Girls, we’re coming to the first weekend of May, which means Monday night is the Met Gala 2022, for which we’ll all be constantly refreshing Twitter to watch dozens of stunning “Gilded Glamour” looks take the above on our feed. Yes, it’s time to participate in this annual tradition of judging the outfits sported by all the A-listers in attendance as if we were Anna Wintour herself and not, like, in our pajamas sitting on a couch in our apartment… alone.
Anyway, after losing the annual event in 2020 and then the chaotic 2021 melee of political fashion on the nose and green dolls (Kim Kardashian in Balenciaga was there to save the day), the 2022 theme – Gilded Glamor – should be the most opulent Met Gala yet! But what does the dress code actually mean and what designers or fashion moments can we expect to see that night? Read on for our breakdown.
Image courtesy of Jean Paul Gaultier.
What does golden glamor mean?
The Golden Age refers specifically to the period from 1870 to 1900 (although the Gala’s theme refers to the years 1880 to 1900) in the northern and western portions of the United States. While the Southern states remained impoverished after the American Civil War, other parts of America experienced massive economic growth during this period due to industrialization and the building of railroads. Fashions of the time were luxurious and lavish, with pastel silk and satin dresses, lace embroidery and jeweled embellishments alongside boned corsets, statuesque hats and dramatic gloves. Think Bridgerton if it was set in America.
But the term for the era, coined by writers Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in the title of their 1873 novel, is actually a satire of how wealth and luxury were used to mask vast inequalities and social problems present in society. For something to be golden, it means that it has a thin layer of gold plating to cover its less attractive reality, usually metal, wood, or stone. At the time, an influx of impoverished immigrants from Europe highlighted the significant concentration of wealth within the Old Money elite, while the rise of labor unions sparked conversations about issues such as women’s suffrage and child labour.
Is Gilded Glamor also the theme of the Met exhibition?
Although this is the term used to describe the dress code, unlike most years, it is neither the name nor the subject of the exhibition held at the Met itself. Rather, it refers to a specific era in the chronology of the exhibition.
This year’s exhibit at the Met’s Costume Institute is the second part of “In America,” and the exploration of fashion and clothing throughout American history. While the garments on display in the first part in September, titled “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” explored the patchwork of people and cultures that make up the United States today, when more than half of the pieces on display are traded this weekend, the new exhibit, titled “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” will explore looks from the 18th century to the present day as a time capsule of the country’s changing styles. There will also be films directed by Martin Scorsese, Sofia Coppola and Chloé Zhao that function as freeze frames of fashion moments in US history.
Image courtesy of Schiaparelli.
Why Golden Glamor?
Why the event chose to dedicate its guests’ dress choices to this era is a mystery, and it’s ironic that the most elite party of the year is themed around the use of wealth and opulence to glean from the pressing issues currently facing society.
Arguably, after the vagueness of last year’s dress code led to a lot of “meh” fashion and confusing takes, Anna Wintour may have wanted to make this year’s theme more specific. Gilded Glamor is meant to create fun looks that are eye-catching, and with opera gloves and pearls having a bit of fashion right now, there’s never been a better time to do it.
Do we know what people will wear?
Although we don’t know the specifics of what people are wearing, we do know that this year’s dress code is much stricter than previous years. Attendees of the event are required to wear “white tie,” meaning black coat tails, crisp white shirts, waistcoats, and bow ties for those unglamorous in post-regency attire.
Rumors online swirled that Kim Kardashian, however, could wear a stylish $5 million dress worn by Marilyn Monroe after she was seen leaving the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not tourist attraction in Orlando, Florida, which is home to the look, in the alongside Pete Davidson who was also invited to the prestigious event. Although he’s not vintage, he could be on-theme with his glamorous backstory and stunning crystal-adorned body. Talk to Go to HollywoodKim also said she was super nervous about the look she would wear: “I think it will be at the last minute because it can’t be adapted, so I have to fit into it like, exactly” . To quote Miley Cyrus: What does it mean??? Could Kim be wearing something historic and archival that is too important or delicate to alter?
What designers can we expect to see at the Met Gala?
Using the very literal definition of the word “golden” as gold plated, we expect Schiaparelli to have a strong presence at this year’s event. The designer has had a slew of iconic fashion moments lately, from Lady Gaga’s oversized dove brooch at the presidential inauguration to Bella Hadid’s tree lung dress and Cardi B’s jaw-dropping scarf. Creative Director Daniel Roseberry’s SS22 saw a slew of new sculptural jeweled gold pieces such as gloves, spiral bras, celestial tops and fiery dresses, and we’re sure there will be pieces personalized cards specially designed for the event by the creator. We wouldn’t be surprised either, if we saw some of Loewe’s stunning gold space body plates on sleek dresses from their SS22 collection among attendees at this year’s event, or the headpieces and bra tops. divinely winged that made up the Area couture runway in February.
One designer capturing the essence and thematic qualities of Gilded Glamor is Maria Grazia Chiuri. Her Dior SS22 Couture collection was an ode to beautiful, flawless tailoring. Stunningly designed modest dresses in neutral tones with chain mail necklines and crystal embellishments on delicate mesh fabrics embrace an air of luxury and dearness for which the era was famous.
Perhaps the most gothic of attendees will arrive in ghostly Fendi mourning dresses from Kim Jones’ couture show, which looked like something out of a Henry James novel. Alternatively, after dressing model Iman at the 2021 Met Gala, we wouldn’t be surprised if the work of CSM graduate and Harry Styles favorite Harris Reed makes an appearance – his designs are known for their androgynous theatrics which are linked to make a statement at night.
For a more timely take on the theme and a nod to the dress of the time, Elie Saab’s webbed corset tops, cinched waists and puffy skirts of botanical beauty would look great heading up the stairs. of the Met. It also seems appropriate for a fashion period defined by corsetry and ruffles that Jean Paul Gaultier’s SS22 Couture collection, designed by Glenn Martens, with billowing satin excesses in bold tones, makes an appearance.
There are also a ton of fashion shows from the past that gave strong vibes to the Golden Age. From Dior’s gorgeous couture show in 2005 filled with sheer tulle mini-dresses, pearl necklaces and veiled hats, to Alexander McQueen’s jaw-dropping Fall 2013 collection that had head-to-toe beaded insignia. , we were able to see incredible archival pieces see the light of day once again.
With the historical period also notorious for its social issues and great inequalities, we’re sure we’ll see designers use opulence and dramatic clothing to make cutting-edge statements about our current global climate and today’s issues.
Who do we think will have the most iconic look of the night?
This year, with Rihanna currently back in Barbados as she prepares for the birth of her first child, and Zendaya unavailable, the most iconic look of the night could be anyone’s. After her head-to-toe bodysuit last year and Thierry Mugler’s stranded California girl look the previous event, we’re hopeful that Kim Kardashian will gag us all when she steps onto the Met Gala carpet.