Everyone knows about the Met Gala, and it’s no secret that we all look forward to it. An event only for those high in society, you can expect to see some of the most famous Hollywood stars and designers walk the iconic steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for an evening of fundraising for the Costume Institute.
The Met Gala hosts a themed charity night that corresponds with the exhibition at the Costume Institute. With this, attendees must choose a look that embodies the concept. Serial fashion-killers often include Rihanna, Solange, Sarah Jessica-Parker and Zendaya. The men like to leave their mark too, with the likes of Pharrell, Kanye West, Jared Leto and John Legend often in attendance.
Are you clued up on the biggest night in fashion? We take a look at its history, recent themes and inside secrets that you’re dying to know.
Before it took the name Met Gala, it was previously referred to as the Costume Institute Gala when it was first founded in 1948. The event was a way to raise money for the newly-founded Costume Institute and mark the opening of its annual exhibit.
Believe it or not, the entry costs to the event were just $50. Although many of us now picture the event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it was previously hosted at various venues including Waldorf-Astoria, Central Park and Rainbow Room until 1971.
The event started to change around 1972 though, and for the better at that. Diana Vreeland, who was Vogue’s editor-in-chief at the time, joined the organisers as a special consultant and transformed it into a haven for celebrities. She is also responsible for its current venue and the annual themes.
Once one Met Gala is over, the planning for the next begins. As the most documented night in fashion, one slip up could be a disastrous PR problem. The event isn’t cheap to run either, the Wall Street Journal suggested that it costs over $3.5 million to produce.
However, everyone knows that the talent for the evening comes at a hefty cost. Last year, Madonna took to the stage to entertain the guests and booking agency Degy Entertainment has stated that she can earn over $1m per performance — a price worth paying to keep your guests happy!
With over 550 tickets in total that cost around $30,000 each, the event can make more than $16.5 million alone from those wanting to walk the red carpet. However, some influential celebrities attend the event and are dressed for free. Many sponsors and brands purchase tables priced between $275,000 and $500,000 each for their famous guests. Although those prices may seem high enough, Yahoo is thought to have paid $3m for just two tables back in 2015.
Most iconic themes
This year, we can expect to see celebs explore the love of the unnatural — whatever that means. The co-chairs for the special event will be Lady Gaga, Alessandro Michele, Harry Styles, Serena Williams, and Anna Wintour.
Everyone pulled out their occasion dresses for the Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years theme in 2001. The First Lady’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, attended the ball with many saying that she channelled her mother the best!
Another note-worthy theme includes Yves Saint Laurent: 25 Years of Design where in 1983, the Met Gala praised Saint Laurent’s contributions to the world of fashion with a ravishing exhibition. Although the night was all about him, not every star could wear one of his designs — as they’d end up wearing the same thing!
However, last year celebrated the ‘Catholic Imagination’. Religion is a huge topic of conversation all over the world, and many attendees’ choice of attire were highly analysed both by media outlets and social media. Remember Rihanna’s Pope dress? Or Lena Waithe wearing a Rainbow Pride-Flag cape? A lot of these celebrities made a statement that night!
Insider secrets of the event
Everyone tries to stay hush-hush about the Met Gala event. Although media coverage often shows a montage of our favourite celebrities, some of them don’t actually know each other. However, the organisers make it their mission to spice up the table name placements! So much so, that Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston were on the same table in 2016 and ended up dating!
Although we all love uploading a selfie to Instagram, they’re actually forbidden at the Met Gala. However, that hasn’t stopped people from sharing their experiences online — remember that bathroom selfie taken by Kylie Jenner? Speaking of the bathroom situation, many celebrities also venture in there to smoke, which we’re guessing is also against the rules…
Believe it or not, when it comes to eating the food they’ve paid for, stars barely pick up their cutlery. People are too busy chatting away and talking about their dresses and tuxedos, taking forbidden selfies and of course enjoying the live performances!
As well as this, many designers sell their designs to aid charities. Last year, Olivier Rousteing, who is the Creative Director of Balmain sold off all of the looks he created and donated the money to RED. Although these pieces were originally expensive to make and buy, many of them sold somewhere between £2,000 and £5,000!