The star-studded Met Gala, cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will now return twice in fast succession, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art revealed Monday.
Considered one of the most critical nights on the fashion calendar, the exclusive fundraiser will next be held in September before reverting to its regular slot — the first Monday of May — less than eight months later.
The gala function is held once a year to raise funds for the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and to kick off the Met’s biggest blockbuster exhibition. The newly announced dates, in a departure from convention, will coincide with the same show, which organizers characterize as a two-part exploration of American fashion.
According to the museum, the first part, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” will look at the “classic vocabulary of American fashion.” In the meantime, Part Two, titled “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” will include a historical perspective dating back to 1670.
According to the New York Times, the invite-only gathering, which starts at $35,000 a ticket, is a critical source of funding for the Costume Institute, generating $15 million in 2019. It is hosted by Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, who has turned it into a much-anticipated red-carpet affair that brings together many of the biggest names in fashion and entertainment during her time as chair.
Organizers postponed the May event in March, just days after the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic.
Though this didn’t deter celebrities from imitating their favorite Met Gala looks at home, the Costume Institute will face a significant financial obstacle as a result of the cancellation. 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 provided no additional information about the September benefit, other than to state that it would be “a more intimate” version of the event and that plans are “pending government guidance.” Andrew Bolton, the curator of the Costume Institute, did, however, include more information about the two-part exhibition that will accompany it.
“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 be on display until September 2022 at the Met.