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Alanna Martine Kilkeary / Her Campus

Met Gala: Rundown for the First Monday in May

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit, or more colloquially known as the Met Gala, took place earlier this month on the first Monday of May at the Met Museum in New York City. According to Vogue, the “Met Gala is a charity event that is considered a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute; it has traditionally been timed to mark the opening of its annual fashion exhibition”. While many tune in to see their favorite celebrities and designers down the colored carpet, there are many logistical details that go on behind the scenes of such a large event. 

Here are some answers to questions about the Met Gala that you might have: 

Why is there a theme?

The party signals the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual extravagant affair, and the party dress code is usually the theme of the exhibition. After the gala, the exhibition (funded by the event) is usually open to the public and displayed in the Met Museum. In fact, in 2021, the ball raised over $16.4 million. The exhibition for the 2022 gala will include around 100 examples of various men’s and women’s fashion from the time period 

In its incorporation of fashion, it is only fitting that the theme represents fashion eras of the past or future. The theme is often broad, allowing celebrities and designers to have freedom in their creative endeavors (whether or not they follow the theme to its fullest potential is another conversation). This theme must be approved by a panel established by the museum, taking place about a year in advance.  

“Gilded Glamor” … What does that even mean? 

This year’s theme takes part as the second installment of the exhibition. The first, which took place on September 13, was In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. And this year’s theme was In America: An Anthology of Fashion. This past Met paid homage to the designers and history from the 19th to mid-late 20th Century — a time coined as the “Gilded Age”. While the theme is meant to highlight more prominent designers of this century like Oscar de la Renta, other “forgotten” designers made a comeback at the show. Specifically, Sarah Jessica Parker’s look was designed by Christopher John Rogers—paying homage to the first female black designer in the White House. 

Believe it or not, there are hosts to this extravagant affair. Here’s how they are chosen: 

When you think of the Met Gala, one prominent name often comes to mind. The ever-present Anna Wintour has run the Met Gala ever since 1995 and continues to be an honorary co-host. This year’s co-hosts include Regina King, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Blake Lively, and Ryan Reynolds. Honorary co-hosts include Anna Wintour, Adam Mosseri (head of Instagram), and Tom Ford. 

Usually, the hosts of the Met coincide with the theme, often names that were most prominent in the media and pop culture the past year. Anna Wintour also seems to enjoy keeping couples together as in 2017, Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen took on the responsibility, while we know one of the most iconic Hollywood couples: Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds just held the role this past gala. 

How do you get invited to the Met Gala? 

While the guest list is usually top-secret, it is pretty evident that the “biggest” names in Hollywood and pop culture, in general, will be in attendance. However, other highly prominent names such as Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie, and Jennifer Aniston have never been to the Met to this day. Either way, the guest list has always been left in the hands of Anna Wintour. Oftentimes, designers will also be in attendance at the hand of whoever is wearing their adorned creations. This means that designers and their teams must also be in preparation months in advance to choose who will wear their looks and who will receive custom pieces. The guest list is also usually limited to around 550 people, making it one of the most exclusive events of the year. 

Overall, the Met Gala continues to be one of my favorite fashion events of the year. My friends and I look forward to the annual red carpet to see what our favorite celebrities and designers have in store for the media. Only in understanding the logistical elements of the event, can we better appreciate the time and dedication for this fundraiser.

Hailey is a second-year Political Science major and English minor at UCSB, originally from Los Angeles, CA. Her passions include community service, public policy advocacy, reading books, and talking about movies or pop culture!
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