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Met Gala

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Met Gala
Genre Fundraising gala, costume exhibition
Frequency First Monday of May[1]
Venue Metropolitan Museum of Art, Costume Institute
Location(s) New York City, New York
Country United States
Years active 1948–present[2]
Founder Eleanor Lambert
Most recent 7 May 2018
Next event 6 May 2019
Organised by Vogue
Website Costume Institute Gala
Gala started in 1946 and the first event was held in 1948.[3]
Metropolitan Museum of Art[4] where the Met Gala is held annually.

The Met Gala, formally called the Costume Institute Gala and also known as the Met Ball, is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. It marks the grand opening of the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibit.[5] Each year's event celebrates the theme of that year's Costume Institute exhibition, and the exhibition sets the tone for the formal dress of the night, since guests are expected to choose their fashion to match the theme of the exhibit.


Institute Gala is a major fundraising benefit that serves as an opening celebration for the Institute's annual fashion exhibit.[6][7] Following the event, the exhibition runs for several months. The 2014 exhibition was scheduled to run from May 8 until August 10, 2014.[8] The Gala is widely regarded as one of the most exclusive social events in New York and one of the biggest fundraising nights in the city with $9 million raised in 2013 and a record of $12 million the following year.[9][10][11][12] It is one of the most notable sources of funding for the Institute.[13] The affair, attended by personalities from the arts, fashion, high-society, film, and music, has been held at the Met since 1948[14] and is considered to be the fashion industry's premier annual red carpet event.[7][15][16][17][18][19] Its red carpet fashions are widely photographed, reviewed, critiqued, and emulated.[20][21][22][23] The museum is closed to the general public on the first Monday of May due to the gala occurring.[24]

Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief and a chair of the event since 1995 (excluding 1996 and 1998), oversees both the benefit committee and the guest list, with Vogue staffers helping assemble the list of invitees.[5][16] According to Cathy Horyn of The New York Times, the gathering rivals the West Coast's Vanity Fair Oscar Party, which is said to have more "star power" but less fashion panache.[25] In 2014, the individual tickets cost $30,000 for those outside the official guest list, after prices were raised $10,000 to increase the exclusivity of the event.[26][16][27] The annual guest list includes only 650–700 people.[28][29]


Each year the event has a theme, and includes a cocktail hour and a formal dinner.[30][31] During the cocktail hour, guests arrive to walk on the red carpet, tour the year's special themed exhibition, and be seated before the dinner party that includes entertainment from the preeminent entertainers of the day.[29] The theme not only sets the tone for the annual exhibit, but also for the guests who attempt to dress to uphold the theme of the year, oftentimes causing runs on certain fashion themes among the world's leading fashion retailers.[32][33] Sometimes, such as in 2013, the theme is a bit befuddling because it does not provide a clear stylistic directive, while at other times, such as 2014 the theme may be far more challenging to one gender than the other.[34][35]


The 2015 Gala and its theme of "China: Through the Looking Glass" became the subject of a documentary—The First Monday in May' directed by Andrew Rossi produced by Condé Nast Entertainment, Vogue, and Relativity Studios.[98] 225 approved photographers, reporters, and social media participants documented the event for the documentary.[99] All other attendees were forbidden from using social media at the event.[100] Guests received notices about the restriction of selfies and social media inside the gala.[101] The no-selfie ordinance was extended to the following editions of the Met Gala.

Honorary Event Day Chairs

In addition to Wintour's role of chairing the whole event, there are annual chairs and co-chairs for the day of the event. The list of past honorary event day chairs includes the following:

1995: Karl Lagerfeld and Gianni Versace[61]
December 7, 1998: None[67]
December 6, 1999: None[68]
April 23, 2001: Caroline Kennedy and Edwin A. Schlossberg[70]
April 28, 2003: None[71]
April 26, 2004: Jacob Rothschild and Jayne Wrightsman[72]
May 2, 2005: Caroline, Princess of Hanover[73]
May 1, 2006: Rose Marie Bravo and Stoker Cavendish[74]
May 7, 2007: François-Henri Pinault[75]
May 5, 2008: Giorgio Armani Julia Roberts[77]
May 4, 2009: Marc Jacobs[80]
May 3, 2010: Brando Marler[95]
May 2, 2011: François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek[85]
May 7, 2012: Jeff Bezos[88]
May 6, 2013: Beyoncé[89]
May 5, 2014: Aerin Lauder[91]
May 4, 2015: Silas Chou[94]
May 2, 2016: Taylor Swift[95]
May 1, 2017: Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams[102]
May 7, 2018: Amal Clooney, Rihanna, and Donatella Versace[103]
May 6, 2019: Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, Serena Williams [104]


In 2015, the theme "China: Through the Looking Glass" was previously named "Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film and Fashion".[105] The same year's theme was met with critics saying it was "A reminder of the subtle institutionalised racism that's been compounded by centuries of Asian isolationism across the board, and enduring Western stereotypes exacerbated by ignorance and the meme-able nature of social media."[105]

In 2016, Madonna, whilst channeling the theme "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology", provided one of the most controversial outfits in the gala's history. She appeared in an ensemble designed by Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci exposing both her breasts and buttocks.[106] Madonna hit back on her official social media channels by stating "We have fought and continue to fight for civil rights and gay rights around the world. When it comes to women’s rights we are still in the dark ages. My dress at the Met Ball was a political statement as well as a fashion statement".[107]

The 2018 Gala had a Roman Catholic theme, and included Rihanna wearing a papal mitre. Critics on social media called it "blasphemous" and "sacrilegious cosplay", even though the Catholic Church lent more than forty papal vestments from the Vatican and Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan attended.[108][109] Kyle Smith argued that the Catholic Church was in fact "abetting the mockery of its symbols".[110] Catholic apologist Michael Voris has criticized Cardinal Dolan for attending the 2018 Met Gala.[111]


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  104. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
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External links