LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Met Gala — the annual spectacle where celebrities often wear daring and wild designs — finally returned this month to captivate the world after two postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Affectionately known as “fashion’s biggest night out,” the glamorous event raises funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Costume Institute in New York City, which also opened its first fashion exhibit since the pandemic began.

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In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” is the first part of a two-part exhibition that uses the organizing principle of a patchwork quilt to show the different facets of American design.

“It’s been very inspiring, you know, just particularly in the last year and a half in terms of how [American designers have] responded to the pandemic, in terms of their creativity and the way they’re showing,” the Institute’s curator, Andrew Bolton, tells Reuters.

This year marks the Institute’s 75th anniversary and Bolton says that this year’s theme reflects back to their initial mission, which is to celebrate American fashion.

“Usually when people describe American fashion it’s usually the designer sportswear principles of simplicity and practicality and functionality,” he says. “And the sort of more emotional language tends to be reserved for European fashion, in particular, the haute couture. So, we want to readdress that imbalance and create a sort of modern lexicon that’s based on values and emotions and sentiment.”

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The two-floor display is made up solely American designers and shows different expressions of Americanism in each piece.

Bolton says a quote from Jesse Jackson’s speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention, which urged the American people to find common ground and unity, inspired how the garments are displayed.

“He talks about America being — the patchwork quilt being a metaphor for America. So, we use that idea as the sort of organizing principle to the exhibition,” he says. “Each garment has its individual sort of square and as part of a larger, the larger quilt. And they all have their own words like ‘commemoration.'”

Last year’s Met Gala was cancelled due to pandemic. This year’s spectacle, which usually takes place on the first Monday in May, was postponed to Sept. 13, with the museum instituting tough COVID protocols.

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The Met Gala will return to its traditional date on the first Monday of the May next year on May 2. The theme will be a continuation of fashion in the U.S. “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” the second installment of the two-part exhibition, will open three days later on May 5. Both exhibits will be open through Sept. 5, 2022.