(CNN) – Known as the hottest night in fashion, the Met Gala returns to its typical programming, the first Monday in May, after two years of interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, coincides with the opening of Part Two of the exhibition “America: An Anthology of Fashion,” organized by the Museum’s Costume Institute. Guests were required to wear “glamorous glamor and white tie,” a reference to the opulent golden age, the three-decade period in the late 19th century that transformed American infrastructure and social life.
But documentation of the glitzy ceremony has changed in recent years, with photographers largely limiting themselves to photographing high-altitude entrances for attendees; And the images that come from the tightly controlled press area are polished and repetitive. to see celebrities get lost (Like Bella Hadid and Marc Jacobs did when they met in the bathroom for smoking, for example), you will have to resort to their post-party photos or Instagram feeds.
Pictures of last year’s festivals take on the nostalgia factor and retro flair, but they also reveal a more laid-back vibe not limited to red carpet arrivals.
Photographer Rose Hartman, who photographed the ceremony for decades until the early 2000s, recalled by phone a time when there was greater freedom of movement and interaction with attendees. In 1986, he photographed actress Lynda Carter and social activist Blaine Trump laughing.
“They were just too happy to talk to each other rather than pretend. Whenever possible, I try to catch people enjoying each other,” Hartmann told CNN in 2020.
Photographer Ron Galella, who has photographed the ceremony since 1967, has a system for capturing the best shots, from access to the coat room to the museum floor to dinner. “It was easy to take pictures inside. All I needed to get in was a New York Press card,” she wrote by email in 2020. (When press passes finally became limited, there were years when they were smuggled through employee entrance.)
Over the decades, since the event’s first iteration in 1948, the party has transformed from an elegant party in outdoor venues like the Rainbow Room in Manhattan to a fashionable extravaganza. Social and entertainment personalities have spotlighted a list of A-list celebrities, who are making headlines about how they choose to perform or make fun of the night’s theme.
Dress code for the 2022 Met Gala
This year’s theme is based on a new Fashion Institute exhibition, such as this year’s two-part exhibition honoring American designers. Other tracks included the 2019 song “Camp: Notes on Fashion” and the 2018 song “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.”
The change in guest list and atmosphere was largely due to a generational change of vision. In the 1970s, Vogue editor Diana Vreeland positioned the party as the opening evening of the institute’s major exhibitions and invited the dignitaries of New York’s fashion and society, but her successor Anna Wintour favored notable musicians and actors. Entertaining numbers, using $30,000 tickets for the event to raise millions of dollars each year.
In 1999, Wintour’s first year as event chairperson, Hartmann snapped a photo of Vogue’s editor-in-chief walking with former managing editor Andre Leon Talley, who passed away earlier this year. Their image is heartfelt, with both editors dazzling in their costumes and participating in the movement.
“I like the fact that they walk rather than stand,” Hartmann said. “I like his movement gesture.”
Galella’s extensive archive of Met Gala photos, which she published in a book in 2019, shows the emotional gestures among celebrities when they least expect the camera flash. In 1983, model Iman and designer Paloma Picasso were photographed laughing while Picasso’s husband leaned in to hug a statue of Iman around her waist. In 1995, Christy Turlington was caught apparently mocking Kate Moss, slipping her finger on the dangerously low back of Moss’ white dress.
These days, the party might take itself too seriously with its polished image, but Galella thinks it’s a universal sentiment to want to see the entertainment and fashion elite drop their guard.
He previously told Forbes, “We see them in the movies, we see them as stars. But I want to see them as human beings.” “How beautiful are they when they don’t act?”
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