MET GALA: Where Stars Unite for One Night
From the biggest stars of the big screen to the brightest stars of the concert stage. They are all gathered in New York City every single year. Despite the controversies about this “charity ball” celebrities and socialites continue to support it.
How did it start?
It all began in 1948 when a publicist Eleanor Lambert started it just like a typical philanthropic endeavor. In 1979, Pat Buckley became the chairwoman of the gala. Basically, this annual event is called the Costume Institute Gala or commonly known as the MET Gala. It is a fundraising event which benefits the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in the heart of New York.
It is an exclusive event that marks the grand opening of their annual grand exhibit, which has a theme that the guests would follow. It is considered to be the “Party of the Year” and the “Oscars of the East Coast” because this party is only for very special people. It would start off by the guests posing on the red carpet on the grand entrance stairs of the Metropolitan Museum. Where every type of media men is present.
Every year they also choose an honorary chair and in 2016, they chose Chanel designer, Karl Lagerfeld, and Louis Vuitton’s artistic director Nicolas Ghesquiere.
This gala is so exclusive that only the elites are invited to come (well they are the only ones who can afford the ticket which costs $30,000apiece and $275,000 a table) Every single penny that comes from the ticket sales goes to the Costume Institute and in 2015 over $12 million was raised.
Some celebrities are often invited by certain brands and the chairwoman Anna Wintour invite talented amateur designers who cannot afford to buy a ticket. Although, not everyone who can afford it can purchase a ticket, only the ones with an invitation can get one. Even if the brand buys a table and they want a certain celebrity to come and join the gala, they still wouldn’t be able to unless Wintour approves. The annual guest list of the gala includes only 600-700 people.
The celebrities and socialites are encouraged to dress according to the theme.
MET GALA Themes Through the Years
1982 – Le Belle Époque
1986 – Dance
1998 – Cubism and Fashion
1999 – Rock Style
2004 – Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century
2005 – House of Chanel
2008 – Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy
2013 – Punk: Chaos to Couture
2015 – China: Through the Looking Glass
2016 – Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology
CRITICISMS AND CONTROVERSIES
In 2015, there was a controversy about the theme China: Through the Looking Glass. Some designers got a little confused about theme just like Lady Gaga’s designer who made her wear a costume that resembles a “kimono”. Which is actually Japanese and NOT Chinese
The critics stated that it was “A reminder of the subtle institutionalized racism that’s been compounded by centuries of Asian isolationism across the board and enduring western stereotypes exacerbated by ignorance and the meme-able nature of social media”
Another controversy happened during the Met Gala was when R&B singer Solange, Beyonce’s sister, attacked her sister’s Husband, Jay-Z during an elevator ride at the 2014 Met Gala.
It was reported that Solange found out the Jay-Z cheated on Beyoncé and started throwing punches and was being restrained by a man, which turned out to be a security and Beyoncé was getting in between them. This all happened during the Met Gala afterparty.
Also in the 2016 Met Gala, the Queen of Pop, Madonna faced controversy with her extremely revealing outfit courtesy of Givenchy creative director Ricardo Tisci for the Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology theme of that year. She releases a statement on her social media account saying,
“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.”
Despite the controversies, the Met Gala keeps on going on and continues to inspire up and coming designers all over the world. This 2017, all we need to do is to just wait and check out which celebrity will top the best and worst dressed list.