The 2021 Met Gala is happening tonight – here's everything we know about it so far

·3-min read
Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris - Getty Images

Almost every single planned red-carpet event over the past 18 months has been rescheduled, downsized or cancelled altogether as the world has been forced to contend with the restrictions that have come as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Hollywood has started to open up somewhat over the past few months with scaled-back award presentations and only partly virtual red carpets. And, after a year off, we will see a Met Gala red carpet in 2021, taking place this September rather than in May.

The Met Gala – which is a charity event held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art each spring and makes for one of the most exciting celebrity-fashion events each year – usually takes place on the first Monday of May, but will this year be hosted in September and will be chaired by Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman and Naomi Osaka. Tom Ford, Adam Mosseri, and Anna Wintour will also serve as honorary chairs.

Photo credit: Rabbani and Solimene Photography - Getty Images
Photo credit: Rabbani and Solimene Photography - Getty Images

This year's more intimate Costume Institute Benefit (also known as the Met Gala) is scheduled for tonight, Monday 13 September. The museum has also announced that the 2022 Met Gala will be scheduled for 2 May. Both events will be held to coincide with the openings of a two-part exhibition which celebrates American fashion.

Part one, 'In America: A Lexicon of Fashion' will celebrate the Costume Institute’s 75th anniversary and explore a modern vocabulary of American fashion. It will open on 18 September, following the 2021 Met Gala.

Part two, 'In America: An Anthology of Fashion' — opening in the American Wing period rooms on 5 May 2022 —will explore the development of American fashion by presenting narratives that relate to the complex and layered histories of those spaces.

"Over the past year, because of the pandemic, the connections to our homes have become more emotional, as have those to our clothes," Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, said of the exhibition. "For American fashion, this has meant an increased emphasis on sentiment over practicality."

"Responding to this shift, part one of the exhibition will establish a modern vocabulary of American fashion based on the expressive qualities of clothing as well as deeper associations with issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Part two will further investigate the evolving language of American fashion through a series of collaborations with American film directors who will visualise the unfinished stories inherent in The Met’s period rooms."

The theme of the Met Gala always corresponds to the subject of the exhibition, meaning this year's theme will be 'American Independence'. We can therefore expect to see plenty of American designers celebrated at the event, as well as other fashionable takes on American culture.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

In terms of exactly what this new intimate format will look like, we don't know much yet. However, the museum has released information about what guests will be eating. According to a release from the organisation, those lucky attendees will be tucking into a plant-based menu which has been created by 10 emerging chefs.

"The opportunity for guests to experience the cuisine of this diverse group of chefs will be one of the highlights of the evening," said Clyde B. Jones III, senior vice president for institutional advancement at The Met. "We are grateful to the chefs for their participation in the Benefit, which provides The Costume Institute with its primary source of annual funding."

It has also been confirmed that Rihanna will be hosting the official Met Gala afterparty. The singer shared details of the event on her Instagram Stories with the caption: "If you planning a Met Ball after party...don't."

Photo credit: Mike Coppola - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Coppola - Getty Images

Now, as we await this year's glossiest red-carpet event, take a moment to look back over the best Met Gala dresses of all time, below.

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