Met Gala’s ‘Gilded’ theme slammed as ‘tone-deaf’ amid economic struggles

Let them eat cake.

As Americans pinch pennies to pay for the soaring costs of groceries and gas, Met Gala organizers are being slammed for celebrating over-the-top opulence.

This year’s gala — to be held tonight at the Metropolitan Museum of Art — features the dress code “Gilded Glamor and White Tie,” paying homage to America’s era of economic ascent.

The Gilded Age — occurring between the years of 1870 and 1900 — marked a period of rapid economic expansion across the country, during which a small group of American families, including the the Roosevelts, the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers, acquired outsized wealth.

But as the cashed-up elites flaunted their fortunes — with lavish homes, glamorous gowns and priceless Renaissance artworks — millions of citizens lived in abject poverty, trying to make ends meet.

Now, some critics have taken to Twitter, pointing out the problematic parallels between the Gilded Age and our current context — marked not only by growing inequality, but the highest inflation levels in more than 40 years. At the same time, the US economy shrank by 1.4% in the most recent quarter, contracting for the first time since the pandemic-induced recession two years ago.

The Met Gala, led by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour (right), has been slammed for this year’s “Gilded Age” theme, which is set to celebrate extreme wealth as average Americans struggle amid the soaring cost of living.
The Gilded Age was characterized by extreme wealth and opulent fashions. Socialite Alva Vanderbilt (pictured) was new to high society, and wore extravagant dresses in a bid to be accepted by her peers.
Wiki Commons

“Am I the only one who thinks this years #MetGala theme is out of touch?” one raged. “Inequality is at the highest levels since the Gilded Age, a pandemic & economic meltdown wrecked us, inflation is out of control… but cool, let’s wear #GildedAge themed dresses & laugh about inequality.”

They added: “To be clear, I’m normally a big fan. But this year’s theme is a slap in the face to average Americans.”

Opulent: During the Gilded Age, wealthy socialites opted to flaunt their fortunes by wearing lavish gowns, such as the ones pictured. The garments will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Getty Images
Going all out: Celebrities have never been shy about appearing opulent and over the top at the famously extravagant gala. Lil Nas X is pictured at the event last year.
Dimitrios Kambouris

Meanwhile, another blasted: “I’m still not over how ill-advised & tone deaf it is for the Met Gala to have chosen the gilded age of all things for their theme. yes, there will be awesome fashion. no, that doesn’t balance out the queasy.”

A third chimed in saying that the theme of the glitzy gala would “piss people off”.

The Met Gala is organized and presided over by Vogue editor Anna Wintour, although she wasn’t singled out in any of the tweets.

Cardi B is pictured in an extravagant ensemble at the 2018 Met Gala.
AFP/Getty Images

Vogue’s official Met Gala livestream will kick off at 6 p.m. ET and be broadcast across the magazine’s digital platforms, as well as on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Vanessa Hudgens, La La Anthony and Vogue editor at large Hamish Bowles will share hosting duties.

Celebrities aren’t ashamed of going all out for the annual bash, donning eye-catching frocks and dripping in millions of dollars of diamonds.

While the full guests list for tonight’s event has been kept top secret, but Page Six sources say Cardi B is set to attend wearing an expensive Versace gown. Others reported to be on the guest list include Katy Perry, Sydney Sweeney, Gigi Hadid and all five Kardashian sisters.