What to expect from tonight's all-vaxxed, all-masked Met Gala

Anna Wintour wants guests ‘to have fun and enjoy dressing up again’ at tonight’s all-vaxxed, all-masked Met Gala (which will feature a pared-down 400-person guest list)

  • The Met Gala will be held tonight after being canceled in 2020 — and bumped this year from its usual date in May
  • New York City requires proof of vaccination for indoor events, which will be extended to guests at tonight’s gala
  • The Met also announced that guests must wear masks indoors tonight except when eating and drinking; the mask rule applies for all museum visitors
  • Tonight’s theme is ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,’ and Wintour expects ‘lot of independence and individuality’
  • Co-chairs include Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka, and Amanda Gorman
  • She also revealed the guest list is a ‘much tighter group’ but established designers have sponsored up-and-comers 

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour is looking forward to everyone ‘dressing up again’ at tonight’s Met Gala — but those outfits will have to include face masks in keeping with ongoing COVID precautions.

The 71-year-old fashion boss is getting ready to chair the big event tonight, which was postponed from its usual date in May after being canceled last year due to the pandemic.

But while Winour expects to see ‘a lot of independence and individuality’ on the red carpet, she acknowledged that some things will be different this year in an interview with Good Morning America.

In addition to limiting the guest list to a ‘tighter group’ than in past years, the gala has announced that all guests will be required to show proof of vaccination — to follow New York City’s protocols — and wear masks inside except when eating and drinking.

The Met Gala will be held tonight after being canceled in 2020 — and bumped this year from its usual date in May

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour spoke about the event, saying she is looking forward to everyone ‘dressing up again’

The theme of this year’s Met Gala — and the Costume Institute exhibit at the museum — is ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.’

‘We called the dress code this time — American independence. And we really want people to have fun and enjoy dressing up again,’ Wintour explained. 

‘We also want to see a lot of independence and individuality. And a different kind of spirit, something that breaks the rules a bit.’

While the Met Gala is back on after a year and a half of waiting, the event will look a bit different than it did before the pandemic.

For one, all guests — who are rumored to include Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, and Kim Kardashian, Camilla Cabello, sprinter Allyson Félix, and TikToker Addisson Rae — will be required to show proof of vaccination before entering.

This rule comes down from New York City, which requires proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for entry to indoor dining, indoor fitness facilities, and indoor entertainment including concerts, movie theaters, and museums.

And according to a spokesperson for The Met, who spoke to People, all attendees will ‘also be expected to wear masks indoors except when eating or drinking.’

While this is not a city or state requirement, The Metropolitan Museum of Art does require that all visitors to the museum wear masks. 

What’s more, Wintour revealed that there is a more pared-down guest list this year, though the actual stars set to show up won’t be revealed until they hit the red carpet.

‘We’re a much tighter group because of COVID protocol,’ she said.

The New York Times reports that there will be about 400 people in attendance, down from 600, with Tracee Ellis Ross, ASAP Rocky, Lourdes Leon, Taraji P. Henson, and Simone Biles making the cut. 

Four stars who are sure to show up are Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka, and Amanda Gorman, whom Wintour personally invited to be co-chairs this year.

‘We’re a much tighter group because of COVID protocol,’ she said

Amanda Gorman is one of the event’s co-chairs. Wintour said Gorman looked ‘perfect’ and ‘immaculate’ over video chat when she extended the invitation

Timothée Chalamet and Billie Eilish are also co-chairing tonight’s gala

Wintour said that ‘what’s been so lovely about’ Naomi Osaka and her co-chairs ‘is they’re so excited to meet each other’

‘I always do invite the co-chairs personally. So we booked the Zoom, like the way we all lead our lives today,’ said Wintour, who noted that Gorman in particular looked ‘perfect’ and ‘immaculate’ over the video chat. 

‘And what’s been so lovely about these four young people, is they’re so excited to meet each other…  and don’t know each other, but are thrilled to be in each other’s company.’ 

Keke Palmer and Ilana Glazer will also be on hand to host the event, which will be live streamed.

Then, of course, there are the designers — and Wintour says those who have scored invites will look different this year, too. 

‘What has been so incredible about this year is that we’ve invited some of the more established designers, like Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren and Tory Burch, to invite, to sponsor more young designers. So it’s this remarkable mix of the established and the future,’ she said. 

‘We’ve really built up an expectation and a level of excellence, but what’s so exciting about this year is that we’re really focusing in — in this part of the exhibition, the one in May, will be more historical is on the future of American fashion,’ Wintour told Robin Roberts

Anna Wintour admits Vogue has ‘a long way to go’ towards inclusively but is ‘very pleased’ with progress

Speaking to GMA, Anna Wintour discussed Vogue’s commitment to support the 15% Pledge.

Fashion designer Aurora James launched the initiative, which calls on retailers to dedicate a minimum of 15 per cent of their shelf to black-owned businesses.

Pointing to how black people make up 15 per cent of the US population, the initiative also asks other brands to commit to hiring and featuring black professionals at that rate. 

‘We immediately decided that we wanted to support her and be part of it, and we’re very pleased to say that we’ve more than exceeded the 15 per cent pledge,’ Wintour said.

‘We keep a very close tab on the numbers. We discuss how we’re doing. I know we have a long way to go, but I think having that conversation and looking carefully at how we can do better across all our content platforms, as well as in the people that are working with us, has given me the understanding of where we are and how we could do more,’ she added. 

Vogue had come under fire for a lack of diversity, particularly in its pages, on photoshoots, and in its hiring process.

Criticism has been lobbed at Wintour, including from former employees.

In a lengthy New York Times article published in October, 18 black journalists who have worked with Wintour said Vogue favored employees who are thin, white, and from elite backgrounds. 

In June of 2020, Wintour sent a company-wide memo addressing racism claims. 

‘I want to start by acknowledging your feelings and expressing my empathy towards what so many of you are going through: sadness, hurt, and anger too,’ she began.

‘I want to say this especially to the Black members of our team — I can only imagine what these days have been like. But I also know that the hurt, and violence, and injustice we’re seeing and talking about have been around for a long time. Recognizing it and doing something about it is overdue.’

‘I want to say plainly that I know Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers and other creators,’ she continued.

‘We have made mistakes too, publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant. I take full responsibility for those mistakes.’

‘It can’t be easy to be a Black employee at Vogue, and there are too few of you. I know that it is not enough to say we will do better, but we will — and please know that I value your voices and responses as we move forward. I am listening and would like to hear your feedback and your advice if you would like to share either. ‘ 

By ‘sponsor,’ Wintour likely literally means paid their way, as tickets for the in-demand event go for $35,000 each, with tables costing a whopping $200,000 to $300,000.

The gala, which is a fundraiser for the Costume Institute, raised $15 million in 2019.

‘We’ve really built up an expectation and a level of excellence, but what’s so exciting about this year is that we’re really focusing in — in this part of the exhibition, the one in May, will be more historical is on the future of American fashion,’ Wintour said.

Yet according to the New York Post, some stars have been ‘put off’ from going this year due to a guest list that reportedly includes several social media stars.   

Wintour is said to have invited Addison Rae, 20, who has a combined 120 million followers on TikTok and Instagram, as well as school dropout turned YouTube star Emma Chamberlain, also 20, whose vlogs have attracted 10.5 million subscribers.

One agent said the social media star guest list has put traditional celebrities off going. The unnamed fixer told Page Six: ‘I’ve been told that a lot of influencers are on the guest list.

‘I’ve heard that Facebook and Instagram have taken so many tables, and that’s put a lot of people off going, alongside the mask mandate.

‘Personally, I don’t think the Met is cool anymore … It’s gone from super prestigious to [being] full of influencers,’ the agent said.

The gala, which will take place at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, will take place on September 13, rather than on its usual first Monday in May, after COVID canceled the 2020 event.  

The agent who spoke to Page Six believes some prospective guests will hold out until May 2022, so they won’t have to ruin a spectacular outfit and makeup job with a mask.

‘I think the big actors and the big fashionistas will come next year, when it returns in May,’ the agent said. 

‘I also don’t think a lot of people feel like dressing up in ridiculously expensive outfits and putting on a mask for this.’ 

‘I do feel that we thought we would be back to normal, but now with the Delta variant why would you want to do this?’ the agent said. 

‘We’re still in a pandemic, it’s not getting better and [the party is held in] a very enclosed space.’

Other inside sources told the outlet that this year’s event is focused primarily on younger talent in the industry, meaning a lot of invitations to the old guard likely went unsent. 

‘Any of the old guard who are complaining simply didn’t get invited — it’s just sour grapes,’ a fashion insider added. 

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