Last year’s camp-themed Met Gala delivered an endless stream of over-the-top red-carpet moments (and several live outfit changes from Lady Gaga), but it’s officially time to look ahead to the 2020 event. The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that the theme of this year’s Costume Institute exhibition will be “About Time: Fashion and Duration.”
If you thought camp was confusing, you probably have some questions about what exactly a “time” theme means. Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about the 2020 Met Gala, from explanations on the abstract theme to the exhibition itself. Read on for all the latest news.
The Met Gala Has Been Postponed Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic
With the number of coronavirus cases around the world on the rise, Anna Wintour officially confirmed in a short essay published on Vogue.com that the Met Gala is being postponed.
“One day that will not arrive on schedule will be the opening of the Costume Institute‘s exhibition, About Time,” she wrote. “Due to the unavoidable and responsible decision by the Metropolitan Museum to close its doors, About Time, and the opening night gala, will not take place on the date scheduled. In the meantime, we will give you a preview of this extraordinary exhibition in our forthcoming May issue.”
Inspired by Virginia Woolf and 20th-century French philosopher Henri Bergson, the exhibit will look back at the timeline of women’s fashion from the last 150 years (dating from 1870 to today) to coincide with the Met’s 150th anniversary. Woolf will serve as the “ghost narrator” of the exhibit.
Related article: All The Red Carpet Looks From The 2019 Met Gala
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It's that time! 🕰️ 💃 Thrilled to announce the @metcostumeinstitute spring 2020 exhibition, “About Time: Fashion and Duration," opening May 7 with the #MetGala on May 4. #MetAboutTime will trace fashion from 1870 to today along a disruptive timeline, as part of The Met's 150th anniversary celebration. Employing philosopher Henri Bergson’s concept of la durée—time that flows, accumulates, and is indivisible—the show will explore how clothes generate temporal associations that conflate the past, present, and future. The concept will also be examined through the writings of Virginia Woolf, who will serve as the “ghost narrator” of the exhibition. 👉 Learn more at the link in bio. This exhibition is made possible by @LouisVuitton. Additional support is provided by @CondeNast. 📸 David Bailey (British, born 1938). Surreal, 1980. © David Bailey. #TheMet #CostumeInstitute #Met150
For a more specific image, Sally Porter’s 1992 film Orlando, based on Virginia Woolf’s time-traveling novel of the same name, served as the main inspiration for the 2020 theme. Starring Tilda Swinton, the movie’s fashion spanned from 18th-century Marie Antoinette-inspired style to 19th century dressing. In other words, prepare to see some grandiose, “let them eat cake”-worthy looks on next year’s Met Gala red carpet.
Related article: A Look Back At Zac Posen’s 15 Most Memorable Gowns
“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,” Andrew Bolton, the curator of the Costume Institute, told the New York Times.
Given the range of a 150-year timeline of fashion, it may be one of the most abstract and eclectic Met Gala red carpets ever—with celebrities being able to time-travel back through several centuries of fashion. Or, of course, they technically could opt for something that’s “timeless.”
The co-chairs of the 2020 Met Gala are Meryl Streep, Emma Stone, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Nicolas Ghesquiere of Louis Vuitton (the brand will serve as a sponsor for the event). Most excitingly, it will mark the first-ever Met Gala attendance for Streep.
At a February news conference, Nicolas Ghesquière and Andrew Bolton revealed more details on the time-themed exhibition.
Keeping the 150th anniversary of The Met in mind, the exhibition will be designed as a clock, constructed by two sets of 60 fashion pieces that signify sartorial moments since 1870 (the year the museum was founded). The first set of garments, a collection in all-black, will tell time linearly. The second set, which includes black-and-white pieces, will tell time in an “alternative timeline” or “interruptions,” per WWD.
“We didn’t want to present them as a straightforward masterworks exhibition, a kind of simplistic overview of styles or an expected A-Z of fashion designers,” said Bolton. “I think fashion history has moved on from this rather reductive approach, and so too, I think, has our fashion audience.”
The 2020 Met Gala will be held on May 4 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the exhibition will open to the public on May 7, 2020.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.