The theme for the 2020 Met Gala is ‘About Time,’ as in it’s about time that Meryl Streep finally attend the A-list fashion event. The Oscar-winner will make her debut at the annual gala in May, where she will also serve as the co-chair, because when Meryl Streep does something, even for the first time, she’s the best at it.
Streep will be sharing her co-chairing duties with Met Gala favourite Emma Stone, as well as Broadway and movie star Lin-Manuel Miranda. The fashionable trio will be joined by Louis Vuitton’s fashion designed Nicolas Ghesquière, with the famous brand also underwriting the event. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour will celebrate her 25th year as the chairwoman on the gala, with the 2020 gala also marking the 150th anniversary of The Met.
The full title for next year’s theme is About Time: Fashion and Duration and takes inspiration from philosopher Henri Bergson’s concept of la durée, which is ‘time that flows, accumulates, and is indivisible.’ The official announcement by The Met said the upcoming gala will “explore how clothes generate temporal associations that conflate the past, present, and future.” In addition to Bergon’s teachings, the gala will also include writings by Virginia Woolf, who will act as the “ghost narrator” of the exhibition. Woolf’s inclusion makes a fitting connection for Streep, who starred in the Academy Award nominated 2002 film The Hours, which focused on Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway. According to CNN, the gala will also feature a new short story by author Michael Cunningham, who wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning story The Hours that became the inspiration for Streep’s film.
The upcoming gala will trace the history of fashion from 1870, the year the Met opened, up to 2020, using what the museum describes as a ‘disruptive timeline.’ Over 160 pieces will be placed on display with pairings bringing together different periods of time.
The theme of the Met Gala plays a large role in the clothing exhibited by the attendees. This year’s theme of Camp featured a full-size 40 pound chandelier headpiece worn by Katy Perry and four outfit changes from Lady Gaga. At the 2018 gala, co-chair Rihanna wore a papal mitre on the red carpet for the Roman Catholic theme, drawing praise from the fashion community and outrage from many critics who thought the singer’s costume was disrespectful. In 2016, Madonna took the technology theme to extreme, wearing a costume that exposed her breasts and buttocks.
The Met Gala has a long tradition of featuring celebrity co-chairs and a designer. In 2019, Gaga, Harry Styles, Serena Williams and designer Alessandro Michele acted as the co-chairs, while 2018’s Catholicism theme included Amal Clooney, Rihanna, and Donatella Versace. The 2020 gala marks the first time co-chairing for Streep, Stone and Manuel, with Nicole Kidman as the only person who has co-chaired the gala twice (the actor worked with Wintour in 2003 and 2005).