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The Gala Must Go On

Today is the first Monday in May, and for the first time in almost two decades it will not be the same. Since 2005, Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour, has been successful with hosting the Met Gala. The celebrity-packed event, which CNN calls the ‘one of the biggest nights on the fashion calendar, the Met Gala (1)’ in New York has been postponed due to coronavirus.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City announced the theme of the 2020 Met Gala and the accompanying Costume Institute exhibition back in November: “About Time: Fashion and Duration.” The theme came from this year being the 150th anniversary of the museum and will trace the history of fashion from 1870 to the present — “disruptive timeline (2).” 

In a statement, Max Hollein, the director of the Met said, “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 such, the show will present a nuanced continuum of fashion over the Museum’s 150-year-history.” 

Andrew Bolton, curator of the exhibition also mentioned in the same statement, “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, serving as an especially sensitive and accurate timepiece. Through a series of chronologies, the exhibition will use the concept of duration to analyze the temporal twists and turns of fashion history. (2)”

The Met Gala has always had the most creative themes, giving designers to have a chance to make the most outrageous, most gorgeous one of a kind of fashion piece and turn it into an iconic piece. Such as last year’s theme, “Camp: Notes on Fashion”. Camp’s theme was based on Susan Sontag definition in 1964, “camp as an aesthetic ‘sensibility’ that is plain to see but hard for most of us to explain: an intentional over-the-top-ness, a slightly (or extremely) “off” quality, bad taste as a vehicle for good art. (3)”

Five months after the theme was announced to the world, the Met Gala was one of the first major events to be postponed due to the pandemic. Wintour, herself, wrote a short article about her decision and why it was the smart thing to do. “Due to the unavoidable and responsible decision by the Metropolitan Museum to close its doors, About Time, and the opening night gala, will not take place on the date scheduled. In the meantime, we will give you a preview of this extraordinary exhibition in our forthcoming May issue (4).” 

Wintour has been a co-chair since 1995 and since then, the gala has only missed one year on the carpet due to 9/11, which canceled the event back in 2002. The gala isn’t just about fashion, celebrities, and high fashion designers, but it’s a fundraiser. ‘Tickets can cost upwards of $30,000, the event is invite-only offers a significant source of revenue for the museum (1)’. Last year alone, the gala raised $15 million for the Costume Institute (1). 

On Friday, Vogue came out with an article giving their readers a way to still enjoy the first Monday in May — “Announcing “A Moment with the Met” — In Celebration of the First Monday in May.” Which will include Vogue looking back at highlights from previous years, breathtaking red-carpet ensemble to memorable moments. (6) An intimate celebration will be held in the evening — “A Moment With the Met” exclusivity on YouTube (6). The event will start promptly at 6 p.m. EDT, ‘featuring an address by Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, a special live performance by Florence and the Machine, and a DJ set from Virgil Abloh. State Farm is the exclusive sponsor of “A Moment With the Met. (6).” 

“It would be impossible to recreate the gala on Monday evening, though I have loved hearing how so many are marking the occasion in their ways,” says Wintour of the day’s programming. “So instead, I asked a few friends to join me for a simple moment—one that I hope will bring us all a bit of joy. (6)”

Vogue also tells readers that six new videos will bring Met gala memories to life, thanks to the insight of former attendees like Naomi Campbell, Cardi B, Stella McCartney, and more (6). Click here to see the whole line up. The magazine will donate to both Costume Institute and A Common Thread and will ask viewers to consider the same if they can (6). 

A new date for the 2020 Met gala is yet to be finalized (6), however, the Costume Institute’s “About Time: Fashion and Duration” exhibition has been postponed until October 29th (6). A preview of the exhibition, as captured by Hamish Bowles and Annie Leibovitz for May issue of Vogue is here and just in time. 

  1. Scott, F. S. (2020, March 16). The Met Gala has been postponed. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/style/article/met-gala-2020-postponed/index.html
  2. Prisco, J. (2019, November 7). Next year’s Met Gala theme revealed. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/style/article/met-gala-theme-2020/index.html
  3. Yotka, S. (n.d.). Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion” Exhibition. Retrieved from https://www.vogue.com/article/camp-notes-on-fashion-exhibition-andrew-bolton-interview
  4. Wintour, A. (2020, March 18). Anna Wintour on COVID-19, the Met Gala, and Why She Will Be Voting for Joe Biden. Retrieved from https://www.vogue.com/article/anna-wintour-joe-biden-covid-19-the-met-gala
  5. Nast, C. (2020, March 18). This Year’s Met Gala Has Been Postponed. Retrieved from https://www.vogue.com/article/met-gala-2020-postponed
  6. Nast, C. (2020, May 3). Announcing “A Moment With the Met”. Retrieved from https://www.vogue.com/article/how-to-watch-a-moment-with-the-met-gala-2020
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