After the pandemic shut down fashion's biggest night in 2020, the Met Gala came back on Monday night — albeit a smaller event than years past, and postponed from its typical May date.
Coming off the end of New York Fashion Week, the gala marked the opening of In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, this year's exhibition by the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The show, the first of two installations at the Met celebrating American fashion, opens to the public on September 18 and coincides with the institute's 75th anniversary.
The soiree has been a welcome celebration for the fashion industry, after the pandemic wreaked havoc on companies' finances and shuttered important money-making events like in-person fashion shows. To mark the occasion, the fashion, film, television and sports worlds showed up in their best interpretations of the event's formal dress code: "American Independence." Among those walking the red carpet are the event's co-hosts, some of the most recognizable stars today: Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka, Timothée Chalamet and Amanda Gorman.
Thanks to the COVID safety protocols in place, guests had to provide more than an invitation to get in the door. All attendees were required to show proof of full vaccination, submit a negative rapid PCR test result before the event and remain masked except when eating or drinking. That ruled out some high-profile folks from attending — including Nicki Minaj, who tweeted that if she gets vaccinated, "it won't [be] for the Met. It'll be once I feel I've done enough research."
Next year's gala is scheduled to happen right on time — May 2, 2022, to mark the May 5 opening of the second Met installation about American fashion, titled In America: An Anthology of Fashion. For now, here are some of our favorite looks from this evening, as well as answers to that age-old question: Who are they wearing?
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Natalie Escobar is an assistant editor on the Code Switch team, where she edits the blog and newsletter, runs the social media accounts and leads audience engagement. Before coming to NPR in 2020, Escobar was an assistant editor and editorial fellow at The Atlantic, where she covered family life and education. She also was a ProPublica emerging reporter fellow, where she helped their Illinois bureau do experimental audience engagement through theater workshops. (Really!)
Dana Farrington is a digital editor coordinating online coverage on the Washington Desk — from daily stories to visual feature projects to the weekly newsletter. She has been with the NPR Politics team since President Trump's inauguration. Before that, she was among NPR's first engagement editors, managing the homepage for NPR.org and the main social accounts. Dana has also worked as a weekend web producer and editor, and has written on a wide range of topics for NPR, including tech and women's health.