Officially, it’s the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute benefit, a black-tie extravaganza held the first Monday in May to raise money for the Costume Institute (a.k.a. the fashion department).
Unofficially, the night’s festivities have been called many things, including “the party of the year,” “the Oscars of the East Coast” (mostly because of the star quotient and the elaborate red carpet, where guests pose on the grand entrance stairs to the museum) and, somewhat pointedly, “an A.T.M. for the Met,” the last by the publicist Paul Wilmot.
The party signals the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual blockbuster show, and it is known for its celebrity and fashion hosts. This year the exhibition is “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” and the hosts are Anna Wintour (the magical manipulative Wizard of Oz for this particular event), Rihanna (who has a starring role in the coming Met Gala heist movie, “Ocean’s 8”), Donatella Versace (because her brother Gianni had a thing about Catholic iconography) and Amal Clooney (because … well, who doesn’t want to stand in a receiving line with Amal Clooney?).
Stephen A. Schwarzman, a founder of Blackstone, and his wife, Christine, are honorary chairs. They are the first people to name-sponsor a fashion exhibition since 1997. That’s a big deal. It’s also big money.
Content Courtesy Of New York Time & Nairobi Fashion Hub
Tickets this year are $30,000 apiece, and tables are about $275,000. The party and exhibition are sponsored. All of the money from ticket sales goes to the Costume Institute, which it needs because it is the only one of the Met’s curatorial departments that has to fund itself, fashion having been an iffy proposition as an art form when the Costume Institute was established. Last year, just over $12 million was raised. Of course, not everyone pays for a ticket. A brand will often invite celebrities to sit at its table, and Ms. Wintour also often invites up-and-coming designers who may not be able to afford a ticket and scatters them around the event. This makes them really excited and makes them feel like they owe her. If they didn’t already.
Why Would Anyone Pay That Much for a Party? Ms. Wintour, the editor of American Vogue and the artistic director of Condé Nast, first became chairwoman in 1995. She took over annual leadership in 1999. Since then, she has been instrumental in transforming a local philanthropic event into the ultimate global celebrity/power cocktail: Take a jigger of famous names from fashion, add film, politics and business, and mix.
It has become the gold standard of parties; that by which other benefits are measured. It’s such a heady combo that President Trump proposed to his wife, Melania, during the gala in 2004. (In case you are wondering: No, they are not expected this year.). It is among the hardest party tickets of the year to get — and thus, intensely coveted.
Best Dress celebrites at the met gala 2018 Considering the dress code of the 2018 Met Gala was “Sunday best,” celebrating a Catholicism-themed exhibit, Monday night’s celebrity-packed red carpet could’ve gone wrong in a million ways. Yet, for all the sacrilegious naked dresses or culturally inappropriate couture that the event’s A-list attendees could’ve worn to the event, the majority of this year’s Met Gala looks hit the mark, making for a revelatory night of saintly fashion. From Lena Waithe’s instantly-iconic LGBTQ flag cape to the many angels, popes and renaissance artworks that walked the carpet, these were the best fashions of the 2018 Met Gala.
Rihanna Rih has always been a Met Gala show-stopper, and considering Anna Wintour tapped her as one of the celebrity hosts of this year’s event, her look was bound to be a success. And it was, with the singer opting for a Margiela-designed papal crown and cape.
Lena Waithe With a suit and cape by Carolina Herrera, Waithe re-imagined the night’s theme as a way to celebrate a community that hasn’t historically been recognized by the church, a fashion choice both cheekily transgressive and triumphant. Plus, it was a look that Vogue icon and cape enthusiast André Leon Talley had to love.