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Met Gala is a fashion exhibit as well as a fundraiser event.

By Pallavi Kanungo,

For those of you who don’t know, a fashion year differs from a regular year. It begins from February and ends in September, and the most prestigious fashion event of the world, Met Gala, falls in between, usually on the first Monday of May. However, like everything else, the pandemic ruined the schedule of the fashion world too.  

While the Met Gala was given a miss last year, this year the organisers finally managed to hold this this event as an intimate gala on the second Monday of September, that is, September 13 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This is going to be a two-part exhibit. While Part I, named ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’, started on September 18 at the Anna Wintour Costume Center (earlier known as the Costume Institute) of Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part II, ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion’, will be held on May 5, 2022. The concluding dates of both the exhibits is September 5, 2022. 

What is the Met Gala? 
The Met Gala is the short term for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala. It’s a nightlong party and fundraiser event for a yearly fashion show arranged by the Costume Institute of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The specialty of the Met Gala is that, each year it has a unique theme that the guests voluntarily take part in.  

Theme of Met Gala theme 2021 
The theme of Met Gala 2021 has a broad dimension: American Independence. Themes covered so far include Alexander McQueen, Rei Kawakubo, Punk style and Sunday Best (Catholic dressing). In 2019, the theme was based on camp, focussing on essayist Susan Sontag’s work “Notes on Camp.”  

What will the exhibits showcase? 
The first one is a tribute to the Costume Institute on its 75th year. It is greatly inspired by a quilt made of patchwork, with around 100 separate looks merged together in squares. This exhibit is featuring works of celebrated fashion designers like Christopher John Rogers and Telfar. For the second part, the Met team will work alongside popular American filmmakers to produce motion pictures that will focus on the evolution of the fashion world as a whole from the 18th century till today. Both the exhibits aim to focus on the influence of fashion in the building of an individual’s identity not only in the USA but all across the world. The organisers wish to emphasize on how fashion impacted both the historical and the cultural development of America and its people of diverse ethnicities.  

Hosts of Met Gala 2021 
The Met Gala 2021 was co-hosted by four were, Amanda Gorman, the young inaugural poet at the current US President’s oath ceremony; Timothee Chalamet, a 25-year-old Dune actor; Naomi Osaka, professionally a tennis player but also a mental health activist; and Billie Eilish, a 19-year-old singer and composer. The fashion night was also co-chaired by Instagram head Adam Mossari, designer Tom Ford and fashionista Anna Wintour of Vogue. The legendary musician Rihanna had hosted the after-party.  

History of Meta Gala 
This fashion gala was established in 1948 by fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert in order to raise fund for the then-founded Costume Institute and mark the opening of its annual fashion event. Through the first few decades, it was like any other annual benefits held for New York charitable institutions. In the initial days, the attendees of this fashion event included  members of New York’s high society circuit and those from its fashion industry. Since 1948, the Met Gala has been held every year, except in 2000 and 2002. 

It was since 1972, that the Gala got a makeover and turned into a glamorous event, thanks to Diana Vreeland, a French-American fashion editor who joined as the consultant of the Costume Institute. During her tenure, Met Gala themes were introduced and renowned celebrities started attending the occasion.  

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