What is Gilded Glamour? Our ultimate Met Gala 2022 cheat sheet

5 mins
30 Apr 2022
What is Gilded Glamour? Our ultimate Met Gala 2022 cheat sheet

Before you catch the red carpet, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about the biggest night in fashion

words Hannah Bertolino

Fashion lovers, rejoice: the Met Gala is back, baby! After two years of pandemic-induced cancellations and rescheduling, the biggest night in fashion is officially making a return to its usual first Monday in May time-slot. This time around, the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute is continuing its American theme, with the exhibition titled “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” (part one, last year was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”) and dress code themed as Gilded Glamour.

While last year’s event saw Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka, and Amanda Gorman grab the mic as hosts, this year’s event will be co-chaired by Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, and Lin-Manual Miranda. Meanwhile, Met Gala mastermind Anna Wintour, designer Tom Ford, and head of Instagram Adam Mosseri will serve as honorary co-chairs.

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Luckily, after last year’s September gala functioned as a slightly smaller event, with some of our fave fashion icons missing from the red carpet line-up and some highly chaotic looks (see Frank Ocean’s green baby, Alexandra Ocasio Cortez’ over-memed “tax the rich” gown, and Kim Petras’ Collina Strada horse head look for proof), this year’s event is supposed to be all about excess and opulence due to its glamorous, ultra-formal white tie theme.

Now, before you click on the red-carpet live streams and log onto high fashion Twitter come Monday night, we’ve rounded up a cheat sheet to 2022’s Met Gala return because no one really knows what Gilded Glamour is… do they?

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WHAT IS GILDED GLAMOUR?

Based off the MET’s two year-running exhibition covering the relevancy of American fashion, Gilded Glamour references America’s Gilded Age – a period of exponential industrialisation and economic growth from around 1870 to 1900. During this time, people faced a huge wealth disparity, as a few rich families – think Vanderbilts, Astors, and Whitneys – owned over one third of the country’s money while lower class families owned little to none.

While the exhibition will spotlight individual dressmakers and designers who worked in the US around the late 19th century, there’s a good chance celebs will turn up in renditions of clothes typical during that time: corsets, silk dresses, puffy sleeves, opulent jewels, lace, frills, and delicate gloves. The more luxurious, the better. However, due to the widespread inequality and social issues faced during the time period – we could expect to see some political statements incorporated into looks this year.

Meanwhile, as with every Met, it’s safe to assume some people will get the theme a bit wrong (sorry, Karlie Kloss, but you weren’t looking camp right in the eye). This year, we’re expecting a few attendees might aim for Marie Antoinette style-looks, which – although similar – don’t exactly fit the theme… perhaps we’ll see a few looks from Moschino’s AW20 Marie Antoinette cake collection? TBH, we wouldn’t complain.

There’s a good chance celebs will turn up in renditions of clothes typical during that time: corsets, silk dresses, puffy sleeves, opulent jewels, lace, frills, and delicate gloves. The more luxurious, the better.

WHO’S ON THE ROSTER?

While last year lacked a few major names, this year’s gala is set to include a full roster of all our faves, including the likes of Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, Frank Ocean, Kim Kardashian (and Pete Davidson!), Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Lil Nas X, Hunter Schafer, and more.

Sadly, Zendaya will be missing from the best-dressed list this year, as the star shared on social media that she’s skipping to focus on work. Meanwhile, as Rihanna is camped out in Barbados to deliver her baby, it’s unclear whether she’ll be in attendance. Who knows… maybe she’ll risk it and we’ll get a historic Met Ball moment.

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"We’ll probably see looks from recent and archival collections that fit the Gilded Glamour bill with OTT luxe designs or pristine tailoring – think Alexander McQueen, Loewe, Vivienne Westwood, Dior, and Christian Lacroix"

WHO WILL THEY BE WEARING?

Similar to last year, we’re expecting guests to favour some classic American designers, such as Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Thom Browne, Christopher John Rogers, Ralph Lauren, and Michael Kors. We’ll also probably see some looks from recent and archival collections that fit the Gilded Glamour bill with OTT luxe designs or pristine tailoring – think Alexander McQueen, Loewe, Vivienne Westwood, Dior, and Christian Lacroix.

Alternatively, this year could also be a good opportunity to feature some rising American names on the red carpet, such as New York’s Peter Do who stole the show at AW22’s NYFW.

We’ll probably see looks from recent and archival collections that fit the Gilded Glamour bill with OTT luxe designs or pristine tailoring – think Alexander McQueen, Loewe, Vivienne Westwood, Dior, and Christian Lacroix.

WHAT FASHION MOMENTS CAN WE EXPECT?

Even though Met Gala looks are kept secret until the day of, some fashion fans have taken to TikTok and Twitter to make predictions for this year's red carpet – especially when it comes to Kim Kardashian, who is notoriously known to grace the best dressed lists. Specifically, after seeing Kim exit Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Miami in April, fans speculated that she might wear Marilyn Monroe’s famous $5 million “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress worn to a 1962 fundraiser for President John F. Kennedy and currently stored at the Miami museum.

While Kim hasn’t addressed the rumour, she did share her nerves about this year’s look in an interview with Access Hollywood. "I think it will be up to the last minute because it can't be tailored. So, I have to fit into it like, exactly,” she said, confirming speculation that she’s wearing a historic, archival look that can’t be altered. After her iconic Balenciaga all-black outfit, we’re expecting another internet-breaking look.

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