It’s the biggest night in fashion. The one time of the year when you can see rappers mingling with former Disney stars, couples make their big red carpet debuts and Vogue editor Anna Wintour *almost* crack a smile. It’s the Met Ball, y’all!
Put on annually by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, the Met Gala raises money for the upcoming year in the only way famous people know how: by dressing up extravagantly and eating very little food. But it’s OK, because no one cares about the food; all eyes are on the infamous Met steps (yes, the Gossip Girl steps) and the outfits of those who grace them. Because celebs go ALL OUT.
With the recent announcement of the 2020 theme, we’re already getting hyped over the event. Here’s everything you need to know in the lead up to the big day—including what the heck Meryl Streep has to do with it.
It’ll be on, wait for it, the first Monday in May
As is the tradition with this annual event, next year’s Met Gala will take place on May 4, 2020. The exhibit will then be open to the public from May 7 until September 7. So make sure you make time to see it!
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The theme is about time
This year’s exhibition is titled, About Time: Fashion and Duration. Per the museum, the exhibition will trace more than a century and a half of fashion—the period from 1870 to now—along “a disruptive timeline.” According to Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, the exhibit takes a “nuanced and open-ended” approach. “It’s a reimagining of fashion history that’s fragmented, discontinuous and heterogeneous,” Bolton told Vogue.
Drawing from philosopher Henri Bergson’s concept of la durée (duration), the exhibit will highlight “how clothes generate temporal associations that conflate past, present and future,” according to The Met.
Bolton told Vogue that he was inspired by the film Orlando, based on a Virginia Woolf novel of the same name that focuses on time travelling.
Woolf will serve as the “ghost narrator,” with quotes from some of her most famous books interspersed throughout the exhibit. Which, honestly, sounds kooky and amazing.
And it wants to challenge how we think about fashion
Inspired by Woolf’s version of time in her novels and the idea of a continuum—Bolton is challenging how we think about fashion. To do so, according to Vogue, he’ll divide the 160 women’s garments in the exhibition into two sections (also known as “timescales”).
The first is a linear timeline of black looks. “It’s a very rational, regulated chronology of fashion from 1870 to 2020, the timescale of modernity,” Bolton tells the mag. The second grouping presents a counter-chronology, mostly in white ensembles with the potential for a splash of colour.
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“What the dual timelines try to unravel is that tension in fashion between change and endurance, and transience and permanence,” Bolton says. “Ultimately, I think it advocates for a slowing down of fashion.”
It’s also celebrating the Met’s 150th anniversary
This year’s gala is extra special because it celebrates a big milestone—the museum’s 150th anniversary! Because of this, the museum is leaning hard into its own archives for source material. According to The New York Times, about 70% of the exhibition will come from the museum’s holdings, while 30% will be gifts in honour of the 150th anniversary sourced from designers or collectors.
The show has a Beyoncé connection
No, unfortunately the Queen herself will not be co-chairing, but we will have a small dose of Bey in the form of the gala’s exhibition designer. Visual artist and stage designer Es Devlin will be working with Bolton on the gala’s look. Devlin has previously worked on some big name projects, including Beyoncé’s Formation tour; so you know this exhibit is going to be *lit.*
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Not only will this upcoming year’s gala be monumental in celebrating the museum’s 150th anniversary, but it’ll also mark the first time Hollywood icon Meryl Streep has attended the event. And, because she’s Meryl, she’s not *merely* attending. Streep is co-chairing the gala alongside Wintour, Emma Stone, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and the artistic director of Louis Vuitton women’s wear, Nicolas Ghesquière.
Fingers crossed Streep shows up in something like this:
It is the Met Gala, after all.