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  • Monumental Magazine

The First Monday in May

By Kassidy McDonald

Today is the first Monday in May, basically Christmas for the fashion industry. I should be streaming the red carpet of the Met Gala, but instead, I'm looking at the #MetGalaChallenge. This year is extremely different in terms of how the Met Gala will run: no celebrities are making grand entrances - more like performances if we are referring to Lady GaGa. Instead, fashion lovers, like us, are having a turn at dressing up for this spectacular event.

For as long as I can remember, the Met Gala has been one of my most favorite fashion events, and I look forward to seeing the looks every time May comes around. The gala itself is vital because of the extraordinary fundraising it does for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but it is also a showcase of fashion as an art form. The Met is known for its wildly elaborate and creative themes ranging from Camp to Punk to Technology. It is an event that fashion lovers dream about, and celebrities anticipate all year. Social media explodes with excitement during the red carpet, praising stars for their glitzy outfits, and criticizing ones that don't fit that year's theme.

With the cancellation of the gala this year, for the first time in 72 years, and the Costume Institute's exhibition postponed until October, Billy Porter and Vogue have partnered up to create a unique social media challenge that encourages everyone to participate in the magic of the event. They've created the hashtag #MetGalaChallenge and encourage users to post pictures of them recreating their favorite Met Gala looks from years past. The theme is "About Time: Fashion and Duration," something that is hugely relevant to the times we are living in. The theme is connected to the future of the fashion industry, as it will take a lot of time and readjusting for many houses and brands to figure out how to restart after a global pandemic.

This challenge allows us to participate in something that we would not get the chance to in real life. This studded star event is one of the most exclusive in fashion: celebrities dream of being invited to it, and designers yearn to have their designs walk the iconic Met staircase. As much as this is a fashion challenge, it is also an art challenge. Most of the recreated looks are created using materials you can find around your own house in this period of social distancing. People have been inspired by the Met Gala since its start in 1948, and it is historical that this year, people will be able to contribute their own art to something so spectacular. Winners of the challenge, chosen by Porter and Vogue, will be featured on Vogue Magazine's official Instagram page that has 26.9 million followers. Here are some of the best-recreated looks under the hashtag #MetGalaChallenge:

To learn more about the annual Met Gala, check out this fantastic documentary, The First Monday in May.

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