celebration cries out for extravagance, grandeur, and all things excess. Inspired by Gilded Age New York, which spanned 1870 to 1890, the event invites those in attendance to take inspiration from the unprecedented prosperity of the era.

All those years ago, those living in the upper echelon of society relished in the luxuries of formality. According to Vogue it was all about deep jewel tones, corsets, bustles and Opera gloves, fur-lined coats and the combination of varying textiles. From frills and fringe to satin, silk and velvet, the more the merrier.

In Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, she describes a woman of the era in ethereal splendour, which is what we imagine many in attendance at the 2022 Met Gala will be aiming for. “Everything about her shimmered and glimmered softly, as if her dress had been woven out of candle-beams, and she carried her head high, like a pretty woman challenging a roomful of rivals.”

In attendance

The event will be co-chaired by hosts Regina King, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The roles of honorary co-chairs will once again be taken on by Tom Ford, Adam Mosseri, and Anna Wintour.

While the guest list remains under wraps, we’re holding out hope that Met Gala royalty Zendaya, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé will make an appearance. If Rihanna doesn’t break the internet with an out of this world gilded glam pregnancy look, we will be seriously disappointed.

If you’re also planning on rating the A-listers’ looks on the night, dressed in your fluffiest pyjamas and mismatched socks, Vogue’s livestream will start at 10 pm Irish time, and will be hosted by Vogue editor at large Hamish Bowles, actor and singer Vanessa Hudgens, and actor and television personality La La Anthony.