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  • Writer's pictureLuísa Rodarte

What is the Met Gala?

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

The Met Ball, or Met Gala, is the fashion world equivalent of the Oscars. It's an evening when designers, models, and Hollywood stars convene in the year's most over-the-top looks to celebrate and raise funds for a new exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.

The Met Gala marks the opening of the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibit. Each year's event celebrates the theme of that year's Costume Institute exhibition, and the exhibition sets the tone for the attendees’ dressing of the night, since guests are expected to choose matching outfits with the theme of the exhibit.

The last Met gala (2019) theme was "Camp: Notes on Fashion".

What exactly does that mean? Six experts attempt to define a largely indefinable sensibility. “Camp today.

These are some celebrities that went to the 2019 Met gala:

  • Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West.

  • Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas;

  • Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner;

  • Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen;

  • Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner;

  • Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian;

  • Cole Sprouse and Lily Reinhart;

  • Joshua Kushner and Karlie Kloss.

  • Jennifer Lopez

The Met Gala raised more than $13 million in 2019. Anna Wintour, the met gala creator, has raised over $186 million in total for the Costume Institute. The Met Gala also wave some rules:

  • No Social Media.

In 2015, it was reported that the use of social media had been banned from the event, to clamp down on celebrities spending the majority of the evening on their phones.

  • No Under 18s Allowed.

In 2018, it was revealed that the Met Gala had decreed a new age restriction.

  • No Smoking Inside The Museum.

In 2017, it was reported that it's illegal to smoke in the museum. They said it was disrespectful to the art collection.

  • Foods That Cause Bad Breath.

In the event, they don't serve food with onion or garlic, to avoid causing bad breath.

Some celebrities who weren't invited bought the tickets to enter the Met gala!

In 1960, tickets cost only $100 (about $830 today) and sold out just two weeks before the event. Tickets to the 2019 gala cost $30,000 a pop, and tables run $275,000.

That said, not all guests pay their way in. Many celebrities attend as guests of designers on the condition that they wear clothes from their label. The designers and their famous plus-ones typically walk the red carpet together and spend the rest of the time at the gala enjoying each other’s company.

At the next ball (in 2021), some things will be different. For example, normally, only celebrities go to the Met Gala, but this year, they invited some Tiktokers and YouTubers (like Addison Rae, Dixie, and Charli D'amelio, Emma Chamberlain, James Charles, etc) to attend as well.

Anna Wintour, the Met Gala creator, decided to invite those representatives of modern entertainment to have a new and different audience to the ball, that being of the younger generation. However, it has become public knowledge and the topic for many jokes and laughs that she put those teenagers at the same table as famous celebrities. And when I say famous, I mean really famous. I’m talking Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and many others. I, personally, don't think that it was a great idea, considering they have practically nothing to do with each other. While Ariana Grande is one of the best singers in the world, Charli D'amelio does TikTok dances in 60-second videos tops.

Another thing that is going to happen in the 2021 Met Gala is the re-encounter and possible re-kindling of ex-couples, like Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles, who are going to sit next to each other. It may seem controversial, but Anna Wintour was actually brilliant by doing that, since Harry Styles and Kendall Jenner are one of the internet’s favorite couples, so everyone would, consequently, comment about that, thus generating publicity and drawing a lot of attention to the first Met Ball in nearly two years.

Finally, I can’t end this article without mentioning the thing most people watch the Met Gala for: the outfits! As I said, they normally range from a common theme and the guests don’t spare creativity (or money) when choosing what they are going to wear. With that in mind, I compiled six of the most iconic looks in the Met Gala throughout the year to give you guys a taste of how it is like and what we can/will be looking for this year.

The Met Gala has a great purpose behind it and has become one of the most awaited events of the year, even more so after having its 2020 edition canceled due to COVID-19. The Met Gala 2021 is already creating quite an expectation as it has a lot of potential in giving us the kick-start we need to get back on track and ready for the resume of “normal life” after nearly one year of living through computer screens. Let's hope it’s as good as we hope!

Most Iconic Ball Looks

Cher, 1974; Bianca Jagger, 1974; Rihanna, 2015; Lupita Nyongo, 2016; Kim Kardashian, 2019;Princess Diana, 1996.

The Most Iconic 2021 Looks

Lil Nas X:

Nas X impressed everyone by not only having an excellent outfit, but three! He arrived at the event with a golden cape, when he got to the stairs he started to take off the cape, showing a kind of golden armor, and then took off the armor, displaying a golden jumpsuit. Honestly, it’s hard to choose which one looked best on him.

Billie Eilish:

This was argued to be one of the most iconic looks of the night, as the artist Billie Eilish was very insecure about her body and always wore loose clothes. However, this time, she appeared in a wonderful dress that, apart from being completely breath-taking, was different from everything we had ever seen her in, leaving everyone open-mouthed.

Kim Kardashian:

Kim shocked the audience with her outfit, that covered her up from head to toe. We can pretty much see a pattern here, where the “most iconic” outfits weren’t traditional, but rather demonstrated other sides of otherwise “predictable” celebrities and looks. Normally, Kim wears extravagant, vulgar clothes that show a lot of skin, and, last night, not even a glimpse of it could be seen.

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