It’s the first Monday in May and, after two years of disrupted ceremonies as a result of the pandemic, the 2022 Met Gala is back on its usual schedule. Thanks to the night’s theme, “Gilded Glamour,” this year’s red carpet is guaranteed to deliver the type of over-the-top looks we’ve come to expect from the “Oscars of Fashion.”
Following the return of the 2021 Met Gala red carpet in September, this year's attendees are celebrating the opening of the second installment of Costume Institute’s “In America: An Anthology Of Fashion” exhibit. The two-part show, on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until September 2022, concludes with an exploration of 19th- and 20th-century fashion through the “sartorial narratives that relate to the complex and layered histories” of the United States.
Naturally, the night’s theme — cemented in the late 19th-century era known as The Gilded Age — has opened the door for celebs, designers, and influencers to flex their fashion history muscles. A period of extreme wealth and rapid economic growth, Gilded Age's fashion was marked by lavish textiles like silk and tulle with equally excessive embellishments like bows, feathers, and sequins. Bustles and hourglass-enhancing silhouettes were also predominant during this era’s style.
Though the fashion took a more practical turn toward the end of the period, designers like Charles James, Vivienne Westwood, Rei Kawakubo, John Galliano, and more have continued to reference this era’s influential fashions, including James’ “Butterfly” dress from 1955 and Comme des Garçons’ 1996 “Lumps and Bumps” collection.
Yet, while we can expect the red carpet to be filled with a plethora of 19th century-adjacent garbs like bustiers, crinolines, feathers, and opera gloves, the night could see some more non-traditional interpretations for this year’s theme.
Ahead, see the best fashion looks from the 2022 Met Gala so far.