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Met Gala 2023 Gowns

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For style lovers, the first Monday in May is known as Met Gala Monday. Nicknamed the fashion Oscars by those in the know, the event is one of the largest fundraisers on the New York social scene. It brings out some of the biggest names in fashion, Hollywood, and technology. 

What Is The Met Gala? 

The Met Gala is a formal fundraiser to raise money for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The historic museum is one of New York’s largest tourist attractions (it’s also central to several gossip storylines). It offers pay-what-you-wish style tickets for New York State residents to make the art and programming it houses accessible to everyone. Residents of the tri-state area can access this pricing with a student ID. 

MUST SEE: How These Black Celebrities Left A Major Mark On The Met Gala

The Metropolitan Museum of Art employs over 1,000 people directly. They also contract vendors with employees who benefit from their massive scale of operations. There is a trickle-down effect to the glitz of the party that supports its Costume Institute.

The Met Gala Raises Millions Of Dollars

The Costume Institute houses a collection of over 35,000 costumes and accessories. These artifacts come from five continents, and they span seven centuries, beginning with the 15th century. Handling historic garments is extraordinarily difficult, as we learned from the Kim Kardashian debacle, in which she received criticism for wearing Marilyn Monroe’s dress during the event in 2022. 

Proceeds from the Met Gala contribute to carefully conserving the collection. This is done in a dedicated lab by skilled professionals who require salaries. 

Clothing, paintings, sculptures, books, and other artifacts tell the stories of our lives. Safeguarding it promotes beauty, education, and employs artisans and scientists. 

Who Gets To Go To The Met Gala?

The event’s guest list has become so exclusive that it has limited the power of even the most prominent celebrities. In 2022, Drake sneered, “They only givin’ n***as plus ones, so I never pull up to the Met,” on his Mykonos coded hit “Sticky.” 

 The Worldwide Chief Content Officer and Global Editorial Director of Vogue, Anna Wintour, scrutinizes the attendees list. She relies on celebrity hosts to assist with her duties. This year’s hosts include Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, and Chris Hemsworth, according to Vogue

Designers are usually paired with muses whose work they wear. Looks can take months to pull together. 

It is a huge opportunity for any designer and incredibly impactful for talented people from marginalized communities who can be overlooked despite their brilliance. Sergio HudsonLaw Roach, Jason Rembert, Jason Bolden, and Fe Noel have each sent looks down the Met Gala carpet.  

What Happens Inside The Met Gala? 

Like many other fundraisers in the city, the programming consists of remarks, performances, and a sit-down dinner. It is a breeding ground for unlikely pairings and surprising bathroom selfies. 

Guests also get a sneak peek of that year’s exhibit which opens to the public shortly after the party takes place

2015 Costume Institue Gala Benefit

Source: picture alliance / Getty

Anna Wintour Did Not Invent The Met Gala 

Eleanor Lambert created the Met Gala. The publicist also helped develop New York Fashion Week. 

Diana Vreeland, a former Vogue Editor-in-Chief, played a significant role in the Met Gala’s history.  She is credited with the strategic inclusion of luminaries like Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Ross, Elton John, Cher, Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli, Halston, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and Bianca Jagger, effectively merging traditional society patrons with the day’s glitterati. 

Andre Leon Talley brought glamour and charisma to the party in multiple eras.

Wintour Took Things To The Next Level

Wintour found a way to use the carpet to anoint a new celebrity caste system. The Met Gala symbolizes mainstream significance. Actors, tech titans, musicians, and designers clamor for invitations. She may not have invented the party, but her tenure has had a lasting impact. The Costume Institute opened the Anna Wintour Costume Center in 2014. 

Met Gala, Camp: Notes on Fashion, Arrivals

Source: Variety / Getty

What Is The Met Gala Theme? 

The theme for the Met Gala shifts annually, typically reflecting the forthcoming theme of the exhibit. This year, the theme is “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” and the dress code is “The Garden of Time.” Attendees generally dress on the theme, trying to invoke the concepts being examined by exhibition curators. Some celebs take it to the extreme. 

Law Roach completely transformed Zendaya into a real-life Cinderella in 2019 for “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” Rihanna borrowed an authentic Cardinal’s cap to present a literal interpretation of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” in 2018. Other celebrities opt to play it safe in pretty but basic dresses, drawing ire from critics on social media. 

Check back here at HelloBeautiful to see who is wearing what to this year’s Met Gala. 


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The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes On Fashion - Arrivals
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For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.