After 74 years, the most glamorous fashion party on the planet declared itself “polished”. America’s “Golden Age” is a somewhat boring theme for this year’s Met Gala or what expectations are being placed on by Anna Wintour and the chairing committee?
Why golded glamor when there’s a year when the met gala isn’t gorgeous?
Each season of the Met Gala leaves memorable moments in the fashion industry’s hall of fame. Returning to the theme of this big event in 2019, Camp: Notes on Fashion – delves into the mediocrity of fashion. Next in 2021, the spirit of American independence becomes the main inspiration through the name In America: A Lexicon of Fashion . But to “dust the dust” of romantic and frivolous desires that are easily forgotten in urban New York, this coming May 2, Met Gala will return with part 2 In America: An Anthology of Fashion and dress code “Gilded Glamor” – recreating one of the most lavish and rich eras in history. In which, “white tie” is the first visualization of the answer to that question.
This journey back to the past sets the destination in the period spanning from 1870 to 1890 of the United States of America: when industry developed rapidly, skyscrapers continued to grow, the economy flourished and all luck seems to be converging in the “new world”. The future invites here, the wave of immigrants continuously arrives including nobles and poor slaves.
If “new money” often wants to rise to the old rich class, “white tie” is the next level of evening fashion , a true aristocratic luxury and comes with a series of rules. Strict dress code such as tuxedo for men, floor sweeping dress, gem jewelry and opera gloves for women, etc.
But not only the imperial blood of the European royal family, ruling the United States at this time also included shrewd and shrewd merchants. For that reason, the “white tie” style of this period – an “imported” ritual, faced the risk of mixing and not promoting the full character as in impregnable castles. What a great material to “drama” the upcoming fashion plays at the Met Gala.
For the elite, fashion in this period was a tool to flaunt wealth and status. They can choose elaborate, cumbersome and irrational shapes, as long as it looks “expensive” and “genuine”. Thanks to the improvements of electric and steam powered looms, the production of fabric became faster and cheaper. As a result, women’s clothing often features a combination of textiles such as satin, silk , and velvet, all decorated with overlays, lace, bows, ruffles, and fringes.
A vogue at the time were massive feathered hats. Ladies and gentlemen, they were so crazy about them that the Audubon Association was founded in 1895 to prevent poaching of precious birds. In addition, corsets gradually became popular during the 1870s to the late 1880s. Women wanted to wear corsets to “tie the bottom of the waist” and padded up the breasts to make it more attractive.
That’s not to say that all of the Gilded Age’s clothing was geared toward formality. As leisure activities such as cycling and tennis became more and more popular, sportswear became for the first time an integral part of the fashionista’s wardrobe. Many women like to wear a denim shirt in a long skirt for easier movement.
The United States at this time is still proud of the engine, the light bulb, the telephone, … – the greatest inventions in history. They are rich and prosperous by the smell of machinery, the friction of iron and steel operated by Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell. They will probably flip the switch for groundbreaking outfits at this year’s Met Gala.
The party space will span 13 rooms, representing 13 periods of American history in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. According to Andrew Bolton, principal curator of the Costume Institute: “If last year’s topic asked people about the vocabulary to describe American fashion, this year’s theme offers concrete facts. over time”.
In addition, he said: “Audiences will see designs by Charles James, Halston , Oscar de la Renta, and many other names that are not often mentioned in the footnotes of fashion history. We want to celebrate the outstanding achievements of these individuals, and especially many of them women.”
Time will tell how guests express their views on “Gilded Glamor” over the next few days. However, for those who are still pondering the topic, we can inspire with a quote written about Countess Olenska in Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence : “Everything about her She shimmered and sparkled softly, as if her dress had been woven out of candles, and she held her head high, like a beautiful woman defying a host of opponents.”
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