Typically held the first Monday in May, the highly-anticipated Met Gala finally returns after the coronavirus pandemic pushed back the affair two years in a row. Tonight (Sept. 13) the most fashionable actors, musicians, influencers, and other public figures will take to New York City in their best interpretations of this year’s theme: “American Independence.”
Although the festive gala is known for its jaw-dropping looks, the event is also for a good cause. The red carpet party is a fundraiser, where money and awareness are directed to the latest exhibit curated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.
The 2021 Met Gala will take place at the Metropolitan Museum on Monday evening at 5:30 p.m. ET. Below are some fast facts to learn ahead of tonight’s event.
What COVID Restrictions Are In Place?
“All attendees… must provide proof of full vaccination and will also be expected to wear masks indoors except when eating or drinking,” a spokesperson for The Met confirmed to People in a statement in August. “We will update these guidelines as needed.”
At the museum, all visitors age 12 and older are required to be fully vaccinated in accordance with New York City requirements.
Keke Palmer Will Host An Unprecedented Livestream
In a ground-breaking move, the Met Gala will be live-streamed with hosts Keke Palmer and Ilana Glazer. The two women will host from an insider’s perspective of the occasion beyond the red carpet. The broadcast will be streamed live on Vogue‘s platforms, including the magazine’s website and social media profiles. The Hustlers actress is not only hosting the live stream but she is also attending the event for the first time.
“You know me, I’m always going to be a little funny—and Ilana is the same way. So it’s definitely going to be fun. A lot of personality and just having a good time,” Palmer told Women’s Wear Daily of the opportunity. “I think that’s what we need, that energy, especially after everything.”
Naomi Osaka Will Serve As Co-Chair
Gen-Z leaders across multiple fields are this year’s co-hosts. Tennis champion Naomi Osaka joins inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, Oscar-nominated actor Timothée Chalamet, and Grammy Award-winning singer Billie Eilish for co-host duties at the 2021 Met Gala.
“I’m a newcomer, but I’m very excited to see how everything works,” Osaka shared with E! News. “Honestly, it’s an honor to be chosen.”
This Year’s Theme Is “American Independence”
The theme is always the most interesting conversation when fans discuss the looks worn by their favorite celebrities on the Met Gala red carpet. The 2021 event will follow the theme “American Independence” with the exhibition presented in two parts. The first, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” will debut Sept. 18, and the second part, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” opens on May 5, 2022. Both will be on display through September 2022, according to The Cut.
“I’ve been really impressed by American designers’ responses to the social and political climate, particularly around issues of body inclusivity and gender fluidity, and I’m just finding their work very, very self-reflective,” Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute told Vogue.
Is Rihanna Attending?
Bad Gal RiRi may make her return to the fashion-forward event. In 2019, the last year the Met Gala occurred, the singer turned business mogul did not attend, leaving fans of her iconic looks to question her absence and jokingly cancel the event altogether.
While we will have to wait to see if Rihanna will be at the actual event, stars such as Saweetie and Tracee Ellis Ross have confirmed their attendance. However, the Grammy Award-winning artist shared via Instagram stories her plans to host an afterparty.
“If you’re planning a Met Ball afterparty…..Don’t” she wrote on the secretive flyer.
Check out some of the most eye-catching looks from the 2019 Met Gala below: