The Met Gala that could have been...

Often called the “party of the year”, the Met gala has been witness to iconic moments in fashion for over a decade now. Incidentally, the glitzy ball was cancelled in 2020, the year that marked the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary.

Held on the first Monday in May, it is both the most star-studded social event of the spring and a critical fundraiser for the Costume Institute, acting as the main source of annual funding for exhibitions, publications and acquisitions. Being tied with art and costume, it has always celebrated fashion. However, the Met Gala and the fashion industry developed a close-knit partnership over the years and the event evolved beyond its charity status. Mimicking and celebrating this journey would have been a sight to look at.

While everyone does a close analysis of 2021's looks based on “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”  we can't help but fantasize about the Met Gala that could have been…

The theme, About Time: Fashion and Duration” chosen partially in celebration of the anniversary, surely would have inspired a few personal throwbacks, some new takes on iconic moments and some recreations. “Attendees could wear something timeless and that would embody the theme, or they could do the opposite and lean hard into a specific year.” as quoted by Cosmopolitan . Designers could have also used this opportunity to forecast fashion and create some futuristic looks. There are many ways to go about this theme that, being a complex subject, has numerous interpretations in itself. When we look back over the last 100 years, the change and influence fashion has seen has been exponential. Year after year, new trends have been introduced, heavily influenced by pop culture, political attitudes and inspiring style icons of the time. However, its nature is not just linear, but cyclical too. We have seen styles, techniques and silhouettes coming back after years and designers have often gone back to do reinterpretations of iconic silhouettes and brought them back too.

Well, roll out the red carpet - flashbacks, fast-forwards, period costumes and futuristic get-ups, here’s how we think Met 2020 would have gone down.

The power of pearls
It's no surprise that if we’re talking about Fashion and time, pearls are going to be mentioned. Iconic pearl looks have been brought to us time and again and the 2020 Met would have unquestionably brought some more. Popularised by the Great Gatsby Aesthetic in the 1920s or the “Jazz Age”, imagine your favorite celebrities in old Hollywood silhouettes with rows and rows of pearls, a tribute to Coco Chanel. This aesthetic also calls for over-the-top headgear which is also another Met favorite.
Designers and celebrities don't shy away from adding some drama at this event, another icon who loved pearls, Jackie Kennedy’s style is one that would have been spotted, after all, her style inspired an entire generation of women. We’re thinking cape gowns like she wore in the 60’s inaugural ball and bold colors like strawberry pink and reds with a pop of white with intricately detailed pearl embroidery.
Puffed sleeves, corset and ruffles are also some design details that have been often played around with on the red carpet. Trust the designers to add some pearl detailing on the hems or even pearl-detailed gloves for that extra layer of oomph. From the likes of Audrey Hepburn to Princess Diana, all had pearls in their iconic looks, making the timelessness of pearls quite evident. Lupita Nyong’s all pearl beaded dress by Calvin Klein for the 2015 Oscars should be a fitting blueprint.
Mix it up with the current trends and we could also have seen reinterpretations of these possibly with baroque pearls, a more raw and imperfect version of the very refined looks of the past. Not only this, pearls studded with gemstones would also have been a sure sight at the red carpet. 
Featured here(L to R): Chicago Bracelet, Audrey Pearl Ear Studs and Chicago Necklace by Moi

Choker
Rightly put by the Atlantic, “The choker is simply one more way that the current culture has been looking back nostalgically to the ’90s.” However, they evoke much more than ’90s grunge: Chokers were common across ancient cultures, and cycled in and out of style during the most recent centuries in the West—prized for their ability both to conceal the neck and to highlight it. Chokers were trendy into the 1920s—think Lady Mary in Downton Abbey. Revived again, this time often by men, in the ’70s—one element of the experiments with gender-bending that Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, and Elvis engaged in—and again in the ’90s,necklaces favored by Britney Spears and Gwen Stefani.

