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What is the Met Gala?

Why is it held and who attends the prestigious event?

All the celebrities from Rihanna to Gemma Chan and the Kardashian-Jenners attend the Met Gala, decked in extravagant designer ball gowns and dresses — sometimes wearing headpieces, other times wings.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 70 years, you’ll have seen these iconic looks one way or another.

READ MORE: Absolutely everything you need to know about the Met Gala

Dubbed the ‘party of the year,’ the gathering attracts the eyeballs of fashion lovers from all over the globe who can’t wait to get a glimpse of the stars wearing their beautiful couture gowns. But what actually is the Met Gala and why does it take place?

Let’s take a closer look.

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What is the Met Gala?

The Met Gala, also labelled the Met Ball, was previously referred to as the Costume Institute Gala or Costume Institute Benefit.

It was first held in 1948 to raise funds for the then newly founded Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and signal the launch of the institute’s annual exhibit. The museum is formally named The Anna Wintour Costume Center, after American Vogue‘s editor-in-chief, who is a long-running chair member of the gala since 1995. 73 years later, the event continues to raise money for the museum.

Every year Vogue sets a theme for the exhibition and event, which inspires the guests outfits. In 2021, the theme was In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, while the 2022 event will have the theme of In America: An Anthology of Fashion.

Who gets to go?

The party raises funds through the sale of tables or seats. Think of it as a ticket to be able to party with the creme de la creme of high society in your best dress – but you need an actual one to attend the event.

So how much is a ticket, you ask? Well it will cost you $30,000, more or less. The catch is, even if you can afford the eye-watering cost, there’s no guarantee that you can actually attend the event. Anna Wintour has the final say on who gets to be there.

While we sadly can’t be there to find out what happens after the red carpet entrances — guests have been prohibited from posting on social media at the event since 2018 — we can still marvel at the wondrous displays of couture on our TVs, laptops and phone screens.

From live coverage to outfit round-ups, the fashion scene is always in a frenzy on the day of the ball, so you can feel like you were there (in spirit).

‘Leaked’ seating charts for Met Gala 2021 caused quite a stir online. Many shared their dismay over the idea of influencers including TikTok star Addison Rae and YouTuber James Charles attending the fashion event.

The good news is the charts turned out to be fake. There is still no official guest list. However, you can already expect singer Dua Liipa to sit this year’s festivities out. Lipa has confirmed that she will not be attending this year’s gala because of a film commitment.

When is it held?

The Met Gala is usually held on the first Monday of May every year, but last year’s event took place on September 13 after multiple cancellations.

This year’s event will return to its usual slot and happen on May 2.

This set time slot only happened by chance, when an exhibition was cancelled last minute. Vogue was forced to move the event from December to May and it stuck.

Who hosts the Met Gala?

Last year, Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka, and Amanda Gorman co-hosted the Met Gala and this year the hosts are yet to be announced.

In the In Vogue: The 2000s podcast, Anna Wintour explained more about the selection process.

“We try to choose people we think are very much of the cultural moment,” she says. “We try to think about who makes sense in terms of the exhibition theme. We also try to invite people who we think will enjoy it and we think will make an effort and go there and have fun and really feel they’re hosting along with myself and whoever the sponsors may be.”

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