Coming up roses with Karen Walker

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The ‘Oscars of fashion’ is back. 

The highlight of the fashion calendar, the Met Gala returns with a celebration of American Fashion. After cancelling last year’s gala due to the pandemic, the Costume Institute has announced the Met Gala will return this year with a two-part event throughout 2021 and 2022.

The opening night of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s first exhibition will take place on 13 September 2021, rather than the traditional first Monday in May. Titled ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’, the exhibition will run in tandem with the second exhibition, ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion’, debuting on 5 May, 2022.

US Youth Poet Laureate and style icon Amanda Gorman is rumoured to host the event alongside Vogue editor-in-chief and Met Gala chairwoman, Anna Wintour, and designer Tom Ford.

Following on from previous year’s theme including ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’, ‘Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’ and ‘Fashion in the Age of Technology’, this year’s theme will focus on the “Renaissance” of American fashion, alongside major political, social and cultural touchstones of the past year.

“I think that the emphasis on conscious creativity was really consolidated during the pandemic and the social justice movements,” curator Andrew Bolton, told Vogue. 

“I’ve been really impressed by American designers’ responses to the social and political climate, particularly around issues of body inclusivity and gender fluidity, and I’m just finding their work very, very self-reflective. I really do believe that American fashion is undergoing a Renaissance.”

An ‘imaginary house’ will be set up for the first exhibition, with Taylor Swift’s floral Oscar de la Renta Grammys dress and a Bonnie Cashin coat expected to feature in the exhibition. The 2022 exhibition will continue the theme, this time looking at American fashion “in the context of race, gender, and materiality.”

With last year’s event cancelled, the 2021 Met Gala is sure to be a who’s-who of celebs, artists, designers and industry icons. And with everyone craving a bit of escapism, the extravagance is sure to be in full swing.

Can’t wait? Look back at 19 of the best Met Gala looks of all time.

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