I’m sure at some point you’ve heard or seen something about The MET Gala. Mainstream media likes to give more coverage to the scandalous stories than to talk about the origin and importance of this event. Let’s dissect what is the event about:
Formally called the Costume Institute Gala is an annual fundraising benefiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. – the institute is devoted to the conservation, study, and housing of the world’s most comprehensive costume collection, offering an unrivaled timeline of fashion history. The funds raised are used for the operating costs.
The gala was founded on 1946 but it wasn’t until 1948 , Eleanor Lambert (a fashion legend) hosted the first major event, turning the fundraiser into a high profile dinner for Manhattan’s elite. During the following years it would remain as one of many annual benefits in New York City. It wasn’t until 1972 , when Diana Vreeland created what we know as the Met Gala today. Diana created a structure to make the gala more impactful in society, this was implemented with 3 guidelines, the first being the theme, second the co-chairs and thirdly the sponsor, this hasn’t changed much during the years.
Since 1995 Anna Wintour has been the chairwoman , having the responsibility of the theme and specially the guest list, she has also implemented some very interesting rules to insure the event remains as mysterious and exclusive.
Today the Met gala has created a global fame, with millions of fashion fans waiting for the first Monday in May to see their favorite celebrities and designers bringing a theme to life, but this always comes with scandals and controversies. Understanding the scandals the MET gala has been involved gives us perspective on the organizing committee and their priorities, making us question if there’s a motive behind a charitable event.
One of the biggest controversies has been the attendance to the gala, how exclusive the guest list is but specially what a single ticket can cost. At the first dinner the tickets were sold for $50 us dollars, in 2014 we saw one of the biggest increases in the ticket prices for outsiders, tickets costing around $30,000 usd. This year (2023) the tickets saw a 30% rise and are now around $50,000 usd
During the 2022 gala the fundraising record broke to $17.4 million dollars, their previous record was $12 million on 2014. Without doubts it’s one of the biggest fundraising events in NYC.
Since 2015 the guests where notified about the no phone rule, this means that the guests aren’t allowed to take photographs with their phones (no selfies allowed) , or use social media at the event. In 2018 Wintour added a new rule, every guest must be 18+.
The gala always sparks a conversation , from the theme, list of guests, red carpet looks, it all creates headlines. The theme for 2023 is an homage to one of fashion’s biggest names Karl Lagerfeld, we are looking forward to this years looks and exhibit.