The Met Gala


Mo Alrabiah, Journalist

The Met Gala is a very popular fashion event, people all around the world read about it and attend it. In this article, I’m going to be talking about the Met Gala, how the Met Gala became a worldwide fashion event, and when did the first Met Gala happen, what was behind the idea of the Met Gala?

In 1948 Elanor Lambert established the Met Gala as a way to raise money for the costume institute that was newly opened. The first Met Gala was a dinner and the tickets were 50 dollars each. For the first few years of the Gala, it was just one of many annual benefits held for New York charitable institutions. The early Gala attendees were mostly New York high society, and people from the city’s fashion industry. In 1972, Diana Vreeland french-American columnist and editor in the field of fashion became a consultant to the Costume Institution, the Gala began to evolve into a more glamorous event. The event started to be more celebrity-oriented with attendees like Andy Warhol, Diana Ross, and Elton John intermixing with the city’s elite.

The Met Gala themes are one of the biggest parts of the event, it decides what kind of clothing to wear to it. Every year has a different theme, also it includes a cocktail hour and formal dinner. During the cocktail hour, the Gala guests arrive and then set foot on the red carpet and tour this year’s themed exhibition, they are seated before the dinner which includes entertainment from the preeminent entertainers of the day. The theme sets the tone for both the exhibition and the attendee’s outfits.

The Met Gala today is a major fundraising event that serves as an opening celebration for the Institute’s annual fashion exhibit. The event, attended by personalities from the arts, fashion, high society, film, and music has been held at the Met Gala since 1948 and is considered to be the fashion industry’s premium annual red carpet event. The red carpet fashions are photographed, reviewed, critiqued, and emulated. Vogue editor in chief and a chairwoman of the Gala since 1995 Anna Wintour, oversees both the benefit committee and the guest list, with Vogue staffers helping assemble the list of invitees.

With such a big event it is almost certain that there will be controversy. Azzedine Alaïa, Tunisian couturier, and shoe designer, during the 2009 Met Gala pulled out his two models, Naomi Campell and Stephanie Seymour last minute because he found out that none of his work was going to be included in the Costume Institute exhibition. Alaïa not only pulled the models out of the Gala but chose not to attend the event altogether. Another incident in 2016 was when Madonna provided one of the most controversial outfits in the history of the Gala during the “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology”. She appeared at the Gala in an ensemble designed by Givenchy creative director Ricardo Tisci exposing both her breasts and buttocks. “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” Madonna stated on her official social media accounts.