Everything you need to know about the Met Gala
Let me dive deeper into the history of the Oscars of the fashion world. The story behind this fascinating fashion event is very important. According to Vogue’s short documentary it all started in the 1920s, when Irene Lewisohn (theater producer) and Aline Bernstein (set designer) came up with the idea of a costume collection, in which fellow costume designers could explore the roots of costume design and get inspirations. In 1946 the collection already contained 8000 creations. This was the very moment when it officially became the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The fundraising gala was born in 1948 by Eleanor Lambert, fashion publicist, who was the founder of the New York Fashion Week and the inventor of the Best Dressed List. She launched the Costume Institute Benefit that transformed from a dinner to the “party of the year”. In the 1970s Diana Vreeland, the former Vogue editor in chief became the consultant of the Costume Institute and she created the kind of Met Gala we know today, with the help of the talented decorator Billy Baldwin. She moved the gala from different fancy buildings to the museum itself.
Anna Wintour shook up the annual fashion event in 1995 and the guest list reflected the pages of her Vogue. Global superstars from many fields like fashion, culture, politics and sports were invited. Following the death of Richard Martin (the Institute’s curator), the gala was moved from December to spring in 2001. And The First Monday of May was born. Thaz was when the surprise performances became huge. I have to mention my favourite one when Madonna sang “Like a Prayer” and changed her monk robe to a white corset while walking down the big staircase in 2018.
Designers work months on each look right after they get to know the theme of the next year’s gala, which determines the dress code for attending guests. This year’s dress code was “gilded glamour, white tie”. The theme was inspired by the Gilded Age, a period of time in the US in the late 1800s, right after the Civil War ended. After the economic chaos, in this era the upper class spent fortunes from their newfound money on clothes, sparkling houses and they lived the “high life”. As the Met puts it, "In that period, art infused everything—furniture, lighting, ceramics, metalwork, jewelry, even dress—and manifested itself in artistic interiors." Each rich family just wanted to show off every way it was possible.
Let’s see how the designers and guests applied this theme in their Met costumes:
If you are as curious as me, I checked the previous year’s price of a seat to the Met Gala, which started at $35,000. I’m not sure if I will attend the event in the next few… my whole life, but it’s still amazing to watch it through the glamorous windows and being excited about the next gala every year. Thanks to the creators and the designer for making this eye-candy night for us each and every year!