America the Beautiful?
The first Monday of May is a date marked in any fashion fan’s calendar. Typically this Monday hosts one of the most anticipated events of the year, the Met Gala. Stars don only the most exquisite to walk the red carpet as they attend this iconic fundraiser ball. Last year, as COVID-19 lockdowns were just extending, society was in no shape to safely host the event. Now that the beginning of May 2021 has rolled around, yet again the event has been postponed, but not without some insight!
For more information on the Met Gala itself and a look at some of our favorite 2018 designs, you can read JET NOIRE’s 2020 Met Gala blog post here.
This week we did not get to awe at the new designer works of art, but we did get an official date and theme for this year’s upcoming two-part exhibition. The much anticipated Met Gala event will be held on September 13th, 2021. Part one of the exhibit will debut to the public on September 18th, 2021, while the second part will grace us on May 5th 2022 in place of next year’s event, both closing on September 5th 2022. This time it is all about looking at American fashion through the decades and how shifting identities have altered the trends. At JET NOIRE we are all about the correlation between fashion and identity, so this theme is right up our alley. We will discuss all of our fave new fabulous pieces in September when the first part arrives, but for now we will give you the scoop on what we know, and what we’re hoping for.
Part one, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion will explore what fashion means in America today. The Met itself describes it as an exploration of “modern vocabulary of American style emphasizing the expressive qualities of dress and deeper associations with issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion.” 2020’s tumultuous landscape changed the definition of fashion, which this exhibit aims to redefine, emphasizing the sentimentality and inclusion clearly needed moving forward. Twentieth and twenty-first century designs will be displayed in the Anna Wintour Costume Center inside a fabricated American home with transparent walls. It will feature a diverse group of American designers to capture the different emotions that American fashion truly represents.
Part two, In America: An Anthology of Fashion however will explore different narratives, capturing the complex history of American fashion and where we have come from. It will be on display in the American Wing period rooms of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Max Hollein, the Director of The Met, described how the showing will consider the different aesthetic and cultural impacts fashion has had on identity through three centuries. The stunning film “Veil Flag” by Sterling Ruby, exploring “concept of the flag as a signifier in flux and how our relationship to it may change when it is activated as a veil,” will also be on display for both parts.
The co-chairs for this year are all stunning young adults that have made an impact in the past few years. They are breakout actor and Gen Z heartthrob Timothée Chalamet, the 2020 Grammy’s Best New Artist Billie Eilish, four time Grand Slam tennis champ Naomi Osaka, and the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history Amanda Gorman. Each of them are young, but embody one of the key components of the “In America” theme; individualism.
Chalamet has quickly become a fashion icon for the youth, always stepping outside of traditional suiting for any event. As the youngest generation continues to get more comfortable with embracing who they are and rejecting labels, Chalament’s more effeminate aesthetic speaks to the future generation’s blurring of lines and passion for inclusivity. Eilish has been noticed for her look since she started to gain popularity, changing up her unique style as her music has progressed. Recently debuting a new, softer, more adult look on the latest cover of Vogue, the young musician always embraces what feels right. Osaka has always stunned on the court sporting vibrant, lively colors. Starting her own swimwear line has cemented her as a notable fashion force, pushing for the celebration of women of all sizes. Lastly, Gorman is the newest name to gain fame, but took away everyone’s breath with her powerful words, as well as regal ensemble at President Joe Biden’s inauguration earlier this year. She embodied poise and strength with classic lines and bold colors.
From all different fields, each co-chair has a deeply authentic and recognizable style fueled by unwavering passion. No matter what they sport to the event, we are sure to see a variety of distinct looks among the four. Not only do they posses impeccable taste, but each have rich histories and stories, representing different aspects of Americas’s history and modern society. We hope to see not just a spectacular garment in their unique styles, but something that really calls upon their identities and hearts as pioneers for the future. They are perfect examples of the core values seen in today’s fashion in America - values we hope to see expressed all along the red carpet. Of course a traditional, patriotic outfit seems the obvious choice to adorn, but hopefully the flag patterned dresses are few and far between. Pulling upon the conflicting emotions and troubled relationship many have to this nation will produce much more interesting and thought provoking pieces. We are eager to see what interpretations of this incredibly dense theme end up attending the ball.
Regardless, we are looking forward to seeing what unique styles the stars pull out in September. We wish the best of luck to the designers hard at work to create showstopping pieces of art that capture the individuality and perseverance embodied in the new theme. After a year that has kept many apart, it will be nice to see everyone brought together to celebrate our differences.
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