From the theme to the celebrity co-chairs…
If you thought this year’s theme, Camp, was abstract, wait till you hear what the theme of the 2020 Met Gala is. ‘About Time: Fashion and Duration’ is the name of next year’s Costume Institute exhibit, as well as the associated Vogue-hosted red carpet that is now known as fashion’s biggest night out.
2020, incidentally, is the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary, which might help explain why the passage of time is on their mind. According to Andrew Bolton, curator of the Met’s Costume Institute, “Fashion is indelibly connected to time. It not only reflects and represents the spirit of the times, but it also changes and develops with the times.” In keeping with that theme, “the Costume Institute’s spring exhibition will showcase a century-and-a-half of fashion history culled from its archive and presented along a “disruptive” timeline,” reports Vogue. In a press release, Max Hollein, director of the Met, added, “This exhibition will consider the ephemeral nature of fashion, employing flashbacks and fast-forwards to reveal how it can be both linear and cyclical.”
As the New York Times notes, the exhibit is inspired both by the works of English author Virginia Woolf (in particular, her time-travelling novel Orlando) as well as the theories of early-20th-century French philosopher Henri Bergson. “The result,” writes the Times’ chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman, “may be the most conceptually abstract blockbuster the Costume Institute has attempted, toggling between what Mr. Bolton calls the “objective” time of the calendar and the “subjective” time of creativity.”
The gala will be chaired by Louis Vuitton’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep (who starred in The Hours, a film inspired by Woolf’s book Mrs. Dalloway), Lin-Manuel Miranda, and of course Vogue’s editor in chief Anna Wintour. The show, which opens on May 7, will feature 160 pieces of women’s fashion from the last 150 years. From the celebrities in attendance, we can likely expect period costumes, futuristic get-ups, and everything in between. As always, the red carpet blowout will be held on the first Monday in May. Mark your calendars.