What is the Met Gala & why is everyone always super excited about it?

Here's everything you need to know, before the stars walk up the famous stairs of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

27 Mar 2019

Met Gala
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

The 71st anniversary of the Met Gala is just around the corner and excitement has hit fever pitch. The most exclusive and glamorous event in the fashion calendar is not only a huge night for show-stopping outfits, but for fashion fundraising too. Let us explain.

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What is the Met Gala and when does it happen?

A few paragraphs in and you've probably noticed we've already called it Met Gala and Met Ball - but fear not, it all means the same. Although the night is most commonly known by the latter, the event is formally known as the Costume Institute Gala.

Happening every first Monday of May, the gala is a fundraiser dedicated to New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute - formally named The Anna Wintour Costume Center, in homage to the American Vogue's editor-in-chief, who has been a chair member of the museum's gala since 1995. The night is centred on the theme of the new exhibition which this year will be Camp: Notes On Fashion.

The benefit founded in 1948 by publicist Eleanor Lambert was to encourage donations from New York's high society.

Who chairs the event?

Other than Anna Wintour, each year the event brings honorary chair members. The late Karl Lagerfeld and Gianni Versace were the first designers chosen to co-chair the night, in 1995.

Since then, among many designers and fashion insiders, the gala has also made room for celebrities (and even royalty) to participate: Caroline Princess of Hanover was a chair of the 2005 Met Gala, Beyoncé was a chair member in 2013, and this year will see Rihanna, Amal Clooney and Donatella Versace co-chairing the event. Donatella is also a sponsor of the exhibition.

This year, Anna will be co-hosting with Lady Gaga, Alessandro Michele, Harry Styles and Serena Williams.

Why does it have a theme?

The Met Gala also marks the opening night of the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibit. The theme of the exhibition sets the tone for the event and invitees have to dress accordingly.

In 2017, we saw celebrities incorporate bright colours and avant-garde designs as they walked the Met Gala 2017 red carpet which was themed 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons' - in homage of (you guessed it) Rei Kawakubo, the fashion designer of the avant-garde Japanese label, Comme des Garçons.

The showstopper look of the night was Rihanna wearing Comme des Garçons. Riri stole the night wearing one of her all-time most unforgettable looks.

We cannot wait to see how the fashion elite interpret this year's theme of Camp: Notes On Fashion.

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What is this year's theme?

The Met Gala theme for 2019 is: Camp: Notes On Fashion.

It is certainly one of the most interesting Met Gala themes of years gone by! Here are our picks of the top 2018 Met Gala Dresses.

What to expect?

Anna Wintour gave us a glimpse of what to expect when she spoke at a conference in February. "Basically, we go from sun kings to drag queens,” said the Vogue American editor A preview of the Johnny Dufort-lensed catalogue teases looks from Moschino’s spring/summer 2017 collection and Gucci’s autumn/winter 2016 offering.

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Other than sumptuous outfits and loads of photographers trying to get an unforgettable shot, expect lots of bodyguards and fluffers. Yep, fluffers, aka people running around to make the dresses look picture-perfect. It takes a village, people!

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