What’s Met Gala and Why the World is Crazy over it

When the weirdly-dressed pictures of actress Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, and Asia’s richest business-heiress Isha Ambani started flooding the internet on May 7th, 2019, Indians couldn’t help but take notice of an almost unheard event called ‘Met Gala’. The weird-costumes of the glamorous divas compelled all the fashionistas and even fashion-frumps to browse more pictures of the event only to deepen their ongoing curiosities.

Picking the widespread curiosity, BusinessTrends is going to spill the beans about Met Gala and why do people even care about it?

What is Met Gala?

It refers to the Costume Institute of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Colloquially, the museum is called “The Met”. It is the largest art museum in the United States.

The museum’s Costume Institute Benefit is also known as The Met Gala.

What is Met Gala event all about?

Having started in 1948, Met Gala event was the brainchild of publicity queen Eleanor Lambert. The event is organised on the First Monday of May.

It’s essentially an opening-night party and fundraiser for an annual fashion exhibit curated by the Costume Institute – the museum’s fashion department – and the only curatorial department at the Met that has to fund itself.

Why is it a high-voltage event?

Diana Vreeland, Ex Editor-in-Chief at Vogue magazine, became a consultant to the Costume Institute after leaving the magazine in 1972. Vreeland ideated for Met Gala to have a theme and lots of celebrity attendees from fashion-industry and elsewhere. Her successor, Anna Wintour, Editor-in-chief at Vogue, turned it into a red-carpet event to rival the Oscars in 1995.

Apparently, Wintour is known for her ability to transform a local philanthropic event into an ultimate global celebrity and power cocktail.

Wintour has now built the event into one of the most visible and successful fundraisers in the world. Forbes has reported that gala consistently raises eight-figure amounts.

It draws guests from the worlds of fashion, film, business, society, sports, and music.

How much does a Met Gala ticket cost?

The tickets in 1948 were priced at $50 each. In 2018, the tickets were priced at about $30,000 per person. This year the tickets were priced at $35,000 each.

And the number of attendees usually ranges between 500 and 600. A little calculation will give an idea of the big money involved. Famous publicist Paul Wilmot has rightly called the night “an ATM for the Met.”

Big brands and companies buy tables for $200,000 to $300,000 and invite their own guests. Apple has bought the table on previous events. Some museum guests get to attend for free, but the ultimate goal is to sell as many seats and tables as possible.

But again, Anna Wintour gives the final nod over the guest list.

Who are the organizers?

Big money always follows big celebrities!

The event hosts include the fashion wizard Anna Wintour, the creative director of Gucci Alessandro Michele, the pop star Harry Styles, and Pop singer Lady Gaga. The tennis star Serena Williams is also on the list of the hosts. Many believe that she is a part of this game because Ms Wintour is a big tennis fan.

Why are people dressed weirdly?

You are not that naïve and you know it’s a theme-based party.  The attendees at this year’s event were dressed as per the theme“Camp: Notes on Fashion”. The themenamewas derived from Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on Camp”.

When picking the theme, the organisers  must have picked the definition from Merriam Webster that explains camp as “a style or mode of personal or creative expression that is absurdly exaggerated and often fuses elements of high and popular culture.” So, now you get the idea behind clothes!

The 2018 theme “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” showed all about Catholicism’s heavy influence on fashion.

So is Met Gala a costume party?

Not exactly — but attendees are encouraged to dress in the style of the exhibition. Just how a celebrity is invited to the gala by a brand, she has to wear clothes from that brand, because that actually is the real-deal.

What happens at the event?

Now that’s another secret. The press-photographers are not allowed inside the event. For the last three years, even the postings on social media are banned after the red carpet. The social media postings from inside the event are absolutely forbidden!

So, what about pictures? Well, Vogue has exclusive access to photos from the actual party.

Guests take a tour of the exhibition on their way to cocktail party and then head for the dinner. The cocktail is followed by dinner which has some form of entertainment. This year guests enjoyed Cher’s performance, last year the stage belonged to Madonna.

It is obvious for the most elite kind of socializing to happen at an event that prides on the hardest-party tickets of the year to get. Interestingly, the US President Trump proposed his current wife Melania during the same event in 2004.

Who gets to go?  

The Met gala is open on invitation-basis only, and there is a waiting list to that as well.

Qualification for the inclusion in invitees-list has to do with buzz and achievement, beauty, and of course money. It seems Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, and Isha Ambani made to the list after their extravagant weddings that brought their stardom to the world’s centre-stage.

Also,since Gucci is a sponsor of this year’s event and exhibition, a lot of Gucci favorites can be found walking the red carpet. 

Why does it matter?

It is the glamorous star-game of entrances. No one there cares about food, clothes, and money! All they care about is being a celebrity among the celebrities.

And, the rest of the world just can’t resist!