For only the second time in the 70 years of Met Gala’s, The Met Gala was postponed. The gala is The Oscars of the fashion world, so rather than the party, this year, on the first Monday of May, Vogue hosted a livestream with Anna Wintour and other celebrities. Here is a breakdown of the livestream and what’s to come.
The livestream started by giving an animated break down on the history of The Met Gala. It began in 1920 with Irene Lewisohn and Aline Bernstein who created collection of costumes for people to explore for inspiration. By 1946 they had 8000 pieces, it was showcased at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as The Costume Institute. They wanted to show clothes as beauty, and part of the embezzlement of life. In 1948, thanks to Eleanor Lambert (a publicist),The Met Gala was born. Not only did she invent The Met Gala, she also invented New York Fashion Week and The Best Dress List. The event took off immediately, and was known as the party of the year.
The party was quite well-known but Diana Vreeland elevated it to what it is today. Thanks to her, the Met Gala took on a new role to not only raise funds for the institute, but also to spread the word about the exhibitions there. She moved the gala to the museum itself. Soon, socialite Pat Buckley took over the gala. She expanded the event and allowed for exterior people to come in at a high price. This once again changed in 1995 when Anna Wintour took control. The guest list reflected the pages of Vogue, of which she was editor-in-chief. After the curator of the Met Gala died, the gala started exclusively taking place on the first Monday of May. The exhibitions have celebrated designers from Coco Chanel, to Alexander McQueen. This year, curator Andrew Bolton made the theme to celebrate the 150 years of the museum. He wanted the theme to reflect on the nature and passage of time, and also to explore the chronology of fashion from 1870 to 2020. With this theme, he considers how forms have been reimagined over the decades.
After this explanation, the viewers are introduced to Anna Wintour. Anna Wintour starts by talking about how normally on the first Monday of may she would find herself on the steps of the museum greeting her guests. She kindly explains that this is a time of grief for millions, and the postponement of the party simply does not compare to the suffering worldwide. Following this and a call for donations, was a performance by Florence + the Machine. After this, Cardi B gave an encouraging speech. She said, “I cannot wait, so we can come next year stronger than ever, and we’re gonna raise as much money more than ever,” before introducing a performance by Virgil Abloh. Virgil Abloh is a designer and has worked for Off-White and Louis Vuitton. In this celebration, he was also a DJ. Abloh started thirty minutes into the video, and played until 7:03, when the video cut off and was unable to be accessed. At 7:22 the video was still private and inaccessible to many, leaving viewers wondering if the Met Gala was over.
If you were disappointed by this abrupt ending, here is something to look forward to. The Met Gala is postponed to a later date, but The Costume Institute is scheduled to reopen on October 29. When it opens, people will have the chance to view the full exhibition of the theme. The concept of “la durée” is particularly interesting due to its openness to variety, covering any styles from 1870 to the present. According to metmuseum.org the exhibition will also “link the concept of duration to debates about diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, traceability, transparency, longevity, collaboration, and other ethical issues germane to the next decade of fashion”. If you’re disappointed about The Met Gala, hopefully The 120 fashions featured in the exhibition is something to be excited for!