The Reveal of the Met Gala 2024 Theme – Yay or Nay?

Photo by Toa Heftiba.

On the first Monday in May, hundreds of celebrities, designers and public figures gather in their finest clothing on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for an annual charity event called the Met Gala. Starting in 1948, the fundraiser gathered the elite New York society members for the benefit of the museum’s Costume Institute. However, it was not until 1972 that the Met Gala was the event we all know and cherish. Themes were introduced in 1973 — each year being special. 

The gala raises money through a series of advertisements and deals. Their greatest contribution comes from ticket sales, which cost $50,000 last year (Raiken 2023). Although some individuals buy their tickets, designers and brands buy tickets and even tables, filling those seats with big names.  

Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, began hosting the Met Gala in 1995. Her first theme was “Haute Couture,” and the following years had themes such as “Christian Dior,” “Jacqueline Kennedy,” “American Woman” and “Punk.” In today’s pop culture, the most notable themes were “China: Through the Looking Glass,” “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” “Camp: Notes on Fashion” and “In America.” 

The 2024 Met Gala’s theme is “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” The exhibition will consist of hundreds of pieces held in the Costume Institute’s vaults. With various high-end designers’ designs, people await with excitement for work from high-end designers. Despite looking back in time, the vintage pieces will be displayed with high tech, including AI, video animation and light protection (Vogue 2023).  

There is room for curiosity on how the brands that have just risen to fame will plan out the looks. Last year, to honor Karl Lagerfeld, multiple designers brought out his iconic tweed looks and their take on his designs. Dior, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent are able to bring iconic looks back to life from the timeless collections. It will be interesting to see how new brands like Stella McCartney and Vera Wang create pieces based on the theme, standing out against the original designer brands. 

The general public’s reaction to the theme seems to be positive. There is skepticism as to whether or not this emphasizes the old fashion world as the older brands head toward modernism, or a new branding to increase revenue and decrease the variability in designs and creativity in fashion. Bringing back old designs will definitely contrast with the current minimalistic, simplistic state. 

Vogue has been marketing the event with pictures of old Dior gowns, Alexander McQueen’s monarch butterfly dress and ageless designs. This year’s theme is wondrous, riveting and captivating. There is a lot of space for designers to move — an advantage and a disadvantage. It will be quite thrilling to lay eyes on numerous works of art all in one night on May 6, 2024 — a night when the Met stairs become a runway.

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