The Met Plans an American Fashion Extravaganza

The Met Plans an American Fashion Extravaganza

April 12, 2021

This year’s Met Gala will be in September. The Costume Institute has announced its next big show. The subject: American style. Politics are involved.

By Vanessa Friedman

All those people who said American fashion was dead and that the pandemic, with its bankruptcies and store closures, was simply the tolling of the final bell? The people who pointed to the anemic state of the digital New York Fashion Week, with its lack of big names and buzz, and said it was over? The people who said it was going to be sweatpants and Crocs from now on?

Andrew Bolton, the curator in charge of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Anna Wintour, trustee, Costume Institute booster and Condé Nast chief content officer, have a message for them: Get thee to a museum.

On Monday they unveiled plans for not one but two big and interconnected Costume Institute shows, both focused on (you guessed it) American fashion. And there would be not one but two Met Galas alongside them.

Two Met Galas! That’s doubling down on the local scene. And a big gamble that the world will be prepared to embrace a party, and the party throwers, at a time when exactly how safe that party will be is still unclear.

Though the exhibitions will not make their debut in May, as has become tradition for the Met’s fashion extravaganzas, part one will open in September, just after Fashion Week; the gala will be the closing event of the collections. (Part two will open in May 2022.)

That will allow for Covid restrictions to ease (they hope), attendees to get used to being around other people again (though size will be determined by government guidelines), and a previously unexploited synergy between the show and the shows to flower. Especially because the dress code for the gala in all its glitzy, social-media-catnip glory, will presumably be … American.

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