What Is 'Gilded Glamour' Anyway? 6 Stylists Reveal Their Interpretations of 2022's Met Gala Theme

Here's what to expect on the first Monday in May.

What Is Gilded Glamour Met Gala Theme?
Kendall Jenner at the 2021 Met Gala. Photo: Getty Images

Fashion lovers, grab some popcorn and have your favorite bottle of wine at the ready. The 2022 Met Gala (aka the Oscars of fashion) is set to take place on Monday, May 2, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This year's theme, riding the coattails of that of 2021, is titled, "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion," and the dress code? "Gilded Glamour and White Tie." Naturally, today's top designers and Hollywood's finest intend to bring their most artistic A-game to the event's red carpet. What that will look like, per se, is anyone's guess.

Each year, the Met Gala theme mirrors the museum's Costume Institute exhibition, and attendees are tasked with curating a look that coincides with that theme. This year's theme serves as the second part of the museum's exploration of American fashion. The first was titled "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion," and opened on September 18, 2021.

The gilded glamour, white-tie, dress code is in reflection of the Gilded Age of New York, which spanned from 1870 to 1890. During this time period, the city was becoming progressively modernized socially, economically, politically, and even fashionably. This year's Met Gala theme pays homage to the tailors, dressmakers, and designers of the time — including names who've flourished and those who were forgotten but deserve to be remembered.

Celebrities will likely be keeping their costumes under wraps until they walk the carpet, but in order to dig deeper into this theme, we asked renowned stylists to weigh in on gilded glamour. Their interpretations of the theme and predictions on what sort of clothing we can expect to see are below.

01 of 06

Mickey Freeman, Celebrity Stylist

What Is Gilded Glamour Met Gala Theme?
Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2013 Met Gala. Getty Images

Clients: Keke Palmer, Dylan Sprouse, Dascha Polanco

"I believe that the theme 'In America: A Lexicon of Fashion' cleverly tells an all-encompassing tale in retrograde, which explores two opposites at each end of the spectrum of American fashion. This year's theme is a glimpse back in time to a more opulent and rigid style of dress in American history, which is a stark contrast to the up-to-date inclusivity of the theme's first part."

"One thing that is synonymous with the Gilded Age is ornately designed headpieces á la Philip Treacy. I also expect to see many whimsical accessories, such as very demure umbrellas and ostentatiously embroidered shoes. There is a certainty in my mind that the red carpet will be rife with pearlescent and metallic gowns that reveal a bit less skin, with an exception of the occasional plunging neckline."

02 of 06

Adriana González Ramirez, Wishi Stylist

What Is Gilded Glamour Met Gala Theme?
Barbie Ferreira at the 2021 Met Gala. Getty Images

"The Gilded Age era ushered in an international influence on fashion, via the melting pot that became the United States. This was the true beginning of the 'universal citizen' as we know it today, and it allowed decadence and abundance in people's wardrobes. This led to more extravagant dressing and birthed beautiful trends that can still be seen today."

"I expect to see a ton of pearl accessories on the red carpet. Because at the time, pearls were considered a daytime accessory and were more readily available than diamonds — most women were able to accessorize with them! Peacock feathers were also an upper echelon accessory not to be missed and will surely make an appearance at Wintour's soiree. Luxurious fringe should also be making an appearance in unexpected ways and in vibrant hues."

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03 of 06

Christina Stein, Stylist

What Is Gilded Glamour Met Gala Theme?
Lil Yachty at the 2017 Met Gala. Getty Images

Clients: Cameron and Allie Heyward

"Gilded, by definition, means covered thinly with gold leaf or gold paint. So the definition could be taken quite literally with a lot of gold. But if we refer to The Gilded Age, the name suggests that the appearance of wealth concealed actual poverty. Gilded is often used to point out illusions in this way."

"The Gilded Age is the period post-civil war, when we saw advancements in how we live and how we communicate with the invention of the telephone and lightbulbs. There may or may not be a campy referral to these inventions (thinking of 2019's Camp Theme). During this time in fashion, Charles Frederick Worth dominated the Paris fashion scene. His designs are notable for his use of lavish fabrics and trimmings, his incorporation of elements of historic dress, and his attention to fit."

"White tie refers to the most formal of attire for men, so I expect to see whitetail tuxedos instead of the typical black tux. I'm also hoping that men will play with texture in their fabric choices. The colors that will more than likely be used are jewel tones, with attention to excessive detail like ruffles and bows, bustles, and a woman's undergarments, a la the uncomfortable corset. I'm thinking of [references to] designers like Alexander McQueen, Vivian Westwood, John Galliano for Dior, and a little bit of the late Thierry Mugler, all of whom had a love of corsets, excess, and statements."

04 of 06

Sharon Warten, Wishi Stylist

What Is Gilded Glamour Met Gala Theme?
Beyoncé at the 2013 Met Gala. Getty Images

"The Met Gala's theme Gilded Glamour will be strongly emphasized by a 'More is More' aesthetic. We'll see glitzier gowns from the era dating from 1870 to 1890: over-the-top opulence, exaggerated waistlines, and a lot of gold and rich jewel tones. We can also expect to see high-quality silk fabrics, with floral designs woven in, long gloves, velvet, and embellishments. The silhouettes will be strongly inspired by the era of structured form-fitting gowns with bodices, corsets, and bustles."

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05 of 06

Kara Allan, Celebrity Stylist

What Is Gilded Glamour Met Gala Theme?
Billie Eilish at the 2021 Met Gala. Getty Images

Clients: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jesse Itzler, Bill Hamid, Rachel Renee Russell

"This one is gonna be a doozy! I expect to see over-the-top drippings in diamonds, bright colors, fantabulous hats, arms full of opera gloves, tightly fitted bodices, delicate embroidery, sweet satin, tulle for days for the ladies, and tails and white bow ties for the gents. I suspect the men will be the only ones whose shoes we can view due to the length of the ladies' dresses. I can't wait to see who shows up wearing what!"

06 of 06

Heathyr Wolfe, Celebrity Stylist

What Is Gilded Glamour Met Gala Theme?
Danai Gurira at the 2019 Met Gala. Getty Images

Clients: Adolfo Sanchez, Elizabeth Deo, Holly Robinson Peete, Joy Villa

"The Gilded Age theme should be fascinating, full of male dandies in waistcoats and Edwardian looks. Expect celebs to present some amazing hats and feathers everywhere. It was an era where the bustle for women went from really big to small — we should see a few of those. Expect pinched waists everywhere, corsets galore."

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