Met Gala 2024: everything you need to know about the annual fashion evening

Held each year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on the first Monday in May, fashion’s biggest night is both an ever-evolving spectacle and a carefully crafted event. A parade of A-Listers dress in theme inspired by the Costume Institute’s latest exhibition (some more than others) and walk up the stairs to the museum before disappearing inside to enjoy the galleries, dinner and drinks.

The Met Gala takes place on Monday night and it’s time to place your bets: Which spectacular archival piece will Zendaya wear? Who will perform the most amazing trick, beating Jared Leto’s “twin” or Doja Cat’s feline prosthetics? Inside, which celebrities will ignore the no-photography rule to take bathroom selfies? Until what time will Rihanna appear?

What is this year’s theme and who are the co-chairs?

This year, the red carpet theme is “The Garden of Time,” a reference to a 1962 short story of the same name by British author JG Ballard. Like the New Wave sci-fi story, which takes place in a garden of time-bending flowers, the museum’s exhibit, “Sleeping Beauties: The Awakening of Fashion,” highlights the connections between nature and technology, using AI, CGI and other tools to breathe new life into hundreds of fragile pieces of archive spanning hundreds of years. The theme is chosen each year by Andrew Bolton, curator in charge of the Costume Institute.

Expect fantastic fashion with floral and sci-fi motifs on the red carpet, and stylists working with luxury houses to revive famous vintage looks. The first celebrities to appear will be Gala co-chairs Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny and Chris Hemsworth, the latter of whom will debut at the Met Gala.

What happens at the Met Gala?

A flurry of A-list arrivals and photo ops, the red carpet portion of the evening’s process lasts a few hours, but that’s the only part the public sees. Inside, guests tour the exhibition, which opens to the public in the days after the gala, and dine seated. Phones are discouraged at the table, and the seating plan is carefully crafted by American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who has organized the gala since 1995. (Wintour has the “final say” on each guest present , the New York Times has previously reported.)

Inside the Met Gala, technically only professional photography is allowed. Anna Wintour tries to keep the event free of social media and discourages the use of phones at the table.

Although the red carpet and after-parties receive the most attention of the night, the gala is, above all, a fundraiser, with five-figure tickets raising millions of dollars for the museum each year, setting a record of nearly $22 million. of dollars in 2023, according to the recently published book “The Big Night of Fashion.”

What was last year’s theme?

The conceptual theme is expected to be a change of pace from last year, when the dress code was established in honor of the late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who died in 2019. Over the decades, tributes to the Legacies of individual designers have included Rei Kawakubo. , Charles James, Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen and Gianni Versace, with the latter two scheduled shortly after the designers’ untimely deaths.

Last year, guests paid tribute to the late Karl Lagerfeld by emulating his personal style, wearing his designs and evoking his cat, Choupette. (Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

To celebrate Lagerfeld, celebrities like Anne Hathaway, Nicole Kidman and Jenna Ortega attended the event wearing designs from Chanel, Fendi and Chloé, where she left her indelible mark, but some also paid a daring tribute to Lagerfeld’s cat, Choupette (hence Doja Cat’s design). beauty look with mustaches). However, not everyone was happy with the theme honoring the controversial designer, given his history of derogatory comments about women’s bodies and his refusal to advocate for more inclusive beauty standards.

When did the Met Gala start?

The Met Gala debuted in 1948 as a fundraiser for the nascent Costume Institute, organized by fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert. Tickets to the banquet reportedly cost US$50 each.

Over the decades, the gala has transformed from an industry party at outside venues like Manhattan’s Rainbow Room to a top-tier phenomenon. In the 1970s, Vogue editor Diana Vreeland positioned the gala as the opening evening of the Institute’s major exhibitions and invited the crème de la crème of the New York fashion world and society. Wintour, her successor, has favored high-profile musicians, actors and entertainment figures, turning the gala into one of the most-watched events on the fashion calendar (and of the year). In 2023, software company LaunchMetrics found that the Met Gala generated nearly twice as much “media impact value” for brands as the Super Bowl, at $995 million.

What was the first theme of the Met Gala?

The first song was “El mundo de Balenciaga” in 1973, linked to a retrospective of the couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga; Guests including Halston and Calvin Klein attended the event, according to “Fashion’s Big Night Out.”

Early topics included “The Romantic and Glamorous Design of Hollywood,” “The Glory of the Russian Costume,” and “The Eighteenth-Century Woman.” But gala attendees mostly wore conventional evening gowns until the 2000s, when some guests began to have more fun with the themes, and the Internet allowed more eyes to be on newcomers. The most memorable tracks of the last decade include “China: Through the Looking Glass,” “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” and the divisive “Camp: Notes on Fashion” thanks to celebrities like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Zendaya and the Kardashian-Jenners, who take advantage of the red carpet to put on a show.

Who is excluded from the Met Gala?

Every year there are rumors about who may be persona non grata at the gala, whether due to some offense towards the event or towards Wintour herself. But the Vogue editor has only spoken explicitly about one guest she would “never invite again” in public: Donald Trump, whom she mentioned on James Corden’s late-night talk show in 2017 when asked to name names.

However, other past guests have called it quits, including Demi Lovato, Zayn Malik and Tina Fey. In 2015, five years after she appeared at the event, Fey said on “Late Show with David Letterman” that the gala is a “parade of idiots.”

“If you had a million arms, all the people you would want to hit in the world, they would all be there,” he said. “I mean I was there, clearly I was one of them.”

However, some celebrities backtrack. Gwyneth Paltrow called the Met Gala “not fun” in 2013 and said she would “never” go again, but she returned in 2017 (and 2019).

What you shouldn’t do at the Met Gala?

Met Gala guests have often broken the no-social-media rule to give a more candid idea of ​​who is with whom and what’s going on behind closed doors. In 2017, that included smoking, as attendees including Bella Hadid and Dakota Johnson lit up cigarettes in the museum’s bathroom (much to the ire of museum donors, reportedly).

Despite what the Jason Derulo meme would have you believe, he, nor anyone else, has fallen down the stairs. But some guests have rebelled: This year marks ten years since the infamous post-party elevator fight between Jay-Z and Solange.

One last misstep? Wearing the same outfit, of course. While it has been reported that Wintour not only organizes the guest list but also intervenes in her fashion choices, last year, Olivia Wilde and outgoing “Vogue China” editor Margaret Zhang appeared in the same violin dress from Chloé in different color combinations. The couple took it in stride and shared memes on social media about the accident. “Great minds,” Wilde wrote on Instagram. “If you’re going to twin with someone, do it with @margaretzhang.”

Leave a Comment