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Nita Ambani Becomes The First Indian On The Met’s Board Of Trustees. Can We Expect A Desi Theme For The 2021 Gala?

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A great mid-week pick me up that we can all use! We desi women making their presence felt globally with fabulous moves. Waking up to the announcement of Nita Ambani joining the board of trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art was definitely a treat. With the announcement, Nita becomes the first Indian ever to preside on the board of the 150-year old institution.

Located in New York City, the Met is the largest art museum in the US and also, the third most visited museum in the world. It is home to over two million works from all over the world, markers of culture, costume, and craft of human civilisation. The Met is also popular among young people for being the host of the annual fashion event Met Gala, put together by the Anna Wintour Costume Centre.

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Nita Ambani, who is the chairperson and founder of the Reliance Foundation, is known for being tasteful. She’s a self-professed fashion collector and a versatile businesswoman. Her interests are varied, from philanthropy to being the owner of a major IPL team, she is the jack of all trades.

Daniel Brodsky, Chairman of the Met, commented on Nita Ambani’s appointment, saying, “Mrs. Ambani’s commitment to The Met and to preserving and promoting India’s art and culture is truly exceptional. Her support has an enormous impact on the Museum’s ability to study and display art from every corner of the world. It is a pleasure to welcome Nita Ambani to the Board,” elaborated Brodsky.

Nita Ambani has been a supporter of the Met since 2016, starting with the exhibition Nasreen Mohamedi. “That presentation was the first museum retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States and was also one of The Met Breuer’s inaugural exhibitions,” a source from the museum commented. Nita’s connection with the museum extends to her family as well with Isha Ambani being part of the 2019 Met Gala in a Prabal Gurung blush number.

Ambani’s philanthropic work has a lot to do with her appointment as well. She has been working to promote art, culture, sports, rural transformation, health and education.  She is also a part of the International Olympic Committee. Now, that’s an impressive resume!

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With Nita Ambani joining the board of trustees, we wonder how it will affect desi representation at future Met Galas. Might we see a theme more rooted and inspired by Asian culture and heritage? I mean, a year dedicated to the history of drape-y silhouettes (sarees, dhotis, Islamic Khada dupattas) presented on the world stage will be fascinating!

FYI, the theme for 2020 Met Gala has already been announced. Called ‘About Time: Fashion and Duration Fashion’, “This exhibition will consider the ephemeral nature of fashion, employing flashbacks and fast-forwards to reveal how it can be both linear and cyclical,” according to Max Hollein, director of The Met. As usual hosted by Anna Wintour, the co-chairs for the biggest fashion event of a year include actresses Emma Stone and Meryl Streep, Hamilton star-maker Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Louis Vuitton’s creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière.

As compared to this year’s ‘Camp’ theme, ‘About Time’ sounds like something that will be grounded in history and futuristic fashion. Largely influenced by the works of author Virginia Woolf and the 20th-century French philosopher Henri Bergson, the 2020 gala is shaping up to be a satisfying deep dive for lovers of literature. We are excited!

We can also expect a larger Asian representation at the gala in the form of attendees. The like of Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra Jonas have been at the forefront of the hype till now. We expect more Indian A-listers to join the invitation list sent out by Wintour every year. And that is a thrilling prospect for fashion lovers everywhere!


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