Every year we gather together to rate our favorite looks and debate whether or not the current year was better than the last. Yet, there’s so much mystery that surrounds the event. What makes the Met Gala so special? What goes on after they leave the red carpet and how did it become one of fashion’s most anticipated nights?
1. What exactly is the Met Gala?
The Met Gala, formally known as the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Benefit, is a fundraiser for the museum’s fashion department.
2. When did it start? And why?
The first Met Gala took place in December 1948. It was created by fashion publicist and CFDA founder, Eleanor Lambert, to raise funds for the costume institute and mark the opening of the annual exhibit. The Costume Institute actually became a part of the Met two years prior to the first Gala and is the only department at the Met that has to fund itself. Since 1995, the Gala has raised around $145 million for the costume institute.
3. The Gala was not always held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This may come as a surprise but the Gala was not always held at the Met. Actually, from 1948 until 1971, the Gala took place in different areas around New York City such as Central Park, the Waldorf Astoria, and the Rainbow Room.
4. How did the Gala become so glamorous?
Although it has become one of fashion’s biggest nights, it did not start off this way. The Met Gala’s shift into the limelight didn’t take place until Diana Vreeland, former Vogue editor-in-chief, joined the institute as a consultant. After she joined, the event elevated – celebrity guests were in attendance, they introduced themes, and there was press everywhere. Vreeland was a pivotal leader in the event until 1989 when she passed. After her reign, Anna Wintour became chairwoman for the event in 1995, and to this day she still oversees the guest list and the event.
5. How are the themes determined?
The themes are determined by paying tribute to designers’ pasts and the theme of the upcoming exhibition. This year’s theme is Gilded Glamour which is heavily inspired by the Gilded Age that took place in New York from 1870 to the early 1900s.
Here’s a list of some of the most interesting themes since 1995 (excluding 2000 and 2002 when there was no theme):
- 2019: “Camp: Notes on Fashion”
- 2018: “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”
- 2015: “China: Through the Looking Glass”
- 2013: “Punk: Chaos to Couture”
- 2008: “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy”
- 2001: “Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years”
- 1995: “Haute Couture”
6. Can you buy a ticket for the Met Gala?
Unfortunately, no. The Gala is invitation only and usually consists of about 500-600 guests. Even with an invitation, tickets reportedly cost around $35,000, and a table for 10 around $250,000 dollars. However, after opening night you can visit the exhibition while it’s there.
7. What happens once the guests are inside?
Apparently, it’s a secret. Celebrities are also banned from posting about it on social media although a couple of years ago some models posted a picture of themselves smoking in the bathroom. However, what the general public knows is that the guest are asked to look around and experience the culture, then later called to dinner.
8. Does the Met always take place around the same time?
Besides in 2020, when the pandemic first took place, and last year in 2021, the Met usually takes place on the first Monday of May.
9. Who are the co-chairs for the Met Gala 2022?
Regina King, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, and Linda Manuel Miranda will be co-hosting this year’s gala and red carpet event.
10. How are designers paired with celebs?
Apparently, the designers pick their muse based on who they think will embody their vision the best. Past designer and celebrity collaborations have been Donatella Versace and Lenny Kravitz back in 2006, Rihanna and Stella McCartney in 2014, and Cher and Marc Jacobs.
Extra Fun Fact: Why Does Andre Leon Talley Have Such an Impact on the Met Gala
His interviews on the red carpet always brought a certain pizzaz; he talked about fashion like no other and as a fashion man himself held extensive expertise! His Gala days go all the way back to when Vreeland was in charge, so he witnessed so many great looks for years. It will be sad to no longer him have at these events but hopefully guests can feel his fashion fierce energy as they arrive!
What to Expect
As of now we are only a couple of hours away from the Met Gala and we’re all anticipating the looks to come and the guests to arrive. Hopefully, we’ll see Queen Bey there, maybe even Rihanna. It will for sure be interesting to see what the attendees bring to the table.