The annual Met Gala has become the most coveted ticket within the ranks of the Hollywood elite, as coined by the New York Times. The Met Gala is an invitation-only annual event, that is all about getting dressed up and showing off to the world. Unlike award shows, such as The Oscars or Emmy’s where specific celebrity achievements are being recognized, the gala is all about fashion. The Met Gala is simply fashion’s night to shine.
Every year the event is themed based on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institution’s exhibition. The gala, dressed up as the most epic night of fashion, is a fundraiser for the Museum. The fashion department is the only self-funded branch of the Museum.
The theme for 2016, was Manus x Machina; Fashion’s interpretation of technology meets couture. The event is organized by Anna Winthrop, Vogue America’s fashion editor, who has become famous for her discerning tastes that go beyond the norm in the fashion industry. Winthrop has leveraged her reputation to help add drama behind the Met Gala’s appeal.
Fashion’s night to shine comes with a great deal of responsibility for the attendees. The Red Carpet has become the main event of the evening. While the chosen celebrity elite, while they are not required to dress with the theme of the night, they must come to the party reaching beyond average fashion expectation. The Met Gala only allows for 600 guests, all of whom are hand-picked by Winthrop.
The Met Gala’s contributions start at $30,000 for a seat and $275,000 for a table. Brands and businesses often buy out the places at the event then, celebrities are invited to sit at their tables. However, before a corporate sponsor can invite a guest to the Met Gala event, they must be approved by Winthrop. This high level of exclusivity raised $2.5 million dollars, for the museum, in 2015. The Gala is also exposure for new designers to mix within an elite group of fashion houses. Additionally, celebrities must wear the brands who invited them for a seat at their tables, which provides more marketing for fashion houses and other brands.
Eleanor Lambert, a publicist, started the Met Gala in 1948. The event was a basic philanthropic effort, labeled as, for the good of New York society. The Gala has evolved into fashion’s night out since the turn of the millennium.
The most intriguing part of the Met Gala’s annual event is that after the Red Carpet display, no one knows what happens inside the event. All of the guests are sworn to secrecy. Cell phones and social media posts are not allowed during or after the event. The most information anyone knows, who has not attended, is very little. What is known is that guests are greeted by the hosts in a receiving line, who then must quickly air kiss the hosts, before they are allowed to tour the exhibit. There is a cocktail hour followed by dinner and entertainment.
While what happens at the Met Gala stays at the Met Gala, the real stars of the night are the clothes. While celebrities may be adorned with the amazing designs, the Gala is meant to be fashion’s night to shine.
By Gichele Cocrelle
Edited Jeanette Smith
Huffington Post: 56 Exclusive Photos from the 2016 Met Gala that you won’t see anywhere else
The Atlantic: Beyonce and Gaga at the Met Gala: Behold the red carpet Hunger Games
The New York Times: What is the Met Gala and who gets to go?
Photo Courtesy of Manfred Werner/Tsui Wikipedia – Creative Commons License