The Met Gala is making a highly anticipated return in a two-part exhibition scheduled for September 2021 and May 2022 on the theme of American fashion

Following its cancellation last year due to the pandemic, the Met Gala, one of the world's fashion's biggest event, is making a highly anticipated return in not just one but two events.

The fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be held as a two-part exhibition, with the first titled, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. It will open in the Anna Wintour Costume centre on September 18, 2021 and welcome part two, In America: An Anthology of Fashion on May 5, 2022 in the period rooms of the American Wing. Both exhibitions will run until September 5, 2022.

The September 2021 event aims to be a more intimate affair, while the 2022 gala is set to go all out with the hope that social distancing restrictions will ease as attendees get vaccinated. The fashion event has always been hosted by a fashionable public figure and rumour has it that 22-year-old poet, Amanda Gorman who took the world by storm during her inauguration poetry recital at Joe Biden's inauguration will be co-hosting alongside Met Gala chairman and Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour as well as American designer, Tom Ford.

The upcoming theme will be a celebration of American designers as well as to shed light on the political, cultural and social events that took place last year. The last time Met Gala gave the spotlight to homegrown fashion was in 1998's American Ingenuity where it was dominated by labels such as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.

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This year's theme aims to show a varied landscape and bring back the glory of American fashion which is undergoing a "renaissance", according to Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu curator-in-charge of the Costume Institute. During an interview with Vogue, Bolton said the theme puts "emphasis on conscious creativity" which was "really consolidated during the pandemic and the social justice movements."

"And I’ve been really impressed by American designers’ responses to the social and political climate, particularly around issues of body inclusivity and gender fluidity, and I’m just finding their work very, very self-reflective," he added.

Bolton takes inspiration from a book by Canadian author Witold Rybczynski, to construct the framework for the first part of the event. Meanwhile, the second part will address inclusivity and explore questions like, "Who gets to be American?" which Nepali-American designer, Prabal Gurung raised in his spring 2020 show.

The star-studded red carpet event is taking place in two areas of the Metropolitan Museum of Art pending pandemic guidelines. A smaller celebration is also planned for September 13, 2021 to coincide with New York Fashion Week.

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