The Met Gala also known as the Met Ball is an annual event thrown in order to raise funds Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. It marks the grand opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit. After the event, the exhibition runs for several months. The Met Gala is considered to be one of the most important events in the fashion world and is attended by most famous celebrities and fashion designers. Each year there’s a different theme to the gala and guests are expected to choose the outfits to match it. The dress code is set according to the theme of that year’s Costume Institute exhibition. Previous themes of the Met Gala include China: Through the Looking Glass, Punk: Chaos to Couture and so on.
It was first held in 1948 to encourage the New York’s high society to donate. Since 1995, the event has been chaired by US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, who enlists public figures to serve as the event’s co-chairs. Past hosts have included Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Marc Jacobs.
Met Gala is an extremely exclusive and expensive event – designer gowns and accessories that are showcased on the red carpet cost thousands as well as the tickets to the event are not affordable at all. For example, the tickets to the Met Gala 2017 cost about $30,000, or about $275,000 for a table. However, according to the New York Times, not all celebrities buy tickets for themselves, brands often pay for the table. It also is reported that A-list celebrities get offered to be paid up to a million dollars to wear a designer’s jewelry. The guest list includes only 650–700 people.
In 2016 Madonna wore one of the most controversial outfits in history of the event while the theme was ‘Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology’. She appeared in an ensemble designed by Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci exposing both her breasts and buttocks. However, Madonna stated on social media that her outfit was a political statement as well as a fashion statement, because as she said ‘when it comes to women’s rights we are still in the dark ages’.
The event includes a cocktail hour and a formal dinner. The cocktail hour begins with the guests making their way through the red carpet for their grand entrance. Then they tour the year’s special themed exhibition, and are seated before the dinner party that includes entertainment from the preeminent entertainers of the day. On the day of the event, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is closed to the general public.
The theme of the gala this year, which marks the 70th anniversary of the event, was ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’. The show put the focus on the relationship between fashion and the medieval art. Met Gala 2018 was co-chaired by Amal Clooney, Rihanna and Donatella Versace. Since Met Gala 2015, there’s a no-selfie ordinance which means that only approved photographers, reporters, and social media participants can document the event, while guests receive notices about the restriction of selfies and social media inside the gala.