Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2022 Couture. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images.

What does golden glamor look like in 2022?

We’re less than a week away from the first Monday in May, which is driving a lot of anticipation, guest list speculation, and outfit predictions for the 2022 Met Gala.

This year, the theme is “In America: A Fashion Anthology,” with a white-tie dress code that specifies “golden glamour.” Spanning from the 1870s to the 1900s, the Gilded Age was a time of rapid economic growth and income inequality, with the upper echelons of society donning extravagant and fanciful clothing as a means of demonstrating their wealth.

“The 2022 Met Gala will ask its attendees to embody the greatness – and perhaps the dichotomy – of Gilded Age New York,” vogue indicated in an article explaining the theme. Like every year, we expect some to misinterpret the theme (this is not a Bridgerton party), and others to use the red carpet to make political statements (this time about the inequality that defined the era).

One thing is certain: there will be plenty of opulence on display next Monday. Here are five trends we expect to see at the Met Gala 2022.

Corsets reinvented

Photography via ImaxTree.com

Corsets were a staple of women’s fashion in the Gilded Age, and thanks to this season’s continued flirtation with the garment, we expect to see Met Gala attendees don experimental iterations. With the modern embrace of corsetry, there is no shortage of inspiration. References to the old school can be drawn from Vivienne Westwood, who was a proponent of using deconstructed corsets in her designs. Recent shows have featured even more contemporary corsetry, such as leather textiles and bondage items from Dion Lee and Roberto Cavalli, as well as futuristic elements evoking bulletproof vests from Balmain and Schiaparelli.

A lot and a lot embellishments

Photograph courtesy of Alexander McQueen

During the rapid economic expansion of the historic period, fabric became cheaper and easier to produce. This resulted in a “more is more” mentality in women’s attire. Evening attire consisted of a variety of textiles and dresses adorned with faux flowers, ruffles, bows and overskirts. This type of opulent embroidery has recently been favored on the catwalk by designers like Moschino, Givenchy and Alexander McQueen. Other sensational additions, like elbow-length gloves and feathered hats, were a staple of Gilded Age evening ensembles. For reference, consider the intricate embellishments of Simone Rocha and Balmain.

Bustle with trains for days

pink couture dress
Photograph courtesy of Jean Paul Gaultier

At the Met Gala 2022, statement skirts are one of the trends we see coming. For starters, we’ll likely have extravagant versions of the bustle: a padded undergarment tied around the body to add fullness to the back of a dress. Pair that with a long train, and you’ve got the golden-glamour-meets-Met-Gala extravaganza. Already this awards season, we got a taste of Jean Paul Gauthier’s intense and jaw-dropping red carpet trains on stars like Jada Pinkett Smith at the 2022 Oscars and SZA at the 2022 Grammys.

Royal jewel tones

London Fashion Week Fall 2022
Photograph courtesy of Harris Reed

The dark color palette of amethyst, sapphire, emerald, ruby, garnet and citrine is inspired by the rich hues of rare gemstones. So it makes sense that these shades dominate the Met this Monday. Imagine dramatic silhouettes in rich tones, from designers like Harris Reed. From standout monochromatic dresses to sparkling clutches, jewel tones will take precedence over the trending pastel hues of the year 2000.

Gender interpretations

Best Dressed Critics' Choice Awards
Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty

Gender neutral outfits are becoming a staple of red carpet glamour, and the Met Gala is no exception. Compared to women’s fashion, men’s fashion was quite limited in the Golden Age – think top hats and vests. Thus, we expect to see some participants approach the dress code through a gender fluid lens. There will likely be women in tops and tailcoats and men in corsets (we’re looking at you, Harry Styles and Billy Porter). More the merrier, the merrier!

Regardless of what the red carpet brings up, this Met Gala is sure to be filled with art, drama, and showroom-worthy dresses.


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