The Met Gala is one of the biggest nights in fashion. For most of us, the evening unfolds in photos of extravagant outfits from the event — we admit we're still thinking about Iman Abdulmajid's gilded look from last year's gala.
But what is the Met Gala? Formally known as the Costume Institute Benefit, the Met gala is a fashion exhibition — and the models are A-list stars across fields. Andre Leon Talley, the late fashion journalist and former American editor-at-large of Vogue, called it the "Super Bowl of fashion" in an interview with Vogue.
Since 1973, the gala's theme has been tied to an exhibition at Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “The World of Balenciaga” was the first-ever theme, and recent additions have included "Camp: Notes on Fashion" (2019) and "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” (2018).
Here's what to know about this year's event, from the theme to how to watch it — no invitation necessary.
When is the 2022 Met Gala?
The event is typically held on the first Monday in May. This year, the Met Gala is returning to its traditional date, after two years of breaking the pattern. It will take place on Monday, May 2.
In 2020, the Met Gala was canceled due to the pandemic, and in 2021, it was postponed to September.
The Met Gala itself dates back to 1948, when fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert started an annual midnight supper to raise funds for the Costume Institute.
Until 2001, the Met Gala took place in November or December. From 2001 to 2004, it was held in April, before the tradition of the first Monday in May started in 2005.
What is the 2022 Met Gala theme?
Two words: "Gilded Glamour." Costumes from this year's Met Gala will draw inspiration from the Gilded Age in American history, the turn-of-the-century era recently explored in the HBO Max series "The Gilded Age." Think grandeur.
Amy Fine Collins, Air Mail's editor-at-large, says it's "not a coincidence" that the Gilded Age is in vogue lately. "This idea of enormous, almost fabulous, unimaginable. Wealth was a fantasy and a reality at that time, as it is now," Collins tells TODAY.
Collins shares her predictions for how the Gilded Age may be referenced in outfits.
"I wouldn't expect people to arrive in period costumes, but it probably will be some references. There is no reason to not pull out the stops. I think you'll see a lot of the color gold," Collins says.
There may be a connection between the Met Gala and Gilded Age-events like the Vanderbilt Ball, where society's elite dressed to make headlines.
"The whole idea of a party being a feast for paparazzi, for society photographers for the greater public to gawk is completely parallel (to the Gilded Age)," Collins says.
This year's Met Gala is in conversation with last year's, as both coincide with the museum's “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” which the museum describes as "a two-part exploration of fashion in the United States." Last year's official gala theme was "American Independence."
Part two of the exhibition — In America: An Anthology of Fashion — will open to the public in the museum's American Wing period rooms on May 7, just a few days after the gala. The work of eight film directors — Janicza Bravo, Sofia Coppola, Julie Dash, Tom Ford, Regina King, Martin Scorsese, Autumn de Wilde and Chloé Zhao — will be incorporated into the exhibition, per Variety.
Who are the 2022 Met Gala co-chairs?
On March 17, Vogue announced the 2022 event's hosts would be Regina King, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Last year's co-chairs were actor Timothée Chalamet, singer Billie Eilish, tennis star Naomi Osaka and poet Amanda Gorman.
Vogue reports that co-chairs weigh in on the guest list, decor, and the "general feel" of the event.
The event’s honorary co-chairs include Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, designer Tom Ford, and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, according to Vogue.
Who is on the 2022 Met Gala guest list?
In 1995, Wintour began leading the Met Gala. The Vogue editor-in-chief approves of each person on the gala's guest list. According to the New York Times, about 550 people attended the 2019 event.
Last year, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, and Megan Fox and more were among the many stars in attendance.
The guest list for 2022's even has not been confirmed — but we do know that Zendaya will not be among this year's attendees. The "Euphoria" star said she would be "(making) some movies," but promised she would be "back eventually."
How can I watch the Met Gala?
The Met Gala is known for its exclusivity: Tickets for the invitation-only event cost $30,000 each, according to the New York Times.
However, live-streaming the event is simple. Vogue will livestream the gala starting at 6 p.m. E.T. across its digital platforms (including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter). Hosts Vanessa Hudgens, La La Anthony, and Vogue editor at large Hamish Bowles will walk audiences through the haute couture looks on the the red carpet.