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Gilded Glamour: The 2022 Met Gala Theme and What It Means

Edduin Carvajal
May 02, 2022
11:20 A.M.
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The Met Gala is around the corner, and people keep wondering why it is considered the most influential fashion event (even more significant than the Oscars red carpet).


Traditionally held the first Monday in May, the Met Gala has been labeled fashion's Super Bowl for a good reason: it is not about looking sexy or pretty but sticking to the annual theme.

Harper's Bazaar and Elle's group fashion director Avril Mair said the event is all about directional fashion. The gala also has a philanthropic goal as it raises money for New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.

Billie Eilish at the 2021 Met Gala on September 13, 2021 in New York City | Source: Getty Images



One of the main differences between the Met Gala and other fashion events is that the former always has a theme. The gala's theme changes every year, but they all celebrate the subject of the Costume Institute's spring exhibition. 

Apart from dictating the dress code, the theme sets the night's décor and purpose. It creates an intersection where art meets fashion and fashion meets art. It also makes things more visually appealing as celebrities wear costumes they would never don in any other event. 

The Met Gala 2022 theme is In America: An Anthology of Fashion, but the dress code calls for the Gilded Age and White Tie. This year's event will celebrate American fashion's vitality and diversity. 


Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez at the 2021 Met Gala on September 13, 2021 in New York City | Source: Getty Images


The Gilded Age stretched from 1870 to 1890, and it was filled with cultural changes and industrialization. Then-innovative steam-powered looms made fabric easier, faster, and cheaper to produce, impacting women's fashion significantly. 


You have different options to watch the Met Gala red carpet online.


They started wearing dresses with a combination of different textiles as the unofficial edict was the more, the merrier. During the Gilded Age, people would wear light colors only at home.

When they left their houses, they would put on clothes rich in colors and hats with feathers – a must-have accessory. The popularity of corsets skyrocketed, especially after women started wearing bustles to make their backsides look bigger.


Sportswear also became a thing during these years. Women would wear shirtwaist ensembles that made it easier to perform leisure activities like playing tennis or cycling. The Museum of Modern Art's Costume Institute Head Curator Andrew Bolton said about this year's theme: 

"The stories really reflect the evolution of American style, but they also explore the work of individual tailors, dress-makers, and designers."

We can expect an event filled with embellished, exaggerated, and structured corsets, stuffed shoulder cushions, bustle pads, and feather accessories with this in mind. 



The Met Gala 2022 will be held on May 2, 2022, with Regina King, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as the event's official co-chairs and Tom Ford, Adam Mosseri, and Anna Wintour as honorary co-chairs. 

Other high-profile celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez, Megan Thee Stallion, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and the Kar-Jenner family, will also grace the event.

You have different options to watch the Met Gala red carpet online. E! will broadcast it live on TV and online, and will offer a stream of the event on its website, with LaLa Anthony, Vanessa Hudgens, and Hamish Bowles as hosts.