What is the Met Gala? The Met Gala, also known as the Costume Institute Gala or the Met Ball, is an annual fundraising event for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. The event is held on the first Monday in May and is one of the most prestigious and glamorous events in the fashion industry.
The Met Gala features a red carpet where celebrities, fashion designers, and other notable figures dress up in elaborate and avant-garde outfits that adhere to a specific theme chosen by the Costume Institute. The event typically includes a dinner, a fashion exhibit, and performances by renowned musicians and performers.
The Met Gala has been held annually since 1948, but it gained wider attention in the 1990s when it became a popular event for celebrities and fashion industry insiders. The event is widely covered by media outlets and has become a major cultural event that showcases the intersection of fashion, art, and celebrity culture.
What happens at the met gala
The Met Gala is a highly anticipated annual event that brings together celebrities, fashion designers, and other notable figures from various fields. The event typically follows a specific theme that aligns with the exhibition of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is the beneficiary of the fundraising event.
The Met Gala starts with a red carpet arrival where guests showcase their designer outfits and accessories, adhering to the chosen theme. The fashion choices can be highly creative and often reflect the latest fashion trends. The red carpet is a popular media event, with numerous photographers and reporters covering the arrivals and fashion choices of the attendees.
After the red carpet, the event moves indoors, where guests enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The attendees then view the exhibition, which usually showcases a particular fashion designer, style, or cultural movement. After the exhibit, guests sit down for dinner, which is followed by live performances and entertainment.
The Met Gala is a significant fundraising event for the Costume Institute, and tickets are typically expensive, with tables and individual seats costing thousands of dollars. The event is widely covered by media outlets, including fashion publications, news outlets, and social media, making it a highly visible and significant cultural event.
When was the first met gala
The first Met Gala, originally called the “Costume Institute Benefit,” was held on December 4, 1948, at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. The event was organized by fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert to raise funds for the newly established Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The first Costume Institute Benefit was a midnight supper, and tickets were priced at $50 each (which would be equivalent to roughly $550 today). The event was attended by around 300 guests, mostly from the fashion industry, including designers, models, and editors.
The inaugural event did not have a specific theme or dress code, but the guests were expected to dress up in their most glamorous and fashionable outfits. The event was a success, raising $26,000 (which would be equivalent to roughly $290,000 today) for the Costume Institute, and it has since become an annual tradition and a highlight of the fashion calendar.
Met gala themes over the years
The Met Gala has had a different theme every year, chosen to align with the exhibition at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Here are some of the most memorable Met Gala themes over the years:
2022: “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”
2021: “In America: A Fashion Lexicon” (postponed from 2020 due to COVID-19)
2019: “Camp: Notes on Fashion”
2018: “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”
2017: “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between”
2016: “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology”
2015: “China: Through the Looking Glass”
2014: “Charles James: Beyond Fashion”
2013: “PUNK: Chaos to Couture”
2012: “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations”
2011: “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”
2010: “American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity”
2009: “The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion”
2008: “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy”
2007: “Poiret: King of Fashion”
Each theme has challenged designers to create unique and innovative outfits that align with the exhibition’s message and spirit, making the Met Gala one of the most influential and trendsetting fashion events of the year.