Okay friends, it’s almost that time. Time for us to judge A-list celebrities for their wardrobe choices at an event most of us will never attend. That’s right, it’s almost time for the Met Gala, which takes place May 6, 2019. Every year on the first Monday in May, this grand event takes place in New York City and most of the people judging from their couches and cubicles have zero idea what the Met Gala even is. So, here’s your crash course from a girl who hopes to one day be invited to cover the red carpet and then be seated next to Michael B. Jordan at a black designer’s table.
WTF is the Met Gala?
The Met Gala AKA “Fashion’s Biggest Night Out” AKA “The Oscars of the East Coast,” is basically an annual fundraiser/couture costume party that generates funding for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute (the fashion section of the museum). “Why tf do they need money?” you ask? Because fashion wasn’t considered “real art” when the Costume Institute was established so they have to pay for their own exhibits. Hence, the evening also includes the unveiling of the Costume Institute’s newest exhibit for the year. The theme of the gala (how everyone is supposed to dress) coincides with the new exhibit’s subject. This year’s theme/exhibit is: “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” We’ll get into wtf that means next. The Met Gala has been hosted by Anna Wintour since 1995, along with a revolving group of co-hosts each year. This year’s co-hosts are Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, Serena Williams, and Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele since Gucci is sponsoring this year’s gala. In summation, the Met Gala is rich people supporting rich people shit and while it seems new to us regular people thanks to social media, the Met Gala has been taking place since 1948.
This year’s theme and the exhibit is Camp, based on Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on Camp.” In fashion terms, Camp is an aesthetic represented by exaggerated, kitsch, theatrical, ironic and/or humorous style. So the new exhibit will feature designers and artists whose work falls under those descriptions (think Comme des Garçons, Alexander McQueen, Mugler, Jeremy Scott, and John Galliano to name a few). My biggest gripe as I judge the red carpet (wearing a threadbare graphic t-shirt and sweatpants) is people who don’t dress according to the theme. You have 364 other days of the year and all of the money to show us that you’re pretty. We get it. The Met Gala is the time to have fun with fashion and be costumey af. The best red carpet moments of the night feature the people who take fashion seriously but don’t take themselves too seriously. Hence, Rihanna remains the reigning queen of the Met Gala. Since this year’s theme is kind of the definition of extra ass fashion and what the red carpet should be anyway, there’s no reason why we should see any Plain Jane’s on the red carpet. But we all know someone is gonna show up being super boring and get all philosophical about how all fashion can be considered camp blah blah blah. Save it.
Who Gets to Go
The Met Gala is insanely exclusive. Tickets are around $30,000 per person and tables are about $275,000 apiece. The party and exhibit are sponsored so the ticket sales go directly to funding the Costume Institute, so not every guest has to pay. However, even the wealthiest of people can’t just buy their way in, because each guest is hand selected by host and Vogue Editor In Chief Anna Wintour, for whom the Costume Institute is also named. Guests include A-list actors, musicians, fashion designers, models, and high society socialites. Brands often purchase tables and invite celebrities and/or models to sit at them increasing their brand’s notoriety. That’s why you’ll see designers hit the red carpet with a certain muse as their date. Example, last year Cardi B. came as Jeremy Scott’s guest. Anna Wintour also invites up and coming designers who can’t afford a ticket. You can be very wealthy but not influential enough to attend, or you can be broke but very influential and get an invite, or somewhere in between. The thing is if Anna says no, you can’t go.