It’s the first Monday of May so the celebrities, fashion auteurs, and well-connected rich people around the world are coalescing on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to shove their wealth and Botoxed brows in our inferior little faces. Happy fucking Met Gala, my darlings.
As the second part of the first-ever two-part Met Gala (the first was in September 2021), attendees have been asked to “embody the grandeur—and perhaps the dichotomy—of Gilded Age New York,” according to Vogue for this year’s theme: “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.”
“The period, which stretched from 1870 to 1890, was one of unprecedented prosperity, cultural change, and industrialization, when both skyscrapers and fortunes seemingly arose overnight,” the publication continues.
This year’s official co-chairs and hosts are Regina King, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, while Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour will continue her nearly 30-year reign as honorary co-chair. Notably, this year’s fete is steeped in a bit of controversy as Conde Nast has yet to recognize its unionized workers—who will surely work to cover the event, one of the longest days in fashion without a lick of overtime pay. All so that Americans can squabble over the worst “accidental” incidents of cultural appropriation on a global stage. What a delight!
Vogue has noted that the Gala will “focus on inclusivity in fashion” in an attempt to surface designers and artists “forgotten, overlooked or relegated into the footnotes of fashion history.” Ironically, many celebs overlooked homegrown American designers of color during last year’s Americana-themed event, instead using their bodies as vehicles for established Eurocentric brand names. We’d absolutely love Vogue to admit its own part in the erasure and marginalization of Black and brown designers, but that’s likely too ambitious of an ask for a night that literally spells out a stark division between the “storied” and the “forgotten.”
While the Met Gala has previously given us criminal justice commentary from Rihanna, who said she was inspired by the black hoodie as representation for the outsized criminalization of Black people, Madonna’s assless chaps, AOC’s “Tax the Rich” gown in a room full of noticeably rich people, Jared Leto featuring Jared Leto’s head as an accessory, and Zendaya content for all of eternity, this year’s Met Gala feels a bit like an obsolete dinosaur. It’s an evening both characterized and cherished for its gatekeeping of the upper class. Those who have class, clout, and the right amount of cultural cachet in the eyes of one out-of-touch media elitist score a place on the carpet, all in the middle of a reignited labor movement. Even this year’s couture gobblers think the event has lost its touch and gone “Halloween,” according to The New York Post (Katy Perry’s hamburger ensemble, anyone?).
Anyway, onto some insightful ass-ripping, I mean critiques!