Today we embark on the 70th anniversary of the Met Gala!
To the fashion “in-crowd,” this is a night where both muse and creator dance through the halls of the historical Metropolitan Museum of Art. However, for us lesser-knowns, we sit patiently, experiencing a bittersweet moment as we watch from the sidelines and take a deep breath before Rihanna, Solange, Beyonce and the like leave us gasping for air.
The unveiling of this top-secret event was first seen in the 2016 documentary The First Monday in May, and every component of it is as tedious and detailed as a Queen Bey concert. But, surprisingly, all of the hoopla isn’t the most comfortable playground for some celebrities. Demi Lovato once remarked that the gala caters only to a fake and snobby fashion crowd.
So, what is so alluring about the MET Ball?
For many celebrities, if invited, the MET Gala is a mandatory press opportunity. Its exclusivity puts them in more prestigious conversations and is equivalent to a cover story in Vogue‘s September Issue. But its main purpose is to raise funds for the Custom Institute, and brands pay upward of $15,000 per person for their celebrity guests. Over the years, more than $12 million has been raised.
The Costume Institute has a long history with fashion’s biggest magazine, Vogue. Before there was Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, Diana Vreeland sat at the publication’s helm through some of fashion’s most memorable decades. After leaving Vogue in the 70s, Vreeland became a Special Consultant for the MET. Using her talents, she transformed the experience of fashion exhibitions. Still, for many years fashion was not looked at as art. But, similar to Vogue, Wintour elevated this concept through marrying celebrity and fashion.
This year’s theme is “Heavenly Bodies.” At first glance it could sound like a vague celebration of different body types. However, with its tagline, “Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” things became more clear. Celebrities were advised to wear “Sunday’s Best,” and with a host like Rihanna, Lord only knows what that will look like.
Today, Donatella Versace will be honored. (If you remember the cape that Nicki Minaj wore to the 2012 Grammy Awards, you can understand why.) The exhibition is the largest they pulled off to date, showcasing robes and accessories from the Vatican parallel to designs by Chanel, Versace and Galliano. But really, all we’re waiting for is to see who wins best dressed in the court of public opinion.