The 2022 Met Gala, otherwise known as the First Monday in May, is back once again with a dash of bling!
After being cancelled in 2020 and sending everyone to a dark place in their minds. It was held in September last year and the glitzy event returned to its usual time slot this year.
Specifically, it was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The A-list celebrities descended upon the red carpet in celebration of the museum’s new exhibition, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” which will serve as an exploration of American fashion. The display will be presented across 13 of the American period rooms in the museum.
On the red carpet, meanwhile, well-clad stars will do their best to take on the Gilded Glamour, White Tie dress code, where they have been encouraged to approach late 19th-century clothing through a modern lens. Given the step and repeat, it is one of the most photographed in the world. We saw the many actors, models, singers, and designers in attendance bring their fashion A-game this evening. After all, the Met Gala has a long history of creating memorable outfits that are seen around the globe—you can revisit every single Met Gala look from the past decade here—and this year was certainly no different.
As for who was on the guest list this year? The official co-chairs this year included Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Regina King, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. You can even vote for your favourite looks in the comment section, of course.
First, here is a little story about the theme of the night. That is “ Gilded Glamour“. It means to show how wealth and glamour are in use. To conceal the social unrest and turmoil of the era.
At the bottom of the Met Gala invitations sent every spring is an inscription small in size but vital in importance: the dress code.
In 2020, for “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” it was studied triviality. In 2021, for “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” was American independence. And come May 2, 2022, for “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” there will be gilded glamour and white tie.
Oh, yes. Dust off Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth. The 2022 Met Gala will ask its attendees to embody the grandeur—and perhaps the dichotomy—of Gilded Age New York.
The Gilded Age
The period stretches from 1870 to 1890 (Mark Twain is given credit for coining the term in 1873). With ultimate prosperity, cultural change, and industrialization, when both skyscrapers and fortunes seemingly arose overnight. Mrs Astor and her 400 rules polite society until the new-money Vanderbilts force their way in.
Thomas Edison’s light bulb, patented in 1882, was first in The New York Times building and then the entire city. Alexander Graham Bell’s 1876 telephone made communication instant— creating a demand for operators to man the lines, leading one of the first mass waves of women into the workplace.
Wages touched the sky past those in Europe (although, as Jacob Riis captured in How the Other Half Lives, far from everyone benefited). Millions of immigrants arrived in the country via Ellis Island. While the recently-erected Statue of Liberty beckons them in with a poem by Emma Lazarus
(“Give me you’re tired, your poor. Your masses are yearning to breathe free.”)
Architects McKim, Mead, and White built Beaux-Arts buildings up and down Fifth Avenue, beautifying the city in the process.
And in 1892, Vogue was founded with the mission of publishing the “point of view of the cultivated citizens of the world.” Original stockholders included Cornelius Vanderbilt, Peter Cooper Hewitt, and John E. Parsons—last names that still live on in New York to this day.
Fashion in the Gilded Age.
Interpretation of the Gilded Age Fashion
Celebrities and designers will interpret the historical styles of the period in a modern context. The overarching sense of the Gilded Age derived its style from the fashion of the Victorian period. The styles of European fashion houses have a top-down effect. With the richest woman being able to shop and spend dubious amounts on trendy dresses. The wealthy elite will be the Met Gala’s attendees and brands.
The Bustle and Crinoline
The dominance of the bustle, especially the crinoline extenders, emphasized the back of a dress. The word ” crinoline ” comes from the French word ‘crin’, which means the cage made up of circular whalebone. The crinoline is equivalent to the little black dress of the 19th century.
This also established a large skirt silhouette which was initially dome-shaped in the 1850s with an exaggerated front and back. While horsehair was used as Hoosier, which was an original textile. The crinoline had flattened under skirts with petticoats which clustered skirt volume.
In the 1860s, the front became slimmer, while in the 1870s, the crinoline became completely flat and exaggerated, lending a shape shift due to changing trends. Not only in fashion but in lifestyle, women are becoming more and more active while needing a wardrobe as the societal view of the gentler sex.
The Inappropriate Bustle
The bustle came about in the late 1860s. It wasn’t appropriate in polite society. The women were forced to wear these large whalebone cages around the bottom half of their bodies, which was happening with petticoats. The built-in wiring at the rear was known as crinolettes. Like waist belts with wiring.
Bustles became the norm because of the shape of the wiring that layers of petticoats added over the top of the exaggerated back of the dress, which was quite large and protruding.
The bustles of the early 1870s were curved and quite high and would be decorated extensively through pleating or fringe or fraying or decorative balls or flounces and fabric flowers, the bustles with different textures depending on the fabric choices. Such as taffeta to tulle as seen in the fashion plates at Harper’s Bazaar. The ruching was manipulated via ties such as the Parisian dress of 1873.
The Victorian Lace Collars
The accessories of lace collars were incredibly popular and were easily removable and laundered. The Victorian lace collars can easily have a place over the top of the bodice and wrapping jackets. It keeps the wearer warm during the cooler months. It was a strong fashion statement and a way to draw attention while protecting oneself from the harsh winter wind.
The Natural Form
The bustle started to lose steam in 1873, due to financial panic or just changing taste. The natural form takes place in the bustle’s wake as the silhouette of the bustle disintegrates. The natural form clung to the wearer’s hip but without the exaggeration of the bustle. The hip, the thigh, and the butt area felt a tad bit more realistic at first.
