What to Know About the Theme for the 2022 Met Gala

The Met Gala is back on May 5, 2022. Learn about the inspiration is behind the red carpet event's theme and it's dress code.

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Apr. 29 2022, Published 12:10 a.m. ET

Source: Getty Images

Rihanna at the 2021 Met Gala

"Fashion’s biggest night," aka the Met Gala, is back at the Costume Institute at New York City's renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art. The event typically takes place each year on the first Monday of May and gives celebs and fashion industry insiders a chance to play with costume fashion.

Like most events, the Met was forced to cancel two years of galas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in September 2021, the Met Gala returned with new COVID protocols, requiring that all guests show proof of their vaccination or provide a negative test.

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Although the Met opened its doors, the festivities didn’t end with the fall event. The Met Gala split its 2021 theme into two parts, which has since carried over into May 2022. The theme for September's event was “In America: A Lexicon in Fashion,” while May's gala, taking place at the usual time, will be centered on “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.” Here’s what to expect from the 2022 Met Gala theme.

Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid at the 2021 Met Gala
Source: Getty Images

Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid at the 2021 Met Gala

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What's the theme for the 2022 Met Gala?

The 2021 Met Gala centered on the way that fashion has played a role in historical moments of American life, as well as the way that it shifted in light of a global pandemic. Now, the 2022 event is getting a bit more specific by focusing on a particular era in American fashion.

The dress code, “Gilded Glamour and White Tie,” pays homage to the Gilded Age of New York that stretched between 1870 and 1890. Throughout the night, red-carpet watchers might expect to see plenty of corsets, bustles, extravagant trains, and over-the-top textures, which is how upper-class women at the time dressed practically every day.

“It is very embellished, very exaggerated, very structured," curator and fashion historian Kate Strasdin told CNN about the Gilded Age. “It feels so upholstered compared to the way that we think about dress now."

Following the red carpet event, which takes pace on Monday, May 2, the Met will open the exhibition “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” in the period rooms of its American Wing on Thursday, May 5. Although the new collection is different from the September exhibit, the museum’s team intends to combine the two seamlessly.

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“Fashion is both a harbinger of cultural shifts and a record of the forces, beliefs, and events that shape our lives,” said Max Hollein, the Marina Kellen French Director of The Met. “This two-part exhibition considers how fashion reflects evolving notions of identity in America and explores a multitude of perspectives through presentations that speak with powerful immediacy to some of the complexities of history. In looking at the past through this lens, we can consider the aesthetic and cultural impact of fashion on historical aspects of American life.”

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Who is hosting the Met Gala 2022?

The May 2022 event will follow the same format and have four celebrity co-chairs, including Regina King, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who help determine the guest list, the decor, the food, and the overall vibe of the event. The actors join the event’s honorary chairs — fashion designer Tom Ford, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, and of course Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

As for the guest list, the Met Gala will likely have the usual suspects of stylish celebrities. Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Zendaya are among the stars who have worn iconic looks to the event throughout the years. However, not all of these fashion icons plan on attending this year's gala. Rihanna likely won’t make it to part two of the exhibit, as she’s currently in Barbados anticipating giving birth to her and A$AP Rocky’s baby.

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Zendaya at the 2018 Met Gala
Source: Getty Images

Zendaya at the 2018 Met Gala

Zendaya also revealed she wouldn’t be getting dolled up for the Met Gala this year. While sitting on a panel for her HBO Max show, Euphoria, the actress said she wouldn’t be able to attend due to work demands. Zendaya is currently filming a movie called The Challengers.

“I’m sorry to disappoint my fans here, but I will be working,” she said. “Your girl’s gotta work and make some movies. So, I wish everyone the best.”

Following her remarks, Zendaya gave her fans some hope for the future by stating, “I will be back eventually.”

You can stream the 2022 Met Gala live on Vogue’s website on Monday, May 2.

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