Updated April 24th, 2024 at 09:00 IST

Met Gala 2024: Do You Know The Glamourous History Behind Fashion’s Biggest Night?

Met Gala is widely regarded as the fashion event of the year, with attendees vying to make a statement on the red carpet.

Met Gala 2024 | Image:Republic
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The Met Gala, held on the first Monday of May every year, is one of the most prestigious events in the fashion calendar, attracting celebrities, designers, and cultural icons from around the world. The theme for this year is "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” .With its origins dating back to the mid-20th century, the Met Gala has evolved from a midnight supper with socialites organising a fundraising event to a global phenomenon that celebrates the intersection of fashion and art in grand style.

Beginning of the event

The Met Gala traces its roots to 1948 when publicist Eleanor Lambert conceived the idea of an annual fundraising event to benefit the newly established Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The inaugural event, known as the Midnight Supper and promoted as the party of the year, was held in December 1948 and featured a guest list of high-profile socialites and fashion luminaries.

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Early years

In its early years, the Met Gala was a relatively low-key affair, attended primarily by members of New York City's social elite and the fashion industry. The event aimed to raise funds for the Costume Institute while showcasing the museum's extensive collection of historic costumes and textiles. Over time, the Gala grew in prominence and sophistication, with attendees donning elaborate costumes and couture creations inspired by the theme of each year's exhibition.

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Early years of Met Galsa | Image: @archived__mag on X

Vreeland era

The Met Gala entered a new era of glamour and extravagance under the leadership of Diana Vreeland, the legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine and special consultant to the Costume Institute. Vreeland's tenure, which began in 1972, saw the Gala transform into a star-studded affair with themes inspired by art, history, and culture. Vreeland's creative vision and impeccable taste elevated the Gala to new heights of sophistication, attracting a diverse array of attendees from the worlds of fashion, film, music, and society.

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Anna Wintour Era

The modern era of the Met Gala began in the late 1990s with the appointment of Anna Wintour as co-chair of the event. Wintour, the influential editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, brought her signature style and influence to the Gala, turning it into a highly anticipated and meticulously orchestrated affair. Under Wintour's leadership, the Gala evolved into a global phenomenon, attracting A-list celebrities, designers, and influencers from around the world. From $50 tickets per person for the first party, to $50,000 for each seat, Met Gala is now the biggest event in fashion.

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Anna Wintour | Instagram: Wintour World

Wintour's tenure also saw the Gala become a platform for philanthropy and cultural exchange, raising millions of dollars for the Costume Institute's exhibitions and programs. Each year, the Gala's theme is carefully chosen to coincide with the opening of the Costume Institute's annual exhibition, drawing inspiration from diverse sources ranging from art movements to historical figures to popular culture.

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Published April 24th, 2024 at 09:00 IST