On the first Monday in May, which just so happens to be May Day, a major event is celebrated in America – one that is even bigger than the bank holiday we’ll be enjoying in the UK. It is, after all, the Met Gala and this year’s theme for both the Gala and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute exhibition is Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons. In case you are not au fait, Rei Kawakubo is a designer and will be the first living designer since 1983 (with Yves Saint Laurent) to be the sole subject of the Met Ball. And if you not up to speed on the Met Gala, let us guide you through everything you need to know about the event which is considered one of the most significance fashion events of our time.


What is the Met Gala?

It starts with a major exhibition, which always has a changing theme, that showcases the museum’s extraordinary holdings. These displays have pushed the realms of the imagination when it comes to themes; from periods of history though to homages to designers including Alexander McQueen and Miuccia Prada. This year, you can expect full-on adoration bestowed on Rei Kawakubo; with a showcase of 150 of her womenswear collections which are as far flung as 1980.

However, the Met is considered so much more than expo – it’s become to make a contextual statement of our times and a reflection of our changing culture.  Which is why it’s so important for celebrities to be largely attributed with the whole event, you aren’t anyone if you aren’t present at the ‘Fashion Oscars’ dressed in couture by the most major fashion designer in town.


Who runs it?

Anna Wintour, Editor of American Vogue and the artistic director of Condé Nast, took over as chairwoman of the gala in 1999. She is credited for transforming a somewhat philanthropic event into the only event celebrities really want tickets to. Take the lists of famous names on the guest list, fuse with fashion, business and politics and it’s easy to see why a golden ticket to the event is coveted by anyone who is anyone.

The entrance

When it comes to the Met, there is only one moment that is really significant and that is the entrance. Highlights which still resurface time and time again include Kate Moss’s arrival in 2009, when she worked a lamé mini-dress and matching turban. There was also the time that Sarah Jessica Parker and Alexander McQueen wore matching tartans and Rihanna wore a (slightly OTT) yellow ruffled frock (and sparked a thousand memes).  Then there was last year when Beyoncé arrived solo in a latex beaded dress and told the world all we needed to know about her relationship and her confidence.

Those without a ticket (and trust us, you’d have to re-mortgage your house to get one) can watch the Mets on the TV (time difference taken into consideration). Or, if you don’t want to stay up all night, enjoy the explosive massive media coverage next day because what goes down during the Mets is set to define fashion for the whole of the following year. . .and beyond!


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