What is the Golden Age, this year’s Met Gala theme? – NBC Los Angeles
The Met Gala is back and this year’s theme centers around the Golden Age.
Fashion’s biggest soiree takes place on Monday night and is set to raise funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in its typical, glitzy, star-studded fashion.
The Met Gala is best known for its eye-catching themes, which determine the dress code for attending guests. Previous Met Gala themes include “camp,” a celebration of cheesy, over-the-top looks, and “heavenly bodies,” a look at medieval art and fashionable religious motifs.
This year, the theme is actually a continuation of that of the last Met Gala, which was held in September 2021.
But unlike last year’s “In America: A Lexicon in Fashion,” which focused on modern fashion in the United States, this year’s “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” looks at historical fashion in the American wing of the Met.
The dress code itself is “gold glamour, white tie”. Combined with the museum’s exhibit featuring “men’s and women’s clothing from the 18th century to the present day”, it seems like the Met Gala is taking inspiration from America’s Golden Age.
But when and what is the golden age about?
When was the golden age?
The Golden Age is a term for a period of time in the late 1800s, generally considered to be from the 1870s to the early 1900s. It is the period of United States history immediately after the end of the Civil War and just before the start of the First World War.
Where does the name “Gilded Age” come from?
American author Mark Twain coined the name “Gilded Age” alongside Charles Dudley Warner, in their 1873 book The Golden Age: A History of Todayaccording to the American Museum of Natural History.
The epoch name is one that underlines the difference between a truly robust society and one covering its faults with the appearance of fortune.
Gilding, the practice of covering another material with gold leaf, does not make that item as valuable as something made of real, solid gold.
The term “was a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the difference between a true golden age and their current era, a period of booming prosperity in the United States that created a class of super-rich,” the AMNH says on its website.
What happened during the Golden Age?
The United States was recovering from the social and economic chaos caused by the Civil War and was going through a period of heavy industrialization as railroads and factories spread rapidly across the country and the world.
In Southern California, the oil industry and the relatively new Southern Pacific Railroad played an important role during this period. It’s also when a lot of people moved to Los Angeles.
The industrial boom brought unprecedented wealth to the chosen few – the entrepreneurs who made their fortunes during this period. If you recognize the names of John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, or Cornelius Vanderbilt, their legacies were built during the Golden Age.
The expanding upper class and middle class spent their newfound money on elaborate homes, clothing, and other material goods, made more widely available and affordable through mass production in factories.
As the Met puts it, “At this time, art infused everything—furniture, lighting, ceramics, metalwork, jewelry, even clothing—and manifested itself in artistic interiors.” Everyone who could wanted to show off their money and good taste.
This world of wealth is the setting for many shows set in America in the late 1800s, including HBO Max’s critically acclaimed new show “The Gilded Age.”
But while a small number of people and businesses accumulated more wealth, often due to unregulated and exploitative business practices, large swaths of the population lived in rental housing, especially the many recent immigrants. in the USA.
The result has been a lot of economic anxiety about income inequality, according to Mary Furner, a history professor at UC Santa Barbara.
“What was happening in the late 19th century,” Furner explained in a 2016 article on 19th century versus modern United States, “is that people up and down the population hierarchy , from the poor to the rich, all saw the serious problems of trying to run a country based largely on unregulated competition, laissez-faire.”
All of these changes and anxieties led to social commentary in the form of new artistic styles, fashions and literature. For example, Edith Wharton’s 1920 novel “The Age of Innocence” is one of the best-known books that examines the Golden Age.
It was made into a 1993 film, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Wynona Rider and Michelle Pfieffer by director Martin Scorsese. Scorsese is also one of many directors tapped to help with the Metropolitan Museum’s “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibit.
What kind of fashion will we see at the 2022 Met Gala?
Part of the fun of the Met Gala is the surprise when guests show up in their costumes, but there are some hallmarks of Gilded Age fashion that could show up Monday night.
Feathers, corsets and structured dresses are all period-themed, according to experts cited by the TODAY show.
And, just like previous costumes worn by celebrities at the Met Gala, the theme welcomes over-the-top ensembles.