The style—mixing delicacy and danger—makes particular sense for a moment in which women are finding new ways to be powerful, and conversations around gender neutrality are at their peak. Celebrities have often been seen utilizing the red carpet to highlight and show their personality and things that they stand for. So it's a no-brainer that we would have seen a lot of looks highlighting this accessory. Musical celebrities and those with an avant-garde taste like that of Lady Gaga often choose to take the grunge, gothic route rather than a delicate one. Heavy chokers, metallic dresses, androgynous looks and dramatic smoky eye makeup representative of the punk rock scene from the 90s is what we could have seen. Oh how we wish to have seen stars like Cara Delevingne, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna kill this look.
Featured here(L to R): Marama choker and Elizabeth Choker by Moi 

Dare to Disco
Bold, Glittery, Glamourous - ingredients for a killer Met Gala Look. Coincidentally also the key defining factors of a specific era in fashion - The Disco Era, perfectly befitting the theme and the mood of the Gala. We bet that Disco Era inspired fashion would have been a go-to for many celebrities as well as designers. Brands like Karl Lagerfield and YSL have been witness to this movement in fashion first hand, and the 2020 Met could have been the time to celebrate and pay tribute to that time in a new light. Every fashion trend from that period had loud colors and a ton of sparkle, guaranteed to be visible even in a dimly-lit club. We at Moi think that outrageously large hairdos, glittering gowns in fuchsia, turquoise blue, and bright orange would definitely have been a highlight of Met 2020.
A lot of designers would have used this opportunity to go all out with voluptuous silhouettes, shoulder details and blinding sequins and jewels, after all this was the era that was all about individuality. Long sleeves, plunging necklines, colorful gemstones and bold eye shadow are what we predict.
Picture Zendaya, a gorgeous afro hairdo, a sequined fuchsia gown walking up the stairs for Met 2020. *sigh*
Featured here: Sienna Earrings, Felix Pendant and Felix Ring by Moi

Forward Looking
Is it even the Met if we don't see some seriously eyebrow-raising outfits? Even when the themes are subtle, celebrities have been seen doing extraordinary interpretations. 2020’s theme, “Fashion and Duration” literally calls out for sci-fi-like abstract and surreal interpretations. From gravity defying hairdos to materials like latex, we think all of us would have been able to see some pretty outrageous looks. Psychedelic prints and bejewelled over the top eye makeup would also have been a part of this futuristic fest. Think armor like body jewelry, and strings of diamonds and statement diamond earrings, celestial silhouettes and unusual gemstones to go with the long trains of cloth mimicked to look like dripping silver. What a sight to see, a true culmination of art and fashion.  
Featured here(L to R): Slate Ring, Marama Ear Tops and Heer Bracelet by Moi

There have been temporal twists and turns in fashion throughout the years, however, it has always been and will continue to be a form of self expression. Evolving or repeating, its essence of being a celebratory form of art remains and each year the Met highlights the same.
The sparkle of a diamond ring, glamour of an emerald center and class of a pearl colliare that accentuate these jaw dropping outfits today were also the ones that did so decades ago.
Diamonds, pearls, emeralds and gold will never, history proves, go out of style.
 
REFERENCES

https://vue.ai/blog/retail-trends/met-gala-impact-fashion-retail/
https://thestute.com/2021/04/23/fashion-repeats-itself/#:~:text=In%20the%20fashion%20world%2C%20it,previous%20trends%20from%20former%20decades.
http://www.valleymagazinepsu.com/history-repeats-itself-especially-in-fashion/
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4182322/How-jewellery-trends-evolved-past-100-years.html
https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/10/neck-and-neck-the-long-and-short-history-of-the-choker/503315/https://www.tdfj.com/famous-movie-jewelry
https://donnaitaliana.co/pages/choker-culture-through-history
https://www.vogue.com/slideshow/the-best-academy-awards-jewelry-of-all-time-oscars
https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/fashion-news/a32608463/the-met-gala-is-officially-cancelled-for-2020/
https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/fashion/a29724798/met-gala-2020-theme-date/
https://donnaitaliana.co/pages/choker-culture-through-history