The Theme For The 2020 Met Gala Is About Time

November 7, 2019 / Posted by:

Very few in Hollywood seemed to grasp the concept of Susan Sontag’s Notes on Camp theme from last year’s Met Gala. Camp should have been a slam dunk, but we are living in supremely stupid times. I get it though, camp is subjective. There’s still a war raging somewhere on the internet over whether or not a giant foam hamburger is campy (IMO: it wasn’t at the time, but it is now). Thankfully, Vogue just revealed the theme for the The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute 2020 Met Gala, and it’s less of a thinker. The theme is About Time: Fashion and Duration. The bad news is that it’s inspired by the writings of Virginia Woolf. The good news is, at least for the Koven, is that there’s a movie version.

According to Vogue:

In keeping with the year’s theme, today the Met announced that the Costume Institute’s spring exhibition will showcase a century-and-a-half of fashion history culled from its archive and presented along a “disruptive” timeline. “About Time: Fashion and Duration,” says Andrew Bolton, Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, takes a “nuanced and open-ended” approach. “It’s a reimagining of fashion history that’s fragmented, discontinuous, and heterogeneous.”

That’s a lot of SAT words to describe Back To The Future: But Make It Fashion. The movie Orlando starring Tilda Swinton was the initial inspiration for the theme. Really, they could have saved everybody a lot of headaches trying to read all those words and just set the theme as Tilda Swinton: That’s It, That’s The Theme.

Bolton found inspiration for the exhibition in the 1992 Sally Potter film Orlando, which was based on the time-traveling Virginia Woolf novel of the same name. “There’s a wonderful scene,” he says, “in which Tilda Swinton enters the maze in an 18th-century woman’s robe à la Francaise, and as she runs through it, her clothes change to mid-19th-century dress, and she reemerges in 1850s England. That’s where the original idea came from.”

Here’s that scene.

In The Met’s exhibition on the same theme, “Virginia Woolf acts as the show’s ‘ghost narrator,’ with quotes from her time-based books including Orlando, Mrs. Dalloway, and To the Lighthouse appearing throughout the exhibition.” Additionally, Michael Cunningham who wrote The Hours (a re-imagining of Mrs. Dalloway), will be contributing a short story to the exhibition. And The Hours’ own Mrs. Dalloway, Meryl Streep, will co-chair the gala along with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emma Stone.

For those celebs and stylists unwilling to do their homework, a few folks on Twitter have kindly offered some suggestions.

Met legend Rihanna missed the Gala last year but has personally promised Anna Wintour that she’d show up for 2020. And she’s finally got some competition since Billy Porter decided to come out to play (and slay). I expect a lot of powdered wigs to be blown and Falva Flav clocks to be stopped in their tracks by the time Billy and RiRi are done stomping the stairs down.


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