In the early 1870s, there was the bustle era. While from the 1870s to the early 1880s, it was the natural form era. From 1877 to 1882, it was the natural form. That is the era, the reality was in staunch contrast. The bustle and the ringlets have a noticeable and unrealistic curvature constructed from the layering of petticoats. That sits under the natural form, making it a part of everyday wear. It is important to note that the natural form was not only in natural form but lacked dress improvers. The dress from the period is full of pomp and vanity of the rear.
The slight butt stuck out but gowns of the period were excruciatingly expensive taffeta with exaggerated thighs with alpaca hair and merino wool. The gowns were decorated and trimmed with embroidery lace fringe.
The proliferation of crass bodices with armoured breastplates ( military men ). Usually, the extension of the bodice reaches a minimum to the pelvic area and is a tight fit for the body. It would require a lot of boning in a crass bodice and is only possible with the advent of the princess line silhouette. The princess dresses were for special occasions. The Princess line is the product of Charles Frederick in 1863 for Princess Alexandria of Denmark for her wedding to the British Prince Edward. It gains wider popularity.
In particular, this Princess cut utilizes the seams down the front to get an exquisitely fit bodice. Often, as a pair with a tight and heavy bone corset that creates a noticeably clingy figure.
In 1883, the bustle reinserted its dominance while destroying its natural form. The bustle meant a great deal culturally.
Cultural Importance of the Bustle
The Gilded Age was a period of unfounded and uncharted wealth in American history, while the bustle reigned globally from Paris to London to St. Petersburg.
The people of New York in the 1990s wore impeccable dresses, especially those going to the opera. The stories of how in New York society women showered themselves with diamonds, pearls, and precious stones as a way to establish their positions in the upper echelons of high society.
About five to six outfits change daily to the norm and expected. It wasn’t showy to perform so many outfit changes while, in reality, the clothing society needed the help of lady maids to put on their elaborate costumes like dresses on a day-to-day basis. They restricted the ability to do most of the laborious tasks, essentially rendering the wearer helpless. While wearing changing garments and changing in and out of clothes was a task, it was an indicator that you were so rich that you barely had to do anything but exist in polite society due to your wealth and status.
The Met Gala Carpet Highlights
Indian socialite and businesswoman Natasha Poonawalla attends the Met Gala 2022 in a showstopping Sabyasachi ensemble! The best of Indian glamour at the Met Gala 2022. I am so excited about this show-stopping look combining the best of western and Indian fashion.
The entrepreneur nailed the ‘Gilded Glamour’ theme for the night while also bringing in a touch of desi elegance with her Sabyasachi-meets-Schiaparelli creation. An Indian ace-designer Sabyasachi designed her gorgeous golden saree and the jewels and the bustier came from the house, Schiaparelli. The blend of Indian glamour and the American-inspired theme instantly made Poonawalla one of the best-dressed celebrities for the night. In particular, celebrated designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania and drape artist Dolly Jain are the dream team behind her magnificence.
While it was disappointing to see that none of the international major news outlets included her in the best-dressed list.
Lizzo attended the 2022 Met Gala in a black gown and an oversized black coat with golden work designed by Thom Browne. While a Thom Browne representative said that the outfit took 22,000 hours to create. She accessorized her outfit with her signature $55,000 flute.
The Crazy Rich Asians aka Gemma Chan wear a Louis Vuitton dress with a crinoline-inspired skirt and an embroidered cape embellished with jewels everywhere.
Blake Lively attended the 2022 Met Gala in a Versace gown. Her fashion ensemble for the night is full of references to famous NYC landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty. When Lively first arrived, the dress had an oversized copper bow at the hip that led into a long, dramatic train. The bow unravelled as she walked along the red carpet to reveal the beautiful green colour.
When she reached the top of the stairs, assistants helped undo the bustle affixed to her waist, unveiling a bright turquoise skirt, and removed her gloves to reveal another matching pair of gloves underneath. Amazingly, the second ensemble managed to look completely different from the first dress with just a few alterations.
The American Singer-Songwriter Alicia Keys attended the 2022 Met Gala in a gown and cape embroidered with the NYC skyline. The Ralph Lauren ensemble was made using more than 200,000 crystals. Keys matched with her husband, who wore a Ralph Lauren Yankees jacket.
Megan Thee Stallion
The superstar arrived at the ball with Moschino designer Jeremey Scott. In particular, wearing a gilded gold gown, complete with wings. Whereas the gown, designed by Scott, took on the theme literally through its intricate embroidery and embellishments and accompanying bolero resembling angel wings. The “Sweetest Pie” rapper carried the gold through-line from gold eyeshadow and gold nails down to her gold strappy heeled sandals.
For last year’s part-one iteration, the Coach ambassador channelled Old Hollywood glamour. (Think Diahann Carroll, Dorothy Dandridge, and Lena Horne) in a white gown covered in crystals with a tulle bustle. She carried that same visceral feeling of excess into this year’s bold gown.
The Met Gala is fashion’s big night out — and celebrities are known for saving their most striking outfits for its often-theatrical red carpet. Stars across industries, including TV, film, politics, and sport did not disappoint, bringing exaggerated silhouettes, elegant accessories, and moments of drama to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The annual gala is a fundraiser for the self-funding Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
All that “gilded glamour” brought in some real gold. This year’s Met Gala earned a record $17.4 million, museum officials said on May 3rd, Tuesday.
The annual gala is a fundraiser for the self-funding Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The money pays for operating the institute and putting on annual blockbuster exhibits like the current “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” which was launched at the gala on May 2nd, Monday night and opened to the public on May 7.