Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for the Met Museum
After the pandemic ended fashion’s biggest night of 2020, the Met Gala is back – albeit a smaller event than in previous years, and postponed from its typical May date.
At the end of New York Fashion Week, the gala marks the opening of In America: a fashion lexicon, this year’s Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The show, the first of two Met installations celebrating American fashion, opens to the public on September 18 and coincides with the institute’s 75th anniversary.
The evening is a welcome celebration for the fashion industry, after the pandemic wreaked havoc on corporate finances and closed large, lucrative events like in-person fashion shows. To mark the occasion, the worlds of fashion, film, television and sport showed up in their best interpretations of the formal dress code of the event: “American Independence”. Among those walking the red carpet are the co-organizers of the event, some of the most recognizable stars today: Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka, Timothée Chalamet and Amanda Gorman.
With COVID security protocols in place, guests must provide more than an invitation to enter. All participants must show full proof of vaccination, submit a negative rapid PCR test result before the event, and remain masked except when eating or drinking. This ruled out some high profile figures from attending, including Nicki Minaj, who tweeted that if she gets the shot, “it does not go [be] for the Met. It will be when I feel I have done enough research. “
Next year’s gala is set to take place just in time – May 2, 2022, to mark the May 5 opening of the Met’s second installation on American Fashion, titled In America: a fashion anthology. For now, here are some of our favorite looks from tonight, a list we’ll update overnight, plus answers to this age-old question: Who are they wearing?
Marco Storel contributed to this story.