We’re less than a week out from the first Monday of May, which makes for much anticipation, guest-list speculation and outfit predictions for the 2022 Met Gala.
This year, the theme is “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” with a white tie dress code that specifies “gilded glamour.” Stretching from 1870s to the 1900s, the Gilded Age was a period of rapid economic growth and income inequality, with society’s upper echelon donning extravagant and fanciful dress as a means of demonstrating wealth.
“The 2022 Met Gala will ask its attendees to embody the grandeur — and perhaps the dichotomy — of Gilded Age New York,” Vogue stated in an article explaining the theme. As happens every year, we expect some to misinterpret the theme (this isn’t a Bridgerton party), and others to use the red carpet to make political statements (this time on the inequity that defined the era).
One thing’s for sure: there will be a plenitude of opulence on display this coming Monday. Here are five trends we expect to see at the 2022 Met Gala.
Corsets were a staple of womenswear during the Gilded Age, and thanks to this season’s ongoing flirtation with the garment, we expect to see Met Gala attendees donning experimental iterations. With the modern-day embrace of corsetry, there’s no shortage of inspiration. Old-school references can be drawn from Vivienne Westwood, who was a proponent of using deconstructed corsets in her designs. Recent runway shows presented even more contemporary corsetry, such as leather textiles and bondage elements from labels Dion Lee and Roberto Cavalli, as well as futuristic elements that evoke body armour from Balmain and Schiaparelli.
Lots and lots of embellishments
During the historic period’s rapid economic expansion, fabric became cheaper and easier to produce. This resulted in a “more is more” mentality in women’s dress. Evening attire was made up of a variety of textiles and frocks adorned with fake flowers, ruffles, bows and overskirts. This type of opulent embroidery has recently been favoured on the runway by designers like Moschino, Givenchy and Alexander McQueen. Other statement-making add-ons, like elbow-length gloves and feathered hats, were a staple of Gilded Age soirée ensembles. For reference, think intricate embellishments by the likes of Simone Rocha and Balmain.
Bustles with trains for days
At the 2022 Met Gala, statement-making skirts are one of the trends we see coming. For starters, we’ll likely have some extravagant takes on the bustle: a padded undergarment tied onto the body to add fullness to the back of a dress. Pair this with a lengthy train, and you have gilded-glamour-meets-Met-Gala-extravagance. Already this awards season, we’ve gotten a taste of intense, jaw-dropping red carpet trains from Jean Paul Gauthier on stars such as Jada Pinkett Smith at the 2022 Oscars and SZA at the 2022 Grammys.
Regal jewel tones
The dark colour palette comprising amethyst, sapphire, emerald, ruby, garnet and citrine is inspired by the rich hues of rare gems. It only makes sense, then, that these shades will be dominating the Met this Monday. Picture dramatic silhouettes with rich tones, from designers like Harris Reed. Whether it’s monochrome standout gowns or sparkling clutches, jewel tones will take precedence over trending Y2K pastel shades.
Gender-bending attire is becoming a staple of red carpet glamour, and the Met Gala is no exception. Compared to womenswear, men’s fashion was pretty limiting in the Gilded Age — think top hats and waistcoats. Thus, we expect to see some attendees approaching the dress code through a gender-fluid lens. There will likely be women in tops and tails and men in corset gowns (we’re looking at you, Harry Styles and Billy Porter). The more, the merrier!
Regardless of what the red carpet yields, this Met Gala is sure to be filled with art, drama and showroom-worthy frocks.