The Met Gala is fashion’s biggest night, but what is it? And why are celebs wearing elaborate (and sometimes just weird) dresses? Us Weekly has you covered with answers to all of your burning questions about the Met Gala.
What Is the Met Gala?
The Met Gala is a fundraiser for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Also known as The Costume Institute Benefit, the event is the Costume Institute’s “primary source of funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, operations and capital improvements,” per The Met.
How Is the Met Gala Theme Chosen?
Every year, the theme matches The Costume Institute’s spring exhibition. In 2023, the “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” exhibit is being celebrated. “The posthumous exhibition ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’ (opening May 5) will spotlight the German fashion designer’s unique working methodology and examine his stylistic vocabulary through the aesthetic themes that recurred in his work during his time at Chanel, Fendi, his eponymous brand, Karl Lagerfeld, and more,” the Met stated in a press release.
The attendees are expected to honor the late fashion designer with their formalwear.
Why Are Met Gala Outfits Are So Weird?
It’s all about the theme. In 2019, the exhibit was “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” which encouraged stars to take on their campiest looks yet. Zendaya went as Cinderella, Jared Leto carried a Gucci prosthetic of his own head and Katy Perry was a chandelier before changing into a couture hamburger costume. Even when the theme is less outrageous, the benefit is for the Costume Institute, so designers like to embrace the opportunity to push boundaries and take creative risks.
When Is the Met Gala?
The Met Gala is typically held the first Monday in May. It marks the opening of the Costume Institute’s new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Monday is Broadway’s “dark” day, meaning most Broadway theaters are closed. That almost guarantees that theater stars and theatergoers are available — a key element for an iconic New York City event.
Arrivals are set to start at 5:30 p.m. ET and can continue until as late as 9:30 p.m. ET.
Where Is the Met Gala?
The event is held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Fifth Avenue location in New York City’s Upper East Side. Attendees will walk the red carpet and climb the iconic steps before enjoying the dinner inside the venue. (The museum is closed on the first Monday every May to accommodate the event.)
Who Gets to Attend the Met Gala?
It’s a fundraiser, so of the roughly 400 people who attend the Met Gala donate a lot of money to the museum or attend on behalf of a benefactor. Celebrities are often invited by fashion houses, which pay for full tables at the Met. Tables start at $300,000 for the 2023 event, according to The New York Times, while individuals can buy their own tickets for $50,000.
Can Anyone With the Money Buy Tickets to the Met Gala?
No. Anna Wintour, who has served as a chairwoman since 1995, gets final say over the entire guest list.