What is the Met Gala theme for 2022 – and is there a dress code?

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Fashion’s biggest night is back again this year with a theme and dress code guaranteed to inspire some of the best outfits we’ve ever seen at the Met Gala. Even though it’s been less than a year since the 2021 Met Gala, which saw delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrities and fashion designers are back and ready to pick up where the previous year’s left off. 

As is customary, every Met Gala has a theme. Last year was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”. The year before that was “Camp: Notes on Fashion”. The theme is what lays the groundwork for the evening, but it’s truly the dress code that sets the tone and informs us what kind of outfits we can expect to see. As it turns out, this year’s theme is very closely related to last year’s, but it’s the dress code that has our interests piqued. Let’s take a look at what we can expect at this year’s Met Gala. 

What is the Met Gala theme for 2022?

Kim Kardashian The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion - Arrivals
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

As a two-part event, this year’s Met Gala will pick up where last year’s left off. The theme will be “In America: An Anthology of Fashion”, and it comes from the mind of long-time curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, Andrew Bolton. 

The origin of Bolton’s two-part theme comes from the curator’s personal exploration of what American fashion entails, and how it’s almost impossible to define. Even though the four-month delay last year was saddening, it has allowed Bolton to sit with this idea of American fashion and truly flesh it out. Even beyond garments and designs, Bolton’s theme has become a way to explore some of the controversy that follows fashion designers in America, specifically regarding inclusivity, diversity, ethical issues, and environmental issues. 

What is the Met Gala dress code for 2022?

Billie Eilish The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion - Arrivals
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Building upon the theme, this year the dress code is gilded glamor, white-tie. The gilded era is the time period from 1870 to 1890, coined by the Father of American literature, Mark Twain. It was a time of change in American fashion, specifically women’s fashion, because innovations like electric and steam-powered looms made fabric easier to come by and cheaper to produce. Meaning, we saw lots of silk, satin, and fringe, but most importantly, lots of bustles and corsets, which is exactly what we can expect to see this year.

Truly, one of the most fascinating aspects of the Met Gala is witnessing how each celebrity interprets the dress code differently. Last year’s dress code was American independence, and because fashion is so subjective and pinning down American fashion is almost impossible, we got some vastly different outfits.

From Ciara’s football jersey-inspired dress in honor of her NFL husband — because what’s more American than pro Football? — to Kim Kardashian’s famous head-to-toe black dress that lit the internet on fire with memes and gifs. Then, of course, there was Lil Nas X’s three-in-one gold cloak, jumpsuit, and armor that had us all thinking of C-3PO, and Billie Eilish’s old Hollywood homage to Marilyn Monroe. 

With over-the-top bustles and wildly unique corsets expected to appear at this year’s event, it’s looking like the 2022 Met Gala could be the biggest one we’ve had yet — literally.

About the author

Cody Raschella

Cody Raschella

Cody Raschella is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor who has been with WGTC since 2021. He is a closeted Swiftie (shh), a proud ‘Drag Race’ fan (yas), and a hopeless optimist (he still has faith in the MCU). His passion for writing has carried him across various mediums including journalism, copywriting, and creative writing, the latter of which has been recognized by Writer’s Digest. He received his bachelor's degree from California State University, Northridge, which he has done absolutely nothing with ever since.