Each year, event organizers give the gala a theme to inspire attendees’ looks. This year’s theme was coined “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” the finale of a two-part exhibit that explores sartorial narratives in American fashion. The 2021 theme was titled “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.”
“Part Two, which explores the foundations of American fashion in relation to the complex histories of the American Wing period rooms, serves as a preface to the concise dictionary of American fashion presented in Part One,” Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, said in a release.
Bolton said that while Lexicon explored a new language of American fashion, Anthology uncovers unfamiliar sartorial narratives filtered through the imaginations of some of America’s most visionary film directors.
Here’s a look at the themes from the star-studded Met Galas of the last decade:
2021: “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”
2020: “About Time: Fashion and Duration”
The 2020 Met Gala was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the theme, “About Time: Fashion and Duration,” celebrated the event’s 150th anniversary and highlighted fashion throughout a century and a half.
2019: “Camp: Notes on Fashion”
2018: “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”
2017: “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between”
2016: “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology”
2015: “China: Through the Looking Glass”
2014: “Charles James: Beyond Fashion”
2013: “Punk: Chaos to Couture”
2012: “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations”