Here’s everything you need to know about fashion’s biggest night.
Update (10/05/2020): After months of will they, won’t they speculation, the 2020 Met Gala has officially been cancelled. The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced the news in a release, stating that the decision has been made “due to the global health crisis.” This year’s exhibition, About Time: Fashion and Duration, will still go ahead but has been postponed until October. At present, the Museum is planning on re-opening in mid-August though that is subject to change. The 2021 gala will focus on a new theme, yet to be announced by the Costume Institute. Watch this space.
Update (16/03/2020): The 2020 Met Gala has officially been postponed amidst heightened concern and uncertainty regarding the Coronavirus. According to Vogue, an internal email sent to Met staff said that the museum “will remain closed through Saturday, April 4” and that, based on recent announcements from the CDC regarding gatherings of 50 or more people over the next eight weeks, “all programs and events through May 15 will be cancelled.”
Anna Wintour, the Met Gala’s chairwoman, said in her digital editor’s letter, which was released today, “Due to the unavoidable and responsible decision by the Metropolitan Museum to close its doors, ‘About Time,’ and the opening night gala, will be postponed to a later date.”
Update (13/03/2020): It looks the Met Gala 2020 may not go ahead as originally thought due to coronavirus concerns. Earlier this week, it was announced that all three Met locations were closing from today, March 13, as part of the city of New York’s Covid-19 containment effort. As a result, the museum’s annual fashion extravaganza is now under review, pending circumstances. Nancy Chilton, the chief external relations officer for the Met, released a new statement saying, “Right now all museum events are cancelled through April 3. Given the uncertain public health environment, we will review on a rolling basis which museum events beyond April 3 will be cancelled or postponed. We are hoping for the best, but public health and safety are our first priorities.”
Update (11/03/2020): The outbreak of coronavirus has had a huge impact on the fashion industry this year. Countless shows have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely, retail sales are down and Milan is currently on lockdown. However despite numerous events being cancelled across the globe (including Coachella and SXSW most recently), the Met Gala 2020 will still go ahead as planned.
In a statement provided to The Cut, Nancy Chilton, the chief external relations officer of the Costume Institute said, “We are proceeding as planned and look forward to a wonderful evening. We will of course continue to keep a close eye on the situation.”
Original (07/11/19): If you thought this year’s theme, Camp, was abstract, wait till you hear what the theme of the 2020 Met Gala is. ‘About Time: Fashion and Duration’ is the name of next year’s Costume Institute exhibit, as well as the associated Vogue-hosted red carpet that is now known as fashion’s biggest night out.
2020, incidentally, is the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary, which might help explain why the passage of time is on their mind. According to Andrew Bolton, curator of the Met’s Costume Institute, “Fashion is indelibly connected to time. It not only reflects and represents the spirit of the times, but it also changes and develops with the times.” In keeping with that theme, “the Costume Institute’s spring exhibition will showcase a century-and-a-half of fashion history culled from its archive and presented along a “disruptive” timeline,” reports Vogue. In a press release, Max Hollein, director of the Met, added, “This exhibition will consider the ephemeral nature of fashion, employing flashbacks and fast-forwards to reveal how it can be both linear and cyclical.”
As the New York Times notes, the exhibit is inspired both by the works of English author Virginia Woolf (in particular, her time-travelling novel Orlando) as well as the theories of early-20th-century French philosopher Henri Bergson. “The result,” writes the Times’ chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman, “may be the most conceptually abstract blockbuster the Costume Institute has attempted, toggling between what Mr. Bolton calls the “objective” time of the calendar and the “subjective” time of creativity.”
The gala will be chaired by Louis Vuitton’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep (who starred in The Hours, a film inspired by Woolf’s book Mrs. Dalloway), Lin-Manuel Miranda, and of course Vogue’s editor in chief Anna Wintour. The show, which opens on May 7, will feature 160 pieces of women’s fashion from the last 150 years. From the celebrities in attendance, we can likely expect period costumes, futuristic get-ups, and everything in between. As always, the red carpet blowout will be held on the first Monday in May. Mark your calendars.