The Met Gala is returning on the first Monday of May, and we couldn’t be more excited to delight in all the sure-to-be spectacular red carpet looks. This year’s theme is In America: An Anthology of Fashion, and the dress code specifies “gilded glamour” and “white tie.” What does that mean, exactly?
Vogue offered some more context to the theme and dress code: “The 2022 Met Gala will ask its attendees to embody the grandeur—and perhaps the dichotomy—of Gilded Age New York,” the magazine explained. “The period, which stretched from 1870 to 1890 (Mark Twain is credited with coining the term in 1873), was one of unprecedented prosperity, cultural change, and industrialization when both skyscrapers and fortunes seemingly arose overnight.”
To better understand the fashion from that time period, I went straight to the source and unearthed some amazing historical photos. At this year’s Met Gala, we can expect to see over-the-top looks with tons of different trends piled on: lace, velvet, ruffles, tassels, pleats, ribbon, gloves, parasols, embroidery, corsets, full skirts, headpieces, puffed sleeves, bows, and more. Phew! That’s a lot of trends to keep track of.
As for the white-tie element of the dress code, this calls for floor-length formal evening gowns or three-piece suits with tailcoats, vests, and bow ties. Something tells me there will be plenty of rule-breakers when it comes to this directive, however.
Scroll down to look back at some authentic looks from the 1870s to 1890s, and see my predictions for modern-day interpretations.