Meta Gala Whata’?

This previous Monday, the 2023 Met Gala took place. Let’s take a deeper look into what it actually is.


Performer Rosé poses on the carpet at the 2021 Met Gala with Saint Laurent designer, Anthony Vaccarello with the theme being “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” Photo Courtesy to Wikimedia Commons.

On Monday, May 1, 2023, the Met Gala took place in New York City, New York, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met Gala, or the Met Ball, is an annual event on the first Monday of May. It is a fundraising gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

     The first Met Gala happened in 1948 and was held by fashion publicist Elanor Lambert. It was a fundraiser for the newly founded Costume Institute to mark the opening of its annual exhibit. 

   This year marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Met Gala, with Penélope Cruz, Michaela Coel, Roger Federer, and Dua Lipa co-hosting it. The editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine, Anna Wintour, has been the lead chairman of the Met Gala since 1995 and runs the whole event. 

   Wintour is in charge of the theme, hosts, seating, entertainment, and all of the nitty-gritty details that go into planning this annual event. 

   For celebrities to attend, they have to have a popular social status and pay a fee. It is roughly 52,000 thousand dollars for a ticket to the Met Gala. Most of the time, the entry cost and costumes are bankrolled by major fashion brands/houses because having their costumes/outfits walked on the carpet gets their brand exposure. 

   Celebrities dress up in these elaborate costumes and outfits because they tell a story or teach history about the chosen theme for the year. It is also a way for them to “pay” respect to the highly talented designers who created their looks.

  This year’s theme was “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” in honor of the German Chanel fashion designer. Celebrities and widely known fashion designers wore outfits inspired by his fashion and personality. Before Lagerfeld passed away in 2019, he had a cat named Choupette. 

   At the 2023 Met Gala, rapper Doja Cat and actor Jared Leto dressed up as his cat Choupette. Doja’s outfit was a rhinestone dress and headpiece with a prosthetic nose to resemble a cat’s nose. On the other hand, Leto’s outfit was a full-on cat costume with a mask.

   Other celebrities wore pieces from his collections or were heavily inspired by his works and fashion choices.

   In previous years, the themes have ranged from eccentric to timely. For example, the 2019 Met Gala’s theme was “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” The idea behind it was to show off every individual’s uniqueness and that clothes do not define who you are.

    From the makeup to the outfits, everyone showed up and showed out. Actress Zendaya wore an outfit inspired by the fairytale of Cinderella. Her dress lit up, and once she was done walking the carpet, she “lost” her glass slipper.

   Then, the 2022 Met Gala theme was “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” also known as “Gilded Glamour.” Celebrities attending were asked to wear looks inspired from 1870-1890 in New York. This period was when America modernized socially, economically, politically, and fashionably.

   Actress Blake Lively wore a dress inspired by the Statue of Liberty. The first half of the carpet, her dress was copper colored. Then, her dress was flipped and turned teal, resembling Lady Liberty being brought to America.

   While attending the Met Gala, there are stringent rules that apply. Some obvious ones are no smoking, no phones/photography, and anyone under 18 is not allowed to attend, but there are even stranger ones. For example, couples are separated at dinner and forced to sit away. 

   The point is for celebrities to mingle and talk to people they typically wouldn’t. Wintour makes a seating chart months in advance to ensure couples don’t sit next to each other. 

   While at dinner, no foods that cause bad breath are served, that includes onions, garlic, anchovies, and an array of food items.

   Before dinner takes place, guests are walked through the museum, which displays works and costumes influenced by the theme. Unfortunately, there is little to no information about what happens inside the Met Ball because it is kept under wraps per Anna Wintour’s request. 

   Celebrities cannot post photos or discuss what happens inside the Met Gala to ensure nothing is leaked. This rule was broken a few years back when a group of celebrities and models took a selfie inside one of the bathrooms and posted it to social media. Since then, nothing has been revealed about this “top secret” event. 

  Once the event is over, there are a multitude of after-parties that take place across New York City. 

   Now that the Met Gala has been broken down, it’s until next year that a new theme is revealed, and a line of costumes is created for the 2024 Met Gala.