22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman, who recited her poem "The Hill We Climb" at Joe Biden's inauguration, is slated to co-host the Met Gala this year.
She will appear alongside the Met Gala chairwoman and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and US designer Tom Ford.
Gorman caused a sensation not only with her poem, but also in fashion.
She was also featured on the May cover of US “Vogue”.
With her co-moderation of the gala, Gorman follows personalities such as George Clooney, Sarah Jessica Parker or Harry Styles, who had previously taken on this role.
The Met Gala will take place in two parts
This year's event and exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will be titled "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion" and is expected to open on September 18th.
It is unusual for a topic to shape the exhibitions for two years in a row.
Because the following second part, called “In America: An Anthology of Fashion”, is to be opened in May 2022, as was the tradition at the Met Gala in the years before the pandemic, according to the responsible Costume Institute.
Insofar as the pandemic guidelines allow, the opening event is to be opened in autumn as usual with performances by famous personalities from the fashion and cultural scene on the red carpet.
Most of the financial resources that the Costume Institute needs will be raised with the benefit event, it is said.
The grand opening of the gala is often referred to as the “fashion Oscars”, as the fashionable appearances of the stars can rarely be surpassed in pomp and extravagance.
Cross-gender and inclusive
The theme this year, "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion", seems much more sober than the mottos from previous years.
It is designed to highlight both American designers and important events of the past year.
"I am really impressed by the reactions of American designers to the social and political climate, especially with regard to the issues of body awareness and gender diversity," explains the exhibition curator Andrew Bolton in an interview with Vogue. "I find their work just very, very self-reflective and believe that American fashion is experiencing a renaissance right now.
Young designers in particular are at the forefront of discussions about diversity and inclusion as well as sustainability and transparency, much more so than their European counterparts, perhaps with the exception of the English designers, ”says Bolton.
There used to be more opulence: Lady Gaga at the Met Gala 2019
Source: AP / Charles Sykes
From Virgil Abloh to Óscar de la Renta
The fashion shown at the exhibition will range from coats by designer Bonnie Cashin and tracksuits by sportswear pioneer Claire McCardell to Taylor Swift's floral Óscar de la Renta dress and athleisurewear by sustainable label Collina Strada.
Outfits by designers such as Kerby Jean-Raymond from Pyer Moss, a black designer who often addresses the cultural appropriation of Afro-American narratives in pop culture on the catwalk, will be exhibited alongside the designs by Prabal Gurung, whose catwalk show of 2020 with the theme "Who gets to be American?" Placed social integration in the foreground.
Among the other designers whose work can be seen both on the red carpet of the fundraising event and in the exhibition are Virgil Abloh, Ralph Lauren and the label Halston, which shaped the fashion of the 1970s in the USA in particular.
The new cosiness of fashion is also an issue
Inspired by the essay by the writer Witold Rybczynski "Home: A Short History of an Idea", which deals with the development of comfort and living in one's own home, Bolton will also transform the Costume Center into a kind of imaginary house.
"In the past year, due to the pandemic, the relationship to our home has become more emotional, as has that to our clothing," said Bolton about the connection between fashion and living in the Corona crisis.
"For American fashion, this meant an increased emphasis on feeling over practicality." It remains to be seen whether the event can actually take place physically as planned, or whether it will be streamed digitally from home.