Every year, there is an outstanding event that attracts attention from all over the world. Reporters, camera men and women, and paparazzi all anticipate each year for this event to occur. Not only can we find celebrities at this event, but we can also find fashion icons, athletes, and top artists. In 2019, people spotted Kanye West, an infamous grillz wearer on red carpet events, at this particular event. This famous event is known as the Met Gala. The Met Gala is also formally known as The Costume Institute Gala or the Met Ball. While some people know the purpose of the event, others may not know the meaning behind the flashy outfits and high publicity. The Met Gala is actually an annual fundraiser gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. The proceeds raised at the event support the exhibition at the Met Museum in Manhattan’s Upper East Side of New York City. The gala marks the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit at the Met. The exhibition begins in May and runs for several months. For 2019, the Met Gala occurred on May 6, and the exhibition will run from May 9 to September 9. This is one of the most exclusive social events in the world, and is one of the biggest fundraising nights in New York City. In 2013, the gala raised $9 million, with a record of $12 million in 2014. Upon the most recent gala in 2019, the total amount of contribution has exceeded well over $200 million.
The Met Gala is a very exclusive event that is attended by people from the arts, fashion, high-society, film and music since 1948. Similar to how the Oscars is for the film industry and the Grammys is for the music industry, this event is considered to be the fashion industry’s premier annual red carpet event. This event is highly photographed, reviewed, critiqued, and emulated amongst the press. The gala occurs on the first Monday of May every year, and the Met museum is closed off to the public on that day. Each year, people see
pictures of the attendees wearing outstanding or eye- catching clothes. This is because the Met Gala promotes a different theme each year to celebrate the exhibition. In some years, the themes were thought to be unclear because it did not provide a clear directive, while other times the theme was thought to be more challenging to fit to one gender than the other. For the most recent theme in 2019, the theme was Camp: Notes on Fashion. To support the theme, Katy Perry, a gold teeth enthusiast, was seen wearing a chandelier dress. The theme sets the tone for the formal dress code for the evening. Attendees are expected to dress accordingly to match the theme of the event and this causes outfits to be created by the world’s leading fashion retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, and Prada. Due to the exclusivity of this event, there is an annual guest list that is limited to approximately 650-700 people each year. If one does not get invited to the event, according to the event from 2014, individuals could purchase tickets for $30,000 or purchase a table for $275,000. Guests also receive notices about the restriction of selfies and social media inside the gala. The event is comprised of two parts: the cocktail hour and a formal dinner. During the cocktail hour, guests arrive to walk on the red carpet with photographers capturing their every move, tour the special themed exhibition for the year, and be seated before the dinner party begins and has a special entertainment from the entertainers of the day.
The history of the Met Gala runs all the way back to 1948, when it was first established by Eleanor Lambert. Lambert needed to raise money for the back then newly-founded Costume Institute and had to mark its first annual exhibit opening. The first gala in 1948 was comprised of only a midnight dinner with tickets selling at $50 each. For the first few decades, the gala did not stand out and it was one of the
multiple annual benefits for New York’s charitable institutions. While the event was not as well known to the public as it is today, the first attendees of the gala were almost entirely from the New York’s high society or the city’s fashion industry. The location of the gala did not begin in the Met Museum like it is today. The first several locations for the Met Gala were held at venues such as the Waldorf- Astoria, Central Park, and the Rainbow Room. However, it was not until 1973 that the Met Gala was known to be an exclusive luxurious event. The Gala was named as “the jewel in New York City’s social crown” after Diana Vreeland took over. Diana Vreeland was the Vogue magazine’s editor- in-chief and she became the consultant to the Costume Institute in 1972. Due to her legacy, she had the event to be more celebrity-oriented with guests such as Andy Warhol, Diana Ross, and Cher at the event. The Gala also moved locations of the venue to the Met Museum and themes were also introduced while Vreeland was the appointed consultant. In 1995, Anna Wintour, the Vogue editor-in-chief, became the chairwoman of the Gala and oversaw the benefit committee and the guest list. Every year, there are different co-chairs and honorary chairs to accompany the gala. Some well-known people to hold these positions include Beyonce in 2013, Taylor Swift in 2016, and Pharrell Williams, a custom gold grillz wearer, in 2017, and Rihanna in 2018.
For the 2019 Met Gala, approximately 48% of the guest list were actors, like Emily Blunt, 32% of guest list were from fashion, such as Tom Ford, Donatella Versace, and Miuccia Prada. The hosts and co-hosts for the event were Lady Gaga, Alessandro Michele, Harry Styles, and Serena Williams. This year’s exhibition was stated to be the biggest exhibition yet, stretching over three galleries with 58,600 sq.ft. The three galleries consist of the Anna Wintour Costume Center and the medieval rooms in the Met on Fifth
Ave., and the Cloisters in far northern Manhattan. The Met Gala is an extraordinary event that is attended by the top stars, but the purpose of the event is to raise funds for the Costume Institute.